Marriage rates in the United States over time

If we seriously want men to marry and become fathers, let’s repeal no-fault divorce

I saw a very good article at the Heritage Foundation web site about the importance of fathers for children. The author Virginia Allen listed out some of the benefits that fathers provide to children:

Studies have found that children raised without a father are:

  • At a higher risk of having behavioral problems.
  • Four times more likely to live in poverty.
  • More likely to be incarcerated in their lifetime.
  • Twice as likely to never graduate high school.
  • At a seven times higher risk of teen pregnancy.
  • More vulnerable to abuse and neglect.
  • More likely to abuse drugs and alcohol.
  • Twice as likely to be obese.

From education to personal health to career success, children who lack a father find themselves at a disadvantage to their peers raised in a two-parent household.

I was looking for a good analysis of why there’s been a decline of marriage and fatherhood, and I found an article by Joe Carter on far-left The Gospel Coalition, of all places. By looking at marriage rates and historical events that changed the marriage rate, he was able to identify the cause of the decline of marriage – and fatherhood.

Marriage and divorce rates per capita
Marriage and divorce rates per capita

I’ll spare you the statistical analysis, which is excellent, and give you the conclusion – although you can guess it from the graph above:

Now that we’ve explored the data, what year should we use as the marker for the beginning of the decline of marriage in the United States? I would argue for 1985, the last year that the marriage rate topped 10 percent.

[…]What changed in 1985 that could have led to the decline in marriage? There are likely numerous factors—which we’ll examine in future articles—but one stands out in particular: By 1985, all states (except for New York) had enacted no-fault divorce legislation.

The most helpful book I know of about no-fault divorce is “Taken Into Custody”, by Dr. Stephen Baskerville. He wrote a column  for Crisis magazine that summarizes some of his ideas.


Feminists were drafting no-fault divorce laws in the 1940s, which the National Association of Women Lawyers now describes as “the greatest project NAWL has ever undertaken.”

The result effectively abolished marriage as a legal contract. Today it is not possible to form a binding agreement to create a family.

The new laws did not stop at removing the requirement of citing grounds for a divorce, to allow divorce by mutual consent, as deceptively advertised at the time. Instead they created unilateral and involuntary divorce, so that one spouse may dissolve a marriage without any agreement or fault by the other.

Here’s what divorce does to the spouse who is the victim of the unilateral “no-fault” divorce:

Though marriage is a civil matter, the logic quickly extended into the criminal, including a presumption of guilt against the involuntarily divorced spouse (“defendant”). Yet formal due process protections of criminal proceedings did not apply, so forcibly divorced spouses became quasi-criminals not for recognized criminal acts but for failing or refusing to cooperate with the divorce by continuing to claim the protections and prerogatives of family life: living in the common home, possessing the common property, or—most vexing of all—parenting the common children.

Following from this are the horrendous civil liberties violations and flagrant invasions of family and individual privacy that are now routine in family courts. A personalized criminal code is legislated by the judge around the forcibly divorced spouse, controlling their association with their children, movements, and finances. Unauthorized contact with their children can be punished with arrest. Involuntarily divorced parents are arrested for running into their children in public, making unauthorized telephone calls, and sending unauthorized birthday cards.

In my conversations with men, no-fault divorce laws, and anti-male divorce courts are the main reasons given for why they do not pursue marriage and fatherhood. Men do not want to be coerced in a marriage with the threat of divorce by an unhappy wife. Men do not want to be subject to the government in so many areas of their lives if the wife does carry out the threat. They especially don’t want to be separated from their children. One my secular male friends told me that he would not marry unless the woman had evidence in her past of hating radical feminism and no-fault divorce. This was the main criteria. He actually was able to find a woman who was a men’s rights activist who hated divorce. But that was the only way he would marry.

Statistically speaking, the wife is more likely to initiate divorce than the husband. Women initiate 70% of divorces, the majority of those just because she is “unhappy”. I think this is because women get into marriage based on their feelings, and they think that it is the husband’s job to make them feel good. They see their happiness as the primary goal of the marriage, and see a marriage that does not make them happy as a marriage that needs to be ended.

Are we going to repeal no-fault divorce, then?

No-fault divorce was seen as a boon to women who had married the wrong men by following their hearts. It’s an interesting question to ask whether women really would want no-fault repealed. It would mean that they would have to get serious about who they marry, instead of just getting into marriage based on feelings. They would have to evaluate men according to expectations of what a man does in a marriage, instead of on feelings. They would have to think about what men want out of a marriage, and prepare themselves to provide for his needs. They would have to say no to their feelings, when choosing a man, and in keeping a man after the wedding.

If women aren’t willing to demand the repeal of no-fault divorce laws and get serious about men and marriage, then what’s the point of complaining that men don’t want to marry and become fathers? If you’re not willing to fix the root cause of the problem, then don’t complain about the problem.

11 thoughts on “If we seriously want men to marry and become fathers, let’s repeal no-fault divorce”

  1. If women aren’t willing to demand the repeal of no-fault divorce laws and get serious about men and marriage……..
    IF? There is no way that women, including so called “Christian” women will vote to repeal that law!!!!
    The more women get elected to the senate and house, including the so called “Republican” women, the less chance of it coming about.
    Regardless of philosophy, the women will vote for the female imperative, before anything else!!!!!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. Repeal would be ideal, but short of that, if there could be legally binding prenuptial agreements where both parties forfeit their right to a no-fault divorce then that would help. I know that the Leftist courts would probably overturn them, but it would at least send a message.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Send a message to whom???
      It would take an enormous amount of prenups, and the men would still be crushed by the “divorce corp” system. The only solution is to not get Married. No cohabitation either.
      Some sort of together but separate, MAY work out!!!
      You go out together,enjoy each other, go home to your separate abode!!!


    2. Joint custody would also help. So there is no way the initiating spouse can cut off the other spouse completely. I think it’s tempting to divorce when you can cut the other person off completely.


  3. No one twists women’s arms and tells them to take advantage of their every government-given advantage and ruin even good men’s lives. That’s entirely on women.

    Women will never part with those advantages either.

    Women are very fond of saying men “need to be better”, but it’s a two way street, and I don’t see many women attempting to be better themselves.

    It’s too late for me. I’ve seen firsthand what women are capable of and what they can get away with. There’s virtually no mechanism be it societal, legal or religious that holds them accountable for bad behavior as there is for men. I will never put myself in a position of weakness to them again. Neither will any man whose seen similar things. The divorce courts are full of men who didn’t think their precious wifeypoo could ever “do that.” Until they did.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes. I don’t think there is enough awareness of why men marry in our society. Of what men are looking for from marriage. When I look at the response of parents, pastors, women, politicians to the way divorced men are treated with respect to alimony, child support and custody, I know that they don’t understand men or care for them. They want slaves. I’m not going to allow myself to be at the mercy of policemen, feminist lawyers, feminist judges, etc. They can rule over their cats. They won’t rule over me. And they won’t get attention or resources from me either, except what they steal from me in taxes, and that will be ending once I retire at 50.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Amen to that. And, that’s what’s so infuriating: they couldn’t care less about men and their needs, let alone their wants. But they are the first to say “you men need to be better” and “man up and marry those single mothers.” No. Never. The Lord makes no such command, and a pulpit charlatan trying to win brown nose points with his female congregants while playing it fast and loose with the scriptures doesn’t count. While he’s busy kissing the backsides of the women he caters to, he can kiss mine too.

        Liked by 1 person

  4. The solution is simple. Men should stop marrying out of the preservation of self-interest, and with that, I’d like to see men stop sleeping with women they have no real interest in marrying. If MGTOW can convince men that marriage way too risky, then maybe someday the laws will change.

    Liked by 3 people

  5. Since “God hates divorce” (Malachi 2:16), it is a given that He doesn’t much care for those who initiate it either. (Cue the litany of excuses.)

    No fault divorce is another way our nation has turned its back on God, families, children especially, and men.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. While no-fault divorce has definitely played a role in the decline of marriage, it is a fact that a major cause of the decline is society turning its back on God and his principles, as sexual licence and cohabitation increasingly became a norm from the late 1960s onwards, Having been a teenager in the 1960s, I witnessed it happening and got caught up in it in my early 20s, until I caught a wake-up call that it was a path to destruction, even though it was some years before God worked in my life to save me, in his timing.
    God’s plan for marriage and family, along with godly principles and values, are the foundation of a stable society, with marriages and families being its building blocks. Sex outside of marriage used to be frowned upon (even though it did happen), but now that has been jettisoned. The concept of marriage as a covenant has also been lost – now it’s regarded as a contract that can be broken.
    The restoration of marriage and family won’t happen without much prayer, the Gospel of Jesus Christ being preached, and good discipleship for those who believe.
    That said, there are no guarantees – I have known Christian marriages where there is abuse, usually by a narcissistic spouse, who refuses to acknowledge his or her role in the breakdown of the marital relationship, and so they blame-shift. Narcissists are often the product of dysfunctional and abusive homes themselves, and tragically they don’t or won’t deal with their baggage.
    P.S. I gather that another hindrance to marriage in the USA is joint taxation. In “the bad old days”, girls got married, had a family and were full-time mothers and home-makers. Women’s lib had a lot to do with that (not that I’m against women working or having a career). However, juggling a job, marriage and family puts an additional strain on many marriages.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. This is so true. I lived through the 60’s and 70’s also, and the mantra “sex and drugs and rock and roll” really was the theme of those decades.

      Birth control really opened up the fornication and abortion covered up the infidelity, but both were commercial products of the extreme carnality of those decades.


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