Vicki Larson posted an article on the Huffington Post recently about ‘Why Young Men Fear Marriage.’ She writes about two young men who write a blog called We’re Just Not There Yet. Daryl, 31, and Seth, 28 write this shtick about how even though they’re smart, and have great jobs and are attractive, they’re just not ready for marriage. Larson’s take on it is that one of the motivating factors for these two
honest guys is that they’re crippled by their fear of divorce because some gold digging shallow girl is going to come in, marry them for their money clean them out because the court system unfairly favors women and leave them with nothing to show for their years of hard work and success.
This article made me livid. I’ve read it and reread it. And every time it makes me madder. Even as I sit here writing this I feel my teeth clenching. And no, I’m not mad because I think all men at that age should be ready for marriage. It’s the perpetuation of this stereotype that women are out to marry guys for their money and then bleed them dry. Where did an entire generation of men get this idea that all girls my age are money sucking leeches? It literally makes me want to scream!
First, let me get a few things about the marriage issue out of the way. I was talking about this with my friend Beth two nights ago and her take on the whole thing was as long as these guys are being upfront and honest with the girls they date, there is nothing wrong with not being ready. She was lauding them for being honest and not misleading girls. I don’t want to ignore that this is important but it’s not simply the fact that these guys aren’t ready for marriage that got me upset. It’s the reason they’re not ready.
If the guy is not ready because he is truly not ready to be in a committed relationship and truly doesn’t think he’s met the right girl, of course he should wait. This was Beth’s point. A guy’s not doing any girl a favor by rushing into something he’s not ready for – especially because he’ll probably end up divorced a few years later or even worse, a really angry parent.
If the reason is he doesn’t want to give up time spent on his career to devote to a family yet or he just knows he needs to swim with a few more fishes before settling down, I get that too. That isn’t what made me livid either. Yeah sure, I’ll complain about it because waiting longer to settle down for a woman can severely impact a woman’s ability to have healthy children and it’s harder to be single as a woman in your forties than as a man. But it’s hard not to be selfish when making big life decisions and if I were a man, I’d be enjoying the end of my salad days with absolutely no plans on settling down for a while. So, I get that. Personally, I’d love not to think about a family for another ten years, but all the research suggests that if you wait to have children, you are more at risk for having a child with birth defects, Down syndrome, and a whole host of other scary things. So the next time you hear a guy complaining about how modern feminist women still expect a guy to pay for dinner, remind him he’s got the better deal on the biological clock thing.
Anyway, none of that bothers me that much. It is what it is. However, what makes me want to track down Daryl and Seth and shout in their faces you cowards! How dare you turn women into some parasitic bottom feeder to cover for being selfish scared paralyzed bums! is the reason they don’t want to get married. Has it ever occurred to these guys that there are women out there who probably make more money than them and they have more to lose from a divorce? Do you really think that a woman you love, who’ve been with for years, who you think would be a wonderful mother to your child is going to drag you to court to get all your savings which probably couldn’t even buy you a nice starter house? Beth tried to tell me, but there are girls out there who do this. There are women who are just gold diggers. And of course this is true, but this is a small minority of women. I asked Beth to name one girl she knew of who had done this and she couldn’t think of one. Like any stereotype there are always a few people for whom the stereotype is true. But that never justifies using the stereotype as a widespread fact. Where do Daryl and Seth get off spreading this evil myth that all men should fear marriage because women are out to take them for everything they’re worth. Living in fear of an illusion seems like a very sad way to live.
I want to marry someone for love and I want him to want to marry me for love. I don’t want his money. I want the fairytale. The fairytale for me may include fights and hard times and bumps along the way, but it doesn’t include divorcing someone and taking off with a windfall. I feel sorry for a guy that doesn’t want to get close to a great girl because he’s assumed the worst about her. Maybe a guy like that doesn’t deserve to get the girl anyway.