To be, or not to be (married) – that my dear Shakespeare is the real question. Why are so many more men not taking the “plunge?” U.S. population figures from 1980 to the present indicate that the percentage of men in their forties who have never been married has nearly tripled to seventeen-percent of all men. Why is this happening? Are they afraid of women? Are they afraid to commit? Do they not like women?
Divorce, a rare thing prior to the sixties is now all too common. Statistics reveal that over fifty-percent of all marriages end in divorce. This is common knowledge and an alarming trend.
The sacred institution of marriage is clearly under attack from within. Let’s look at what is different from a man’s perspective. The answer men have given will surprise you.
- Men don’t like failing, and the odds of success are not in their favor, are they?
- Divorce is unquestionably an ugly thing for all. It is first and foremost painful. No one intentionally puts themselves in harms way without some trepidation. Add to that fact, through training men have shut down their emotions to one degree or another. So dealing with painful emotions felt during a divorce is more of an unpleasant prospect for a man than a woman. The average man would rather avoid pain at any cost, because he’s been trained not to know how to deal with it. He is looking at the prospect of a painful failure that one out of two WILL go through. The attraction of marriage pales with this awareness, doesn’t it?
- Men believe they will usually lose in divorce. Certainly not always, but usually. One of the things they most often lose is their children. It shouldn’t surprise you to know that men on the whole do care about their children, especially considering the trend toward allowing men to feel. This is very painful, and even if you work out seeing them a lot, you don’t get to do this like you did. This will feel like the loss it is. All men have seen others go through this, and this does not encourage you to open yourself to the same. Also, losing is not allowed for a “real” man, it’s shameful, and therefore not allowed.
- The almighty buck also comes into play in men’s decisions. If they don’t have enough, men believe they will have nothing to offer. This reflects poorly on women as it says that they only are interested in a man’s money, not him (see earlier blog: The Barter System). Men in this position will shy away from relationship. I have had women tell me that “a girl must look out for herself,” meaning choose a man that will support them in the manner they wish to be supported. Understandable, but not as THE BASIS for relationship. This is off-putting to men.
- The other extreme is a man with a boatload of money. They fear relationship with women who pretend to love them, but only want the lifestyle they can provide. Both understand the barter system, but he knows he can never trust her. Men also fear their wealth being greatly diminished in a divorce. This scenarios is anything but uncommon.
- Many men see women as having become more masculine in attitude, losing their femininity. This is not appealing, nor conducive to taking the “plunge.” At the same time women are more overtly sexual, like men, and are losing what is the most important aspect of sex, intimacy. The very thing men are trying to learn and are hoping women will teach them. It would be unfair to blame women for men’s lack. They must learn this themselves. Women can and should encourage this. Women learn how to manipulate men with their sexuality to get what they want, but men know they are being manipulated and resent this. The women’s movement that rightly argued for equality, also wrongly treated the feminine as weak and wrong. It has damaged femininity in the process of calling for equality.
- Some men are not marrying because they don’t have too. You can have intimate relationships, in fact with many women and not be married. The old admonition that prevented this told women, “Why should he buy the cow if he gets the milk free?” Either side of this argument is disastrous for relationship. Women are not possessions to be bought, like a cow, and since men are not aware enough yet, they can’t see the truth in not having indiscriminate sex. In fact they are taught this is a good thing. Add to this men’s fear and it makes sense not to marry.
So, it is with great fear and a distorted view that men now view marriage. This isn’t to say they don’t want a partner where there is mutual love and adoration, only that they are not sure how to create this, or sustain it if they do. Men don’t trust women or even their own abilities to choose a good partner. They know they can be manipulated all too easily. And while judging all women as untrustworthy is unfair, it is not without merit though in enough cases to scare men. The unfortunate part of all this is that it these leaves men masturbating, instead of making love, having short affairs from a safe distance, or taking some comfort in paid-for arms. Surely there is no wisdom in this scenario.