Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Stop! Don't Propose!

I regret not thinking to do this before Christmas, but at least I'll get it posted before the New Year. In subsequent years I'll bump it up to repost it before Christmas.


Guys, if you're thinking about proposing as a holiday surprise or just because you think it is a romantic time of year to propose, DON'T DO IT.

Odds are, proposing is a mistake. This is a statistical fact.

Consider:

1) 33-40% of first marriages end in divorce. It is well over 50% for second marriages (70% if stepchildren are involved).

2) Enough of the other marriages are problematic enough of the time that literally, between divorce and "bad" marriages (including marriages that effectively end but don't legally divorce, or in which one spouse dies or is killed by the other before divorce could take place) most marriages are a mistake.

3) On top of that, add in the engagements that don't make it to marriage that end with drama and/or bitterness.

So, statistically, proposing is a mistake, a very big mistake.

Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Exiting a Relationship With a Single Mother or a Childless Shack Up


Introduction

So you've either been woken out of your stupor or the slow-building discontent has finally become too intense, and you're ready to get out of your relationship with a single mother or a childless shack up. Being with a single mother* or living with a woman brings all sorts of complications and risks. So depending on how deep you're in, there are going to be different considerations.

Men who are NOT in such relationships should read this, too, to be informed about just how much trouble being in, and getting out of, such relationships can be, so they'll be motivated to avoid them.

How deep are you in?

If you married this woman (which would mean she's not a single mother anymore) and made a baby or babies with her, that's the worst of all scenarios, especially if you have adopted her children. Unless she is abusing you or the kids, the the best thing for the children is usually to stay put and be polite and as pleasant as possible until the youngest child is 18. The problem with that, is, in some places, like the state I live in, being married for ten years or "close enough" means you'll be paying lifetime alimony to her. The bulk of this entry is addressed to guys who haven't married the woman and haven't legally adopted her children.

You need an exit plan for your own self-preservation. If she or anyone else accuses you of not being a "real man" or that you're somehow lesser because you don't want to put up with mistreatment or someone else's responsibilities any more, just let it roll off your back. Who cares what they say? This is what they're saying, when you get right down to it. "You should spend your time, money, and energy doing things for me/her so I/she can spend  more of my/her own time, money, and energy on my/herself." She might cite things she does for you, and even if she does do those things, it doesn't matter. You're not obligated to stay with her, and you can either get by without those things or get them for a lot less money, time, and effort, or with someone who is more compatible with you and brings fewer negatives to the situation. You may have some emotional discomfort over the breakup, but that would fall entirely in the realm of normal, because the relationship became familiar to you and part of your routine. The discomfort will go away and it is better in the long run to be out of that relationship.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Employed Parents

You remember the guy who did the worst Prager U video ever, based on my personal opinion and viewer reactions? It's the video that told men they should get married because they'd earn more money but neglected to mention that 1) if his wife divorced him, most of his money would go to her and lawyers, and 2) even she stay married to him, most of his money would be spent by her? Yeah.

Well a tweet by him caught my attention. It linked to a Bloomberg story carried by Yahoo claiming that having children is a bad career move for women. The text of the tweet was:
As if money is the only thing to live for
Yup. From the guy who wanted men to stop doing the things they enjoyed under the lure of "you'll make more money!"

Rebecca Greenfield reports:

Thursday, December 01, 2016

Someone Might Have Beaten That Prager U Video Advocating Marriage

The Brad Wilcox video for Prager University that was thoroughly and effectively countered early in the year wasn't enough, apparently, because some other organization did a marriage-promoting video that is just about as bad, called "Why Bother With Marriage?"
"From many points of view, marriage is a costly hassle that makes no sense. Why, then, might there still be good reasons to get married?"
Obviously, you can go watch it yourself if you want a good laugh, but if not, here's their main point:

Being married makes is harder to leave each other.

I kid you not. That's their argument.

A lot of people would see that precisely as why they shouldn't bother getting married.

They say marriage places a high and costly barrier in the way of splitting up. To a breadwinning man, this is like saying, "You should glue weights to your scrotum, because it will hurt a lot when someone comes along and rips them away." What kind of selling point is that?!? Divorce can be legally obtained unilaterally for no reason. Yeah, it's a pain for a breadwinning husband to go through a divorce, but it is financially rewarding to his wife.

Isn't it obvious by how many divorces there are that marriage isn't stopping people from splitting up?!?

And the premise requires that marriage is otherwise beneficial. The video does make a feeble attempt to say that marriage is good because it provides structure and that relationships (which they neglect to stress can exist without legal marriage) help us mature, develop, and become whole. No, really. What kind of structure are they talking about? The video even says "we lock ourselves up willingly because we don't trust ourselves." Apparently only married people develop impulse control, too.

So, if we're really, really generous to them, they're making the point that relationships are good and that getting legally married makes it more likely we'll stay in a relationship even when we really want out of it.

Hmmm.

I don't think children are mentioned at all.

At this rate, the only hope people promoting marriage have is hoping that men are masochists and/or lack critical thinking skills.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Where Was Kermit the Frog?

Tom Leykis spent the first two hours of his three hour show yesterday telling listeners they need to financially support his show. I pictured one of those PBS pledge drives of my childhood, with Kermit the Frog telling us why we should send in money. Of course there's a huge difference.

Friday, November 25, 2016

Is It Now Irresponsible to Have Children?

I'm not talking about overpopulation or carbon emissions or any of that dung. I'm also not talking about the world being a scary place. It has always been a scary place to some extent, at least since The Fall, if you believe in that sort of thing. In many ways, life is actually a lot better than at any time in (fallen) human history.

I ask if it is now irresponsible to have children because we're apparently unable to raise children within intact homes, with decent mothers and fathers.

My parents had twice as many children as my wife and I do, my father was highly dedicated to his career, and yet I think I hit the jackpot as far as having a good father. I compare myself to him and I find myself lacking as a father. I never got the feeling my father didn't want to spend time with me. Granted, I was very good at entertaining myself. Maybe my memory is skewed but I think he was far more likely to seek me out for shared activities than I was to seek him out.

That has carried over to being an adult. I like being alone. Just about everything I want to do at home is solitary. I know my kids need attention and want to do things with me, and if they ask me to do something with them I almost always agree and drop whatever else I'm doing.  But other than trying to get one to go along with me on errands so as to make brawls less likely, I don't ever seek them out just to play or interact for the sake of it.

I certainly don't feel like a good father. I see what other dads, some of them my friends, are doing and I just don't have the energy, time, or real desire to do it.

So I think I never should have had kids in the first place, between who I am and the reality of who my wife is.

If any one of the following is true, it is irresponsible to have children:

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Oh Well, Less Driving For Me

As I write this, it is the day before Thanksgiving, which is considered the biggest family holiday in the USA.

Even from before becoming an adult, before I married, I worked every Thanksgiving. Working an early shift or a late shift usually allowed me to spend time with my father, with my mother and siblings, and in some years, also with my girlfriend's family.



After marrying, I never worked another Thanksgiving. At first, we partook of our many options.

One year or two, my wife decided we would host and not go anywhere else. That went well enough with the people who did show up.

Spending the time with my father and his wife is now out of the question due to my wife's attitude towards them. It's a shame, not just for the lack of family togetherness, but because there's some seriously tasty gourmet cooking going on there.

My mother used to host a big group, but she's running low on energy now, so things have switched to a sister of mine hosting, and for a year or two my mother paid for everyone to eat at a high-end restaurant buffet. This year, that sister and her family are otherwise involved. My brother my go with his shack-up's relatives. I thought he was going to pick up food and take it to our mother's; my wife was expecting that based on what my mother said, and since my wife doesn't want to be around my brother's shack-up and her kids, we were not going to my mother's (I had been willing to order food and bring it.)

The other obvious place would be my wife's married sister's place. However, my wife doesn't want to be around her sister and brother-in-law because of disagreements over politics and discussions thereof in front of our children.

Do you see a pattern here?

So, it looks like we're going to stay home, and almost certainly not have a traditional turkey or ham. The sibling of my wife who lives with us is working, and after that shift, it will be me, my wife, our kids, my wife's sibling, and sibling's spouse.

I have invited my mother to join us if my brother and his group aren't going to her place. She insists she's going to happy either way.

Enough about me for now... If you're in the USA or you are an American, I hope you have a great Thanksgiving with no drama and no trauma.

See my previous entry on Dealing With Holidays

Monday, November 21, 2016

Dealing With the Holidays

[Bumping up from last year. This year there is the added "fun" of your family members badmouthing you over your vote in this month's election. Oh, the joy.]

Here we are yet again, facing another "holiday season" kicked off by Thanksgiving, meaning that unmarried men everywhere (in the USA, anyway) are going to be hounded by family about their marital status.

In past years, I have posted a reminder about the holidays and almost all of it still holds up. The one change is that I no longer think couples who have children or are expecting should be encouraged to marry. Our culture, especially our oh-so-holy Supreme Court, has declared that marriage isn't about children. It's solely about the feelings of adults at any given moment. As such, nobody should feel any obligation whatsoever to marry no matter what the circumstances. (Sorry, folks, if two men can get "married" then marriage can't be about children. If you thought removing gender integration from marriage wouldn't have any negative consequences, well, you were wrong. You can't demand other people live as though it hasn't changed.)


Dr. Laura and others have been talking about dealing with stress. From what I can see, 90% of holiday stress is dealing with a spouse and in-laws or your own family giving you trouble about them or not having them. For unmarried, child-free men, some the remaining 10% is from co-workers and bosses pressuring you to work (or work more) because you "can" since you're not dealing with a spouse or children like they are.

As with things like marital counseling, we see that much stress can be avoided if you refuse to marry (or even be in a relationship), and refuse to impregnate a woman. Tom Leykis advises, and I agree, that if you're in a relationship (which he advises against in the first place) or a woman is getting too clingy or demanding, that NOW is the time to ditch her. You don't have to call her up and tell her you're ditching her. Just refuse to take her calls and don't respond to most of her texts. Make it sound like you are very, very busy. You don't want to go with her to parties or meet her family. So you want to avoid her from now until February 15. That way, you avoid spending time and money on her for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, and Valentine's Day, and you avoid giving her the impression that you're looking to make a lifelong commitment to her.

You can also refuse to let your family hound you about your status as unmarried and child-free. You can either avoid them entirely or handle their hounding in a way that will get them to back off from you, at least for a while.

If you avoid your family entirely, attend or host an "orphans'" Thanksgiving for your friends who won't be going home. Or join the throngs helping out at homeless centers. Really, though, there is absolutely nothing wrong with hanging out at home and catching up on rest or hobbies.

If you ARE going to deal with your family, this new page of this blog might be of some help. I really should make people think again about what they're asking you to do to yourself when they pressure you to get married.

If you really want to be nasty, you hold up a mirror to their own relationships and describe all of the trouble and expense they've brought upon themselves because they married, or moved someone end, or some other relationship mess.

Also helpful pages:

The Challenge to Provide Just One Good Reason to a Man to Get Married

Take the Quiz: Should You Get Married?





Do I HAVE to Get Away?

It's my turn to plan a getaway for just the two of us - no kids.

And I have no desire to actually do it.


Thursday, November 03, 2016

Commitment

From Merriam-Webster:

Simple Definition of commitment


  • : a promise to do or give something
  • : a promise to be loyal to someone or something
  • : the attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something

Full Definition of commitment


  1. 1 a :  an act of committing to a charge or trust: as (1) :  a consignment to a penal or mental institution (2) :  an act of referring a matter to a legislative committee b :  mittimus
  2. 2 a :  an agreement or pledge to do something in the future; especially :  an engagement to assume a financial obligation at a future date b :  something pledged c :  the state or an instance of being obligated or emotionally impelled commitment to a cause>

When marriage is called a commitment, what is meant by that?

Legally, absent a valid prenup (and nobody knows for sure if it is valid until a judge decides in a divorce), there's a commitment to share finances. Since most women choose to marry men who do or will earn more than they do, this is usually a commitment for a man to financially support a woman. Usually, it also means that the man will be the default father to any child born to the woman during the marriage, regardless of who the actual biological father is. This disadvantages cuckolded men and benefits women whose husbands are better off financially than their adultery partners. It advantages men who want rights to a child who was actually conceived by donated sperm. The force of law enforces this, ultimately at the barrel of a gun. Divorce can usually be obtained unilaterally without any actual justification. In other words, in a state like California, which is community property and no-fault and has lifetime alimony after ten years of marriage, a woman can be a lousy wife, then file for divorce after ten years with the husband paying her lawyers, take half of everything, and live on the alimony for the rest of her life and, if that isn't enough, the "child support" for a child that wasn't even conceived by her husband.

Socially, there is usually (but not always) a stated commitment to fidelity and to "love, honor, and cherish". There is no enforcement mechanism for this commitment. It is only a matter of personal will, peer pressure, etc. If someone fails to keep these commitment, there is usually no effect on the legal/financial commitment. As such, women can actually be financially rewarded for NOT following through on this commitment. Also, the average man has a higher sex drive and desire for sexual variety and ability to enjoy casual sex than the average women (yes, there are exceptions, but we're talking about generalities). This is undeniable given the worldwide all-time history of prostitution. Also, since men tend to become more desirable to more women (up to a certain age) as they acquire more money, power, fame, experience, and confidence and women tend to lose their ability to attract men as they age (especially with the loss of fertility), the social commitment to fidelity is something that is more of a benefit to women. The supposed commitment a woman makes to take herself off the market from "higher bidders" doesn't really mean much, because subsequent suitors are less and less likely to be better catches, and she can commit adultery without negative legal or financial consequences and few, if any, negative social consequences. There are so many people who have tossed aside the social commitment and suffered little to no negative consequences with family, friends, etc.

Many people also understand marriage to be a religious commitment, however in the USA, freedom of religion means that the only way this commitment is enforced, if it is at all, is that if someone does not keep this commitment, they may lose some standing in a religious organization to which they voluntarily belong. Anyone who doesn't believe marriage is actually a matter of spiritual consequence will see this as mere an extension of the social commitment. However, even if one does believe there is a spiritual element in marriage, many people who appear to have been devoted and faithful Christians, for example, have divorced and gone about their merry lives in full acceptance of their churches. How many practicing Jews are doing just fine in socializing at their synagogue with a divorce or two behind them?

Do people grieve over divorce? Sure, some people do suffer in breakups whether or not they were married. But the only firm, consistent, widespread commitment I see in all of this is the breadwinner (usually the man) committing to financially supporting the other spouse and men committing to assume paternity (which men can sue for if they really want it and aren't married).

In my life, my wife "committed" to getting financial guarantees from me. Now, she has these guarantees whether or not we stay married. She can easily have me kicked out of my own home and compel me to pay for her to still live there. Breaking her social commitment to me comes with no legal or financial penalties, but rather financial rewards. This seems detrimental to social commitment. In living with me or even just dating me (which are things that can be done with or without marriage) she was placing herself in a vulnerable position because I'm bigger and stronger and could do her harm (although I'd be rightly prosecuted for doing so). But I do sleep, and she could easily kill me as I do. She could also physically attack me while I'm awake and defending myself would likely result in my arrest and likely prosecution.

To be sure, if she were to break the legal commitment she'd lose most of my services other than financial. She already has all of the paternity service she needs from me (and since I am snipped, there will be no adding to it), but she would lose my attention and lose me as her butler, bodyguard, driver, financial manager, assistant, errand boy, etc. and likely would lose my sexual services as well, although since she really doesn't have much desire for sexual services from anyone, I suppose that wouldn't be much of a loss for her.

My wife has gained much by marrying. She always wanted to be a wife and mother (or, at least, have those titles). Her bills get paid and she has me to literally stop her from killing herself. Her only loss is that as long as she allows me to be around, she'll be dealing with whatever annoyances I cause. I'm out earning income and commuting to do so much of the time, or running errands. At home, I never come to her with requests for her to do something other than asking her out (which is usually turned down), so if I am annoying to her, the annoyances are fleeting. What have I gained from marrying? Well, the infrequent mercy sex I get is technically within marriage, so it isn't fornication, so there's supposed to be a spiritual benefit there. She does drive the kids to and from school most days of the week, and she did give me children (though because she hid it from me until it was too late, she's passed along mental illness to at least one of them, which is something I very much wanted to avoid) but doesn't (can't?) really do much to mother them. She's pleasant enough to look at (quite beautiful actually). And she does some of the shopping. But after the morally-approved sex, those are all things I could get without any commitment whatsoever and certainly without marrying. I've taken on significant obligations, struggle, and stress in this commitment, putting my own financial, emotional, and physical well-being at risk.

There's commitment for you.

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Daycare is Almost Always Voluntary and is Generally a Bad Choice

One of the most repeated sentiments in parenting conversations these days is parents claiming that they "had no choice" but to put their kid(s) into daycare or that it is a GOOD thing for the kids.

In almost every case, this is a big, stinking pile of dung.


Putting a child in daycare comes at the end of a series of CHOICES that the parent(s) made. By the way, day care is anything before the kid is 5, whatever it is called... nursery school, pre-K, transitional K, pre-school... it's all daycare.

If you aren't "able" to raise your own child, don't have one!

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Dr. Laura and the Dilemma of Facebook

[This is from July 2013, but I'm bumping it up because it is relevant.]

While I'm a huge fan of Dr. Laura Schlessinger and her media offerings, and agree with her on many important things, I do have my quibbles with what she tells listeners/callers. Many of those quibbles have to do with technology.

Dr. Laura started off her show yesterday talking about social media, and what not to put on your Facebook page (you know, pictures of you getting drunk… stuff like that). She again took the opportunity to say that people shouldn’t have personal Facebook pages. If her listeners didn’t, however, they wouldn’t be able to comment on her show’s Facebook page, which daily solicits comments on various topics.

What Dr. Laura may not know, because she makes it clear she doesn’t have a personal Facebook page, is that people can adjust their settings so that their Facebook pages are completely private. And yeah, I know there may be an occasional breech by a hacker, or an error on the part of Facebook, or one of those annoying deliberate overhaul of the settings Facebook seems to do every few months and it might “default” people into having things “public” that they want private. Even so, people can be limited about what they put into their Facebook to begin with.

In the third hour, she got a call from parent asking when a child should be allowed to be on social media. Dr. Laura said "18". She said it doesn't hurt the child to NOT be on social media.

I disagree. It can definitely hurt the child, because if someone isn’t familiar with current, commonly used ubiquitous technologies, it could be limiting to everything from their education, to keeping up on current events, their access to information, their employment, and their careers.

Dr. Laura said that if it hurts not having it, then every generation before this one would have been damaged. She has often said previously “I didn’t have an iPad or smart phone when I was growing up. Somehow I survived.”

This can be said about ANY technology or innovation when it comes to previous generations, from television to radio to automobiles to telephones to bicycles to public libraries to spears with sharpened stones as tips.

Technology is a tool. It can be used for good or ill. Humanity moves on, and if people are not going to avail themselves of widely used technologies, they can be left behind.

Think about this. The typical modern office uses desktop and/or laptop computers and usually smart phones and tablets as well. A business or most other organizations are going to have websites and quite often a dynamic presence in social networking services. If you were hiring someone for a job in such an office, all other things being equal about two candidates for the job, are you going to hire an Amish person who has no previous experience even with anything electrical, or the person who knows how to use social networking to the benefit of the office’s mission?

Even looking for a job has changed. Back “in the day”, Dr. Laura would have had to pound the pavement to submit applications, after finding job listings in newspapers. If someone stuck to that now, they’d be very limited compared to the person who can find AND apply for jobs anywhere in the world from their own home.

Yes, some people reveal too much online or do stupid or evil things with social networking. But did you know that, unless you have purchased your home in a revocable trust (something most people don’t do) it isn’t hard for people to find out where you live? That can be dangerous. So do we all go live in caves?

Parents should allow their kids to have a limited, monitored presence on social media so that the kids can learn how it works and what it can do. One of the benefits for me is that I have had edifying conversations with people I would not have otherwise met. A parent may worry that their kid will seek a work-around to subvert the monitoring by their parents, but if that’s the child’s mindset, they’re probably going to use social media anyway through a library or their friend’s house and there’s a bigger problem going on anyway.

ADDITION October 26, 2016: There's nothing wrong with adults already established or retired from their careers having Facebook accounts, either. Facebook is, basically, a web organization tool, bringing together many things that used to be offered by different services and tying them together. It can help small businesses, it can help families and friends stay in touch, and it can help people stay organized, Nobody has to place any private information there for public consumption. Dr. Laura will tell people to pick up the phone and call people or drive to see them in person. There is not always possible, and on Facebook a group of people can be engaged in a way that simply wouldn't be possible in-person. Facebook and  other online tools should not replace in-person interaction. But they can augment them and "extend" them in beneficial ways. Technology marches on, like it or not.


I've written about Dr. Laura and technology before, here, here, here, here, and here.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Don't Be Like Me

There was a time I was unmarried, child-free, and living a darn good life.

To be sure, I was working a lot. I had a full-time job, a part-time job, and I freelanced. But the part-time job and the freelancing were mostly about having fun and interacting with my friends. Since I had budgeted my living expenses based on just my full-time job, everything else I earned went directly into savings.

And saving I was. And investing. I was on track to be able to retire very comfortably.

I was renting. Sure, it wasn't owning, but it also meant that no problem with the property was my problem - it was the landlord's, and I had the easy option of moving if I needed to. As it was, I was living a short drive from my full-time job.

I was hanging with my friends and spending time ALONE (which I very much enjoyed) in my free time and otherwise doing what I wanted to do.


As long as I showed up to work, filed my taxes, paid my rent, paid my utilities, and paid my credit cards, which I easily paid off every month, I was meeting my obligations - and I had no trouble doing any of that. I had no mortgage, no property taxes, no homeowner's insurance, no car payments, no school payments, no medical bills beyond insurance and a small co-pay for doctor visits, no student loan payments.  I didn't even need exercise equipment or a gym membership because one of my jobs kept me in shape.

I was fully able to shop for and prepare my own food, take care of my laundry, and keep my place clean.

Basically, my biggest problem was scheduling. If I wanted to do something that was going to take place when I normally worked, I needed to ask for the time off well in advance. Or have a good enough track record to take a sick day.

I had also gotten the hang of dealing with women so as to avoid spending any more time, money, energy, or emotion than necessary. There were women who were all wrong for me, who tried to get their hooks into me, and I limited interaction to what I wanted. I went on dates, and didn't sacrifice my wallet or myself in doing so.

It was a carefree life.

I decided I was open to marriage and fatherhood, if I found the right woman with whom I could do these things. (Before that, I was under the assumption that I should seek to marry and raise children.)

My mistake was believing that such a woman could possibly exist.

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Woman Attempts to Abort Famous Person's Grandchild, Then Goes Public

Pro-life LifeSiteNews.com has a headline invoking "Star Wars" and Mark Hamill because, like so many millions of other people, he apparently encouraged a woman knocked up by his son to kill off his grandchild before that child could be born.
The lie behind the abortion movement's slogan, "a woman’s right to choose," is known to the women who have experienced heavy pressure - and often outright coercion - to abort their babies.
Yeah, it's funny how so many people who say "It should be her choice" whenever anyone says elective abortion is a bad thing 1) want strangers to be forced pay to have her child killed, and 2) speak out against women who CHOOSE to deliver their children, especially if they already have more than a couple.
Indeed, as countless testimonies from post-abortive women attest, the pressure exerted on women to kill their children - by husbands or boyfriends, and even their own families - is often so extreme as to make the word "choice" a mockery.
Most of the boyfriends would drop the pressure entirely if they could unilaterally choose a "financial abortion" the way women can unilaterally choose an actual abortion. Now this is where someone will say, "If he doesn't want to pay, he should keep it in his pants!" but many of the same people will be enraged if someone else says that if she doesn't want to be pregnant she should keep her legs together. He's expected to "live up to his responsibilities" when his choice in the matter literally ends as soon as his cells leave his body but her choices continue for 9+ months. So much for equality.

This experience of pressure when she was at her most vulnerable played itself out recently in the life of Maegan Chen, a Los Angeles model who was seeing Nathan Hamill, son of Mark Hamill, best known for his portrayal of Luke Skywalker in the Star Wars movies.
I wonder how many guys she's dated who aren't wealthy or don't have rich parents? Not that the answer has anything to do with anything.

Friday, September 16, 2016

You Can Be Right or You Can Be Married

Have you ever heard that saying I used as the title of this entry?

Have you seen the exchange written in the picture to the left, or anything like it? Or experienced something like it?

When I got engaged, someone gave me a graph depicting a man's chances winning and argument. It starts at 50%, then goes to 25% when he gets engaged, then to 0% when he married.

How many times have you heard men told that the key to a happy marriage is to learn to say "Yes, Dear."?

Consider this recent letter from a listener to Dr. Laura:
Winning Isn't Everything

I have been married for 27 years, and I have a few thoughts to share about working through arguments with your loved one.

1.You should listen enough to at least let the other person articulate their issue or point of view.

2.Do not force the other person to listen if they don't want to!

3.Listen to YOURSELF so that you are not ever speaking too loudly, with harshness or even a hints of sarcasm.

4.It doesn't matter who wins - it's how both parties feel afterwards.

Sometimes being a good loser makes you both winners.

The letter is really good right up to the underlined part.

I realize that letter is to be considered by both husbands and wives, but the bulk of these things are directed at husbands. We're told in many ways that we're supposed to simply accept and/or announce that we're wrong even when there hasn't been a logical explanation that even demonstrates the possibility that we are. We're supposed to cater to unjustified or even irrational hostility, demands for apologies, and her claim of control, except where she has inconsistently and temporarily (and often silently) ceded some power back to us.

Thursday, September 08, 2016

Privacy For Nuclear Families and Empty Nesters

Dr. Laura has this thing in which she says once the youngest kid is 18, they should be be out. She's also against adult siblings and elderly parents moving in to a husband & wife home or even onto their property in a separate dwelling. She says this is because the husband and wife need their privacy.

I scratch my head with this one. Almost everything Dr. Laura says makes a lot of sense, especially when you know her reasons. I don't recall hearing her reasons for this.

The grown kids should be out, from what Dr. Laura has said, for their own good. They need to spread their wings and get the hang of flying on their own. Adult siblings, like everyone else, should be able to pull themselves up by their bootstraps and live independently. As far the the elderly parent, I can't help but wonder if this is somehow related to Dr. Laura's own personal experience.

She doesn't say that, though. She says the husband and wife need their privacy.

I can understand that some people want their privacy. They want to live alone with their spouse and nobody else. Fantastic. They should have their privacy.

But she makes it as a blanket statement for everyone.

What if both spouses sincerely WANT the sibling or the parent(s) there?

My guess is that Dr. Laura's position is that, deep down, the unrelated spouse can't possibly want their sibling-in-law or parent-in-law living on the same property.*

Thursday, August 25, 2016

People Dr. Laura Schlessinger Has Pissed Off

Dr. Laura has pissed off a lot of people. Here's a list that I do not claim to be exhaustive. [TWEAKED AND EXPANDED August 20, 2013. Updated with #88 and #89 on December 21, 2014, #90 on May 26. 2015. Updated with #91-94 on August 25, 2016, with a few other slightly expanded.]

In no particular order:

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Monday, August 15, 2016

Taking a Dive

Unless you're avoiding all 2016 Rio Olympics coverage, you've seen at least an image of Qin Kai proposing to He Zi while He Zi was on the podium during her medal ceremony. Here's coverage from the National Public Radio (that's USA) website.
He Zi of China was standing on the podium after receiving a silver medal for diving in Rio on Sunday when her boyfriend, fellow diver Qin Kai, pulled out a ring and proposed marriage. It's the second proposal of the Rio Games.

Moments before Sunday's proposal, He had been dueling teammate and world champion Shi Tingmao for the gold medal in the 3-meter springboard final. It was shortly after the medal presentation that Qin — who owns gold medals from previous Olympics and has won bronze here in Rio — seized the moment.

"We are dating now for over six years, and I didn't know he would do this proposal," He said, according to the Federation Internationale de Natation, which oversees diving.

With tears and a hug, He accepted Qin's proposal.
I have heard/read a lot of "enlightened, strong" women denouncing the guy's timing, saying nothing should have been attached to, or inserted into, her moment. If she was upset, she didn't let on.

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

It Costs Too Much to Have Sex With My Wife

I'm not talking about money, although that can certainly apply, too. (You're paying half of your salary, guys. For fun, divide that by the number of times you have sex to figure out how much you're paying per session, especially if she doesn't do anything around the home.) [This entry is being bumped up.]


You are warned that the rest of this entry is about sex, and some of it gets a little detailed.

Thursday, July 28, 2016

Are You Surprised That Homemakers Are Valuable?

[This was originally posted in January 2012, but I'm bumping it up.]

Porcshe Moran has done that report that makes the news at least once a year, "How Much Is A Homemaker Worth?"

I say a good homemaker is priceless, especially if they make the home pleasant for the income earner and provide ever-present love and guidance to the next generation of citizens. But lets look at what is being said this time around.

We examined some of the tasks that a homemaker might do to find out how much his or her services would net as individual professional careers. We only take into consideration tasks which have monetary values and use the lowest value for each calculation.

Private Chef
Meal preparation is one of the major tasks of most homemakers. From breakfast to dinner, there is plenty of meal planning and cooking to be done. The American Personal Chef Association reports that its personal chefs make $200 to $500 a day. Grocery shopping is another chore that needs to be factored in. A homemaker must drive to the supermarket, purchase the food and deliver it to the home. Grocery delivery services charge a delivery fee of $5 to $10.

Total cost for services: $1,005 per five day work week x 52 weeks = $52,260 per year.

The article does similar calculations for:

House Cleaner
Child Care
Driver
Laundry Service
Lawn Maintenance

I'm surprised they left out prostitution, but maybe they take the approach that women actually like lovemaking, too. Then then the conclusion is:

Total for a year of all services is: $52,260 + $6,137 + $31,200 + $4,168 + $936 + $1,560 = $96,261 per year.

Uh huh.

The daily work of a homemaker can sometimes be taken for granted by his or her family members.

Unfortunately, that's true, and it is also true that some feminists denigrate women for being homemakers, as do political types who want more income to tax, employers who want more labor supply to lower labor costs, and businesses who want people to have more "disposable" income to spend on crap they don't really need.

I've already addressed reports like this in this previous entry.

I do want you to know that in general, if you don't like your chef, cleaner, daycare provider, driver, laundry service, or gardener you can fire them either immediately or with very short notice, and paying your latest bill will settle the matter. You generally do not sign lifetime contracts with them. However, if you marry someone who promises to be a homemaker and it turns out that person does next to nothing or does a horrible job, in states like the one I live in the default, standard contract is that "firing" them means giving them half of everything you earned while they were in the contract with you, and continuing to pay them one day for every two days you had the contract, or for life if they were under contract with you for ten years. There is NO penalty for failing to perform any of the tasks adequately.

Thursday, July 21, 2016

Monday, July 18, 2016

Someone Please Call and Ask This

I want to hear a call like this to Dave Ramsey or any conservative and/or business/financial commentator who will answer questions/give advice through call-in show. Dave Ramsey is ideal because he gives financial advice and is popular in conservative religious circles:

I want to know your thoughts about this pending deal because I’m getting cold feet.

I have a friend with whom I’ve had what amounts to a weekend hobby for a few years. We often get together a couple of nights in a week, too. My buddy wants to take it to the next level, though, with papers and everything. He wants to form a partnership and register it with the state.

Although there’s nothing in the written contract that penalizes either of us for working with others, my potential partner expects I will put all of time and resources into the partnership, and said there'd be Hell to pay if I even thought of doing a side project with someone else and the partnership would be over.

With the people who've prepared like we have, who hire a consultant like we have, there's about a 40% failure rate of these ventures. Failure would mean not only would half of the assets go to my partner, but I would have to pay my partner’s attorney fees, and I would be obligated to pay money to my partner based on the length of the partnership; if the partnership had lasted ten years or more, I’d be making payments in perpetuity.

There is the possibility that products would be created within the partnership that could be liabilities and financial drains for 18-25 years; I would be expected to cover those costs, including more than necessary if manage to earn a high income. There is a possibility, but by no means a certainty, that the products will provide me with some nominal income late in my life.

Even though there is an expectation that we would not work outside of the partnership, many people who’ve entered into these agreements have done that anyway, and like I said, there is no penalty for doing so. If my partner incurs a liability with someone else, I would be obligated to pay for it for 18-25 years.

Finally, my partner has indicated that soon into the partnership, I will be the person solely responsible for bringing in revenue; my partner plans to provide intangible contributions, such as encouragement, but would not be penalized at all for not doing so. Even without bringing in any revenue, my partner would still get at least half of the assets in the event the partnership ended.

Do you think this is a good deal for me?


Of course those of you who read this blog know exactly what I'm talking about. From a purely financial perspective, it would be insane to tell someone this is a good partnership to enter.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Why Aren't You Married?

[I'm bumping up this entry because it is as relevant as ever. I noticed that I indicated that things go well in my marriage some of the time. "Well" is a relative term. If you would have described to me the "good" time in my marriage now before I married, I wouldn't have married.]

Even when things are going well in my marriage, I’m not one of those married guys who thinks everyone should be married. Unless someone has a baby on the way, it irritates me when I see someone pressuring someone else to get married.

Whether you are officially on a marriage strike or you have decided marriage is not for you, the fact is that most people will get married at some time in their life, and so many people assume everyone wants to get married. Whether from relatives or coworkers or women who want you to buy them drinks, guys get to hear it over and over again: "Why aren't you married?"

If you are part of Men Going Their Own Way, or you are a marriage striker, or have simply decided marriage is not for you, what works as a good reply to this annoying question? Being married, I don’t use these, of course, but let's look at a few possible replies. Please comment with any good ones you have, too.

Here are six responses, getting progressively more provocative (I keep in mind that casual sex is no loner discouraged in our culture):

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Stuff Husbands Say To Unmarried Guys

When a married man says to unmarried men that "sex isn't that important", or "sex doesn't matter so much in marriage" here are the likely possibilities about what is going on, in no particular order:

1) He's deeply hurt by his wife's rejections, so he's trying to soothe himself.

2) He's bored from being limited to sex with the same aging woman for years with no change in sight, especially if she isn't enthusiastic anymore.

3) He has a low libido.

4) There's sexual dysfunction, whether ED or premature ejaculation, or something else on his part or her part.

I've always understood that actual, physical, marital lovemaking is only going to take up a small percentage of the time you spend with your spouse. However, it is something that is going to be thought about a lot, something that is anticipated. There's the flirting, the hugging and kissing, the touches and pats... at least, there should be. It's important.


I used to wonder what the appeal was to sit and watching regular-season sporting events not involving your local team, or going golfing, fishing, hunting, or the local bar so often. Then I got married. So now I understand better the appeal of those things. But I refuse to try to convince myself that sex isn't important. The blunt truth of the matter is that if you would have told me, back when I was deciding whether or not to get married, that things would be the way they are when it comes to our sex life, I wouldn't have married. That's one reasons I write these entries. I'm not going to try to convince unmarried guys to get married, especially by saying something as depressing as "sex isn't that important".

Read what I wrote about translating happy hubby talk.


Thursday, June 23, 2016

Translating Happy Hubby Talk

Recently I considered what I'm sure I've realized before... that many men who say how great and wonderful marriage is either had no game as bachelors or felt guilt about fornicating. A lot of them are, and always have been, nerds. They couldn't get laid when they were younger, but once some woman figured that she'd better cash in her aging chips and look for "security" and a "good provider" (someone who'd actually be able to pay her way through life) and that she could settle for a nerd because he would have a dependable high salary and probably wouldn't whore around.


Thursday, June 16, 2016

It Is Important for Husbands to Speak Up Honestly

Married men are happier* than unmarried men.

That's what we hear all of the time.

Now, it may technically be true. If you group ALL married men and ALL unmarried men and compare them, the married men may report being happier than the unmarried men.

This doesn't mean that signing a legal contract with the state is what has made a man happy. There are many other possible explanations.

First, though, notice that when you group ALL unmarried men together, you are grouping in divorced men, widowed men, men who want to get married but haven't been able to find/win over the "right" woman (likely because they are financially struggling or ill or have some other condition that might make them unhappy), and generally unhappy men, who are less likely to attract and keep a wife. We need studies that compare intentionally unmarried men to married men. My guess is that intentionally unmarried men would report being as happy or even happier than married men. Also, notice that these are percentages about a population. You'll find individuals who are unmarried but happier than the average husband, and married  men who are very unhappy in comparison to the average bachelor. Is there any way to guarantee you'll be in the higher levels of happiness? Not that I know of, but when a man is unmarried he has far more control over his own situation.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Dr. Laura Schlessinger Show Bingo

[Update: Recently (June 2016) someone sent Dr. Laura Bingo into the show and she republished it. I think mine is better.]


Only a true fan could come up with this.

Please see explanatory notes below.


1) Shares Her Personal Life (sailing, dogs, exercises)
2) Pressures Caller, Perhaps to Fabrication
3) Just Accept It Because You Have No Power
4) 2nd Marriages Are Less Important
5) Caller Really Needs a Doctor, Lawyer, or Accountant
6) Tells Caller in a Partnership to Take Unilateral Action
7) Caller Falsely Claims Not to Know
8) Caller Gets MA'AMED or SIRRED or Whistled
9) It’s Not Really Marriage w/o Shared Accounts
10) There’s No Commitment w/o Marriage
11) Hoping/
Wishing/
Feeling Doesn’t Cut It
12) Hangs Up on Caller
13) Clueless Caller Type #1 (has radio turned up, etc.)
14) Dating is Only For Marriage
15) Marriage Isn't Really a Commitment w/o Children
16) Gets Annoyed at a Caller’s Theism
17) Tells a Man "What a Man Does".
18) Clueless Caller Type #2 (not a listener)
19) Sounds Like She Treats Dating/Marriage as Prostitution
20) Minors and Technology
21) Tells Caller to Be More Like a Wild Animal
22) Tells Caller to Be Less Like a Wild Animal
23) Think of Your Husband or Kid As a Dog
24) Caller Lacked Psychic Sexual Knowledge
25) Appeals to Her Childhood


Tuesday, June 07, 2016

Does Saving It Make it Better or Divorce-Proof Your Marriage?

A letter was printed at drlaura.com from someone who endorses saving sex for marriage:
Abstinence until marriage is the best!!! It's also the BEST gift you could ever give your future spouse.

To say you WAITED for them, instead of shacking up and throwing the benefits and blessings of marriage to the wind. If you do have sex without the blessing of marriage, you rob yourself and your partner of the best blessing you will ever know.

Its not anything special if you don't wait.
No indication is given as to the sex of the writer, but I think it is safe to say it is a written by a devoutly religious married woman who is happy with her husband, at least for now.

Let's look at it bit by bit.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Reality TV is Not Reality

[I'm bumping up this entry because another season of The Bachelorette has started.]

It should come as no surprise to any adult with any sense that "reality" television is not reality. News teams that attempt to give us reality for the sake of informing us quite often fail to provide reality (often by what they don't show) - so shows that are openly about entertainment certainly aren't going to be reality.

I bring this up now not just because another season of that joke, The Bachelor, has come and gone, but because comedian and podcast superstar Adama Carolla recently explained a few important things we didn't see on a recent episode of Celebrity Apprentice. As the article points out, since real charities will have to deal with real consequences as a result of how the show plays out, it is a little more important how producers manipulate the situation than, say, what happens on the latest Kardashian series or season of The Bachelor.

I like Adam's work. If nothing else, I would have liked to see him continue on the show because of the humor he brought to it.

"Reality" television is not reality. It simply features characters who are aware, and behave according to that awareness, that they are on a television show. What is that? Postmodern? Self-aware? There's probably a better term than "reality".

On Law and Order SVU, the character Detective Benson is not aware she is on a television show.

On The Bachelor, every single one of the participants is a character, even if the actors are using their real names or actual stage names, who are all aware they are on a reality show. Same goes goes for Survivor or Celebrity Apprentice or Storage Wars any other "reality" show.

Just as it is with other television shows, the writers, directors, producers, and editors can craft the shows to portray the characters in way the performers might not be like in their lives.

The difference is, more people are likely to realize that a character on a "scripted" sitcom or drama is not the same as the actor portraying that character. Yes, some people have had trouble with that, but I think fewer people have trouble with that than with "reality" shows. Since some reality shows record and entire season before any of it airs, the participants might have no clue what's being done to their character until it is too late to attempt to do anything about it.

See this previous entry on The Bachelor and this one as well.

[For what it is worth, producers and participants have pretty much revealed that the shows of The Bachelor franchise are somewhat artificial and "scripted" or a put-on, rather than reality.]

Thursday, May 19, 2016

Wilcox Still Trying to Stop the Bleeding From Prager University Marriage Video

First Prager University squandered some of its great status, and now The Federalist is having a little part of itself die on the same hill.

, perhaps reeling from the response to his Prager U video, wrote about some of the responses. (His appearance on Prager's radio show wasn't enough.)


The title?
"The Divorce Revolution Has Bred An Army of Women Haters"
Let's get something straight right away:

1) One need not hate women to be a marriage striker. One only has to see that legal "marriage" is not for them. They don't even have to see legal "marriage" (LM) as a bad thing to see that marriage isn't for them, or that Wilcox's argument in the Prager University video was severely misleading.

2) It's not just about divorce. It is about the whole process of getting into a relationship and being in LM.

3) One need not hate women to see that most American (or British, or Canadian or...) women are not good wife material.


The subtitle:
The divorce revolution has created a large minority of men who are ambivalent or hostile towards sacrifice, commitment, women, and marriage.

Many marriage strikers are willing to sacrifice. They just aren't willing to make the sacrifices required by today's LM and social marriage for your typical American woman.

Many marriage strikers do make all sorts of commitments. But they are unwilling to make certain bad or harmful commitments. If a realtor was offering you a rapidly deteriorating house that already wasn't meeting your needs, for a seven-figure price requiring a mortgage with a 15% interest rate, and you said "no", would that mean you're "hostile towards commitment"?

Many marriage strikers are not hostile or ambivalent towards women. They just don't see LM as any  benefit to them, even if they're with a great woman.

Monday, May 16, 2016

Is Ongoing Victim Status Warranted?

While searching Twitter for Dr. Laura stuff, it became apparent that the last call she took at the end of today's first hour got on the nerves of several people on Twitter, and likely a lot of other people in the audience who didn't take to Twitter.

If you catch the podcast, it started  at 40:23 and is from "Linn" (not sure of the spelling, but a woman). She's 57, and she said she has two older brothers, one of them being two years older. She went on to say that when she was 11 and/or 12, (making him 13/14), he did some sexual things with/to her for a couple of years, about half a dozen times.

Generally, and it was consistent for this call, Dr. Laura notes that if there is less than four years age difference between teens/preteens and there isn't threats or force or anything along those lines, the therapeutic community tends to look at these things not as abuse, but as mutual messing around out of adolescent or childhood curiosity (although, Dr. Laura noted that a lot of feminist/victim-bent counselors would feed into the caller's perspective of it all being horrendous abuse on the part of her brother).

The caller said she would freeze, and that she knew it was wrong. She also said she'd "blocked out" some of it. Those are the "magic words" for Dr. Laura, who dismisses (as, now, do many therapists) "repressed/recovered" memories. She notes that there are a lot of military people with PTSD that wish they had the ability to repress memories. I'd like to believe Dr. Laura is right, but I also wonder if SOME people can repress memories and others "can't".

Anyway, Dr. Laura noted that they were close in age, and also gave the caller a chance to throw in if her brother had been threatening or forceful or whatever, but the caller didn't. Clearly, Dr. Laura expected that if the caller was entirely a victim (rather than being somewhat curious or horny herself), she would have done something after the first or second time... told someone, screamed, fought with him... something. The caller did say there was a time she walked away, but the rest of the time she said she was "frozen".

Dr. Laura referred to the situation as "complicated". She wasn't "blaming the victim". She was, from what I can tell, trying to depict a difference from reluctant, but willing participation in sex play and actually being forced or manipulated in an assault.

If I understood correctly, the caller waited until she was 45 to write a letter and read it to her brother. If he was truly predatory then he likely went on to abuse others. So that's a lot of time for him to go without anyone calling him out. At some point, someone who has been abused has a responsibility to protect others.

Did Dr. Laura botch this call? I don't think so. I can believe that the caller genuinely feels victimized and is still suffering as a result, but the question is why does she feel that way? Perhaps if she'd gotten the right help sooner, she'd be much better off now. Was her brother a predator, or just a curious boy? All we have is what the caller said, and she said she'd "freeze" and didn't tell anyone. I don't know... if I'd been that age and someone was doing something to me, I know I would  have told someone, unless it wasn't predatory and was mutual. But we're not all the same, are we? 11/12 is a little old to stay silent, I think, unless there's a whole 'nother story to what was going on in that family.

I never had any desire to do anything with my siblings. I never looked at them that way. Nothing ever happened between us. I was shy and modest. But as therapists know, childhood/adolescent messing around does happen between some siblings. It can be wrong without being a criminal or abusive matter.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Trying to Stop the Bleeding From a Bad Prager U Video

Following up on yesterday’s entry on the Prager University video trying to fool men into thinking legal marriage is good for them, I wanted to report that Dennis Prager had the host of the video (Wilcox) on his weekly “Male/Female Hour” that runs on Wednesdays. Having him as a guest on the show was probably planned ahead of time, as Prager frequently does that when new Prager U videos are posted. However, Prager did note that the video has gotten a lot of reaction, much of it negative.

Starting out, Prager said it is a “crisis” that more people don’t want to get married. He does admit that the family laws of most states aren’t fair to men, but he says that in his generation, to be a man meant getting married and supporting a family. Which is funny, because another woman can do that, including legally now.

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Brad Wilcox Tries to Sell Men on Marriage at Prager University - UPDATED

On the heels of my most recent post on reasons to get married, there's a new Prager University video trying to fool men into marrying. Prager U is generally a great thing, but Dennis Prager, twice divorced and in his third marriage (but at least he doesn't preach against divorce), is a frequent advocate for marriage and says men aren't really men unless they marry. (That must be news to The Pope.)

Anyway, here's the video featuring Brad Wilcox, Associate Professor of Sociology at the University of Virginia...

[OK, for the life of me, I can't figure out why Blogger eats embedded YouTube videos so that they disappear. They are both services of Google so I don't know why they can't work together without this happening. I'm getting tired of reposting the same videos to this entry, so I will also include the links to view them at YouTube.]

Here's the link to the Prager University video on YouTube that may or many not still be embedded immediately below. If you follow the link, you can read the comments, which are rightfully trashing the video.]



Fortunately, a transcript is provided. So here goes.
Take the case of Doug Taulbee. At age 18, Taulbee worked a minimum wage job operating a press at a factory in Indiana and lived in his parents’ basement. “I didn’t have a care in the world,” Taulbee says. “I didn’t even have any bills.”

But after marrying at 19 and having kids, Taulbee’s perspective changed: “I had to step up and think about others and start taking care of them.” Taulbee quit his factory job and joined the Army, where he made significantly more money and received housing and health care paid for by the military.

Whenever he saw a chance at promotion, he pursued it. It meant more money and benefits for himself and his family. Recently, in a bid to further boost his family’s income, he left the Army to work as a finance manager at a car dealership. He’s now pulling in six figures.

Lovely anecdote. I'd be interested in knowing if Mr. Taulbee stays married, and if not, what the terms of the divorce end up being.

1) How do we know Taulbee wouldn't have developed ambition without being married? We don't.

2) Plenty of men have ambition without being married.

But notice that he "didn't even have any bills" before marrying. So he's young and carefee. Then he got married and had bills to pay. So then he had to work more. What an endorsement!
Men who see no need to marry, or who are reluctant to marry until they make more money, could benefit from Taulbee’s discovery: Marriage has a transformative effect on the behavior, emotional health, and financial well-being of adults, especially men.
Translation: You are forced to stop doing what you want to do and you have to do what your wife says she wants you to do (but she'll probably claim later it wasn't really want she wanted you to do).

Monday, May 09, 2016

Finally! Reasons for a Man to Get Married

Here are some reasons for a man to get married in today's America:

1) He wants to lose control of his life.
2) He wants to lose control of his sex life.
3) He wants to lose control of his career.
4) He wants to lose control of his time.
5) He wants to lose control of his social life.
6) He wants to lose control of his money and finances.
7) He wants to lose control of his home.
8) He wants to lose control of his possessions.
9) He wants to spend his time, money, and energy doing what a woman wants him to do.
10) He doesn't have enough problems to deal with and wants to take on the problems of someone else.



When a man says "I want to get married", he's saying he wants to do those things listed above. He is saying he wants to only ever see naked and have sex with the same aging woman, who may consistently sexually reject him and let herself go, and will suffer no social or legal/financial penalty for doing so. He's saying "I have an abundance of time and money and I don't know what to spend that time and money on. I'm tired of making decisions about my life without having to argue with anyone."

You might also like:

When Someone Tells You That You Should  Get Married

Quiz For Men: Should You Get Married?

Wednesday, May 04, 2016

Bit By Bit

I could stand to lose weight.

I spend way too much time playing butler, driver, and commuting to and from work to squeeze in much exercise.


My wife's sister's husband lost weight, tracking his steps with one of those special wristbands. (His wife is still obese and he was never obese, but that's another story). So my wife asked me if I wanted one.

I declined. I already know how to eat less and move more.

But after my wife's most prominent ex-boyfriend died suddenly of a heart attack, my wife didn't ask me again; she bought me one of the devices and informed me after the fact. Mind you, this was the woman who insisted on having our most recent exercycle removed from the house because it was "taking up space" (if you could see where it was, you'd  laugh because there was plenty of space). I think I'd used it a grand total of zero times after she insisted on buying it to replace the previous, broken cycle (which I had used regularly for quite a while). One of the reasons, besides my additional time-consuming responsibilities, that I didn't ever use it is that the kids kept playing on it and, in doing so, had removed some parts. I had tried to keep the parts close to the machine, but what was futile. So, the money spent on it was entirely wasted.


My wife apparently thought that by buying me this  wristband device, I would suddenly find the time and will to actually track and input my food consumption and to exercise more. Never mind that from the time I get home until I finally get to sleep late, I'm usually butler to her and the kids.

The other day, I joked about fooling the device by tying it to something else that was mobile. Her reaction made it very clear to me that I was not to joke about the device, ever.

I had previously told her not to buy it for me. She did anyway. And now she expects that I'm going to change my behavior because I have a device I didn't want in the first place. Oooookaaaaay.

If she REALLY cared about my health so much, she'd prepare at least some of my meals, instead of none of my meals. (Remember, she's a SAHM.)

If she REALLY cared about my health so much, she'd make lovemaking a priority, and not a rare and brief thing.

If she REALLY cared about my health so much, she'd change things a bit so I could get more sleep and have less stress.

Of course she has reasons to want me alive. I wait on her and the kids hand and foot. I take care of the finances and mail. I keep the kids from beating her up (when I'm around). I do chores and errands.

But not enough to do anything to promote my longevity herself. No. Only enough to try to get me to add more to my figurative plate while putting less on my literal plate.

Monday, May 02, 2016

An Ugly Truth About Parenting

Have you noticed how many (seemingly billions) websites, magazines, newsletters, books, DVDs, etc. there are about parenting? I'm not even talking about the general stuff about pregnancy and child development. I'm talking about the ones telling you how to deal with problems, how to discipline children, etc.

They don't work.

Well at least, not for all or even most children, and not for long.

If they did work, there wouldn't be so many of them.

Oh, it's easy for someone to stand there lecturing you on how to parent and either you never see them interacting with their own children or it is for a short amount of time, edited. I'm sure they respond to complaints with "You're just not doing it right, or consistently."

But that is not always so. The truth is that no system is going to work all of the time for every child. It may work on one of your children... for a while. Kids adapt. a DVD or a book doesn't. It still tells you to do the same thing it told you to do a year ago. Ever watch Supernanny? Yeah, I wonder how things were going for some of those families a year or two later. Unless your child is stupid, your child anticipates your tactics and adapts accordingly, and being a child is their job. You have a lot of other things to think about in addition to disciplining your child.

This media that promises a peaceful home with well-behaved and well-adjusted children often contradict each other.

Don't ever spank! 
Spank, but with your open hand. 
Spank, but with an object, not your hand, which is only supposed to be gentle and welcoming.

Count out loud to 3 to give your child a warning. 
Don't count as that teaches the child they can screw up twice with no consequences.

Let infants and toddlers cry it out or you encourage them to wake up on the middle of the night and cry until they get attention.
Never let an infant or toddler cry it out; instead, provide them reassurance. 

Cosleeping.
Never bring your child into your bed.

And that's just the earlier years.

I just love hearing about parents or parental figures (usually a grandparent) that "never so much as raised a his voice" in dealing with brats. Sorry, I don't buy it. Either that person wasn't the primary disciplinarian, or the kids were unusually compliant (perfect future cubicle dwellers and fry cooks), or the man was on sedative drugs or the man was secretly kicking puppies when nobody was looking. Sorry, when I'm trying to prevent my children from killing themselves or maiming other kids, I might get a little forceful in my touching or loud in my vocalizations. Oooh, I'm such a bad parent.

Well guess what? There have been some great parents who have raised several kids, and most of them turn out fine and one of them turns out to be a serial killer. Is it really the fault of parenting? Usually not, in those cases. I mean, once it becomes apparent the kid is a sadist or sociopath it is possible the parent could have done them in, but instead the parent risks dead strangers and nasty remarks rather than going to prison themselves.

My siblings and I were raised in the same home, by the same parents. Yet each of us was very different even at early ages, as my father tried to explain to our elementary school principal.

I recently realized something that should have been so obvious to me before. Not even counting sociopaths and sadists, parents can't raise their children without inflicting some (emotional, psychological) harm, even if minor. You get any adult into therapy, no matter how great of a childhood they had and no matter what great and successful and happy people they are now, and there will be something that you will discover that their parents did wrong that still has a negative or limiting impact on them. None of us is perfect, and none of us is going to be a perfect parent. The ugly truth is, it is just a matter of which mistakes we're going to make in raising our children.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Are Pixels to Blame For a Decline in Marriage Rates?

That favorite villain of so many, "porn", is implied in recent news reporting to be a culprit in the marriage rate decline. See the headline of Paul Bedard's article at The Washington Examiner for one example: Shock study: Marriage rate declines with porn use, threatening economy, society

Yes, yes, out of everything that has happened,  let's blame pixels.
Pornography is replacing the desire among young men for marriage, according to a new study that finds males are chasing “low-cost sexual gratification” on the web over a wife and family.
Once again we see that people think men are supposed to pay a lot of money to have orgasms.

There's so much to be said, and so little time. 

1) Are there some men who say, "Hey, who needs marriage when I can watch porn?" There probably are a few - a very few. Let's think about those men for a moment. If a man who would and could otherwise marry is looking at porn as a replacement for marriage, that means the only thing he thinks women bring to marriage is visual/auditory sexual stimulation, or he thinks the other things women bring to marriage do not outweigh his costs for getting and being married. Do you think it would be a good idea for such a man to get married?

2) However, there are other men who use porn because they haven't married (yet). They want the stimulation, they're not getting it from a wife, so they view porn.

3) There are unmarried men who do not view porn, or at least only incidentally view it. Some of these men never want to marry (again).

4) There are married men who view porn. Some of those men are satisfied with their sex life with their wife, some of the wives are happy with their sex life, and in other cases, he's viewing porn because his wife is sexually rejecting.

5) There are men who marry, and marry at the same age they would have with or without porn, who viewed porn all along.



6) Men can get sexual gratification without viewing porn and without being married. Whether it is masturbation or a girlfriend, or a shack-up, or a booty call, or a friend-with-benefits, it is very easy for an unmarried man to get sexual gratification these days without viewing porn and with little time, money, emotion, or effort spent.

Monday, April 11, 2016

On Spreadsheets and Owing Sex

[Bumping this up.]

Much attention was recently paid to a posting by a frigid wife of a spreadsheet her husband made detailing their lack of a sex life and the lame excuses she provided in rejecting him.

In response, many people have circulated this flowchart:



Of course this is not something presented from a Biblical perspective. In the Biblical worldview, married people (uh, that's a man and a woman, for you youngsters who have been robbed of a good understanding of marriage) belong to each other. Sexually rejecting your spouse is denying something they are owed, and is religious grounds for divorce, and used to be legal grounds for divorce, back when you actually needed a reason. Marriages weren't considered valid unless they has been consummated with intercourse.

We can agree that a wife (or woman, since we as a society now want to shame slut-shamers) does not owe anyone sex. However, we should also agree that in the very same sense, no man owes a woman...

love
respect
his seat
his coat
his arm
a dance
a prom
a phone call
protection
help with heavy objects
automotive maintenance and repair
romance
dinner
a movie
a ride
the storefront side of the sidewalk
conversation
attention
flowers
jewelry
sweets
a wedding
a baby
birthday cards
birthday presents
anniversary cards
anniversary presents
Valentine's Day cards
Valentine's Day presents
tax money

Let's make sure we establish that and it will be a wonderful world of men and women not being pleasant towards each other.

Most likely, the woman who posted that spreadsheet her husband had made rarely, if ever, rejected a nice session of fornication with him. Before they married, she represented herself as enjoying sex and wanting to have regular/frequent sex with him. If he was a bad lover or somehow deficient in their relationship in a way that turned her off, why wasn't he alerted? She was able to function just fine then. Now that he has signed a legal contract giving him certain financial obligations to her, she rejects him. Is this just a coincidence?

Many unmarried men, especially ones who are divorced, find that many women seem to be willing and eager to have sex - lots of it - with them, even if they don't spend much (if any) time, money, or effort into romancing them or "setting the mood" or jumping through hoops. This is true even if those women have children, jobs, and maintain their own homes. These women really seem to enjoy the sex, too. Why do so many wives, meaning women who are legally entitled to one man's earnings, have so much less interest in sex? Is this just a coincidence?

Even stupid men eventually follow the rewards.

A strong inculcating of conservative religious notions about sexuality will tell a man that fornication is wrong. However, at some point, more and more men will be willing to be celibate or an occasional fornicator than a rejected husband, because becoming a husband means taking on very serious risks and obligations and if the rewards aren't there, fewer men are going to do it, no matter how much their churches tell them women deserve husbands.

On the personal front, it has been a while since I wrote this series. Things have gotten worse. Mercy sex is now once per week if I am lucky. Two week+ intervals are being imposed more, and that's just part of the problem. Recently we spent a little time with a married couple I admire that we do not get to see that often. I have been friends with them for a long time now, long before I met my wife. The husband was one of my groomsmen. After the visit, they wrote to me with their concerns. Their concerns matched those of my father (who has been telling me to consider divorce) and line up with what our therapist has said to me. All of them urge me to find relaxing, fun time for myself, but I just don't see how I can without further shortchanging my children, who have already been screwed by having the parents they do.

I hope somebody out there is learning important lessons from all of this.