Monday, December 28, 2015

How to Ruin a Marriage

Want to ruin your marriage? Want to help divorce lawyers to earn a living? The latest study, from a group of London lawyers, tells us that the best way to ruin your marriage is… bad habits. It’s even better than adultery.

The Daily Mail reports:

‘Unreasonable behaviour’ was the main ground in 54 per cent of divorces granted to wives in England and Wales last year, while adultery accounted for 13 per cent, according to the Office of National Statistics.

I will bet that you did not know that it was that easy to ruin your marriage. Only in Great Britain would they call boorish, lewd, rude and crude behavior “unreasonable.” Hats off to the Brits.

This also implies that connubial bliss has more to do with having good habits than it does, for example, in having good sex. Of course, this implies that bad habits are not very good for your sex life. If you are out of sync during the day you will likely remain out of sync at night. If your habits are bad enough, your sometime spouse will not be overly displeased that you are rutting elsewhere.

But, which bad habits are the worst? The Daily Mail reports the survey:

Many of the unwelcome habits reflect the internet playing a greater part in couples’ lives, with complaints surrounding use of online gambling, pornography and shopping.

But other halves were also accused of being condescending, using patronising nicknames or calling housekeeping allowances ‘pocket money’.

Other splits revealed how more ‘settled’ spouses let themselves go by abandoning personal hygiene or dressing badly.

Some even revealed dogs, cats or horses were put before their husband or wife.

More unusual was a refusal to allow a spouse to watch television channels with an odd number.

Considering that divorce is a major problem, especially as broken homes (see previous post) damage children, it is worth giving a little extra thought to the problem identified here.

Surely, a number of these habits fall in the category of sloth. People seem to believe that once they are married they do not need to take care of themselves. They embarrass each other through their bad hygiene or bad behavior. Nothing will damage a marriage more than behavior that embarrasses your spouse.

Then again, most of these soon-to-be-divorced couples seem to be living together as though they are living alone.

One does not have the full set of data, but it is commonly recognized that couples today are marrying later. Why are they doing so? Because feminism told them to do so.

Feminists suggested that people who marry later are more likely to make a better choice of spouse and to choose a spouse for reasons that have less to do with economic dependence and more to do with love.

What could be better than two autonomous, independent human monads that go bump in the night, who share all household chores and who change an equal number of diapers?

What could be better? A marriage, for example.

In any event, it must have seemed like a great idea. Two human monads would naturally have a happier marriage. They would be marrying for love. What could go wrong?

In truth, a lot went wrong. Primarily, feminists overlooked the fact that when couples marry later in life they have already developed some seriously ingrained bachelor habits. Having been functioning perfectly well in resplendent singlehood, they find that it is not that easy to live as a couple.

If you retain your bachelor habits, you are acting as though your spouse is not there. In more than a few cases a spouse who acts as though his or her spouse is not there will eventually find that his or her spouse is not there.

Sometimes people do not know that they are required, as the price of admissions in a marriage, to modify many of their personal habits, the better to create a series of couple habits and couple routines. They do not know, because no one told them, that these new habits and routines should be observed religiously all the time… the better to create a feeling of solidarity and security. It’s the best way to transition from Me to We.

If you want to wreck your marriage, however, you should hold on to your bachelor routines. Play as many video games as you want. Watch all the internet porn you like. Show up for meals when you feel like it.

Act as though you are living alone and you will soon be living alone.

People have difficulty changing their habits because habits are difficult to change. It takes effort. It takes time. It does not just happen overnight. If you think that marriage is all about love and that your love will solve all problems and salve all wounds you should start saving up for your divorce lawyer.

Of course, we do not know why home life for the soon-to-be divorced is so difficult. We suspect that one or the other spouse is conducting his or her marriage the way one specific ideology dictates. After all, feminism has often handed out advice about how to conduct a marriage. If so, feminism bears some responsibility when these new modern marriages end up in divorce court.

It’s about rules and roles. If a man has been brought up by a mother who cared for him, he will have difficulty adjusting to having a wife who won’t. He might revert to some of his old bachelor and teenage habits and not participate in household chores.

I do not know whether these man-boys who spend all their time in front of their computers are reverting to the norm of their bachelor days or are trying to induce their wives to take charge of the household, but, either way, making your marriage a terrain on which you are fighting the culture wars will put you on the road to divorce. 

1 comment:

Ares Olympus said...

I thought it was interesting long ago to learn more divorces were initiated by wives, like this recent article.
“Today Americans want not only a spouse who is reliable and reasonable, but also someone who is their best friend, and a great lover, and someone who pays the bills … but is also really fun,” said Stanford sociologist Michael Rosenfeld.

According to research that Rosenfeld presented at the American Sociological Association’s annual meeting last week, these heightened expectations can leave women feeling worse off in marriage than men. In a survey of 2,262 adults in heterosexual partnerships over the course of five years, Rosenfeld found that women initiate divorces 69 percent of the time.
Rosenfeld’s survey checked in with the same individuals every year for five years. In cases in which someone was married the first year of the study and divorced in the last, his team was able to gather details in the breakup’s immediate aftermath.

One woman, who was 23 when the study began in 2009, initially reported a “good” (4 out of 5 points on the satisfaction scale) relationship with her husband-to-be: “He is very clever, fun, and sweet. I respect him and feel like we are equals on values, intellect and humor.”

She noted, however, “It is not ‘excellent’ because I wish that he was more romantic. He’s very practical.”

Four years later, the couple got divorced. In early 2015, she said, “I used to be a very happy optimistic person and it was like he was slowly starving my soul.”

She realized that the relationship had become emotionally abusive and promptly filed for a divorce.

Wow, that's poetic "slowly staving my soul", maybe like the song "Killing me softly"?

So the important thing is to avoid women who listen to sappy love songs, and if you do, get married young enough that you don't have kids for the first 4 or 5 years to make sure her soul isn't wilting.

These are real problems that need to be identified before you have kids.