Friday, October 28, 2005

S is for Storm Warning

Last night I was involved in a conversation about men and their situation vis-à-vis marriage, and I noted that prior and during my marriage I had heard lots of horror stories about things that had happened to divorced men. I had encountered them, spoken to their friends, seen their plight used as a source of comedy, and as background for many life-stories, and yet the thought that a similar disaster might happen to me was always discounted.

I always assumed that somehow these men deserved what had happened to them. They had chosen the wrong woman, or had committed some horrible crime against their marriage, or perhaps had just gotten very unlucky.

This is one way the plight of the divorced man gets ignored, and discounted. We say ‘my cupcake would never do that to me!’ We set out from port on the sea of marriage, and we ignore the storm flags flapping in the brisk breeze, ignoring the cries of despair, and pleas for help coming over the radio. We are masters of our ship, we are familiar with the waters of relationships, and we will never find ourselves in the position of those bad pilots who beat their crews and ignore their needs, and fail to avoid the reefs ahead. It is a very male point of view. We are confident we can make things work, and sail through the toughest storm. And in the rest of our lives, mostly we can.

The problem is that the storm warnings that are out are not out for something that skill, care, attention, and intelligence can address very well. The storm that prompts the despairing cries of the other seamen is a storm of the spirit. Quite simply, once you are married, the court system gives you, the majority of your assets, and the majority of your income for the remainder of your life to your spouse, if she wants it. Never mind that it is unfair, unjust, slavery, an unconscionable contract, et cetera. None of that matters. It is hers to ask for, and legally, your only option is to give it, (with or without a huge legal expense). So you see, navigating this storm isn’t about skill, or care, or intelligence, it is all about the temptation of your spouse.

Given that the majority of marriages end in divorce, your spouse IS going to be tempted, and sorry to say, no matter how sweet she seems now, when the storm-clouds of divorce gather over your little family ship, your spouse is going to realize that if she acts quickly, she can have the ship, and the majority of the cargo, and additionally, keep you on as a slave. For her, the sailing can suddenly become smooth, and she can reap significant profits, and eliminate any future financial risk. And that is a huge temptation for any person.

Your spouse will realize that the court gives her a right that has never been granted to any other class of persons before in the history of law – the right not to worry about supporting herself or her children ever again. The court tempts her with the majority of the income you may bring home for the rest of your life, and the majority of your assets, and the home you live in. Faced with the uncertainty of divorce, the hard work of supporting herself and children, and the possibility that she may not be able to keep a job and be a part-time mother, what does she do? Does she choose self-reliance, or does she choose slave-ownership? Remember, her comfortable life, and the comfortable lives of her children are in jeopardy. All she has to do is sign a couple bits of paper, and she can live in comfort for the rest of her life, and the world and the court system will honor her and call her justified, never mind that you are chained in the hold below, rarely glimpsing daylight. Can she stand up to that temptation? The statistics show that vast numbers of women cannot. Probably your bride, your spouse, your fiancée, cannot either.

So the moment your ship rounds the edge of the harbor into the sea of marriage, you are in mortal peril. You have bet your life, and everything you have, and everything you can earn and acquire, against the odds of your marriage never finding itself near the suddenly gathering storms of divorce, and against the ability of your co-pilot to resist the temptation to throw you below-decks to serve as a slave for the rest of your life.

So to the husbands, to the grooms, to the fiancées and boyfriends out there - to every man planning a wedding or who has gone through one, I say:





(Simulposted on Hate Male Post)

p.s. welcome to visitors from and Wish I had happier things to say about marriage, but I suppose that being warned, those determined to get married will choose their spouses even more carefully. :) As far as religion and marriage, I think that the church should disenfranchise the state's sick subversion of marriage. The church should bless unions, and track those blessed unions like it has done civil marriages, but not require state marriage certificates. Let the state have this slavery it calls marriage. The church would bless the sacrament of marriage - the outward and visible sign of the inward change. And for this, no state contract of marriage is required, and from this sacrament no slavery should ensue.


Bharati said...

It is worldwide mate

Anonymous said...

The main problem I have with the article is that it doesn't address the main storm warning: she will have custody of YOUR children. It is from this that all other oppression emerges. Asked what was the most painful aspect of divorce, nearly all fathers will answer the loss of their kids. The CS (and sometimes, alimony) is simply asking a prisoner to pay for his own emprisonment... forever.

You refer to whatever problems she might otherwise have supporting her kids. No sir. They're our kids, and hence the problem. When push comes to shove, the main thing that makes divorce such a f---d up deal for men is the near certain loss of their children.