What do women want from marriage? Oh, everything. Is that so much to ask?

26 Apr

In the past five years on our street, we have seen two marriages disintegrate.

I’ll preface all of this by saying no one really knows what’s going on in any marriage except the two people in it, but it’s fun to speculate!  Up close and personal, these two marriages seem rather instructive.

highschool

The first couple were highschool sweethearts who had been together for 18 years, married for 10 of those.  They went away to college together, both became geologists, graduated, got married and had a daughter. The original plan was that GeoGal would stay home with the baby and GeoGuy would continue to work and support them.

Sadly, maternal instinct seemed to have passed GeoGal by, and she hated being at home with the baby.  Absolutely hated it.  GeoGuy, on the other hand, was utterly smitten with his little Peanut and couldn’t bear to part with her, so they switched places, and GeoGuy became a full time stay at home daddy with a baby.

stay at home

We moved in next door when Peanut was 8 months old.  GeoGuy is a huge nerd and we bonded instantly over our love of Star Trek costumes and crocheted baby Yoda hats and our mutual dislike of housework. I was pregnant with LittleDude when we came to this town, and soon we both had babies and each other for company, which was really, really nice.

yoda

We also live on a street with a superhuge blabby-mouthed busy-body who had me and GeoGuy involved in a sordid love affair in no time flat.  That irritated the shit out of me mostly because by the time she really started yapping, we had four children under six between us!  I seriously doubt there was one single day of those first few years that one or the other of us did not have babypuke, urine, snot or dried food stuck on us somewhere.  One baby produces an enormous amount of disgusting fluids.  Four takes “gross” to a whole new level.

puke

So sexy.

And just when, exactly, did Blabby think me and GeoGuy were getting it on?  And who was taking care of the children while this was happening?

Actually, GeoGuy had the best response to that little rumour!  He said, “yeah, we’re homeschooling.  The kids are majoring in sex ed”.

laughing

Well, I thought it was funny.

GeoGuy was and IS a really great father, but the more domestic he became, the more invested in his child and his home, the more his wife started to despise him. She was jealous of the bond he had with their daughter and eventually, she asked him to put the baby in daycare and go back to work so she could respect him again.

He refused.

And that pretty much spelled the end of the marriage.  Five months before Peanut was ready to go off to the first grade, and GeoGuy was ready to go back to work, GeoGal filed for divorce. It was completely devastating for Peanut, who had never experienced daycare before and she was suddenly thrust into it because Mommy threw Daddy out and he had to go to work.

He had no trouble finding a job, but it killed him that GeoGal wouldn’t wait five months for their daughter to start school and let him help her make that transition.

school

It’s not uncommon, though.  Women scream that they want men more involved in their children’s lives and then show nothing but contempt when men do exactly that.  The stay-at-home dad is great in feminist THEORY, but in practice, those men get nothing but scorn and disrespect.

Man up, you lazy fuckers.  Get a job!

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/10/02/12-things-not-to-say-to-a-stay-at-home-dad_n_1910757.html

http://goodmenproject.com/families/the-day-i-acted-like-a-sexist-jerk-to-a-stay-at-home-dad/

The truth is that once a woman loses respect for a man, she loses attraction for him, too, and that pretty much spells the end of the fairytale.  Young women are being sold a version of marriage and relationships that is pretty much guaranteed to end with women despising their male partners.

http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2012/09/29/dont-split-the-housework-if-you-want-the-love-to-last/

contempt

They get advice like make men sign contracts to do housework:

http://www.netplaces.com/happy-marriage/power-sharing-in-marriage/sharing-housework-make-a-contract.htm

Or trick your man into doing what you want, the way you want it done:

http://jezebel.com/5989991/from-the-dept-of-finally-how-to-make-a-dude-sweep-the-kitchen-floor-correctly-without-you-even-having-to-tell-him

Reward him with sex if he follows your orders:

http://www.projecthappilyeverafter.com/2009/04/how-to-train-a-man-to-do-housework/

good dog

Aaaaaaand, in the shock of the century, men hate that shit and pretty much won’t put up with it. Leading to the second shock of the century:  women aren’t happy. Single women aren’t happy because they aren’t married and married women aren’t happy because oops, they married an actual person, and not a Ken Doll they can use as a perfect accessory to complement both their outfit and the curtains in the living room of their DreamHouse!

ken

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/vicki-larson/his-hers-marriage_b_3129269.html

According to sociologists Karyn Loscocco and Susan Walzer in Gender and the Culture of Heterosexual Marriage in the United States, women are pissy about marriage because MEN, obviously.

Forget about “two becoming one” when a man and woman marry; in fact, what we really experience is a “his” and a “hers” marriage — a husband’s and a wife’s. In general… …marriage generally benefits the hubby more than the wife.

I’ll let all the guys who have been through the divorce ringer have a good chuckle over than one.  Marriage benefits men more than women?

No. It makes men happier than women because men approach marriage as realists.  They understand that marriage isn’t going to be a Disney story.  Parts of it are great and parts of it suck, and that’s life.

dance

Women see marriage as a home improvement project, with hubby being the project that needs improving.  I think a lot of this stems from the fact that so much of marriage occurs in the domestic sphere, which women tend to define as their own.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1361787/Three-quarters-important-household-decisions-women.html

True story:  about five years into my marriage, I realized that all the things I found irritating and annoying about Mr. JB were NOT going to change.  I honestly thought they would.  Part of me was sold on the idea that I would be able to mold my husband into the perfect little wedding cake-topper groom that I wanted him to be.

groom

And, like most women, I couldn’t do that, because it turns out that my husband is a person with his own characteristics and traits and his own reasons for doing the things I find annoying.

And I was frustrated and unhappy.  Almost ready to swallow the idea that I deserved more.  I deserved better. I deserved a husband who would just do whatever the fuck I told him to do, and do it with a goddamn smile, too!

Looking back, it seems so ridiculously petty, but at the time, it felt like a serious issue. Mr. JB, you see, is super uptight about his stuff. His clothes, his books, his papers, his shoes, his glasses … you name it.  He is careful with his stuff and if I happened to treat his things a little roughly, he will get really angry with me.

One day I threw his shoes down the stairs.  I was going to put them in the closet, so I chucked them down and planned on getting to them later.  And then he was mean and yelled at me.

shoes

I took that to mean waaaaah – he doesn’t love me!  He loves his stuff more than me!  He cares more about his fucking shoes than me! Waaaaah!

And I was getting more and more sulky.  You don’t take care of me the way you take care of your dress shirts! And why are all your shirts blue?  Can’t you buy another color for fuck’s sake?  Ignoring, of course, the fact that he spends his entire life taking care of me.  By paying all the bills.  All of them.  No matter what color they are.

Hamster logic!

Then one day, we were going out somewhere, and at the last moment, I couldn’t find the coat I wanted to wear. Or my wallet. Or my keys.

Which is normal.  I never put stuff in the same place twice.  I don’t know why. I just don’t. I never have any idea where my sunglasses are or where the cordless phones are or what I did with the book I was reading.  I have to go looking for them, and when we are in a rush to get somewhere, that’s annoying.

On this particular day, Mr. JB flipped out on me.  He was furious and just lit into me.  “Why don’t you ever put any of your shit in the proper place?  You would think after five years you might have picked up at least ONE good habit from me!”.

Bingo!

I remember laughing hysterically when he said that.  He had been hoping that I would change, that his habits might rub off on me, just as I had been hoping he might learn to be a little less uptight.

And we were both wrong.  We spent the next few days talking about the fact that we needed to accept that the other person was not going to change, and in realizing that I was just as annoying to him as he was to me, all my bad feelings disappeared.

It helped so much to talk about the things we can’t stand about each other.  First, it makes it really obvious that most of this shit is just so petty.  Second, it makes both of us understand that we aren’t being ourselves for the express purpose of annoying one another.  It’s just who we are. He needs to know where his things are.  It unsettles his mind if he doesn’t know where his keys are.  I could care less where my keys are.  I just assume I’ll find them when I need them.

keys

And in those flaws are the things we love about one another.  He is calm and centered and stable and he orders our world with precision and makes sure that everything is taken care of properly and reliably. I never have to worry about any of the practical details of how our life works, because he takes care of all of that.  I am flexible and cheerful and optimistic and I assume that everything will work out and I just go with the flow of everything around me for the most part, and that makes it very easy for me to accommodate changes in plans or the conversation we had just ten minutes ago:  “Six people are coming for dinner in four hours.  Is that okay?”

Yep.  It’s fine.  No worries.  I got it covered.

What it takes for women to be happy in marriage is to look in the mirror and understand that WE ARE NOT PERFECT.  That’s hard to do, and women get no encouragement from the wider culture to understand themselves as personally flawed.  It’s quite the opposite.  Women are encouraged to believe that what they want, how they see the world, what they expect from relationships – all those things are automatically correct and a woman should sacrifice everything to ensure that she has what she wants.

Thereby guaranteeing she gets nothing she wants.

It starts and ends with the very simple concept of respect.  Respect for your partner, as a person. That means you understand that he or she is a completely different person than you are, and it is NOT up to you to change or alter who that person is, even if you find some aspects really irritating.  No one is perfect, including yourself.

Women who don’t respect men, in particular, are not going to be able to love them. If you force your partner into behaving in a way you can’t respect, you are quite literally destroying your love for him.

http://judgybitch.com/2012/10/27/no-my-husband-doesnt-do-any-housework-why-the-fuck-should-he/

That’s the mistake that is making so many women unhappy.

That second marriage on our street that collapsed?  Let’s call them Brad and Susan.  Susan enrolled in college, got a degree, got a promotion, started earning way more money than Brad, cultivated interests like theatre and shopping trips to the Big Apple and found she just couldn’t respect Brad anymore.  So she traded Brad in….

For GeoGuy.

Yep. GeoGuy and Susan are now living together.  So Blabby was right about GeoGuy getting busy with one of the wives on the street.  She just had the wrong wife.  We’ll see how that relationship works out.  Any guesses?

Holy shit, I have six people coming for dinner tonight!  I should probably run out and get a bit more wine.

wine

Now where the hell are my keys?  Anyone seen my wallet?  Dammit!

Lots of love,

JB

47 Responses to “What do women want from marriage? Oh, everything. Is that so much to ask?”

  1. Byron April 26, 2013 at 16:32 #

    Great article, says a bunch of things I’ve thought a long time, but the bits that leapt out the most for me were these:

    “Women aren’t happy. Single women aren’t happy because they aren’t married and married women aren’t happy because oops, they married an actual person, and not a Ken Doll they can use as a perfect accessory to complement both their outfit and the curtains in the living room of their DreamHouse!”

    &

    “Women who don’t respect men, in particular, are not going to be able to love them. If you force your partner into behaving in a way you can’t respect, you are quite literally destroying your love for him.”

    Like

  2. freetofish April 26, 2013 at 16:55 #

    So much truth in this, I don’t know where to being. As a man who has been on the other side of these “home improvement” projects women seem to embark on, I can tell you it is nothing short of insulting. It shows a deep lack of respect for your partner that you think they need serious changing to make them the person you want.

    How does that old saw go, “men marry women with the hope they never change, women marry men with the hope they will.”

    Men fall in love and marry them woman right there in front of them. Flaws and all. Women marry the man they hope they can turn into the man they really think they want.

    This article lays out pretty much the reason I have never even proposed, let alone tied the knot. Maybe I just have a bad picker, but every woman I have had a long term relationship with has inevitably showed the “home improvement” project she feels is necessary. It varies from, I need to work less, or not have a social life apart from her, to changing my wardrobe, my friends etc etc.

    Like

  3. tarzanwannabe April 26, 2013 at 17:04 #

    “Young women are being sold a version of marriage and relationships that is pretty much guaranteed to end with women despising their male partners.”

    That’s a book! May need a shorter title, but still…

    Like

  4. ladysadie1 April 26, 2013 at 17:35 #

    OT: JB, just saw this: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=136304323220495&set=a.120306194820308.1073741829.115744291943165&type=1 Looks like something that you might want to chime in on.

    Like

  5. judgybitch April 26, 2013 at 17:42 #

    Ugh.

    What a bitch.

    I’d say he’s lucky to be rid of her. Poor kid though.

    Like

  6. prostituterobotfromthefuture April 26, 2013 at 17:46 #

    OMG Your street is a John Updike novel.

    Like

  7. panzer903 April 26, 2013 at 18:17 #

    I get the distinct impression that women are nuts.oh well so much for marriage then.

    Like

  8. Bob April 26, 2013 at 18:52 #

    I very much understand a woman wanting to be with her baby, but having to work. I also understand a woman wanting to be with her baby and wanting to work.

    But you should be very suspicious about a woman who doesn’t want to be with her baby. If I would have known this, it would have saved me 15 years of horrible marriage.
    I’m still glad we had the second kid though, he’s great just like his brother. And both are wonderful to raise.

    Like

  9. Liz April 26, 2013 at 18:54 #

    My emergency dinner kit: I always keep a supply of excellent frozen pesto sauce (lots of dried pasta in the cabinet too or course, I have kids!), frozen bread dough, and brownie mix.

    I put together a salad and/or roast veggies with whatever veggies/salad I happen to have in the fridge. Serve it all up with some crushed red pepper or cayenne pepper and parmignon on the side. Very quick and easy meal.

    That said, my husband used to have a habit of not only bringing people over at the last minute but incorrectly estimating the number of people. “Hey, honey, I’m bringing over two people for dinner…” and then five more would show up at the door. Weee!

    He actually did change, though. That was a long, long time ago (in dog years).

    Like

  10. Liz April 26, 2013 at 19:17 #

    Sorry for the double post…just reflecting further.

    This brings to mind a neighbor friend I had back when I lived in Virginia. Her boys were the ages of my oldest sons, and we seemed to have a lot in common. They were really good kids. I used to run with her in the morning, and we’d talk on our runs…her husband was retired military and mine was active duty, and both are engineers. I asked her about churches in the area and she recommended hers (there is a point here). The church seemed a little strange so I only went there a few times (her husband didn’t go, and the one time my husband did he proclaimed, quite accurately I think, that it was a cult).

    Other than the weird cult thing though, we seemed to have a lot in common. Until one morning, less than a year after we met. At the end of our run she told me she was getting a divorce. I was gobsmacked, it seemed to come out of nowhere. Later, I was talking to her husband (we’ve remained friends with him, he’s a great guy), and he told me she’d left him for the pastor of that church (the pastor had 3 kids also).

    Like you said, no one really knows what’s going on in a marriage.

    Like

  11. TMG April 26, 2013 at 20:21 #

    Slightly different topic, but related – a girlfriend harangued me for months and months about not being emotionally available to her. I let my guard down and became emotionally available, and then she told me to stop because it made her lose sexual attraction to me.

    So, any woman I ever date for the rest of my life is going to get stoic stonewall TMG, and nothing else.

    Like

  12. sqt April 26, 2013 at 20:53 #

    My dynamic in my marriage is similar to yours. I’m not the tidy one- my husband is. But I do try to keep a clean house because I know he appreciates it and who wants to live in a pigsty? But I remember having one argument with my husband over a pile of clothes I had in the closet because it drove him nuts. I just turned to him and said I need one corner of chaos — okay? No one sees the closet and I need one corner of the house that I don’t need to worry about. For some reason he seemed to get that and never bugged me about it again.

    Like

  13. GrimGhost April 26, 2013 at 21:41 #

    So who got custody of Peanut in the divorce?

    Like

  14. judgybitch April 26, 2013 at 22:02 #

    Oh my god, I was so hoping someone would ask.

    She did.

    SHE DID!!!!

    There is no justice. None.

    Like

  15. Ter April 27, 2013 at 00:20 #

    I knew a guy whose marriage ended after their first child. She wanted a nanny because she wanted to return to her career asap. He didn’t want a stranger raising their child, so he became a stay-at-home-dad. That worked for a short while but eventually she declared that she “couldn’t be with a man who doesn’t work”. He gave her the choice as to which of them should stay at home with the child. She chose divorce.

    Like

  16. Exfernal April 27, 2013 at 00:44 #

    Off-topic:
    Is there in the western cultural sphere any recent song present in the popular media, which has similarly moving lyrics, yet was also sung by a female vocalist? A man could only dream

    Like

  17. Lazy April 27, 2013 at 01:59 #

    Warning, this website is not safe for work, not because of pictures, but because of content. http://www.dreamloverlabs.com/ I feel like you need to see it.

    Like

  18. Marlo Rocci April 27, 2013 at 02:17 #

    Me=Grabs popcorn, kicks back, watches train wreck, is thankful to still be a bachelor.

    Like

  19. earl April 27, 2013 at 02:23 #

    She did?????? I’m so shocked right now!!!

    Well there was only a 98% chance she would.

    Like

  20. earl April 27, 2013 at 02:25 #

    That always happens.

    They are attracted to who the guy is…then try to change the guy…then they aren’t attracted to them anymore when he makes the changes.

    Fitness test 101.

    I refuse to change my masculine qualities for any woman.

    Like

  21. sqt April 27, 2013 at 03:55 #

    I can’t blame you. I have a guy friend (48) who has decided he’s in love with a 24 year old. Fine so far, but I hear that she wants to start a family and I can’t help but worry that in 10 years or so, when he’s almost 60 and she’s only 34, that she’s going to divorce him and take half his income +child support. I’m not the only friend who is concerned because it has train wreck written all over it- but he’s a grown man and not likely to take our advice. I’d like to subtly point him to this site and few others like it. I think it would do him a world of good.

    Like

  22. SeedyEasternEuropeanFromThePresent April 27, 2013 at 04:38 #

    *twirls finger around in mouth,takes it out with a slavering wet sucking sound and points it at you,winks and then grins in a predatory manner before baring a rippling chest tangled with a mat of glistening sweaty goat-like fibers*

    Eh? EH!? You like,eh?

    Heh,you like….

    Like

  23. Z April 27, 2013 at 05:26 #

    Mr. Z doesn’t do housework either except for the “man work” (fixing things, moving heavy objects, mowing.) It would bother me if he did laundry or cooked or dusted or whatever because he goes out to work every day and I get to stay home. Sure, I bring in a good income and carry my weight financially but I also have a “fun job” and am lucky enough to make money doing it. Since I’m home, I feel I should do the housework. Plus I have more of a nesting instinct. I actually like doing most housework, which is probably weird but it makes me feel really zen and I get to think about my plots and what the problems I need to fix in my books are while I’m doing this sort of mindless repetitive work. It’s a really good set-up for me.

    Like

  24. Ter April 27, 2013 at 07:04 #

    Hmmm, if a divorce was to happen once he reaches retirement age – does that mean that she may be required to pay alimony or support him?

    Like

  25. Z April 27, 2013 at 07:04 #

    awww that’s sweet!

    Like

  26. sqt April 27, 2013 at 07:12 #

    Not if she’s a stay-at-home mom.

    Like

  27. Miss Kae Oz April 27, 2013 at 11:49 #

    There is always a problem when somebody marries an idea instead of a person. They marry somebody to fit a preconceived notion of a gender role.
    I have been living with the same person for over 10yrs. Through ups and downs and rough times and the smooth, I have not been with him because he is a man, but because of the individual he happens to be. Neither of us quite fit into our gender stereotype. He is awful at picking up after himself, but when he sees the state of our place has gotten me really upset, he helps clean up and does a bang up job of it. He makes more money, while I work more hours and tend to work jobs that are bit harder, and do volunteer work. At home, we split things evenly. We are a team. I couldn’t see losing respect of the man I love over one little act, unless that act was kicking a puppy or hanging a Nazi flag. Hell, I not only accept his love for the campy wrestling shows, I will even watch them with him.
    But even as good as we are together, I still have had no desire to make that leap into conventional marriage. And until it would help us on our taxes or some other type of benefit, I don’t see any reason to do so.

    And there are plenty of single women who are happy being single. The idea that marriage is the ultimate goal for happiness for all women is ridiculous.

    I can’t help but wonder if the end of GeoDad’s marriage was not because of the attention he gave his child, but the attention he gave you, Susan, or other women on the street. Maybe he lost attraction to his tired and overworked wife. Maybe she lost respect for him because he lost devotion to them.

    Like

  28. judgybitch April 27, 2013 at 15:11 #

    I
    have
    no
    words….

    Jesus. I hope that’s a joke.

    Like

  29. judgybitch April 27, 2013 at 15:13 #

    I can’t help but wonder if the end of GeoDad’s marriage was not because of the attention he gave his child, but the attention he gave you, Susan, or other women on the street.

    I can’t speak for the other women on the street, but we only hung out when his wife was at work. Normally, by four in the afternoon or so, we were both in “make dinner” mode and we would both be in our own homes getting ready for our spouses to come home.

    So I doubt that played a role.

    Like

  30. LostSailor April 27, 2013 at 15:28 #

    Ugh is right. But worse than the photos are the over 8,000 comments cheering her on. The “you go grrrrrrl” attitude is destroying us…

    Like

  31. ladysadie1 April 27, 2013 at 17:42 #

    Yes. If you follow the thread you will read that she is already living with another guy and this was her second marriage. She’s got 4 kids and apparently none of them are from the guy that this post is referring to… what a vindictive bitch and shining example of why men shouldn’t “man up and marry that slut”.

    Like

  32. ladysadie1 April 27, 2013 at 17:50 #

    Sorry for the additional comment, but since I am not a frequent commenter… I am a mother of three who is not divorced-by-choice and when I see behavior like this from women, I am infuriated!!! I don’t even care about the circumstances that led to that woman behaving like that. The ‘you go grrrlll’ comments make it even worse. No wonder men choose MGTOW. I can’t even claim NAWALT because according to the commenters on that link, um, yeah… Most are. 😦

    Like

  33. yaser April 27, 2013 at 22:55 #

    Guess why nobody asked?

    Like

  34. Emma April 27, 2013 at 23:24 #

    Um. Why did he want her wedding dress back? Strange

    Like

  35. Ter April 28, 2013 at 05:40 #

    I have to say, that’s the most hilarious thing I’ve seen in quite a while! It does look genuine, and presumably for the fetish community, so in that context – it’s just hilarious.

    Like

  36. sqt April 28, 2013 at 07:09 #

    Yeah. He’s good like that.

    Like

  37. LostSailor April 28, 2013 at 14:43 #

    It certainly looks like a joke, or a scam, but I suspect that it’s not. As far as being real, I agree with Ter that it’s something for the dom/sub fetish community, and from what I can see from a brief perusal, it seems to be a more European thing, including tips on how to “condition” a man to accept this type of control. But there’s also a strong whiff of radical feminism behind it….

    Like

  38. Goober April 29, 2013 at 15:15 #

    The point was made and I think it was a good one. If you’re married to a selfish slag, and spend even a few hours a day with Mrs. Awesomewife/mom, its going to make you realize that you screwed up. Regardless of the mechanics of your relationship with Mrs. Awesomewife, you’ll see what you’re missing.

    Like

  39. John VI April 29, 2013 at 19:08 #

    Shes calling it hers, but it may well be a family heirloom or some such used for the wedding. If it was HERS then he’d have no claim to it, that shes returning it to HIM, destroyed in all its glory, implies he has a proper claim on it.

    Hope a lawyer can use this to rake her over the coals in divorce court… FAcebook, the death to:” what happened in vegas stays in vegas”

    Like

  40. Clover April 29, 2013 at 20:07 #

    While the examples here are brilliant, I’m not sure it’s a hard-and-fast rule that people don’t need to change in relationships. I’ve deliberately taken up some of my fiance’s hobbies and stopped doing little things that irritate him. He’s stopped being vegetarian. Between the two of us, we’ve both changed to become way more compatible with one another, because we recognise that in the long term things will work better if we avoid rubbing one another up the wrong way.
    I’m proud to say, we’ve still never had an argument. We both give way rather than engage in conflict, and we would both rather change than upset each other. It helps that we have nothing but respect for one another’s intelligence though – if there’s something one of us is doing that bothers the other, we’ll just talk it through until we understand why we behave as we do, and then it stops being irritating.
    At the same time, we’re both very patient with the things we can’t understand about one another. He lets me get dressed up for dates, I let him game with his mates.
    I suppose what I’m really trying to say is this – we can all improve, it’s nit-picking that causs problems.

    Like

  41. Goober April 29, 2013 at 21:48 #

    There is a huge difference between choosing to change your own habits to please your spouse, and marrying a person with the intent to force/nag/coerce them to change. The first follows the rules of commitment and love and living through someone else. The latter is ugly, manipulative and selfish, so it fits the tenants of modern feminism to a tee.

    Just by the nature of living with my wife for 15 years (holy crap has it been that long?), I’ve changed. But not through any concerted effort on her part. Just the opposite, in fact.

    Like

  42. Luke May 1, 2013 at 02:50 #

    Relevant piece here, from page 25 of Roger Devlin’s online article “Home Economics”

    “One way to find out might be to study actual families that operate on feminist principles. The difficulty seems to lie in locating any…

    Even when “nontraditional” families turn up, they often do not stick around long enough to be studied. One group of researchers “found on follow-up, just two years later, that only one-quarter of [the families] were maintaining their nontraditional ways.”

    The reality seems to be that families sometimes resort to androgyny or outright role reversal under conditions of stress (e.g., loss of the father’s job or the prolonged illness of the mother), or occasionally as a direct result of ideological commitment, but that they show a strong tendency to return to natural norms over time.

    Accepting that natural and permanent sex roles exist, be it noted, need not imply that a father must never feed the baby even if the mother is in a coma. Sex roles have never been quite as carved in stone as feminists sometimes like to make out, and part of the advantage of family life over celibacy is the flexibility it permits in meeting unforeseen challenges.

    Feminist observer Janet Steil found, however, that “couples will go to great lengths to conceal a high-earning wife’s income to protect the husband’s status as primary provider.” [17] There is a sound reason for that: overt, prolonged role reversal is fatal to marriage.

    Researcher Liz Gallese thought she had finally found an example of a happy role-reversal marriage: the wife’s career was more successful than the husband’s, so he began looking after their child to let her focus on work (the economically rational thing to do). The woman seemed proud of her accomplishments and happy with the arrangement; and Gallese must have thought she had a bestseller on her hands. The reality came to light only when she began speaking to the husband. It turns out that the couple had entirely ceased having sexual relations. Armed with that new information, Gallese began probing more deeply into the wife’s sentiments. The woman eventually admitted she wanted another child, but — not by her husband.

    “I absolutely refuse to sleep with that man,” she declared; “I’ll never have sex with him again.” Instead, she was now flirting with other successful businessmen. She did not divorce her husband, however; he was still too useful as a nanny for the child. [18] Such would appear to be the thanks men can expect for accommodating their wife’s career and “sharing the housework.””

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  43. pfmyypctb April 24, 2014 at 13:02 #

    What do women want from marriage? Oh, everything. Is that so much to ask? | judgybitch
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