Once in a while you come across an article which makes you stop and think, like it happened to me when I read the one published by FoxNews trying to lure more men into marriage. Marriage rates are dropping across the USA and beyond, which is actually little surprise considering the fact that Western governments have done their best to reduce what used to be a bedrock of Western civilisation to "roommates with extra rights" relationship. What is surprising is that people keep marrying still, despite all the odds.
So the lady author points to a research project which says that married "men enjoy more money, better sex, and better health when they are married" compared to those who stay single. How true are these claims? First, from my own observation, marriage, outside of religious communities, has pretty much become a middle and upper class phenomenon. They will have more money on average per definition.
According to the article, better health comes partly from "better eating", which is again, typical for people higher on the social ladder. Lower classes, unfortunately, care little for nutrition, whether married or not, are addicted to fast food and many women don't cook, outside of warming up microwave dinners once in a while. It used to be that a man would marry to have someone prepare his meals, nowadays the chance is big he'll do the cooking himself, married or single.
Considering sex, while the report claims that more married than single men are satisfied with their love life, 51% is still quite low. In more traditional cultures, women are taught never to deny their husbands unless there is a medical reason, but apparently, 49% of the wives of the respondents don't put out nearly enough. Of course, in the times before reliable birth control, separate bedrooms weren't considered something really shocking, but then the husband could visit ladies of easy virtue and nobody would bat an eye, either.
But it was the part about money which especially drew my attention. I'll quote it in full:
Married men earn more, save more, and generally have access to a second
income. The typical fifty-something married man has three times the
assets of his unmarried peer, about $167,000 compared to $36,000 for
never-married and $48,500 for divorced.
Three things come to mind. First, correlation isn't causation. Since marriage is more typical for the wealthier among us, it's only logical that their income is higher. Married men also often will work longer hours because they have to, not because they particularly like it. They are more likely to own a big house which counts as "assets", I guess. Second, it's quite cynical to focus on the lower incomes of divorced men, when they often lose so much financially in the event of divorce (including and particularly, "assets"), especially considering the fact, that, to quote the article: The report notes that a majority of first divorces are initiated by women (though I'd like to point out that the one who initiates divorce isn't necessarily the guilty party).
The best part is, of course, this: Married men...generally have access to a second
income . I wonder if the lady who wrote it considers herself any sort of a conservative, as this is really the last nail in the coffin of traditional marriage in the West: men marrying so that they could get a cushy lifestyle provided by their wives.
The report gives advice to the husbands how to avoid divorce:
“Men who do their best to hold down a stable job, who don’t abuse drugs
or alcohol, who are sexually faithful, who attend religious services
regularly with their wives, and who make a regular effort to be
emotionally engaged in their marriage are less likely to divorce.”
It used to be that women got advice from their mothers on how to hold your marriage together, now men are supposed to do it. The report doesn't give advice on what's a man to do if his wife commits adulteries against him, divorces him and gets half his stuff because all divorce is no-fault. Role reversal is practically complete with onus on the men to keep their wives, not vice versa.
No wonder that marriage rates keep dropping.
Liberal egalitarian individualism promoted in the current Western society is detrimental to marriage and articles like this are just a Band-Aid, nothing more. You don't treat gangrene with Band-Aid.