Data on Marriage and how No Fault Divorce turned marriage into a revolving door.

The effects of the pill (ca. 1960) and No Fault Divorce legislation (ca. 1970) show up in the data!

Readership: All;

The Data

I was browsing some data tables for marriage at the U.S. Census website.  It’s hard to see trends from looking at raw data, so I made a graph showing the marital status of Americans since 1950.

This graph tells us a lot about marriage over the last 70 years.

First of all, marriage has remained fairly steady since 1950.

The decreasing ratio of widows is presumably because of the increasing life span and better living/working conditions, especially for men.

The unmarried population reached an all-time low around 1960. Right about this time, hormonal contraceptive pills made their debut.  After this, the number of unmarried people rose steadily, and increased more drastically during the mid to late 1990s. I presume this is a direct result of the pill, because the pill effectively removed the primary motivation for people to marry before having sex, and transformed sex into a FUNgible commodity.  “Free Love”, and all that.

No Fault Divorce (NFD) legislation swept the nation around 1970, and this shows up in the data. Starting in 1970, there began to be a much larger proportion of unmarried people who were divorced. This trend continued to grow until it started to level off somewhat in the mid to late 1990s.

We might question why the number of unmarried divorced people leveled off in the mid to late 1990s. This can be understood when we see that the number of never marrieds took a slight uptick around the same period. In essence, people were choosing to remain single, or waiting until later in life, presumably in order to pursue an education a postporniscuous* season of singularity.  This phenomenon was explained by Dalrock, More grim news for carousellers hoping to jump at the last minute. (2012 November 24).

What happened in the mid-1990s that would cause this?  I have one guess… The insanely popular TV sitcom Friends, which debuted on September 22, 1994 and ran for 10 years. This, coupled with the almost total disappearance of wholesome family shows which had been popular since the late 1950s.

Cast of the TV sitcom, Friends, the archetype of “Free Love”, 90s style. Most young adults coveted the glorified lifestyle of cohabitation and promiscuity that was depicted, but few actually attained it.

Never Married vs. Unmarried Divorced

For the unmarried divorced and never married data, there is an ever widening chasm between men and women since 1970.

  • When we compare never married men and women, the number of never married men is growing faster compared to the number of never married women.  In effect, more women got married, and some men married more than once.
  • When we compare the unmarried divorced men and women, the number of divorced women is increasing faster than the number of divorced men.  This seems to imply that (some) men have a greater likelihood of remaining married. But in reality, this means that men can find another wife after a divorce more easily than women can find a replacement hubby.

So what we see here is that women are postporning* marriage, and are getting divorced, but many of these women are unable (or possibly unwilling) to remarry.  As a result, there are fewer never married women than men, and more divorced women than men.

In sum, the pill and No Fault Divorce (i.e. Frivorce) turned the Marriage Marketplace into an automated slore mill, churning out divorced termagants by the millions.

Women Prefer to be Divorced

The numbers of never marrieds and unmarried divorced have grown since 1960 and 1970, respectively, but neither of these seemed to take a bite out of the number of marriages. So why hasn’t marriage taken a hit?  Or maybe it has!  This could be explained by a combination of the following.

  1. The total population was increasing exponentially, not linearly as the married data shows.
  2. The number of marriages was offset by the number of divorces.
  3. More people got married who would have otherwise remained single.

The first point is not hard to understand, and most readers could agree to the second.  But the third point might leave some scratching their heads.  Think about it. If the overall trend in marriage remains linear, but the number of divorced people increased, then the number of people who got married must have also increased.

To flush out this point, I’ve picked out the data on people over the age of 15 who are unmarried, specifically the never married and the divorced, and I calculated the percentage of these groups compared to the total number of unmarried people.  This data is shown in the following graph.

This graph breaks down the percentages of those men and women over the age of 15 who are unmarried, according to whether they were never married, divorced, or widowed.

Of note, there is a positive female sex ratio in the total population data, and a significant difference between the sexes concerning enwidowment. So at first glance, it is surprising that there has always been a larger percentage of never married men than never married women. 

This graph also shows that 20% of all unmarried people were previously married.  That’s 1 out of 5!  Younger people are shying away from marriage now, so this trend has peaked and is starting to decline.

Here, it is sharply obvious that divorce became trendy in 1970.  At the same time, there was also a marked down turn in the percent of both men and women who never married. This suggests that in addition to more people getting a divorce, there were also more people getting married.  This brings us to the next finding.

Playing House

Children have a game called “playing house”, in which a boy and a girl pretend to be a married couple, and other playmates take on the roles of the children and pets.  It’s all for fun, and is largely forgotten before the next day.

This is exactly what happened to marriage after NFD legislation, except that it was young adults who were playing house!

What we see from the data above is that NFD reduced the initial perceived risk of being stuck in an unhappy marriage until death.  As a result, marriage was not taken as seriously as before, so more people were willing to take the chance at getting married.

In sum effect, NFD transformed marriage from a covenantal institution into a social transaction.  It ostensibly reduced the value of marriage while it simultaneously offered the tangible benefits of financial savings, living conveniences, and the self-styled entertainment of “playing house”. Without the sense of permanency offered by a life-time commitment, marriage is essentially playing house with a revolving door.

I like my No Fault Divorce sunny buns up with some bread on the side man (or meat on the side chick)…  Moar postporniscuity* pleez!

Really…  How many times have you heard someone say, “If it doesn’t “work out”, we can always get a divorce and “start over.”?  But if they have a good postmodern sense of morality, they won’t say that in front of their children.

A Few Conclusions

  1. Since 1950, marriage has increased linearly while the total population has increased exponentially.
  2. The percentage of widows is decreasing.
  3. The early to mid-1960s saw an increase in those postponing marriage, presumably because the advent of the pill removed the motivation to marry before having sex.
  4. In addition to (2), a previous post, Contraception Correlations (2019 November 29), showed that the pill also had a delayed effect on the rise of divorce.
  5. No Fault Divorce legislation in 1970 led to an immediate increase in both marriage and divorce.
  6. When more people are getting married, and more people are getting divorced too, this essentially means that people are taking the institution of marriage less seriously. In other words, marriage has been cheapened by the introduction of No Fault Divorce legislation.
  7. Moreover, marriage became a revolving door – More Johns and D!cks get in, more Beckys and Staceys get out.
  8. However, something happened around 1995 that caused marriage to become much less popular.
  9. Since then, more men are staying single (never married), and…
  10. Many more women are becoming divorced.
  11. The data also shows that fewer women are able to “stick the landing” (marry or remarry).
  12. Now, 1 out of 5 unmarried people were previously married.

These trends are sure to continue.  I anticipate seeing the data in 10 years, after the fallout from InstaWh0ring etc. comes home to roost.

* Note: I’ve invented the words “postporn“ (based on postpone + pornography), and “postporniscuity” (based on postpone + pornography + promiscuity) to describe the intentional postponement of marriage (pursuing education, etc.), while at the same time, engaging in sexual promiscuity and idealizing marriage and/or a perfect partner. This behavior seems to be so common that it deserves a name.

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Jack is a world traveling artist, skilled in trading ideas and information, none of which are considered too holy, too nerdy, nor too profane to hijack and twist into useful fashion. Sigma Frame Mindsets and methods for building and maintaining a masculine Frame
This entry was posted in Courtship and Marriage, Divorce, Relationships, Sanctification & Defilement, Statistics Reports. Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to Data on Marriage and how No Fault Divorce turned marriage into a revolving door.

  1. Novaseeker says:

    Friends had something to do with what was happening in the 1990s, probably.

    I was in my 20s and early 30s in the 1990s, and in my cohort, and the one right behind us by only a few years. Two shows had a dramatic impact on women in that era. Friends was one, and Sex and the City was the other. Sex and the City ran from 1998 through 2004, Friends from 1994 through 2004. Both of these created a mental framework of a “desired lifestyle” for tens of millions of mostly educated, especially highly educated, women in the US during this period. They therefore impacted the thinking of most educated women who are now anywhere north of the middle 30s (women who were in the later teens around 2001, so watched these shows as teenagers then, are now in their mid 30s) — the influence of them on educated American women over 40 is fundamental and seminal in nature. The “desired lifestyle” consists of the following: urbanity and urban sophistication; fulfilling/creative/lucrative professional jobs; economic independence; youthful sexiness; abundance of dynamic, successful, secure, urban, educated and hunky men; marriage not disparaged per se but not in the picture, put off to an undetermined “later date”, enjoyment of the “party years” moment in the 20s and 30s when women are young, sexy, professional, and economically independent and don’t have kids. This dominated the mentality of the women of a couple of generations. It had the impact on my generation of women that social media is having on the under-30 generation of women. And it was almost all negative, because actual real world men, even actual real world successful men in places like NYC, could not live up to the standards set by Friends and SATC. No men can. And so marriage got delayed and divorce continued apace in my generation.

    By contrast, the immediately prior generation liked to watch the show “Thirty-Something”, which ran from 1987-1991, before the ratings began to drop as we entered the 90s (surprise, surprise!), as the sexual revolution began to well and truly marinate in the culture. That show primarily impacted people who were slightly older than my cohort (it had an impact on us, but lesser as we were a bit younger), so people who are 55-70 now. It didn’t portray the joys of singletonhood as much as it did the trials, and triumphs, of young married professionals (note, though, that it was people in their THIRTIES and not in their TWENTIES who were being portrayed). As the 90s wore on, this was replaced with shows glorifying sexually liberated urban professional young singles, like Friends and SATC, and set up a mental universe for women of the impacted generations that is lifelong, in terms of setting an “ideal state”. They may be 50 now, and not capable of living like they did when they were 27, but they still see that as the ideal state, and not now, and that it was all somehow downhill from there for them in many ways, despite being richer and more accomplished now. They know that they are less desired than they were, and they see this despite the rise of “age is nothing but a number” older hot celebrities — in fact they are very well aware of the delta between themselves and women like that, and it’s painful for them, despite the false bravado they try to put on about it.

    All of that mental state impacts marriage. It impacts the desire to get married in the first place. It impacts the desire to get remarried. It impacts the desirability of singleness in the abstract and in the practical, in the eyes of women primarily. It impacts the way women compare their lives, either married or single, to the Friends/SATC ideal in their heads, regardless of how old they are. Women are remarrying less, yes. We should be careful in assuming that this is because they are not capable of remarrying, period. I do not believe that is true — at least it isn’t true in the older unmarried, and unremarried women I know. Many of them are attractive, and in fact are among the more attractive women in their cohorts. They do not want to marry — or, rather, they do not want to marry the kinds of men who would marry them. They typically want younger men, dynamic and attractive men. Some of these men will date an attractive older women, but very few of them if any will marry one of them. These women have zero interest in marrying a man who is even slightly older than they are, and almost as little in men their same age. Men remarry more frequently because they generally are less picky and want to be remarried for sexual reasons. Women remarry less because they are typically not attractive enough for the men they would be interested in marrying to be interested in marrying them at those ages, and therefore many of them settle for being single, with some sex (never an issue for women to get, regardless of age, regardless of manosphere wisdom to the contrary), while they search for the unicorn man.

    Liked by 3 people

    • thedeti says:

      This comment about Friends and SATC reminded me of some “let’s get real, here” articles and comments I started seeing when the two shows were in first run production. They usually went something like this:

      “OK, think about the Friends. Now, consider yourself, and the people you know. How many people do you know who actually live like the Friends do? How many people do you know who can afford to live like they do? Presumably they all live in Manhattan. An apartment like the one Rachel and Monica live in, wide open, around 1500 to 1700 square feet, runs more than those two women could possibly afford. Monica works as a part time chef; and Rachel as some kind of fashion buyer. Ross is a PhD paleontologist but couldn’t afford to live as he did, especially without a roommate and especially being divorced and paying child support. Joey is poor all the time as a struggling actor, and Chandler doesn’t make enough for their apartment.

      “People like this wouldn’t have the time to socialize as much as they do. When do these shows depict these people working, like most people their age are doing? Most people their age, to afford their lifestyles, would have to work all the time and take second jobs.

      “How many people do you know in their late 20s or early 30s, not really contemplating marriage at all? Most women in that age cohort in real life (around 1996-2000) are engaged or married, or looking very, very hard for potential husbands. Quite a lot of women in that age cohort are married and with at least one child. Married people with children live lives that don’t look anything even remotely like the Friends’ lives.

      “The bottom line being, Friends is unrealistic and people expecting to live their lives like the Friends do are in for huge disappointments.”

      Liked by 4 people

      • rontomlinson2 says:

        Unrealistic, certainly, but then a lot of shows are unrealistic and I think it’s worse than that.

        It seems that TV shows are only authorised if they push an agenda of some kind.

        e.g. ‘My Little Pony’ encourages girls to get tattoos (I would hazard).

        ‘Friends’ encouraged the ongoing sexual revolution. The central lie of Friends was that serial sexual relationships are inconsequential. The friends regularly changed sexual partners, often in humorous circumstances. The other friends were always non-judgmental, even supportive, about this. No big deal.

        Obviously, Christians know it is a big deal. More than that, I think the show showed it too, which is why I call it a lie. If you take a bird’s eye view then it’s clear the the friends’ fictional lives revolved around their sexual relationships, just as most real adult lives do.

        i.e. these determined the course of the narrative more than jobs, family or even the central friendships.

        It’s interesting looking back at Friends. I watched and enjoyed many of the early episodes in my twenties, mostly for the dialogue I think, which was very witty. Of the three girls I thought Rachel was the most attractive. Well, on first viewing. I quickly gravitated to Monica and revised my opinion. Now it’s clear that I was wrong on both counts. Phoebe was by far the most feminine.

        Liked by 1 person

      • cameron232 says:

        Yeah, Phoebe was ditzy but men don’t care – much better a ditz that’s feminine and agreeable than a “hot” girl that’s disagreeable and difficult.

        When I first noticed the show I remember thinking that the two less attractive guys (Ross and Chandler) were way too goobery-looking for the girls (I assumed they were all couples).

        Blue-pill beta male writers for sure. I remember the episode where Rachael discovers an old home video where Ross is going to substitute for a guy who is standing her up for prom. The friends are watching the old video together. In the video at the last minute the guy shows up and Ross is shown in the video, heart-broken, sad and pathetic as Rachael walks off with the guy to prom (not noticed Ross’ heartbreak). Seeing Ross’ heartbreak and sad, puppy dog eyes for the first time (on video years later) makes Rachael immediately hot for Ross and she walks over and makes out with him. Yeah, right!

        The 90’s movie “The Wedding Singer” was also a blue pill beta fantasy. In that movie (I’ll assume y’all have seen it) Drew Barrymore’s character would have married the jerk guy anyway. She would have left him only after multiple incidents of catching him cheating (“c’mom baby, I had a moment of weakness”) and then would be an alpha widow married to Adam Sandler’s character.

        Liked by 1 person

    • thedeti says:

      The “Friends” lifestyle just didn’t resemble anything like the life I was living. It was entertaining fictional fantasy, but I more or less understood I would not have any kind of a life like that.

      When Friends premiered in September 1994 I was an unmarried 26 year old man and one year out of law school. I was working All. The. Time. I was trying to get a career as a lawyer going. I was trying to learn my chosen craft. I had a couple hobbies, sure, and I enjoyed those. I was also dating, more or less seriously.

      I lived alone in a one bedroom apartment in a small city in the Midwest. I did not date or have sex with a new woman every other week. I did not go out partying 4 nights a week. I did not hang out in other people’s apartments half my life; they had lives and jobs of their own. I could afford my lifestyle; but I wasn’t rich by any means. Most of the women my age were in very serious relationships or were heading toward marriage to other men. Most of the men my age, on up to age 30, were either in those very serious relationships or married. (Tellingly, a lot of those couples are now divorced.) By 1996 I was 28 and married.

      That was the actual, real life of a mid-20s man, and that didn’t look anything like Friends or SATC.

      Like

    • thedeti says:

      I need to stop hijacking this thread, but something else occurred to me about ThirtySomething, and the differences in the generational dynamics occurring at the time.

      ThirtySomething, when you look back on it, was a show catering to Boomers. It was criticized for being narcissistic, self indulgent, whiny, and navelgazing. A lot of critics hammered the show for being so… contemplative, boring, and above all, taking itself way too seriously. 30S was a drama, or maybe a dramedy; whereas Friends and SATC were fun comedies. Maybe in some ways, Friends and SATC were direct responses to the kinds of popular TV entertainment that had preceded them: St. Elsewhere, Hill Street Blues, LA Law, NYPD Blue, ER, Cosby, Eight is Enough, and the like.

      The first five shows were procedural dramas that also catered to Boomers, and like 30S, took themselves very seriously. They focused on long plotlines and story arcs with an eye toward deep character development. And they were Very Serious, for the most part. The characters took themselves seriously. They mostly looked and acted like they carried the weight of the world on their shoulders.

      Friends and SATC and similar entertainment were quite different in tone and outlook. They were sitcoms. They didn’t take themselves seriously, for the most part. The characters did not take themselves seriously and almost never found themselves in “serious” situations. Nothing was too hard for them; everything just rolled off their backs.

      So in a lot of ways, I would suppose the entertainment for both sets, the Boomers (Just before me) and Gen X (my generation), reflected mostly the zeitgeist of their particular times.

      Like

  2. Elspeth says:

    Your entire comment is insightful Nova, even though I can’t fully relate. I was in my 20s throughout the 1990s, but those shows didn’t really impact my perspective on life and relationships. I knew they existed and even watched the occasional episode of Friends, but it left no indelible impression. Probably because I was married, and black, and a whole host of other reasons. But even as I was around the white middle class PTA moms in the late 90s (who were all about a decade older than me), most expressed pretty traditional views on marriage and family. I think regional differences apply.

    These women have zero interest in marrying a man who is even slightly older than they are, and almost as little in men their same age.

    I have NEVER known this to be the case. Again, status and regional variations apply.

    Like

    • cameron232 says:

      I agree completely with Elspeth on her last comment. The fourty and fifty something divorcees want to marry men their age or older, not younger men (I have asked some of them directly).

      They do not want to marry the men who would marry them (e.g. the normal but slightly goobery engineer at work) even though they are of no better quality than these men. THey complain about the good men being taken and sometimes get a little too flirty with the married men. They are interested in marriage and family because they show disproportionate interest in the lives, marriages and families of the married men they are around.

      Like

      • thedeti says:

        Yeah, my experience has been that divorcees over age 40 want to marry men at least their age, but the men they want are impossibly rare. They want the Silver Fox: The distinguished, impossibly ruggedly handsome, accomplished, and wealthy man. They want George Clooney, Sean Connery, or Harrison Ford. He must have all his own hair, be in very good shape, erudite, wise, and have a big bank account. The men who meet all these qualifications are infinitesimally small in number, and half of them are already married. There aren’t anywhere close to enough of those men to go around.

        For these women, no lesser man will do for marriage. She’ll have sex with younger men and less attractive men. She can get sex anytime she wants, with very physically attractive men who are mostly younger than she is and who are not marriage material.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Novaseeker says:

      To clarify.

      I am talking about very attractive older women in my comment. Not quite newsreader level (newsreaders in person, of whom we have a fair few locally here due to it being DC, are actually not that much more attractive than otherwise very attractive women, but they are generally very well put together/packaged by comparison), but say 2-3 gradations below that level. The average or even above average attractiveness older women in the 50ish age range are not dating and marrying younger — I see that as well. Many of them are not dating and marrying at all, however, if they are divorced at these ages, at least not in my circles.

      The women I am referring to are the quite attractive older women like what I described — basically women who are in the top 5-10% appearance-wise among women in their same age cohort, the “She’s 50?!? Really?!?” type of women. They exist, but they don’t exist everywhere in the country in the same numbers, I agree. At least around here (Boswash megalopolis) that category of older woman is not dating men older than she is or even normally men her own age — she is also not “cougaring”, or dating men in their 20s. She prefers to date men who are 5-10 years younger than she is — that is a 52 yo beauty will date a 47 year old man, and not a 57 year old one, generally speaking.

      The ones who are not as attractive do not behave this way, largely because they cannot — the attractive men in their early and mid 40s aren’t dating average looking women in their 50s. I would not expect this to be the case in all SES, and since SES is not equally distributed geographically, there is a geographic skew. However, over the course of time, it is the mores and habits of this SES that spread culturally downward, and not the reverse, so it’s kind of a “preview of coming attractions” for the broader demographic.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Jack says:

    I never watched a single episode of Friends or SATC. But I heard all about it from my sisters and female cousins.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cameron232 says:

      I never watched a single episode of SATC but I remember commercials – it always looked like a bunch of old, skanks to me (also I assume male characters weren’t central to the story so I had zero interest) and I gotta say that girl who was the main character was butt-ugly. I know Kim Catrell was in it – she was a young skank in the movie Porkies, why would I want to see her as an old skank, And there was a redhead woman with a dyke haircut – no thanks. My wife (girlfriend at the time) had zero interest in watching it too. I think that show was 100% for women – I bet the writers were women.

      My girlfriend watched Friends so I watched Friends. There were some funny jokes – enough to make it OK to watch. And my girlfriend (wife) watched WWE wrestling with me so can’t complain too much.

      Like

  4. cameron232 says:

    I grew up watching the sappy, family shows and movies of the 80’s (and reruns of older shows). LIttle House on the Prairie and even some of the John Hughes films had relatable, if imperfect, intact families. I think this definitely influenced me wanting a large family (8 kids and counting).

    Also, I can’t overstate the importance of having a loving, loyal and affectionate father. Fathers: be affecionate with your sons and pay attention to them- make them feel important. I was blessed by this and having this sort of father made me want a big family. We were not Christian and this was still enough to produce healthy attitudes towards family. My sister, who is 10 years younger (raised in the 90’s instead of 80’s) doesn’t want children – I don’t know why,

    Liked by 2 people

    • Elspeth says:

      A friend and I were discussing this yesterday. Despite being Brazilian (ergo no outward connection in our backgrounds) we both noted that having strong, engaged fathers was very important not only in our development as young women (we’re both late 40s) but also in our daughters’ developments.

      We have underestimated the role of fathers to our peril. I also noted that even in an era where marriage is on the decline, younger men are far more likely to go ahead and get married to a young woman when he has to interact with her present and engaged father. Men who date daughters from broken homes, where dad is nonexistent to absent, feel almost no compulsion to get it together and lock things down. This is true even in communities where marriage has seemingly been decimated.

      Liked by 3 people

      • cameron232 says:

        Elspeth, I think the mother can have a great deal of influence on her daughter. My mother was stay at home, but still repeated many of the feminist complaints. Her father and mother raised her and her sister to “only” be housewives etc. (in reality, she could have pursued other options, she just wasn’t very high achieving and she enthusiastically married my father at a young age and had me).

        At times she seemed to resent being dependent on men even though my father was very kind and benevolent, worked multiple demeaning jobs without complaint and spent virtually all discretionary income on my mom, me and my sister. He did not treat her as subservient, did not ever complain about dinner, how the house was kept, etc. and even did some housework on the weekends.

        To this day, I wonder if the consistent feminist complaining caused my sister to avoid having children .She seems to have the same sort of resentment towards men even though my father was extremely loving towards her and her husband is the benevolent-beta type.

        Like

  5. lastmod says:

    “Friends” was just a funny TV show (hint…..it’s not REAL…just like all those “leave it to beaver” shows…”Family Ties” / “Cosby Show” / “Eight Is Enough” and a billion others). If “Friends” had that kind of impact on GenX culture on lifestyle?????? Fashion. Yes. Design. Yes. The way people did meet in ‘coffee house’ culture of the 1990’s……sure…relatable….but I never watched the show for “instructions” on life. Nor did most GexXers.

    When ‘Friends” started in Sept 1994. I had just moved to California after my two years of hell of graduate school. I had over 70K of debt from grad school. My rent in San Francisco was running almost 3K a month back then. I didn’t really have a standard of living until 1997 or so when my career started to kick-start at IBM. People STILL made friends in coffee houses back then….met people…….my co-workers at IBM were overall five to ten years older than me…..all were married or divorced or moving to their second marriage at that time.

    Getting married in San Francisco in the mid-1990’s was almost impossible because the dot.com boom had ZERO women……..well….it did, but they were not dating the dot.com guy. They were all complaining that there were zero “real” men around while they dated actors, abusers, the hot barista, or some guy who played guitar in some lame generic ‘alternative” band that was gonna make it (lol!!!)

    I watched “Friends” like millions of us did for the fact it was an esacape and it was a good show. I mean….what was the alernative then????? “Third Rock From The Sun?” (ugh) or “Frasier” (hardly ‘wholesome values on that show as well)……”Married With Children” was winding down. “ER”???? (hi, I’m a sexy doctor…hardly realistic)

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  6. lastmod says:

    My father was a solid man. Construction worker. Quiet. A beer after dinner type of guy…….the old man was actually an intellectual. He didn’t watch football, or read ‘Playboy’. His free time was building furniture. A mastercraftsman as well. He read a lot. A ton. Biographies. Literature…….fiction. Something you would not expect from an immigrant arriving in the USA at age ten and didn’t speak a word of English.

    Dad took the belt to me once, and I had a good smack / crack / knockdown at age 17 (fully deserved). We were just very different people. The only time my dad and I got along was when we were camping, hiking or canoeing in our beloved Adirondacks Mountains. He never cheated on my mother. Never took a hand to her.

    We rarely spoke after I moved to California unless it involved a conversation about camping or hiking. We were polite to each other. and I respected him….but I never really knew him. A regret I have now.

    His advice to me about women was in high school “there is a world beyond that, just give it some time”. His advice during college “just wait til you get out in the world, plenty of time”. His advice when I was a young man in my late twenties and thirties “Just give it time, plenty of decent women just want a man who knows how to work and makes the train run on time”

    My last visit with him in 2017 “I don’t have any advice, I just met your mom….asked her out, she said ‘yes’ and that was pretty much it. I know times have changed, but I just don’t have anything to give or offer you here. SOrry you missed out”

    Liked by 1 person

    • cameron232 says:

      In his defense, I don’t know what else he could have said. He came of age in a world very different from the one you did. I don’t know what to say to my sons:

      “Based on my experience, be your best and wait for a good girl to come after you”

      This is just how it worked for me but I don’t know that it will work for my sons. Sometimes I
      wonder if the best thing is to move to a smaller area where maybe the girls are less-high achieving than the big cities, maybe less hypergamous.

      Like

      • Novaseeker says:

        It’s true that women outside the megacities are different, but it’s also true that there are fewer of them (pool is smaller), and there are also fewer opportunities for men there as well in other areas, particularly if they are not “from” that area and have ties there already. Smaller to medium cities are almost certainly better in this area than megacities are, I think, however.

        My parents were also similarly useless, having met and married in Europe in the 1950s. It was like a different universe than megacity America in the 1990s. They had no understanding of the situation, and therefore no advice at all — any advice they did offer was utterly useless — and that was okay because I knew it was useless so I didn’t follow it. But many people were in the same boat. The thing that helped some guys was if they had a couple of sisters (one was usually not enough because sometimes that one would have been an outlier or what have you), where one of them was socially active and dating and older than they were, which allowed the guy to see how girls are in reality up front and personally as they were growing up. If you didn’t have that, and you had clueless parents (as many of us did in this generation), you were on your own, period.

        Liked by 2 people

      • cameron232 says:

        @ Novaseeker, I guess I’m imagining a medium size town like the one I grew up in (and met my wife in), say, 40,000 people in a county of 150,000 – 200,000. Not so small that you know everyone – my family and my wife’s had never had any contact. It wasn’t like there was a tight social network that excluded outsiders.

        People (that remain) in these areas often aren’t “high achievement” types – that’s for the big cities. There are fewer total women but the proportion of women to men is about even. It seems to me an average young man might have a better chance meeting a decent girl in one of these areas.

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      • Novaseeker says:

        I agree — it’s certainly something for young men to look at to the extent it’s feasible for them.

        Like

      • lastmod says:

        I grew in rural America, small town……..I don’t know what to say about it on those matters….and times have changed there too from when I was coming up. I noticed back as a teen, and back home summers from college. The women there had no qualms about having a baby and living on welfare….it just seemed normal to them. Most guys……the only option was the college route, taking over the local business (gas station, general store, diner) or….for most of them……enlisting into the armed forces.

        The folks who got the local postal job, landed a job in the local bank, or a county / town job (town clerk, road supervisor) usually was handed down through the family by election. “Ol Mrs Jones was the town clerk since the 1950’s…..her daughter got it after she retired……”

        I remember jobs like a janitor in the local school had a few hundred applicants. The lumber industry was gone…..the seasonal work ran from May til Labor Day weekend because of the industry (tourism / camping / hiking).

        The winters were very harsh there as well.

        I didn’t really see “wholesome family values” coming from the young women there, I just saw an attitude of “after high school you get married, have a mess o babies…..or if there is no ‘good man’ around, just get preggers by the local asshole (I mean, confident guy) and be a single mom, and live on welfare”

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  7. Lexet Blog says:

    I had tried to compile stats from my state and divorce records from my local jurisdiction.

    Most states STOPPED publishing divorce data in the 00’s because it was surpassing 60%, even in the Bible Belt.

    States used to compile marriage registration (if 1 spouse was a resident of the state) and compared it to divorce.

    Now they don’t compile the data in a way where you can determine the true rate.

    I can say from looking at case filings that roughly 70% of divorces are initiated by women.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cameron232 says:

      Some say it’s closer to 80% since in some cases the woman directly coerces the man into filing.
      Note the discrepancy between the sexes probably isn’t because of abuse and infidelity since those things now occur in rougly equal proportion between the two sexes.

      Like

  8. cameron232 says:

    My guess is the knee in the curve in Never Married in 1960 (in the raw data) is women getting careers – don’t need a man. Probably some of the divorced post 1970 too.

    Like

  9. Novaseeker says:

    Relevant, and topical:

    https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2020/oct/31/i-wanted-to-meet-a-mate-and-have-a-baby-without-wasting-time-the-rise-of-platonic-co-parenting

    Apparently, there are now sites that cater to straight people who are intentionally entering into non-romantic co-parenting arrangements — i.e., where the people retain separate sex lives and are not married or romantically involved with each other, but are co-parents. Essentially this is like agreeing to live the life of a divorced father from the get-go — you provide the finances, the parenting time and support, and she gets the benefit of all of that, but there is no romantic or sexual relationship, even at the beginning.

    Clearly some women see the obvious advantages of this kind of arrangement for them:

    “Had she been 29, Kate says she might not have chosen this path to parenthood, but she adds: “I think there are far worse ways to bring a child into this world. I’ve got my baby and the love of my life, but through two different men.”

    I wonder, though, about the men. What is in it for them? I suppose I could see a real alpha type who has no interest in settling down and having an actual family be interested in something like this which allows him to maintain that lifestyle while still having a kid and a vetted mother to help raise it. But average guys? I don’t see it.

    Still, I expect this to be pushed. After all, we see even the “experts” cited in that article doing that already, to wit:

    “The quality of parents’ relationships with one another, and their level of intimacy, has a large bearing on children’s welfare, she says. “It is possible, though, that taking away romantic baggage could even make for a more stable environment.”

    You can see the text in the article itself, which I would recommend skimming as it is longer than normal.

    Liked by 1 person

    • cameron232 says:

      I assume “Kate” is older than 29. For the man, he would get to have a child, presumably with a good mom, but still be free to cash in on his increasing (as he gets older) SMV rather than being stuck with a fat, wrinkled, bitchy wife.

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