Tag Archives: No-Fault Divorce

Thoughts about my conversations with two Christian feminists

I was reading some work by a Christian feminist this week. She was arguing that if only men were to help out their wives with housework, then marriages would be more stable. So often, society works very hard to give women what they say will make them happy. Then when women get what they asked for, it doesn’t make them happy. Is equal housework once of these cases?

Consider this New York Daily story about a Norwegian study that affirms traditional roles within the marriage.

Excerpt:

Couples who share housework duties run a higher risk of divorce than couples where the woman does most of the chores, a Norwegian study sure to get tongues wagging has shown.

The divorce rate among couples who shared housework equally was around 50 per cent higher than among those where the woman did most of the work.

“The more a man does in the home, the higher the divorce rate,” Thomas Hansen, co-author of the study entitled Equality in the Home, said.

So here is a case where women say what they think they want. Then they get it. And then they don’t like the result.

Emotional intimacy

Another point made by the Christian feminist was that women only initiate 80% of divorces because men are terrible at emotional intimacy. The Christian feminist says that we just need to have churches teach men how to be more emotionally available. Men need to take the initiative to make marriages work for women.

Here’s conservative Andrew Klavan explaining that many women today are attracted to emotionally unavailable men, and that men adapt to this in order to get the girl:

I wanted to take a serious look at this situation and get at the reasons men such as Weiner behave in this grotesque way.

I blame women.  No, really.  Women — by which I mean each and every single member of the female gender — you know who you are — need look no further than themselves to explain why [Anthony] Weiner-types behave toward them in this fashion.   We men are always hearing complaints from women about how badly we treat them, what pigs we are, how pushy and abrasive…  on and on.  But what these same women conveniently fail to mention is that this stuff really works on them!

There are tons of studies about how women are attracted to the so-called “dark triad” character traits. Many women are attracted to emotionally unavailable men before marriage, but after marriage, most of them realize how terrible that is for marriage. They asked for something, got it, but then they don’t like what they got. Although they’ve vowed to love this (terrible) man through thick and thin, they just can’t do it, and they use no-fault divorce to eject him from the home.

So, I guess I would just ask this Christian feminist: do women have any responsibility to test men for intimacy ability before marriage? Do they have any responsibility to suppress their feelings in the moment, and choose what will work in the long run?

It seems to me that women need to take the initiative to evaluate men for the most important things that they want out of marriage. I agree that women want emotional intimacy. So they need to choose men who provide them with that. Men do not change. The man you marry will not change for you after you marry him. It seems to me that instead of telling bad men that they need to turn good after marriage, we should tell women to choose better.

Many women today spend an awful lot of their time looking into mystical nonsense: astrology, the law of attraction, manifesting, Disney princesses, happily ever after, Hallmark movies, etc. They have a deep intuition that the whole universe is set up for their benefit, and that the path they must choose in order to be happy is shown to them through their feelings. Maybe we should work on fixing that, rather than destroy the society (and children’s lives) with rampant no-fault divorce. Maybe the problem is that women need to be taught that when it comes to marriage, they need to treat it like a job interview. They need to evaluate men, and choose one with demonstrated ability for the job’s actual requirements.

Elsewhere in the Christian feminists writings, she says that men have 100% of the responsibility for marriage success. But none of the authority to lead. I just want men to understand that this is often how women see men. Women want to choose men based on how a man makes her feel. She will make a snap judgment about whether he is “The One”. She feels good when she makes decisions based on intuitions and first impressions. She has enormous confidence in the judgment of her intuitions. This is the man that The Universe has chosen to make her happy, and She doesn’t make mistakes. And if that man doesn’t make her happy, then she can divorce him. And all the Christian feminists will celebrate her decision. Does that sound like a good deal for men? In particular, does entering a situation like that free you up to focus on serving God? (2 Tim 2:4) Sounds to me like you would be skating on thin ice for the rest of your life. And for what? To please God? No, to make her happy.

Last month, another Christian feminist told me that “masculinity is when men use their physical strength to benefit women as protector and provider”. Again, this view that it is men’s job to make women happy is everywhere, and if men fail to make women happy, then that’s what divorce is for. There is no idea among Christian feminists that men are supposed to serve God first, and women are supposed to help them to serve God. One divorced Christian woman once told me “marriage is for women”. So just understand what you’re getting into, if you decide to get married.

I personally think that Christian men ought to focus on serving God, and stay far away from marriage. Even the most conservative Christian women have this view that men are there to serve them, and meet their needs, and make them happy. They call it “servant leadership”: men get all the responsibility with none of the authority. It’s a reversal of male headship, where the new God is the woman’s feelings. That sort of arrangement certainly isn’t going to allow a man to focus on serving God.

New study: virgins have happiest marriages, more sex partners means more unhappiness

Although we live in a culture that is dominated by the thoughts and opinions of secular leftists, science provides useful information for those who want defend Biblical morality. Consider the issue of sexuality and marriage. Secular leftists claim that sex outside of marriage is natural, and produces happiness. Bible believing Christians and Jews say chastity is best. Who is right?

Here is the latest study authored by Dr. Nicholas Wolfinger, a sociologist at the University of Utah. His previous book on relationships was published by Oxford University Press. In his analysis of the data, Wolfinger controlled for divorce rates, religiosity, and socioeconomic status.

Here’s the most important graph:

Study: virgins have the happiest marriages, more partners means less happiness
Study: virgins have the happiest marriages, more partners means less happiness

Other factors that increased marital happiness: having a 4-year college degree (5%), having a salary > 78K (5%), regular church attendance (6%). Notice that women are more dissatisfied with marriage (in general) than men are, and they tend to blame the spouse they freely chose for that unhappiness.

The Federalist also reported on previous research relevant to this study:

Psychologists Galena K. Rhoades and Scott M. Stanley found that women who have had sex with someone other than their husband report statistically significant drops in marital quality over those who don’t. A 2004 study by sociologist Jay Teachman showed that intimate premarital activities such as cohabitation and intercourse increased the rate of marital dissolution by anywhere between 28 and 109 percent, depending on the activity.

Wolfinger also noted in a previous study that only 5% of women were virgins when they married.

Wolfinger noted that a possible explanation for the link between promiscuity and unhappiness is that people look back on their past partners and compare their spouse unfavorably to them. This is especially the case with women. My concern about this is that feminism has taught women to try to increase their social standing by having hook-up sex with attractive bad boys. If those women ever marry, they do it when they are older, less fertile, and less attractive. The husband they eventually “settle” for will (in their minds) always compare unfavorably to the hot bad boys they had sex with when they were younger and prettier. This, I believe, is what leads to their unhappiness with the man they chose to marry.

More partners also means more marital instability

In a previous post, I blogged about several studies linking virginity to marital stability. Couples who don’t have sex before marriage, or even who delayed it, reported better communication, higher satisfaction, better quality sex, and a lower chance of divorce.

Men ought to be aware of this research when they are choosing a spouse. Women initiate 69% of divorces, and the most common reason given is “unhappiness”. Well, now we know what’s causing that unhappiness – a high number of sexual partners prior to marrying. Smart men should prefer a virgin, for the increased happiness and increased stability. A large number of past sexual partners teaches women that relationships are engines for them to be happy, not commitments that are permanent and exclusive. They’ll have internalized the view that relationships are not commitments to invest in self-sacrificially. The pattern will be: “if it doesn’t make me feel happy right now, then it should be ended”. It will be seen as the man’s fault that she is unhappy, even if the study I talked about above shows the real reason is her past promiscuity. Men who aren’t serious about evaluating the character of the women for the marriage enterprise are running the risk of divorce, it’s that simple.

The best way to make sure that you have a clear head when evaluating a woman is to stay sober, and keep her hands off of you. When a man refuses to let a woman cloud his judgment with sex, then she is forced to learn how to love him in marriage-oriented ways, e.g. – help him, support him, and submit to his leadership. Male chastity encourages women who have been influenced by feminism to abandon selfishness, fun-seeking, and thrill-seeking, so that they learn to care for others. Male chastity also helps a man to resist older women who chose bad boys in their teens and 20s and want to get married to a good provider in their 30s. The studies discussed above clearly show that such women are more likely to be unhappy, and their future marriages are more likely to be unstable. Avoid them. You don’t want to be in a marriage to someone who isn’t very good at it, because she never prepared herself for it.

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.

Excerpt:

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.