Thursday, March 25, 2010

The "Marriage Benefit Imbalance" or BLOWING OFF the M word

An excerpt from Elizabeth Gilbert's book Committed.  (P.S. after reading this, I'm thinking prop 8 is even more of a joke.  What we really need is a proposition that overturns heterosexual marriages):

"Married men live longer than single men;...married men accumulate more wealth than single men; married men are far less likely to die a violent death than single men; married men suffer less from alcoholism, drug addiction, and depression than do single men."

NOW according to the same book, when it comes to women marrying men:

"Married women are not as successful in their careers as single women.  Married women are arguably less healthy than single women.  Married women, until recently, were more likely to die a violent death than single women --- usually, at the hands of their own husbands. "

Thus, "Women generally lose in the exchange of marriage vows, while men win big."

Then WTF are men known for being commitment-phobes instead of women?  Dudes, it's a win-win for you.  If only the words "let's be like Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins and never get married" still rang true.  Goldie and Kurt, don't screw it up.  


  1. My intial feeling was to respond in a nasty condesending way to get my point across about the absurdity of this misguided take on who benefits in marriage.... but being a man, I know better than to try to present a rational case for disagreement in that manner. It would be a no win situation in which female readers of the post would skirt over any rational points with full comfort in their instinct and feeling of your original statement being right (because it benefits them personally/women as a whole and doesnt require consideration of the "sacrifice" from a mans perspective - even in a humorous context).

    From the honest male perspective I will offer you a vantage point which is not as rosy as the book excerpt cited nor your interpretation of the excerpt, but you can take it as merely a contribution for the sake of balance OR predictably write me off as the bad guy who doesnt reflect the thoughts of guys in general, and especially not your guy!(wink).

    While statistically benefits of longer living, wealth etc seem to favor married men on paper, you are not accounting for the sacrifice required for a guy to enter into marriage nor for the fact that the single men dying violent deaths and suffering from more alcoholism, etc are probably influenced by prison populations, and unstable men on the fringes of society - who ironically may have once been that married guy "getting all the benefit". I wonder how many of those alcoholics were driven to drink by their marriages?

    my point is, these guys are not 50 yr old men with good jobs and a harem of women who are wishing they had a wife as they die with a heroin needle in their arm.

    For men we are known as being commitment phobes because we know for all of its joys and the bliss of companionship, marriage is:

    a difficult lifetime of abandonment of many freedoms and comforts formerly enjoyed when single and making your own decisions/controlling your own destiny,

    is the entrance into a world of confrontational nonsensical-ness in which women use emotions as a failsafe for disagreements no matter the logic it flies in the face of. aka the time when :'i feel this way' trumps 'that doesnt make sense'

    a trading in of fun and activities that once reaffirmed an inate sense of manhood for a more tame and controlled existance under a watchfull eye and the fear of constant nagging.

    a permanent exile from being able to enjoy variety in life

    an automatic compromising of goals and defermment of dreams that have gone unrealized

    an unatural and constant battle to try to remain monogamous although nature has wired us differently

    constant berating for yearning to do things that would otherwise come naturally - because of someone else's perception or fear of how it makes them look.

    a lifetime laundry list of issues and things that should be worked on for the betterment of "us" when in reality they are to give 'her' what she wants

    bit by bit changing of who you are asa person until you cant recognize yourself.

  2. i think we should call it a draw, cause i actually don't disagree with everything that you say and won't be skirting over the rational points in which i think there are many. i get why guys would be scared to get married and i think that a lot of the reasons you listed surrounding that fear are how a lot of women are feeling too these days. especially the "bit by bit changing who are as a person until you can't recognize yourself." thanks for your comment, i'm gonna give it it's own blog post.

  3. sorry, went off on a bit of a rant, but it is more of a "why dont we all stay single because its a trade off for everyone" diatribe

  4. I have a lot of friends, my age or older, that are married or have a kid. I don't know what's going on in my generation. One thing i know is this: I'm entitled to have a marriage and a kid, but I would rather wait around till the right guy really comes along. I'm no rush!