Why is it so hard to get married these days?

Marriage and family
Marriage and family

A long, long time ago when I was in my “read one or two books about everything important” phase, I remember coming to marriage and picking out two books to read on that. The first was the Judith Wallerstein study on “The Unexpected Legacy of Divorce”, which talked about children’s experience of divorce over the 25-year period following their parent’s decision to divorce. The second was F. Carolyn Graglia’s book “Domestic Tranquility”.

I found an essay about the latter book that seems to be either the introduction or chapter one. I just thought I would share it here to clear up why people are not getting married as much as they used.

Let’s see how it happened:

Since the late 1960s, feminists have very successfully waged war against the traditional family, in which husbands are the principal breadwinners and wives are primarily homemakers. This war’s immediate purpose has been to undermine the homemaker’s position within both her family and society in order to drive her into the work force. Its long-term goal is to create a society in which women behave as much like men as possible, devoting as much time and energy to the pursuit of a career as men do, so that women will eventually hold equal political and economic power with men. This book examines feminism’s successful onslaught against the traditional family, considers the possible ramifications of that success, and defends a woman’s choice to be a homemaker. Feminists have used a variety of methods to achieve their goal. They have promoted a sexual revolution that encouraged women to mimic male sexual promiscuity. They have supported the enactment of no-fault divorce laws that have undermined housewives’ social and economic security. And they obtained the application of affirmative action requirements to women as a class, gaining educational and job preferences for women and undermining the ability of men who are victimized by this discrimination to function as family breadwinners.

Sexual promiscuity, no-fault divorce laws and affirmative action laws that discriminate against male providers, were the goals of radical feminists. There may have been some men who went along with these things, but the main force behind it was radical feminism.

We continue:

Certainly, feminism is not alone responsible for our families’ sufferings. As Charles Murray details in Losing Ground,[1] President Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society programs, for example, have often hurt families, particularly black families, and these programs were supported by a large constituency beyond the women’s movement. What distinguishes the women’s movement, however, is the fact that, despite the pro-family motives it sometimes ascribes to itself, it has actively sought the traditional family’s destruction. In its avowed aims and the programs it promotes, the movement has adopted Kate Millett’s goal, set forth in her Sexual Politics, in which she endorses Friedrich Engels’s conclusion that “the family, as that term is presently understood, must go”; “a kind fate,” she remarks, in “view of the institution’s history.[2] This goal has never changed: feminists view traditional nuclear families as inconsistent with feminism’s commitment to women’s independence and sexual freedom.[3]

To counter radical feminism, women should be reading books that offer a serious, scholarly defense to feminism (e.g. – Christina Hoff Sommers, Carrie Lukas, F. Carolyn Graglia, etc.). You can tell whether a woman is a feminist based on how brittle she is with the idea that women have certain roles like wife and mother. Another good indicator is whether she is comfortable with the idea that relationships require each person to have certain responsibilities and obligations to the other that override their desire for happiness. Everyone in a relationship has responsibilities and obligations to the other person. For example, with few exceptions, a man ought to get up and go to work to support his family, just as the woman, with few exceptions, should try to keep thin and be available for her husband sexually. Feelings and desires should not override responsibilities and obligations in a relationship.

More:

Emerging as a revitalized movement in the 1960s, feminism reflected women’s social discontent, which had arisen in response to the decline of the male breadwinner ethic and to the perception — heralded in Philip Wylie’s 1940s castigation of the evil “mom”[4] — that Western society does not value highly the roles of wife and mother. Women’s dissatisfactions, nevertheless, have often been aggravated rather than alleviated by the feminist reaction. To mitigate their discontent, feminists argued, women should pattern their lives after men’s, engaging in casual sexual intercourse on the same terms as sexually predatory males and making the same career commitments as men. In pursuit of these objectives, feminists have fought unceasingly for the ready availability of legal abortion and consistently derogated both motherhood and the worth of fulltime homemakers.

[…]Contemporary feminism has been remarkably successful in bringing about the institutionalization in our society of the two beliefs underlying its offensive: denial of the social worth of traditional homemakers and rejection of traditional sexual morality. The consequences have been pernicious and enduring. General societal assent to these beliefs has profoundly distorted men’s perceptions of their relationships with and obligations to women, women’s perceptions of their own needs, and the way in which women make decisions about their lives.

Read the rest, it’s a good introduction to the book.

So how have men responded to the sexual revolution and no-fault divorce? Well, most non-Christian men are going to take the free sex that’s being offered to them, and back away from a life-long commitment to protect and provide. Even a number of “Christian” men are now finding it easy to work premarital sex into their relationships, something that would have been unthinkable to Bible-believers of earlier generations. Also, a woman who has a lot of premarital sexual experience is a red flag to most men – they worry that she will not be able to be faithful to them since she is already accustomed to recreational sex rather than married sex within a covenant. Premarital sex generally makes women less trusting, less vulnerable and less capable at being lovable to a man using non-sexual (feminine) abilities. Research shows that the more premarital sex partners a woman has, the more unstable her marriage becomes. This is also true for men, but the effect is slightly less for men. It’s definitely something that has to be worked through, because it’s a risk factor for relationship instability.

If you ask any man today about what is holding him up from getting married, the first thing he will tell you is no-fault divorce laws. Whereas women may shy away from marriage because they are worried about being unhappy or losing their freedom, men have a much, much more pressing danger in mind – the danger of having your entire life savings wiped out in an instant. And that’s not to mention the prospect of only being able to see your kids for a few hours every month if you don’t get joint custody – which is the vast majority of cases (about 90%).

21 thoughts on “Why is it so hard to get married these days?”

  1. ” Also, woman who has a lot of sexual experience with a lot of men does not make a very committed, loyal wife for anyone who marries her. The more premarital sex partners a woman has, the more unstable her marriage becomes. That’s the first point to make.”

    So men who have more premartial sex don’t make for an unstable marriage or unloyal husband?

    Personally, I see nothing wrong with being a housewife but I don’t think a man should be the only one working. If the husband dies then what is the wife to do? Remarry? This isn’t the days where a woman had to relay on her father marrying her off to some man whether he was good to her or abusive for financial support. A houswife should have some sort of education and work skills that in case her husband dies,he divorces her or he loses his job that the family is not put into a financial bind which will then put a strain on the marriage.

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    1. Oh no, it goes for men as well.

      I encourage single women to get a grad degree and a few years of work experience, and when the kids are in school, she can go back to work. But I wouldn’t send my kids to public school, it would be homeschooling or private school.

      Liked by 1 person

        1. My wife would do it. That is the biggest goal of the marriage.

          This:
          https://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2013/04/23/alabama-homeschooling-family-sends-6-kids-to-college-by-age-12/

          And this:
          https://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2011/05/03/homeschooled-student-about-to-enter-law-school-at-age-16/

          And this:
          https://winteryknight.wordpress.com/2014/05/08/homeschooled-sixteen-year-old-graduates-college-and-high-school-in-the-same-week/

          And this:
          http://www.famoushomeschoolers.net/bio_demaine.html#.Us4c7PRDsfc

          Basically, I want to have kids and actually have a wife who works with me to DO STUFF with them. I even have the money all saved for 4 PhDs for them. And to allow her to stay home as much as she wants. This is the plan!

          Liked by 1 person

    2. “A houswife should have some sort of education and work skills that in case her husband dies,he divorces her or he loses his job”

      This is where family can play a part. When my grandfather was just a toddler, his father left him and his mother. His mother’s family took care of her while she did domestic duties for them. I don’t know the full story about her life afterwards, but my grandfather went on to be a very independent, prominent, and successful man…so much so, you could probably figure out my real name (or narrow it down myself, my siblings, and my cousins) via Google were I to give you some simple details about his life.

      There’s nothing wrong with a woman getting an education, but she should either concentrate on family or career…there is no “having it all.”

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      1. A person can have it all. If a man can work and have a family and woman can do the same, a friend of my mothers is married has a career and is raising her child. Both are christian loving people go to church and the daughter is being raised godly. No problems with their marriage at all

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        1. There are tradeoffs. A man who works (away from the home) will typically have less time for his children, and the same goes for the mother. Further trade-offs for women are postponing having children for 10 years or more to get a career where they will be more likely to ride “the carousel” (the dangers of which have already been mentioned), and lose their most fertile years where they can have the healthiest children.

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  2. So very sad. Wish my feminist “christian” family members would wake up. As a young homemaker myself, with young children, I get no respect from family members and no respect from the church. Seems being politically correct is more important than speaking the plain truth. Oh, I homeschool too, thats two strikes against me. Being bullied by professing believers is no fun. When given the chance I encourage all moms to just stay home!

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  3. “And you can see it in the way they choose men who are unsuited to marriage, in the way they delay marriage and in the way they idolize career, travel to foreign countries and/or mission trips.”

    Priceless. Traveling to foreign countries is such a waste of time.

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    1. It really is, if you are starting out in a wealthy first world country. If you want to impact another country, then fund local Christians, or use micro loans, or support free trade. Or use a blog to influence them. No need to blow thousands of dollars to have an impact.

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  4. Well today Most women want a man with money since they’re very spoiled and selfish which has a lot to do with it, and since much more women now are very independent which they Don’t need a man to survive. And it is just too bad we Don’t have the good old fashioned women around again which it would’ve made it much easier for us good single men meeting a good woman to settle down with.

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  5. What a captivating quote. I will try and get a copy of those books.

    What fascinates me is the dissonance between the feminism described in those two books, by Mary Pride, and by the Botkin girls, vs. the prolife feminists of 140 years ago. It’s certainly worth reading up on.

    Off topic – do you expect your (future) wife to bear the main responsibility for homeschooling your children? I know it’s the way it works out for most families, but it’s not really scriptural. And many mums find the responsibility for curriculum choice and delivery a heavy one.

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  6. Hello

    Sad situation. My ex(sad to say) wife was a “professional”
    women but wanted to stay at home with the children that we
    adopted more than anything else. She was no “feminist”.
    So many women it appears want it all and invariably come up
    short. Have their cake,eat it too and don’t even have to make it.
    In other words- career first,sexual promiscuity second and radical
    feminism being the priorities while demanding a good looking,rich
    man that will only have eyes for her. Guess what no way !

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  7. And what about many of us good men out there that are still single today when we really shouldn’t be at all? Since it does take two too tango which many women out there now are really to blame since they’re so very picky these days when it comes to having a relationship since they will only want the best and will never settle for less. Most women are very greedy, selfish, spoiled, and very money hungry too which really tells the whole story right there since many of us men that really wanted to get married and have a family should’ve had no problem at all since we really can’t blame ourselves at all since the women of today have really changed unfortunately. And trying to start a conversation with a woman has certainly become so very dangerous for us as well since many women will even curse at us for absolutely no reason at all when we will just say good morning or hello to them to hopefully start that conversation going which doesn’t go to well for us at all. Years ago it was a totally different story altogether since most of the women back then were very much the complete opposite of what these women are today and had such a nice personality and good manors as well as respect for the men in those days which most men had respect for the women too at that time. And i certainly do have to say that most of the women back then really did put these women today to real shame altogether as well since it was so much easier for the men in those days that were really looking for real love. As you can see which it did work out for our family members since it definitely was a much better time for them finding real true love and many of them are still together today as i speak which is very amazing too. And now with all of these reality TV shows as well as social media has certainly made it worse for many of us men too unfortunately since many women these days are feminists as well.

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    1. I actually think it is very reasonable for a woman to want a man to provide a home in a safe place, health care, a safe car, good schools, a stay at home mom, etc. This is reasonable and prudent. If the earning is for travel, fun and entertainment, though, then it’s bad. A certain amount of money is needed for protection and leading of the family. I think that a plain man is honorable when he focuses on providing and protecting, rather than on facial hair, piercings and tattoos. Although I think men should lift weights and be strong.

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    2. Being that my old church was a large urban church with most regular attenders being single/unmarried (I think it was something like 40% were undergrads or graduate students and another third or so were single 20’s-somethings and 30’s-somethings [and older]) —

      My senior pastor used to occasionally throw a bone towards dating whenever he went through various texts (Genesis, Ruth, Proverbs, Judges, 1Cor. 7, Genesis 1+2, etc.).

      IMHO, some initial comments before I distill some of the above:
      Overall, I do think that people in general look at too many of the accoutrements (the superficial things) like “Is he/she hawwwt?” or “Does he/she dress well?” Men AND women, if they do not let their minds be conformed by Scripture and theology and are not mentored by more spiritually mature Christians, will devolve to evolutionary biology. Women will look for alpha males, the ones with the most power, influence, wealth.

      Of course the “alpha males” in a church should be the best servants, the spiritually mature ones, i.e., those who are on some track to being (gasp) an elder, whether in title or not. And of course, these are not necessarily “desirable” in terms of evolutionary biology. Well, I might argue “not.” In any case.

      So what did my senior pastor look at?

      – the example of the unnamed servant of Abraham (Genesis 24): was asked to find a woman who was not a Canaanite (of a different faith), but rather, one from Abraham’s own country. The servant prays for a young woman who was a great servant: that she would water all your camels and give water to the servant. (A thirsty camel can drink ~130L/30 gallons of water or 225 pounds of water per camel. As the servant had ten camels, mentioned in Genesis 24:10, this would be asking for someone of a phenomenal servant’s heart and exemplifying enormous hospitality.)

      – the example of Ruth and Boaz (Ruth 1-4): now Boaz can be argued that he is an alpha male, he is wealth, and a land owner. But there’s a few things that the texts indicate — Boaz seems to be an older man (Ruth 3:10 says “You have not run after the younger men, whether rich or poor.”) Boaz was generous, a man of good character (willing to honor the Law despite it perhaps not working out in his favor). And Ruth takes the initiative to ask him to marry her — twice. Ruth is a Moabitess and Moabites were not allowed to enter the assembly of the LORD, not even in the tenth generation (Deut. 23:3). However, she claims the faith of the LORD, the God of Israel, for herself as commentators have noted (“Your God shall be my God,” Ruth 1:16) and thus she follows the Living God, the God of Israel, and she is included in the genealogy of David and ultimately of Jesus Christ. Both of them make their choices based on character.

      – the example of Caleb and Othniel (Judges 1:12-13). You can find the audio file here: http://media.parkstreet.org/audio/2010-03-28-am-hq.mp3 (entitled ‘eHarmony’)

      In this very short text, it says, “I will give my daughter Aksah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath Sepher”. Caleb was one of two faithful spies (the other being Joshua) — and what he was asking for was “a powerful faith in the living God so as to believe that the LORD would enable a man to deliver an enemy city into his hands” — a faith like Caleb’s (and Joshua’s) faith that would deliver Canaan to the Israelites.

      (In this sermon, my pastor talked about looking for someone of faith, also asking the believing community for help, and then briefly reviewed some dating sites including eHarmony, and mentioned about a certain brother and member of the church who was off asking his future father-in-law for his then-girlfriend’s hand in marriage, whom he had met on eHarmony.)

      – the series on Proverbs is too long to mention. I think I would summarize:
      + be Mr. or Miss Right, rather than looking for Mr. or Miss Right (the emphasis is on what you are doing to live according to God)
      + emphasis on character: character matters! (making wise choices)

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  8. Women in the old days weren’t picky at all like today, and most women back then were very old fashioned and real ladies as well. Today they have just too many demands that they want from us men, and they just want the best of all since they will never settle for less. Quite a change in the women today from the past unfortunately, making love very difficult to find for many of us single men now.

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