Skip to comments.A 'Marriage Strike' Emerges As Men Decide Not To Risk Loss
Posted on 07/06/2002 5:00:19 AM PDT by buccaneer81
A 'marriage strike' emerges as men decide not to risk loss
By Glenn Sacks and Dianna Thompson
Katherine is attractive, successful, witty, and educated. She also can't find a husband. Why? Because most of the men this thirtysomething software analyst dates do not want to get married. These men have Peter Pan syndrome: They refuse to commit, refuse to settle down, and refuse to "grow up."
However, given the family court policies and divorce trends of today, Peter Pan is no naive boy, but instead a wise man.
"Why should I get married and have kids when I could lose those kids and most of what I've worked for at a moment's notice?" asks Dan, a 31-year-old power plant technician who says he will never marry.
"I've seen it happen to many of my friends. I know guys who came home one day to an empty house or apartment - wife gone, kids gone. They never saw it coming. Some of them were never able to see their kids regularly again."
Census figures suggest that the marriage rate in the United States has dipped 40 percent during the last four decades to its lowest point since the rate was measured. There are many plausible explanations for this trend, but one of the least mentioned is that American men, in the face of a family court system hopelessly stacked against them, have subconsciously launched a "marriage strike."
It is not difficult to see why. Let's say that Dan defies Peter Pan, marries Katherine, and has two children. There is a 50 percent likelihood that this marriage will end in divorce within eight years, and if it does, the odds are 2-1 it will be Katherine, not Dan, who initiates the divorce. It may not matter that Dan was a decent husband. Studies show that few divorces are initiated over abuse or because the man has already abandoned the family. Nor is adultery cited as a factor by divorcing women appreciably more than by divorcing men.
While the courts may grant Dan and Katherine joint legal custody, the odds are overwhelming that it is Katherine, not Dan, who will win physical custody. Overnight, Dan, accustomed to seeing his kids every day and being an integral part of their lives, will become a "14 percent dad" - a father who is allowed to spend only one out of every seven days with his own children.
Once Katherine and Dan are divorced, odds are at least even that Katherine will interfere with Dan's visitation rights.
Three-quarters of divorced men surveyed say their ex-wives have interfered with their visitation, and 40 percent of mothers studied admitted that they had done so, and that they had generally acted out of spite or in order to punish their exes.
Katherine will keep the house and most of the couple's assets. Dan will need to set up a new residence and pay at least a third of his take-home pay to Katherine in child support.
As bad as all of this is, it would still make Dan one of the lucky ones. After all, he could be one of those fathers who cannot see his children at all because his ex has made a false accusation of domestic violence, child abuse, or child molestation. Or a father who can only see his own children under supervised visitation or in nightmarish visitation centers where dads are treated like criminals.
He could be one of those fathers whose ex has moved their children hundreds or thousands of miles away, in violation of court orders, which courts often do not enforce. He could be one of those fathers who tears up his life and career again and again in order to follow his children, only to have his ex-wife continually move them.
He could be one of the fathers who has lost his job, seen his income drop, or suffered a disabling injury, only to have child support arrearages and interest pile up to create a mountain of debt which he could never hope to pay off. Or a father who is forced to pay 70 percent or 80 percent of his income in child support because the court has imputed an unrealistic income to him. Or a dad who suffers from one of the child support enforcement system's endless and difficult to correct errors, or who is jailed because he cannot keep up with his payments. Or a dad who reaches old age impoverished because he lost everything he had in a divorce when he was middle-aged and did not have the time and the opportunity to earn it back.
"It's a shame," Dan says. "I always wanted to be a father and have a family. But unless the laws change and give fathers the same right to be a part of their children's lives as mothers have, it just isn't worth the risk."
Dianna Thompson is the founder and executive director of the American Coalition for Fathers and Children. She can be contacted by e-mail at DThompson2232@aol.com. Glenn Sacks writes about gender issues from the male perspective. He invites readers' comments at Glenn@GlennSacks.com.
Its not the only thing involved in marriage by any means, but its a BIG factor.
President Spencer W. Kimball taught:
"Sex is for procreation and expression of love. It is the destiny of men and women to join together to make eternal family units. In the context of lawful marriage, the intimacy of sexual relations is right and divinely approved. There is nothing unholy or degrading about sexuality in itself, for by that means men and women join in a process of creation and in an expression of love."
Sexual relations in marriage are not unrestrained. Even though sex can be an important and satisfactory part of married life, we must remember that life is not designed just for sex. Even marriage does not make proper certain extremes in sexual indulgence.
This man also went on to say that "sex is the #1 cause of all divorces"
In two of the three cases I was thinking of, the wife divorced him so she could move in with her boyfriend. In the third case she divorced him after she had spent him into bankruptcy
That's what happened to me. I could write a book. She snatched my son and I pay $940 a month to her and the boyfriend. Life is good!
You make some very good points here. I have a theory and I've seen it confirmed again and again.
Women like bad guys. The badder the better. But, this simple fact is complicated by a very crucial caveat -- They like bad guys they can control.
But, there's a problem here. The type-A, bloodthirsty killer type with the seven-figure net worth and annual income, the big house, the big cars, and the vacation homes in Maui and Cancun don't lend themselves to being led around by the 21st century version of Sheena of the Jungle. They've achieved what they've achieved because they're the latter-day meat-eaters of the contemporary world.
Such men take what they want. And the woman who sinks her claws into such a guy is not the center of his universe, she's just another asset in his world, the trophy wife.
So, she can't call the shots in the marriage. That leaves family court. Nothing like the long arm of the law castrating the Alpha male she couldn't hog tie herself. Even juicier if there are 2.3 kids along the way to sink the hook even deeper.
It's better than being "taken" by Bill Clinton.
ONce we perfect cloning and those robodolls, things will be much better. ;^)
You forgot a big one: what is her relationship with her father? If she doesn't think her father walks on water, beware. If she says her father was a jerk, or a drunkard, or any other sort of miscreant, head for the hills immediately and do not look back. You will never do better than her father.
That's my ex to a tee. Plus, she idolizes her mother who is a bitter man-hating woman.
They found actor Michael Douglas on the list of clients of that "Hollywood Madam" they busted a few years ago. Some reporter asked him why, since he could have his pick of any starlet in Hollywood, he would ever pay for sex. He said, "I don't pay them to have sex. I pay them to leave afterwards."
woman married to a drunkard man ends up bitter man-hater....... hmmmmmmmmm go figure
I am happy to say that I am happily married now... I have always enjoyed the company of a good woman, when such was available, and have conducted myself responsibly.
It is a pity that so many decent folks on both sides of the gender line fall victim to the unscrupulous and/or irresponsible nature of others. I am sure that there are horror shows on both sides.
But if marriage, as an institution, or as a relationship is to survive, both sides need to avoid the polarization the feminazis and hardcore mysoginists would inflict on the population.
This benefits no one except "sympthetic" lesbians ond homosexuals who have their own agenda in severing ties between the sexes and breaking down traditional families and values.
Each case should be taken on a case-by-case basis, but without the gender bias found to date in the courts. There are signs that this may be waning, but it is too early to say.
Clean the slate, take out the trash, and remember the lessons learned. Don't pass on hatred, or you, and everyone around you loses.
If I have failed to follow my own advice, my apologies to all.
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