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.
The picking aren't any better for us women. It's scarey out there. The men are just as money-grubbing, and just as confused.
Perhaps Moore's Law can be of help.
I hope that someday, someone invents a holodeck like the one in Star Trek, and then men can go inside and have all the risk-free sex that they want. When the real women find out that they are no longer of any use, then maybe they will consider treating men better.
It's the freakin' marriage license!
A license is defined in Black's Law Dictionary, Fifth Edition, as follows:
"The permission by competent authority to do an act, which, without such permission, would be illegal, a trespass, or a tort. People v. Henderson, 391 Mich. 612, 218 N.W.2d 2, 4.
This begs the obvious question. Since when did "marriage" become an "illegal act"? Hmmm?
In the 1800's in America, the only persons who needed a marriage license were those people of differing races, who wanted to marry. Why? Because back then it was illegal for a white to marry a black (and vice-versa). Hence, they needed "special permission" from the State to perform an "illegal act".
Today, everyone blindly trots off to get a "marriage license" because, well, that's what you do, right?
When you obtain a marriage license you are essentially forming a "corporation", with the State acting in the role of "third party interest" with an "equitable nexus".
What are the "profits" from such a pseudo corporation? Children for one thing. Real property for another.
And that is why you cannot dissolve your marriage without the State's involvement, assuming there is a marriage license in effect.
And what about "separation of church and state"?
The act of marriage is a religious ceremony!
"By the power vested in me by the State of California, I hereby declare you husband and wife." What???
Imagine this. A Baptism license. Imagine Joe Sixpack saying; "Now, uh, let me get this straight. You're saying I got to get me a license to accept Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour?"
Did your great-great grandparents have a marriage license? No they did not. Did the world come crashing down? No.
George Washington married Martha Dandridge Custis in 1759. Do you suppose George Washington, the First President of the United States of America, trotted down to his local governmental "authority" and obtained a marriage license? Hell no, he did not.
So why do Americans get marriage licenses? Because they are dumbed down and ignorant, and that's by design.
Aha! A pristine 1950s society preserved deep in the jungle of Kalifornia. Who woulda thunk it.....
We are looking at the conditions in this country now, and voicing our opinions based on those observations. I have eyes, and I see what is happening out there.
As for sexual morality, the typical young lady of today will hit the sack with almost anything that walks or slithers down the road. It is not uncommon for women to have had hundreds of sex partners before they get married somewhere in their mid to late 20s if they get married at all. They have "explored their sexuality" with both men and women. The poor guy coming home doesn't know if he will find the little lady in the sack with the guy from next door, the girl from next door, or both.
At last glance, the divorce rate was fifty percent. It may be more by now.
STDs have become much more prevalent in the last few years. That is a direct result of prevailing promiscuity in this generation. Some of these STDs are brutal. They are disfiguring and permanent in their effects, even rendering many women incapable of having children.
Ok, considering all factors, the man is facing a woman with no morals, all the viciousness of a pissed-off king cobra, and the health of a person with one foot in the grave. And, the woman thinks she is doing the man a favor by offering him her lily-white hand. The hand is all that she has left. The rest was used up a long time ago.
I am happy that I got a good woman before all of the nonsense that is going on today became common.
I agree with many of the points contained therein. I will likely never marry again for many of the reasons cited in the article, and I'm most definitely not "Peter Pan," uncommitted, or immature. The reasons my ex cited in filing for divorce were based solely on her own convenience, and were not the result of any abuse, emotional distance, or dishonorable behavior on either of our parts. Our marriage and our lives were a great adventure in many ways, and when, by necessity, the adventure changed to something different for a while, she was the one who tucked tail and ran first.
This is not a rant against my ex though. She is honorable and successful (and a better shot than I am). We had an understanding, hammered out in excruciating detail before we married, that either party had an open door and was free to walk through it for good reason. I do not keep slaves, and am quite capable of doing my own laundry without turning all the white clothes pink. Her children were already grown and we had no issue of our own, so we were both fortunate that there were no child support issues to consider.
Since many women apparently feel that marriage is a part-time job or choose to define it as till death do us part or until something better comes along, I say "Ignore them and the horse they rode in on" when the next Sadie Hawkins Day comes along. My life is full and complicated enough as it is without blindly signing another social contract with a woman using invisible ink.
When I was going through my divorce, another guy I know got slapped with the traditional restraining order.
Seems he'd found out his wife was unfaithful, but confronted her before he had evidence. She called the police and proceeded to trash the house, rip her clothes, and as she saw the squad car pull in, attacked him.
Who did the police believe? One guess.
He lost the house, the car, the kids, paid 1800/month in child support (in a much lower geared economy than folks on the coasts are used to, in 1990) and even had his firearms taken away--with the right to own one under Clinton.
One little VHS videotape saved me that.
Unfortunately, guys who get custody of their children are still few and far between.
The wife in the case I cited is a Methamphetamine addict (the case where the guy got custody of his kids), so the judge didn't have a lot of choice, except to farm the children out to foster homes.
Don't let the exceptions cited blind you to the overwhelming majority of cases which go the other way.
Thank you for pointing out this scenario. I have seen it almost as often as I have seen the shrewish, feminazi-type who eats her male life partner like a spider.
The "Katherine" in your scenario is all the more tragic because she is one of the very few good women who actually live the true spirit of marriage. It cost her. I've seen it.
Number one: Jim Bob marries X and has two kids. From day one, her thing was a new house...not a old one fixed...but a new one. Jim Bob had no great income...barely $20k per year. X would not accept a house trailer...only a house. So Jim Bob borrowed and built the house. The bank only gave him $40k based on his income and he borrowed from 5 individuals in the local area to make up the other $25k. Jim Bob skimped and saved for 10 years to pay back the $25k and at least cover that part of the loan. His wife was extremely upset about the financial situation by the 7th year. As Jim Bob paid the last of the personal loans, X got upset and demanded a divorce. X wanted $1k per month. This left barely $700 a month for Jim Bob to live off of. Jim Bob lives in a run-down house trailer today and has seven more years to go before the kids leave home.
Larry married X and had a great job. He was married to her for 24 years. X decided that Larry was not taking care of her and she went for a divorce. Larry had put a tremendous amount of his money into a retirement account, with almost $400k invested. X asked for half, in cash. By the time Larry gave her the $200k and paid the penelities involved, Larry had $80k left. Larry is 56 and had planned retirement at 60. He will be working until 65 and will have half of the previously planned amount to play with in his senior years.
Rick married at 18, to a wild and crazy Deb. Deb was 17, a hard party animal and spent money constantly. Deb had 1 kid with Rick. And when they divorced 5 years later. She took his truck, his entire savings of $10k and demanded $1500 a month for her and the kid. She promptly moved in with some 18 year old guy and was giving him several hundred a month to pay for his car. Rick tried to correct the situation and was told to just shut up and enjoy.
Guys, we need to get smart. Its ok to have relationships. Its ok to have sex. Its ok to meet her family. But don't marry these women. You don't need pain and suffering. You can live a good life and not have to mess with lawyers or pay alimony. Life can be good, if you just use common sense.
Care to name names? We're apparently looking at two different threads.
You just don't get it, do you? We are not women haters. If we simply hated women, we wouldn't even bother with them.
Now, take a third generation version of this, 60" tall, and put it inside of a Realdoll (www.realdoll.com). Voila! RoboGirlfriend. Software updates will add the ability to cook and clean as well. I'm not kidding here. These will probably hit the market by 2005-2007. They will cost about as much as a luxury car, with some models being cheaper and some having more options.
Not opining on the battles being waged out there, just letting you all know that the paradigm is about to shift in a really big way.
Oh, and for the ladies, yes, they have male Realdolls as well. Technology has something for everybody! No need will be left unfulfilled, except maybe the need for human companionship.
In the cases where there was no marriage nor relationship nor live-in, more courts seems to be asking if the woman did not actually WANT, even DESIGN to have the child...and victimize some man as a mere sperm donor...
More women are deciding they don't WANT the kids, just dump them on Daddy. [0ver 20 yrs ago, an aquaintance of mine with seven children including a baby girl, suddenly had his wife run away with a man nearing 70 who had money, and she wouldn't have anything to do with her own children.]
More women today are so obviously unfit to love and care for ANYTHING, plus with increasing awareness of successful parenting by fathers alone (lower crime rates, more successful children and not just boys, either)...causes that to be looked at at least casually by some judges, as a possible option, whereas 20 yrs ago the mother would just automatically get them regardless of her low morals and lack of decency or character...
But what about when Dan is working those late hours, going on business trips which are just that--business, and being faithful to Katherine.
Who gets OD'd on Oprah and Rikki Lake and decides that he can't possibly be being faithful to her (despite sexual harassment laws in the workplace, etc.) and decides to keep the score even. (In reality, Bambi would have to approach Dan, or he would be risking a very embarassing dismissal and lawsuit. Bambi might be a cutie, but that doesn't mean she is a dummy.)
So Katherine is busy being unfaithful while he is slaving away. etc., etc. After all, she has all day while the kids are in school, and Dan is a little tired to be heartthrobbingly romantic when he gets home from his day at work.
You illustrate the bias we complain about when you assume that the male is the one who is unfaithful, and in the process smear many of us who have been faithful until the hour the gavel dropped.
You would reframe the scenario to make the male the evil partner, the one at fault, just as the courts have traditionally done.
While it takes two to make a marriage, it only takes one to destroy it.
Since many women apparently feel that marriage is a part-time job or choose to define it as till death do us part or until something better comes along,.....
blindly signing another social contract with a woman using invisible ink.
You didn't have a marriage and you agreed to this arangement before you even set up shop, ....you signed on willingly to this arrangement beforehand, there was no invisible ink, by your own words.
What you got was what you both wanted so why blame her now for the lack of commitment you BOTH signed on for.
"Female baboons"! Hmm, that could explain the source of Feminism.
Not of women. Of a system gone mad to the delight of some women.
Child custody...wholly unfair.
Child Support: Women who need it get too little and Women who don't need it get too much.
Aside from insuring baby killing "choice", this little morsel is probably the FemiNazis/Womyn's Rights activists biggest pluck.
There is an infection among females particularly American ones. The vast majority are not worth bothering with.
I want to tell them, "I don't come in to help you clean up your personal act... You clean up your own act first, then I will think about joining up because of the fact that your act is together."
She will either contribute things, on equal turf, or I will leave.
Most and YES MOST, females (of my age group) have a serious 'blame the other guy', no respect, backbiting, inconsiderate, self centered, hate all men, mentality.
There are two types of contribution:
first type... being nice and respectful. Being happy. Having fun. Being intimate. Communication. All of these things are free and do not cost 10 cents.
Second type... washing dishes, 'having a baby', or cleaning the house, or for guys 'working all day'...
The second often get put into the first tier.
Things I will not do:
date the girl, and all of her friends also
I will not be in an unequal relationship
I can list a few more, but you get the idea... I have never been married, doubt I will. I have not been impressed.
Ok, let's go through it again. It's not a hatred of women. It's being tired of their attitudes and actions - or are you saying that attitudes and actions cannot be changed?
So, where's the contradiction?
The only one oozing hatred and loathing is you. Grow up.
You seem rather full of yourself, deigning to define what a marriage is. By the laws of the country where we were married and the US states where both of us were from, we were most definitely married in every recognized legal way. The "invisible ink" I referred to in my post is the apparent treatment of marriage by most women these days as a paperwork drill or tax dodge.
What you got was what you both wanted so why blame her now for the lack of commitment you BOTH signed on for.
I don't recall "blaming" anyone for anything in my post, least of all my ex.
There are some wonderful treatments for reading comprehension problems now. You should consider them.
It's a shame, but it's a fact of life. I never thought it would happen to me and I was married twelve years. I would have to meet a truly exceptional woman to ever consider remarriage, and I still think I'd never expect it to last forever.
Don't miss this one.
If you believe a robust discussion of a very real inequity within our legal system and the giving of examples is misogyny in action, you illustrate the very problem.
If you open your mind you'll hear that the posters wish for a fuller meeting ground for men and women than money provides.
Blind labelling won't bring you understanding.
Sounds to me like you already have.
Now 8 years later, she acts like the children are a bother but of course would never give them up because that would mean capitulating to me.
My life now with wife #2 is a wonder and very nice and easy and we have a 2 year old Tasmanian Devil and another in the oven. I'll be 50 when the next one enters grade school. Scary in a way. I'm very blessed now but God forbid should something happen to my current wife, I doubt seriously I would ever remarry. I have now almost 4 children and can't afford anymore hence, marriage beyond this current very satisfying one is holds little allure for me. Women will always hold an allure for me but marriage...no.
Ever dated a 'bad boy'? Ever liked a 'bad boy'?
Answer yes, I am am over an out. First date, second, or whenever, I am over and out. If she lies and waits until later to fess up, I will leave her for lying and for liking 'bad boys'.
Over the long term, that is much cheaper than losing all of your money and possessions to a money grubbing, scheming, untrustworthy woman.
And who knows, maybe Sony will invent a robot-woman that genuinely has the ability to love and that you can actually trust.
This may be a totally new invention, because the women I've seen just don't have the ability to love or to be trusted.
Maybe it's like the saying "All the good ones are taken," but maybe the truth is that there were not any good ones to begin with.
Anyway, I'm wishing the scientists and engineers at Sony the best of luck in their endeavours.