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.
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.
Society has a problem when one might consider prison as a desirable solution to this situation. $940 per month is WAY more than it costs to cloth and feed a kid.
Yeah, and she makes 40k to boot.
Pre-nups can address some of this, if they're properly drafted and the court upholds them. However, it is very common for the court to decide that the pre-nup shouldn't be enforced for any number of reasons--for example, the man and the woman should each have their own lawyer rather than having one lawyer write the agreement for both of them.
Plus state laws vary, so what's valid in one state might not be in another. And some states limit the length of time that a pre-nup can be enforced. I believe, for example, that California law kills all pre-nups after seven years of marriage. Supposedly, that was one of the reasons Tom Cruise divorced Nicole Kidman--their seventh anniversary was approaching and he didn't want her to escape the limits of their pre-nup.
My attorney (also a divorce lawyer) agrees. He only half-jokingly tells me if I ever get married to spend a lot of money on a prenuptial agreement...it justs makes a divorce a more lucrative challenge for a good divorce attorney.
It is obvious from a great many psychological signs, that we are designed to seek mates; that that pursuit is the most important pursuit in life. Where so many rationalize reasons to forgo the quest, we have a very sick society. This needs to be addressed; but of course it will not be, until we start electing hard nosed Conservatives to a lot more positions of authority.
William Flax Return Of The Gods Web Site
I agree 100%. But I have yet to see a woman without a committee. There is at least one, usually more, that knows how to hint, then retreat, suggest, then retreat, tell a negative tale, then retreat, until the woman has for all practical purposes made a decison and thinks it is her own. I know this because I have eavesdropped, shamelessly. And when you confront her with the conversation, she is totally unaware anything like that went on and will deny it vehemently.
Good question!! It could be true. Many women pay little attention to politics and politicians. They trust the advice of Oprah, Katie Couric, the local NEA, or any "strong" NOW actvist to whom the media give face time. Being easily swayed politically, many women also have very strong "herd instincts" - making them a great Voting Bloc! And with their preferred "minority status" there are politicians falling all over themselves to accommodate their wishes.
She's aware. She just thinks that by denying, you will beleive her and think that no such conversation ever takes place.
Some basic FAQs:
If my partner and I live together long enough, won't we have a common law marriage?
Contrary to popular belief, even if two people live together for a certain number of years, if they don't intend to be married and present themselves to others as a married couple, there is no common law marriage. More particularly, a common law marriage can occur only when:
1. a heterosexual couple lives together in a state that recognizes common law marriages
2. for a significant period of time (not defined in any state)
3. holding themselves out as a married couple -- typically this means using the same last name, referring to the other as "my husband" or "my wife" and filing a joint tax return, and
4. intending to be married.
Unless all four are true, there is no common law marriage. When a common law marriage exists, the couple must go through a formal divorce to end the relationship.
Which states recognize common law marriage? Common law marriage is recognized only in the following states:
District of Columbia
Georgia (if created before 1/1/97)
Idaho (if created before 1/1/96)
New Hampshire (for inheritance purposes only)
Ohio (if created before 10/10/91)
|Men who choose poorly shouldn't complain so much about the consequences of their own choices
Permit me a bit of reductio ad absurdum. For what you said to make sense, there has to be some reasonable association between the size of the mistake and the size of the penalty for making it. What this thread is about is that the penalty for making these sorts of mistakes has been increasing, to the point where they are now quite onerous and intolerable, but seemingly only for men (with some minuscule number of exceptions). My question is, at what point does it no longer make sense to pretend that men are not only responsible for making the mistake, but they are prohibited from complaining about the size of the penalty for making it, or about the fact that they are singled out by sex to pay the entire penalty for what was probably a two-person mistake?
Suppose tomorrow it is decided that a divorcing woman may, as easily as she can now get a restraining order, have her husband shot. She goes down to the courthouse, fills out a little form, and they send a sheriff out to shoot the husband dead. I agree that today this seems preposterous, but maybe in ten years or so this will be seen as the next logical step. At that point, will you still be saying that, "Well, men have to live with the consequences. They have to be more careful about whom they marry." It just seems to me that at some point that whole line of argument becomes ridiculous. If we have young men avoiding marriage in droves, that is a signal that it is already ridiculous.
I don't think this discussion is useful to the extent that we pretend that we're fixing anything by telling people that they need to make better decisions. We might save a few heartaches doing that, but we are not going to produce perfect people, and human beings are not going to stop making mistakes. The issue is more properly what system awaits those who make such mistakes, however many there are. Even if there were only one divorce per year in the United States, we would not want it to be administered by government in as unjust and capricious a fashion as is the norm today.
|In order for the multinationals to flourish they must get you to buy stuff you dont need. Family structures mitigate this consumption pressure hence they have been successfully destroyed
Ah, dammit, you told 'em. Well, now that the cat's out of the bag, I might as well 'fess up. I used to sit on board of Amalgamated General, and yes, we used to sit around planning the destruction of the American family so we could sell more fried bananas. We figured the more divorces there were, the more unmarried men there would be living alone in apartments; and that's who eats fried bananas. It was us who made Bill Clinton president. We wanted those soccer moms to swoon. They'd get dissatisfied with their measly doctor and lawyer husbands, and presto -- some cleaned-out men and more fried banana sales.
Und how long have you been haffink zees dreams?
More like this: Is it safe? AAAAAGGGH! Is it safe?
This isn't about you. Not everything is about you. This is about government.
Is that algebra, or economics?
When the risk of divorce unreasonably raises the potential cost of marriage for men, there will be fewer buyers.
Women think these a##holes are "exciting." They do not see the correllation between the "exciting guy" and their "miserable marraige." Meanwhile, many perfectly fine men acquire the "boring" label. The women also do not see the correllation between "boring" and a "peaceful" stable marraige.
It appears that women want to find a guy - any guy - then marry, and change him into someone she wants. Why do you suppose she doesn't look for someone she wants in the first place?
We don't need to wait a few years. Most children in single family homes were born out of wedlock. None of them would have been born without pre-marital sex.
You are suggesting that men take this a step further and go on a "conception strike," thus placing the continuation of the society itself in peril.
I'm only calling on men to face the reality that their concept of proving their manhood by nailing any willing woman is being used against them, but men are too obsessed with getting some to see it.
I believe government's response would be to begin supporting the children of single mothers via the tax system. There would always be loser men out there who had nothing to extract in terms of child support who would be willing to serve as society's studs. All you'd have is bunch of frustrated, celibate males who got dinged anyway in the form of higher taxation.
So men would provide the stud service, and then men in government would provide the support via tax dollars. Are men really that pathetic?
You know, he's got a good point.
Just like people used to re-arange their entire lives around the tax code and the (moment of silence in respect) "Credit card interest deduction" now people are arranging their lives around the laws governing the marriage contract.
Whoever said "Life immitates art" was an idiot.
Because in reality, life immitates law.
(that's what they have done, legislated marriage right out the door. The kept weighting it and beating on it till they killed it. And now they blame the victim, so typical..)
I am glad you put this up.
"Hell hath no fury..."
Well said. Caveat Emptor, let the man beware...
My dad is somewhat of a jerk. He has a drinking problem and anger issues. I love him to death, but I am not going to say he is a saint when he surely is not.