Is Marriage a Good Thing for Men?

Three months ago, someone left the following comment on one of my blog posts:

Only an INSANE man would get married in America today, considering how biased the divorce courts are against men and how useless 99 percent of American women really are.

71 percent of men between the ages of 18 to 34 in America have no interest in marriage:

And the following essay really explains very lucidly exactly why so many men are avoiding marriage:

Why Modern, Western Marriage Has Become A Bad Business Decision For Men

Tflawedhe above comment didn’t fit with the post on which it was supposed to be a commentary, so I’ve kept the comment in moderation all this time, thinking I would use it as a blog post sometime, but I could never think of anything to say about the situation. I’m not a man, so I don’t know the man’s viewpoint, but it seems to me from my research on various online dating sites, that many men are looking for wives. These men, of course, are way beyond the age 34, so perhaps the statistic about the huge number of men younger than 34 who don’t want to get married is a sign of their immaturity, not having met the right person, meeting too many willing partners, no interest in progeny, or a total focus on business. Or something else entirely — skewed statistics perhaps.

At any rate, I thought the points in the articles were interesting enough to save.


Pat Bertram is the author of the suspense novels Light Bringer, More Deaths Than One, A Spark of Heavenly Fire, and Daughter Am I. Bertram is also the author of Grief: The Great Yearning, “an exquisite book, wrenching to read, and at the same time full of profound truths.” Follow Pat on Google+. Like Pat on Facebook.

14 Responses to “Is Marriage a Good Thing for Men?”

  1. rami ungar the writer Says:

    This commenter sounds very biased. I’m not so sure marriage is bad for American men because of divorce courts. I just think that a lot of people get married for the wrong reasons or that their communication breaks down over time and divorce is much more acceptable in America now, so of course it’s going to skyrocket. And as for women being useless, I’m just going to come out and call that a crock of s**t.

  2. Carol Says:

    I, too, think that commenter sounds jaded. Perhaps it was a man who has gone through a negative relationship or court settlement. But it seems the majority of young people — men and women — that I encounter these days are busy getting married. Maybe the ones I know aren’t representative of the larger population, but I don’t believe his source of statistics can be accurate.

  3. Mike Says:

    I’m a man and been married for 47 years. Perhaps I’m not as well informed as younger men today, but I never thought of marriage as a business arrangement. It wasn’t an institution i turned to to protect my investments, wallet, or possessions.

    For me, marriage was a partnership that brought a companion into my life. I’d argue that you can’t make a better investment than that.

    • Juliet Waldron Says:

      No matter what that blogger says, women do not get paid the same for the same work as men do. Not in any of the corporate offices I inhabited for many years. I do think that raising children is done with more care if two people are involved in the work/caring, but I guess in these days of DNA tests, it’s pretty clear who “daddy” was, and who, therefore, should help shoulder the financial burden of raising them, so marriage becomes less of an issue. On the other hand, this billion dollar wedding stuff is just consumerist nonsense. I’ve been married for fifty years–began with a small ceremony at which 2 others were present, and still own only the plain gold band from that ceremony. But maybe that’s because we’re both old fashioned Yankees… 😉

      • Pat Bertram Says:

        I agree totally about weddings. Lavish weddings were actually a publicity push by upscale department stores in the last century. Obviously, the more lavish the wedding, the more money they made. The practice took hold, not just with the rich, but with the not so rich who wanted the fairy tale. It’s funny — although I liked bride dolls when I was a small child, I never wanted such a wedding for myself. As you say, consumerist nonsense.

        Since the bride’s family usually pays for the extravaganza, it seemed out of place for him to be complaining about the cost of a wedding.

      • Brayden Says:

        I can assure you, if this was true… lawyers would be lined up for the free money.

        but it’s not true so they’re not.

        same work/same pay is only an issue in the military where married members get paid much more than their single members.

        your personal experience may suggest otherwise, idk… but
        the fact is if it was common… lawsuits would be everywhere.

        but it’s not so they are not everywhere…

        claims like this make me sad because the wage gap comes from men doing really hard and dangerous jobs nobody really wants to do… like roofing houses or off shore oil rig..underwater welding,..
        sure there are male baby boomers in high places… but considering women under 30 make more than men despite not doing the tough and dangerous jobs, id let that slide for your argument…

        you’d be better served saying, thanks, men for getting the lights back on during the storm, or paving the road you drive on… or I don’t know, doing pretty much everything that requires significant physical effort.

        women are treated damn well in this country.. ignorantly bringing up this faux wage gap proves only this to be true:

        what do women want?


        I just don’t understand why we can’t point at the men who built this country and say, thank you.

        thank you for providing a world that’s easier and not so physically demanding..

        instead we bark up a fake trees to win victim points.

        the wage gap does not exist today. (re: same work same

        women still receive the vast amount of government aide.

        despite retiring much earlier and working far less hours over a lifetime than men.

        they spend 70% of money in this country

        when is the last time you walked into a store and the men’s clothes were up front with 4x the selection of women…

  4. Paula Kaye Says:

    I found the essay to be very thought provoking! I can see why a man would feel that way. However, in the part of country that I live in there are very few non-working mothers with nannies who are sitting at poolside drinking lattes. He lives in another world. There very possibly might be women trying to find their way into his world.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      You make a very good point. Men in the mid to lower income brackets appreciate a shared life and shared income, which might allow them to live at a bit more comfortable (and happy) level than alone. It’s only men in higher brackets who would have the problem of a wife who does nothing while the nanny does it all. And yet, men do marry such women all the time, especially if they are young and beautiful. and never feel as if they made a bad bargain because youth and beauty are a currency of their own.

  5. writecrites Says:

    In my experience as a wedding photographer for many years, there are plenty of men not only willing, but eager to marry. And when they get divorced, they look for someone else to marry as quickly as possible. I’ve also noted that many men don’t want their wives to work and willingly shoulder the major financial burden of a marriage partly, at least, so that they can feel dominant and powerful as a provider (is this, perhaps, in our dna from caveman days?). There are so many different reasons why people marry and many forms those marriages take. The writer is looking at marriage from a very narrow point of view. I read a survey once that said the happiest group of people are married men, second happiest: single women, third happiest: single men, and least happy: married women with children.

    • Pat Bertram Says:

      I’d forgotten about that report! Hmmm. I’m going to remember it when I start to feeling lonely. I know that most of my married friends are struggling with happiness. Even though their children are grown, they still are thrust in the roll of caregiver since the husbands’ health seems to be failing quite rapidy. I don’t think I could go through that again.

      • writecrites Says:

        Same here (married friends as caregivers to their husbands). Caregiving is extremely hard, a fact that is coming more and more into the spotlight. After my dad died, I asked my mother if she would ever marry again—for companionship. She said no, then added, “all those old men want is a nurse with a purse.” It was a nurse’s joke, and my mother was a nurse, but I think there was an element of truth in it.

  6. Brayden Says:

    getting married is a terrible investment for a man. until the courts change, this is an absolute.

    the exceptions are not the rule.

    what does a man get in marriage? he used to get respect from society.. respect from his wife.. not anymore. marriage is not a route to a positive male identity.

    no man wants to be Homer Simpson in the eyes of society.

    the government has safeguarded women’s lives with welfare goodies. a mid / lower class male can’t really provide anything the government won’t provide her anyway… why does she need the man? she doesn’t and as a result, he gets no respect.

    so… an alarming number of single moms and unwed pregnant women emerge, despite numerous ways to prevent and even end pregnancy…

    the government is the new husband/daddy.

    so you have single mothers.. over weight women with masculine traits… entitled brats with ridiculous expectations…

    I was on a date one time and the woman burped out loud… not in a oops mistake way, but in a lets see how loud I can burp way…

    she has the right to do that… it’s just not what I’m looking for…I don’t want to marry an annoying bullpen catcher on a minor league baseball team.

    sadly, american women have been raised to compete with men, to disrespect men, to act like men… to not appreciate men.

    throughout history men were willing to bleed and die for women… all they wanted in return was respect…

    you take that away… what’s the point?

    men don’t care about furniture in the house or an extra income.. men care about respect.

    I started dating women overseas about 3 years ago at 26. with Skype and disposable single income from a professional job, it’s been fun. I can honestly say I will never marry an American woman… and that does make
    me sad… but I guess were just not a match anymore…

    I’ve been dating a russian girl for a year and a half now, we’ve been on 4 trips together… I’ve never felt so appreciated and respected.. the way she treats me motivates me so much to be good to her in return.. it gives me hope for a bond like my grandparents shared…

    I wish Americans could start acting this way towards each other again… sadly, with the government turning men into nothing more than walking wallets and taxpayers, I’m not optimistic.

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