I like to make plans in advance and calculate everything out before I try to do anything. This is the curse of being a software engineer. We’re taught to take a test-first approach to design. So, when I think about marriage, I naturally think about what tests marriage is supposed to pass, and work backwards from there to requirements for each of the spouses.
Here’s some research from CNBC that might help young people to avoid a divorce, if they respect the research in their choices.
When it comes to student loan debt, “for richer, for poorer” doesn’t quite cut it.
In general, finances are the leading cause of stress in a relationship, according to a study by SunTrust Bank, but student debt takes a particularly hard toll on a marriage.
More than a third of borrowers said college loans and other money factors contributed to their divorce, according to a recent report from Student Loan Hero, a website for managing education debt.
In fact, 13 percent of divorcees blame student loans specifically for ending their relationship, the report found. Student Loan Hero surveyed more than 800 divorced adults in June.
I think in general, you can’t just do whatever you want before marrying and jump into it unprepared. Marriage involves specific requirements in order to work, such as being faithful to your spouse, and buying things that you need for the marriage enterprise, like a home, and baby stuff. It doesn’t make any sense to say “I want to get married” and then not prepare for marriage by being careful about preparing for the behaviors marriage that requires of you. Being debt-free is one of those behaviors that marriage requires of you.
So how can we be debt-free, so that the marriage will be stable? Well, one way to be debt-free is to find a way to learn skills that will allow you to get a job without going to college, like being a self-taught software engineer. One of my friends actually did that, and now he’s with a very good software company as a remote worker. But if you’re going to go to college, you can avoid debt by studying something that will get you a high-paying job when you graduate.
Examining 46,934 resumes shared on Glassdoor by people who graduated between 2010 and 2017, the researchers looked at each person’s college major and their post-college jobs in the five years after graduation. They then estimated the median pay for each of those jobs (also using Glassdoor data) for employees with five years of experience or less. Their key finding: “Many college majors that lead to high-paying roles in tech and engineering are male dominated, while majors that lead to lower-paying roles in social sciences and liberal arts tend to be female dominated, placing men in higher-paying career pathways, on average.”
Here’s the plot, and you can click it to expand it:
As you can see from the graph, it’s especially important to share the message about choosing a major, salaries and student loan debt with WOMEN, because as the graph shows, they tend to choose the wrong majors, if the goal is to pay off student loans and avoid divorce. Everyone who wants marriage to go smoothly needs to choose majors that are near the top of the graph, like nursing, chemical engineering, computer science, or mechanical engineering. It doesn’t make sense to go to college if you aren’t going to graduate in one of these high-paying fields.
As you might expect from the graph, women hold the majority of student loan debt, according to the Boston Globe, and that’s because women tend to choose majors that don’t result in good-paying jobs. And we already saw how this becomes a risk factor for divorce.
Student loans delay marriage and children
Another interesting piece of data, reported by The Consumerist, is that people with student loans tend to delay marriage, which means the couple has fewer children:
As consumers navigate life’s financial journey, they are faced with major financial milestones, like buying a home. But student loans are also delaying consumers from reaching these goals.
Survey respondents report delaying homeownership (23 percent), buying or leasing a car (23 percent), having children (10 percent) and getting married (9 percent) because of their student loan burdens.
So, it’s not just that there is an increased risk of divorce from student loans, but there’s also fewer children, which means a diminished legacy. I can’t speak for how others would see this, but for myself, I want to pass on my beliefs to as many effective, influential Christian children as I can.
Anyway, I feel obligated to post a relevant Dave Ramsey video, just to remind everyone that stewardship of money is a Christian virtue, and that being forgiven by Jesus for your sins doesn’t automatically make you good with money. It takes planning and stewardship.
This one from 2014: (H/T Robb)
When I was in high school, I was far more interested in becoming an English teacher than I was in becoming a software engineer. It was my Dad who overruled my choice of college major when I was still in high school. He had me take a first-year English course at a local university. When I saw how politicized and useless it was (they were studying all sorts of politically correct postmodern relativist stuff, instead of the Great Works, and they weren’t trying to learn any wisdom from any of it), I chose computer science. I did what was likely to avoid divorce, and likely to support having many children.
These days, many people of both sexes graduate college with a lot of student loan debt and no marketable skills at all. What do they learn? Well, they don’t learn anything, but they are brainwashed to believe in secular leftist dogma. And they’re also brainwashed to dismiss all opposition to secular leftist dogma by labeling it as “sexist”, “racist”, “homophobic”, “xenophobic”, etc.
I wrote previously about how men don’t like to marry non-virgins. I argued that women with a lot of sexual experience have proven that they prefer men who have “no-commitment” abilities. And those women also avoid men who have commitment abilities. I argued that if a man marries a woman with a lot of experience of giving no-commitment men sex, then she probably wouldn’t respect and admire his marriage-oriented skills enough to let him lead the home.
I believe that the brainwashing that women get when they do non-STEM degrees in liberal arts programs in college is the cause of their resistance to the leadership of marriage-minded men.
How does a marriage happen? Basically, a marriage-minded man prepares himself for marriage by denying himself “fun” in order to position himself to be a husband and father. He studies hard STEM subjects in order to get good jobs. His resume is gap-free. He started working early, and didn’t take summers off. He saves his money. He understands beliefs that are incompatible with marriage, such as pro-abortion, pro-divorce, etc. and he is able to argue against them. When he meets a woman, he presents his preparations to her, and tries to get her to focus on behaviors that will put her on a path to becoming a wife and mother. If she follows his lead, then she becomes safe for him to marry. He is able to see how she listens to his marriage plan, and adjusts her behavior in order to help him to execute the plan.
So what does this leadership look like? Well, in my case, I’ve tried to get women to switch from non-STEM to STEM degrees. To quit easy jobs like waitress and teacher and get hard jobs like IT Project Manager or Software Engineer. To stop wasting money on thrill-seeking and instead pay off loans, then invest. To stop watching TV and movies, and start reading good non-fiction books about marriage, parenting, apologetics, economics, etc. And to inform themselves about marriage related topics, e.g. – divorce, infertility, child development, homeschooling, daycare, school choice. Basically, getting them to drop childish anti-marriage and anti-family behaviors, and take up mature pro-marriage and pro-family behaviors, so that they become useful partners for a marriage enterprise.
But what about non-STEM college programs? What does college teach young women about this marriage-focused leadership from marriage-minded men? It depends on what she studies. If she does a STEM degree, she’ll have been forced to be accountable to reality in her assignments and exams. She’ll get a decent job and pay off student loans, allowing her husband to quickly buy her a house and give her children to raise while she’s still young. But, if she does a non-STEM degree, then not only will she probably have student loan debt and a useless degree and low-pay jobs, but she’ll also have been brainwashed with all sorts of anti-marriage and anti-family beliefs and behaviors. That’s because non-STEM programs are nothing more than brainwashing in secular leftist dogma. And I have an example of how this works in real life.
Everything too hard for her to learn or do is “sexist”
In the example below, a male expert on climate science corrects a female journalist about climate science. She dismisses his correction (not shown) as sexism.
Here is the biography of the male PhD in meteorology:
Ryan Maue is a research meteorologist. He has developed and maintained a popular weather maps and climate data service based on the world’s best numerical weather prediction systems. During his graduate studies at Florida State University, he researched extratropical and tropical cyclones, utilizing mesoscale models and large reanalysis datasets, and published multiple peer-reviewed articles. After his PhD in 2010, Maue was awarded a National Research Council postdoctoral associateship at the Naval Research Lab in Monterey, California where he focused on global weather prediction and verification.
And here is the biography of the female journalist with the BA in journalism:
She has a BA in journalism, and knows literally nothing about climate science, and has achieved literally nothing of value in the field of climate science that anyone would be willing to pay her for.
Crying “sexist” is literally everything that her degree in journalism taught her to do. She has one skill: how to dismiss expertise in reality-based practical disciplines as “sexist”, and therefore inferior to her feelings and intuitions.
Should marriage-minded men marry feminists?
So let’s ask and answer one simple question: should a marriage-minded man marry a woman who dismisses leadership from qualified men as “sexist”?
Let’s review the red flags of secular leftist feminist women:
she’s pro-abortion, so she thinks murdering an innocent child is how selfish adults escape the consequences of their own reckless actions
she’s pro-divorce, and will not hesitate for a second to break a commitment that makes her unhappy
she’s an atheist, so she can’t rationally ground the basic requirements of morality: free will, objective moral laws, etc. and therefore cannot be relied on to behave morally against her own self-interest
she’s a socialist, so she views money earned by the husband as the property of the secular left government
she’s a feminist, so she believes sex is recreational, and need not be reserved for a husband and wife in a covenant marriage, and she thinks that newborns should be tossed into daycare then public schools
she believes in same-sex marriage, so she thinks that children can be deprived of a relationship with their biological mother and/or father, for the benefit of selfish adults
Does this sound like she’s ready for a husband and children?
But more than the worldview issues are the practical issues. A woman with a non-STEM degree didn’t want to study subjects that are accountable to reality. She didn’t want to be a pharmacist, a nurse or a software engineer – those jobs would require her to produce work that corresponds to reality, and has value in the real world. People like her who graduate with non-STEM degrees don’t understand anything about how the world really works. People like her aren’t equipped to earn money in a free market by satisfying customers. They don’t understand basic economics, so they’re socialists. They can’t be reasoned with, because their views are determined by what makes them feel good, look good to peers, and what gives them maximum autonomy to pursue pleasure with minimum accountability. When secular leftists feminists crash and burn at self-sufficiency, they blame everyone else instead of themselves. All of these character traits make them really difficult to get along with in a marriage.
Can women like this be fixed up for marriage and motherhood? Well, that would require them to be open to marriage-minded men who would be able to lead them towards marriage and motherhood behaviors. But how did Emily respond to leadership from a male with real-world demonstrated ability in a practical area? She called his attempt to lead her “sexist”. And that is the standard response of secular leftist feminist women to male leadership. If you tell them to study computer science, you’re “sexist”. If you tell them to stop wasting money, you’re “sexist”. If you tell them to stop getting drunk, you’re “sexist”. If you tell them to read a book on economics, you’re “sexist”. If you tell them to watch a William Lane Craig debate, you’re “sexist”. If you tell them to eat healthy and lift weights, you’re “sexist”. If you tell them to get a challenging job, you’re “sexist”. If you tell them to stop having recreational sex with bad boys, you’re “sexist”. Every attempt to focus a secular leftist feminist woman on preparing for marriage and motherhood is called “sexist”.
If women would only listen to what men ask of them as future wives and future mothers, and build themselves up for wife and mother roles, then women would never struggle to find husbands. No man in his right mind can risk marriage to a secular leftist feminist. There is no “secular leftist feminist” path to marriage. No amount of immodesty and premarital sex from a secular leftist feminist is enough to trick a man into marrying her. That might work on some men to get sex, but it’s not going to work to get her to marriage and children.
I was reading this article by a feminist fiction writer on Vox, where she explains that although feminists have gotten what they wanted (careers, contraceptives, promiscuity, abortion, no-fault-divorce, daycare, etc. it hasn’t made them happier. So, what does this feminist fiction writer think would make feminists happier?
She gives two reasons why women women are still unhappy after feminism has been adopted by our society:
men don’t do enough housework
women are not as successful as men because they are discriminated against, the so-called “glass ceiling”
I think those complaints are pretty popular among feminists. Let’s take a look at some studies to see if her opinions are supported by peer-reviewed studies.
A study called “Egalitarianism, Housework and Sexual Frequency in Marriage,” which appeared in The American Sociological Review last year, surprised many, precisely because it went against the logical assumption that as marriages improve by becoming more equal, the sex in these marriages will improve, too. Instead, it found that when men did certain kinds of chores around the house, couples had less sex. Specifically, if men did all of what the researchers characterized as feminine chores like folding laundry, cooking or vacuuming — the kinds of things many women say they want their husbands to do — then couples had sex 1.5 fewer times per month than those with husbands who did what were considered masculine chores, like taking out the trash or fixing the car. It wasn’t just the frequency that was affected, either — at least for the wives. The more traditional the division of labor, meaning the greater the husband’s share of masculine chores compared with feminine ones, the greater his wife’s reported sexual satisfaction.
Regarding the pay gap, that is entirely caused by women’s own choices. E.g. – the choice to study creative writing instead of petroleum engineering, the choice to work 35 hour weeks instead of 70 hour weeks, etc.
When the [Bureau of Labor Statistics] reports that women working full-time in 2018 earned 81.4% of what men earned working full-time, that is very much different from saying that women earned 81.4% of what men earned for doing exactly the same work while working the exact same number of hours in the same occupation, with exactly the same educational background and exactly the same years of continuous, uninterrupted work experience, and with exactly the same marital and family (e.g., number of children) status. As shown above, once we start controlling individually for the many relevant factors that affect earnings, e.g., hours worked, age, marital status, and having children, most of the raw earnings differential disappears.
This study leads to the unambiguous conclusion that the differences in the compensation of men and women are the result of a multitude of factors and that the raw wage gap should not be used as the basis to justify corrective action. Indeed, there may be nothing to correct. The differences in raw wages may be almost entirely the result of the individual choices being made by both male and female workers.
I think that women are entitled to make their own decisions, but they aren’t allowed to force the rest of us to subsidize their failures and celebrate their destructive outcomes.
I could go on, but I think enough has been said to show that research is very much at odds with feminist rhetoric. They feel they know what will make them happy and we gave them everything they asked for. They eliminated shaming of promiscuity with sex education. They get preferential treatment in the schools in a female-dominated education system.They are hired because of affirmative action quotas. They get expensive daycare, government schools, welfare and other programs. Taxes are raised to equalize outcomes for divorced women who choose men for feelings, and then nuke their own marriage enterprise. We have been on a long experiment of giving feminists everything they felt they wanted, at the expense of men’s rights and children’s rights, and it hasn’t even produced the results that feminists felt it would.
The social costs of feelings-based decision-making
Let’s look at two examples of policies that feminists asked for in the past, which didn’t work out the way they wanted.
I can understand why feminists would introduce sex education. They felt that “if everyone is having sex, then I won’t be the only one chasing attention from hot no-commitment bad boys by giving them recreational sex before marriage”. They wanted to eliminate the standards of chastity and marriage-focused dating and normalize fun-focused drunken promiscuity. And they got that. But since they didn’t consult any research and evidence about how that would affect their future marriage stability and marriage happiness, they are even more unhappy than before.
How about no-fault divorce? No-fault divorce was brought in by a coalition of feminists, Marxists and trial lawyers. The Marxists want to destroy the family in order to increase dependence on the state. The trial lawyers wanted to make money. And the feminists thought that the standard approach to courting and marriage was just too much work. They didn’t want to be chaste. They didn’t want to be sober. They didn’t want to evaluate a man for traditional husband and father roles. The no-fault divorce laws gave them an escape from the messes caused by their own feelings-driven choices. But divorce just makes makes men and women much poorer, and passes the costs of supporting single mothers onto taxpayers.
And the costs of the failures of feminism are passed onto taxpayers.
This paper examines the growth of government during this century as a result of giving women the right to vote. Using cross-sectional time-series data for 1870–1940, we examine state government expenditures and revenue as well as voting by U.S. House and Senate state delegations and the passage of a wide range of different state laws. Suffrage coincided with immediate increases in state government expenditures and revenue and more liberal voting patterns for federal representatives, and these effects continued growing over time as more women took advantage of the franchise. Contrary to many recent suggestions, the gender gap is not something that has arisen since the 1970s, and it helps explain why American government started growing when it did.
We are already $22 trillion in debt, partly because of feminism’s replacement of husbands and families with higher taxes and big government. Every time we transfer money from tax-paying men to feminists to fix their mistakes, it leaves less money in the hands of the men who actually want to get married. The declining value of marriage after feminism for men explains why marriage is being delayed, and why marriage rates are plunging.
The Christian view of marriage
In other places, I have written about the evidence for a Christian worldview:
If Christianity is true, then we have inherited a design for marriage and family which includes male and female roles.
Here is what Jesus says about marriage and divorce in Matthew 19:4:
4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”
Jesus does not approve of no-fault divorce.
And here’s what Jesus said about premarital sex (“fornication”) in Mark 7:20-23:
20 He went on: “What comes out of a person is what defiles them.21 For it is from within, out of a person’s heart, that evil thoughts come—sexual immorality, theft, murder,22 adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly.23 All these evils come from inside and defile a person.
Jesus does not approve of premarital sex.
Christians should not show even a hint of sexual immorality, (premarital sex and no-fault divorce), nor should they partner with those who approve of sexual immorality and no-fault divorce, according to Ephesians 5:
3 But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people.4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving.5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater—has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.[a]6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of such things God’s wrath comes on those who are disobedient.7 Therefore do not be partners with them.
Christians should not partner with feminists.
And this is one of the most famous passages on male and female roles in the Bible, also from Ephesians 5:
22 Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord.23 For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior.24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.
25 Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her26 to make her holy, cleansing[b] her by the washing with water through the word,27 and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.28 In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself.29 After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—30 for we are members of his body.31 “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.”32 This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church.33 However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.
Christians do not approve of egalitarian marriage which erases sex differences in husband and wife roles.
Most women in the church, and most of their “conservative” pastors, don’t believe that Jesus is an authority about chastity, marriage and male headship. They agree with feminists about premarital sex and no-fault divorce and egalitarian marriage. But the feminist design for women isn’t working out for women – that’s undeniable. Should we really be surprised that feminist’s feelings were not better for women than the Creator’s own design?