October 25, 2017 by Robert Franklin, Esq, Member, National Board of Directors, National Parents Organization
Back in September, the excellent Peter Lloyd gave a speech at his parents’ golden wedding anniversary party. He naturally hymned their virtues and congratulated them on their 50 years of marriage. That’s what those types of speeches are for.
But his article is more about what he didn’t say than what he did (Daily Mail, 10/18/17).
But what I left out is that, despite growing up with such a positive example, nothing will ever persuade me to follow the same path.
I will never, ever marry. That’s because the kind of traditional marriage that saw my mum and dad thrive no longer exists. It has been replaced with a modern version so warped that it has ceased to become an institution worth entertaining. Well, not for men anyway.
What follows is Lloyd’s take on the current state of our culture’s mindlessly self-destructive assault on marriage and the family.
Marriage doesn’t ‘fix’ or sustain men. I’d argue it does the very opposite, so weighted are our divorce laws towards women.
To illustrate my point, I suggested that a man might as well find a woman who hates him and buy her a house to live in, while he grubs around in a bedsit.
Because, in my view, that’s the brutal reality of what marriage does to men. He’d be better off, financially and emotionally, staying single…
as soon as you legally commit to a woman now, no matter how much you love her, you take the most reckless gamble on your future wealth, health and happiness.
The risk being that if it all goes wrong — and around 42 per cent of marriages fail — then matrimonial law, the family courts, indeed society as a whole, will conspire to ensure the biggest loser in the equation ends up being you.
Then there’s the mental impact. According to a 2013 survey, divorce makes men feel devastated, betrayed, confused and even suicidal. Women are more likely to feel relieved, liberated and happy following a split.
And that’s not the half of it. Let’s not forget that men who become fathers invest their whole souls in that role only to see that commitment treated like trash in the gutter by family courts. Marriage can be wonderful – mine is – or it may not be. Lloyd cites several of his friends’ that ended in disaster. The simple fact is that no one can know, going into a marriage, which his is going to be.
Whatever the case, whether a man’s marriage ends in divorce simply isn’t up to him. He can be the finest man on the planet, the most loving father, the best provider, but if Ms. Once-Believed-to-Be Right decides to end it, she can, no questions asked.
That too isn’t the half of it. For an adult, divorce is one thing. It may be devastating, it may mean the loss of hard-earned assets. For men, it usually does, but assets can be replaced and adults can move on from emotional trauma. But when kids are involved, the trauma can easily become tragedy for the dad and his kids. The loss of assets bears no resemblance to the loss of children. Watching from afar as his children suffer terribly from losing him and paying his ex both child and spousal support for the privilege all too often become too much for a father to bear and he ends his life.
Sound inviting? It doesn’t to Lloyd either.
What his word count likely didn’t allow him to address was that the divorce and custody system doesn’t just harm fathers and children; it’s madness on a society-wide scale. In every way, marriage between men and women is a good thing for a productive, orderly society. Married adults are more likely to be employed than their unmarried counterparts, less likely to commit crimes, less likely to abuse drugs or alcohol or each other. In other words, they’re everything society wants.
And yet, against all that’s sane and sensible, we at every turn discourage marriage and encourage divorce. Specifically, we offer women and mothers sometimes quite rich financial enticements to split the sheets. Child support in excess of what it costs a mother to raise a child, alimony that can last a lifetime and the all-but-certain custody of her children are the big-ticket items, but there are others. She also gets roughly half of the marital assets regardless of how much she contributed to their acquisition. Along with child custody, she generally gets the family residence and at least some of his pension plan.
Given all that, it’s not hard to see why 70% of divorce filers in the United States are women. If the grass appears greener on the other side of the fence, it’s because the legal system has been diligently fertilizing and watering it for decades.
Lloyd’s piece is a personal one. He’s never going to marry and he wants readers to understand why. I hope he succeeds in convincing men who haven’t thought much about the potential repercussions of marriage to do so and to abstain.
But the bigger picture is our collective drinking of the Kool-Aid supplied back in the 60s. No-fault divorce and a welter of feminist special pleading have produced a system of divorce and child custody that is utterly antithetical to the real needs of people and the society they comprise. We have travelled this road long enough; we know where it leads. It is past time to make root-and-branch changes.
Peter Lloyd gets it. I hope men by the thousand read his work and turn away from the madness. Until they do, it’s bound to continue.
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