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A 'Marriage Strike' Emerges As Men Decide Not To Risk Loss
The Philadelphia Inquirer ^ | July 5, 2002 | Glenn Sacks and Dianna Thompson

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 Glenn Sacks writes about gender issues from the male perspective. He invites readers' comments at

TOPICS: Chit/Chat
KEYWORDS: donutwatch
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To: buccaneer81
You know, the feminazi's scream about being able to do everything a man does, but then they turn around and demand child support and alimony. Isn't that, in principle, admitting they can't?

Ladies and gents, if ya can't support kids on your own, you probably should not have them Maybe that is the view women and men should take into their marriages today given the divorce rate.

41 posted on 07/06/2002 6:55:12 AM PDT by Taxula
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To: Balto_Boy
While this may be true, the majority of children in fatherless homes were born out of wedlock. Men refusing to abstain from casual sex and their slavish donations to sperm banks has far more to do with this problem than the judicial system, yet men can't seem to see it.

Women play a more major part in this, as I see it. Men are "supposed to" spread their genes around, and are more prone to casual sex. Not that it makes it right, but it happens more often.

Women have always been the more civilizing influence on the family structure. We have the power to say "no" under most circumstances (in the West, at least), the power to attract the most deserving male, the power to keep the spouse at least involved in the family structure...using sex and intimacy, of course.

We have the power to keep our legs closed. Feminazis and nihilists have trained our young women to pleasure themselves first, be "like men" (not meant as an insult) in order to gain power in society, and to throw away the civilizing influence of femininity and womanhood. Instead, we are told to substitute permissiveness for permission on the grounds that "it's not fair" that men can do it and we can't. Then we whine that we aren't taken seriously, that we get the raw end of the stick when a man uses us, and we demand that we be viewed as women, dammit.

Why? Aren't we now just men with boobs?

42 posted on 07/06/2002 7:03:13 AM PDT by Dakotabound
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To: Taxula
You know, the feminazi's scream about being able to do everything a man does, but then they turn around and demand child support and alimony. Isn't that, in principle, admitting they can't?

Ah, but you see, to the feminazi, it's always the man's fault. Wife had an affair? Well you must have driven her into it. Wife left because she was "unhappy"? Your fault, Bub. You didn't support, cuddle, cheerlead, defend, promote or care enough. So what if you worked 60 hour weeks to pay that mortgage and that SUV payment. That's your duty. It's all about punishment and sometimes the avoidance of guilt on their part.

43 posted on 07/06/2002 7:03:25 AM PDT by buccaneer81
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To: buccaneer81
There is another reason, reported recently, why men are not getting married. They can get all the sex they want without marriage. Women are getting hurt in this brave new world, too. I know of men who go from woman to woman, happy to have her services for a while, but when she wants a serious commitment, he is out the door. The problem is not so much a lack of marriage counseling as it is selfishness. No one goes into marriage anymore committed to the "for better or worse" or "til death do us part" vows. If it stops being good for them, they want out, regardless of what it does to other people and society at large.

I notice that nobody is giving up on "finding true love" just because that may not last, so abandoning marriage because of what might happen, is a poor excuse. Sure, a woman, or a man either, could walk out of the marriage later, but all kinds of things could happen. What if your spouse becomes seriously and chronically ill? Do you not marry because that might happen? Nobody is promised a perfect life. People need to grow up, and the laws must be structured to support marriage and family, not work against them.

Finally, the only thing that will really save marriage, is if men and women live in obedience to God. That requires a change of heart, not of circumstances.

44 posted on 07/06/2002 7:04:09 AM PDT by Pining_4_TX
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To: meyer
Serious question with some nasty implications

There is an ugly truth to face there, that is clear. Never mind what is said, watch what's been done. From school systems that drug boys and push them out of the way so that girls can do better, to divorce courts that treat adult men like animals, there is a disturbing trend that suggests that -- at least in the West -- fairness to women is a much higher priority for men than fairness to men is a priority of women.

Indeed, 'fairness' may be too strong a term. There is a lack of basic human decency there that is alarming. One wonders how far it would be pushed if allowed to continue for a long time.

I have often wondered where the seemingly oppressive customs regarding women that we see in Muslim countries, India, and most of Asia come from. Things like that don't just happen, they arise in response to circumstance. It may be that we are witnessing a bout of The Circumstance. Perhaps this is just what happens when women get close to political power, and why so many human societies have evolved mechanisms to prevent it from happening.

45 posted on 07/06/2002 7:06:43 AM PDT by Nick Danger
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To: Maceman
Any guy who never even sees it coming is too clueless to live.

I disagree. Women are very adept at long term planning, secrecy and manipulation. Have you ever noticed that it is usually the man who immediately moves out of the family home even though it is the woman who usually initiates the eventual family breakup? The women know they have the power of the law and the courts behind them. Even if they don't know how powerful the State's backing can be, the first lawyer they see will gleefully explain it to them.

Women hold all the cards in this type of situation. They know that eventually they will gain control of the children and will have access to whatever family assets and/or income they will need to maintain their customary lifestyle.

46 posted on 07/06/2002 7:12:55 AM PDT by nygoose
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To: meyer
Has the women's vote caused this? Serious question with some nasty implications, but look at how our government has changed since that time

Our government is, indeed, a government by the women as are all the western democracies. Switzerland was the last to succumb but the rot is setting in even there. Our governments, whether socialist or conservative, depending on majority votes, continually move toward the feminist positions and the nanny state develops apace.
While on the other side of the world, due to forced abortions and the "one child per family" policy, China is developing a very masculine culture that grows more warlike as the sexual balance grows heavier at the masculine side. A nation of Men is more warlike, more aggressive, and will probably dominate at some time in the future. A feminine culture such as in the USA and in the European nations, will not even defend itself because it psychologically must rely on an outside force for that defence, on a larger entity- the UN which is, of course composed effectively of the US and the feminized Europeans.

The masculine Islamic cultures are not really a long term threat because they cannot develop the economic ability to do anything about conquest. They must rely on infiltration which will fail as a policy in the end because the women do understand about the dangerous outsiders and will likely close off the borders eventually.

Giving women the vote would seem to be the deathblow to Western Civilization, but it is not so easy as a single act, even that act. As economies advance and societies get rich the women have greater and greater influence because survival no longer requires that they remain at home and in the fields having babies annually. They become active players in the econmomy and itellectual equals with the men because the society is rich enough. Even without the formal vote, wealthy societies that have conquered most disease and infant moprtality will be feminized.

And then there is China. Chinese expansion and competition will become more robust as the masculinized culture itself gets richer. Ending "One Child" tomorrow will leave the world with 20-40 years of Chinese masculinity.

47 posted on 07/06/2002 7:13:51 AM PDT by arthurus
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To: Dakotabound
We have the power to keep our legs closed.

Yes, but the fact is that some women want babies without husbands. Men have got to realize this and see that their concepts of manhood are being used against them. That they choose not to see this does not make them victims of forced-fatherhood when baby results.

48 posted on 07/06/2002 7:14:25 AM PDT by Balto_Boy
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To: wku man; College Repub
No flames here, gentlemen. I'm in complete agreement with you.

I'm 38, divorced, employed, have custody of my nine year old daughter, and I'm going to school to finish my degree. The women that I have have met that are my age in my local area either don't want to get involved with a man with a daughter as young as mine (tough luck - we're a package deal), or they've got a chip on their shoulder as big as Texas - that, or they're seriously unstable.

What I always found laughable was the young women at school that were dating some absolute a##holes - guys that were verbally and physically abusive, guys that were dating more than one woman - and making a point of letting everyone know - and the women complaining about it. If he's so bad, why stick with him? And the answer, almost every time, would be "Oh, I know he'll change," or "well, there's no one else."
49 posted on 07/06/2002 7:16:53 AM PDT by Tennessee_Bob
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To: SouthernFreebird
How sweet.......a thread for male bonding.

Spoken like a true FemiNazi ...

50 posted on 07/06/2002 7:17:56 AM PDT by Phaedrus
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To: wku man
I've seen both my little sisters slam dunk their Ex's.

If the urge to lock on a ball 'n chain ever fells me, there will be a titanium prenup.

But then I'd have to change my screen name. : (

51 posted on 07/06/2002 7:24:21 AM PDT by Freebird Forever
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To: warped
I agree with your remarks, but would add that too many people enter into marriage thinking that they're still entitled to the advantages of single life: nights out with the girls or guys, spending money on big ticket items without discussion with partner (usually on charge accounts) and having chidren without the emotional or financial means to support them. I married at 19, 26 years ago. The first 7-8 years were tough, we both made some dumb mistakes, but hung in there. Have three kids now, a great husband and a warm loving relationship that feels as comfortable as an old shoe and I know for a fact that my husband feels the same.
52 posted on 07/06/2002 7:25:29 AM PDT by OldBlondBabe
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To: buccaneer81
I completely agree.
53 posted on 07/06/2002 7:27:37 AM PDT by Marine Inspector
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To: johniegrad
Because there were some assets involved, the attorneys quite naturally raped the situation for all it was worth and despite my attempts to get it settled, it took two years.

This is far too often part of the untold story. Lawyers quite frequently make the situation infinitely worse and they do it for someone else's money.

54 posted on 07/06/2002 7:27:38 AM PDT by Phaedrus
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To: 2sheep
Just as abortion and homosexuality are judgments of God on a nation. . .

I dunno. I think those are the choices of the people. God's judgements come because of them.

55 posted on 07/06/2002 7:28:32 AM PDT by William Terrell
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To: buccaneer81
Also, take into the account the propoganda that is filling women's heads on the talk shows. I have seen on there where a couple is breaking up and they talk to the host about how "our sex life just wasn't as good anymore", or "well, we just grew too comfortable with each other", or sometimes it will be that the wife things the husband has turned into a slob. You will also notice that these shows are hosted by women, made up largely of women, and the guests are mainly women (who get to do most of the talking while the man is just supposed to sit there and be blamed for everything). I'm not married yet, but I know that it is a partnership of give and take, it is not one continuous party, and married life isn't going to be like one continuous romance novel.
56 posted on 07/06/2002 7:30:31 AM PDT by Paul Atreides
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To: JMJ333
I'm sure Lenin said something like that. The Soviet Union initiated a strong anti-family program in the late '30 and early '40s. It severely weakened the family. But then they found that there were too many harmful consquences. Thus, they were forced to drop the programs and admit that the family was essential to society.
57 posted on 07/06/2002 7:31:51 AM PDT by Dante3
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To: William Terrell
Here is a good presentation on the issue: God Struck America! Land that we Love - Intro

 1 - Quotations
 2 - God Struck America
 3 - *Basic Issues - God's Sovereignty, The Judgements of God, The National Pantheon
 4 - *The Word is a Hammer
 5 - Mr. President
 6 - Responsibilities of Faithful Servants

58 posted on 07/06/2002 7:33:02 AM PDT by 2sheep
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To: buccaneer81
59 posted on 07/06/2002 7:33:25 AM PDT by A. Pole
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To: buccaneer81
60 posted on 07/06/2002 7:35:21 AM PDT by bassmaner
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