Posts tagged ‘Marriage’

Some Things Never Change

A young girl kisses a baby on the cheek.

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A recent Gallup poll surveyed Americans about their preference in the sex of their children. Just as in 1941, Americans prefer boys.  Perhaps the only change since 1941 is that it’s the men who are causing our preferences. Women basically have no statistically significant preference either way. They are split pretty evenly with about a third preferring a girl, a third preferring a boy, and another third having no preference whatsoever.

Men want boys. Just why is that? Is it because they hate girls? I like to think not, but you have to wonder with nearly 50% of American men having a clear preference for boys. Maybe they just wish the best life for their children and prefer to have boys so that their children will have more opportunities and have a better chance for a happier life. That argument makes sense. Men still make more money, hold more positions of power, and do far less work around the house. It’s pretty cool to be a man, or a husband, at least.

Maybe they just think boys are easier to raise. You don’t have to worry as much about them being molested or raped or getting pregnant. No Doubt’s “Just A Girl” perfectly illustrates the difference between growing up a daughter versus growing up a son in America. Boys cause trouble; they don’t get into it. Or at least, that’s the prevailing myth.

I was on a manosphere website once where one of the participants commented that women were using abortion in order to practice sex selection as a form of gender genocide. I kid you not. However, this article sounds like, if anything, the opposite is happening. Couples are using technology to ensure the selection of boys. If this is a significant trend, it will have disastrous consequences in years to come.

There is another possibility besides plain old misogyny or wanting a better life for your child…there is the possibility that American men prefer boys because they will carry on the family name. Maybe their reason for wanting to procreate is to perpetuate the family name, carry on the family line.

This brings me to another example of sexism in our culture. Women get married and take on their husband’s names. They willingly do so. But why is it that no one ever asks why the family name has to be the husband’s name? I wonder how many men would still prefer boys if their sons didn’t carry their names but their daughters did.

Follow me here. What if two people get married and instead of the wife taking the husband’s name and the kids taking the husband’s name we did something different? What if a man named Smith marries a woman named Johnson. They become the Smith-Johnson family. Any female children get the last name Smith. Any male children get the last name Johnson. Maybe they go by Smith-Johnson until they strike out on their own or until they get married when the boys drop the Smith, and the girls drop the Johnson to include a spouse’s name.

It’s much more equitable. I don’t expect to see it in my lifetime, anymore than I would expect to see the Equal Rights Amendment passed. The fact is that women have shot themselves in the foot. Right now we’re a little over half the population of America. If we wanted to mobilize and get to the polls and vote we could have passed that law a long time ago, or any other law you care to name. We could have formed our very own political party. But we traded all that for the dangling carrot of a princess wedding and a diamond ring.

June 28, 2011 at 11:32 pm 8 comments

What Is Marie Osmond Thinking?

Marie Osmond holding a custom made LSR/Steinbe...

Image via Wikipedia

Yesterday legitimate news sources confirmed what had been rumored in supermarket tabloids for months. Marie Osmond remarried her first husband nearly 30 years after their first marriage. She wore her first wedding dress, which is supposed to make us go, “Awww,” but which I just find thoroughly creepy. Is there anything about this story that doesn’t scream, “Marie, please take your meds!”

Marie’s first husband is Stephen Craig, a former semi-pro basketball player. They married in 1982. They separated and reconciled twice. Then they divorced in 1985, with her claiming “mental cruelty” and amidst rumors of infidelity on his part. Apparently, he was disciplined by the Mormon Church for his behavior during the marriage.

After that unhappy union, Marie remarried not even a year later, to music producer Brian Blosil, or, as he is otherwise known, Mr. Marie Osmond. He adopted Stephen’s son, Stephen Craig, Jr., and together he and Marie had two biological children and adopted five more. They also separated and reconciled after Marie’s very public battle with post-partum depression.

In 2007 they jointly announced their intention to divorce. He’s apparently such a winner that one of their sons refused to retain his last name, and he didn’t attend that son’s funeral after he killed himself. Reportedly, the other children didn’t wish for him to attend, either. He sounds like a really swell catch.

Remember how Mr. Blosil adopted Stephen Craig, Jr.? Well, apparently, Stephen Craig, Jr. has been in contact with his biological father, and, following her divorce from Blosil, so has Marie. Stephen Craig is now a motivational speaker, and he’s been courting Marie and family at her home in Las Vegas where she now performs in a musical revue with her brother Donny.

I love Marie Osmond. I used to watch The Donny & Marie Show when I was a kid. I had a Marie Osmond Barbie doll. My brother and I had a really lame storybook about Jimmy and a robot. I bought one of her books and read it (not the one about the depression), and I watched her on Dancing with the Stars. I watched the talk show she had a few years back with Donny. I defy you not to like her. And for 51 years old, she’s smoking hot. She’s always been a very attractive woman, but ever since she lost that weight on Nutri-System or whatever, I would think she’d have the silverfox Mormon men crawling out of the woodwork for a chance at that.

Why does she feel the need to jump into the magical time machine that is her wedding dress and relive a grave and obvious error in judgment? I also love how she’s reconstructed her history. Like the redeemed villain of a soap opera, this cheater has swooped in to save Marie from a life of depression and loneliness. Everything will be strawberries and whipped cream this time around!

Remember again how Brian Blosil adopted Stephen Craig, Jr.? You should. This is the third time I’ve mentioned it. Here’s her official quote on Stephen now:

“I am so happy and look forward to sharing my life with Stephen, who is an amazing man as well as a great father to my children.”

If he’s really such a great man, then why did you divorce him the first time around? And if he was really such a great man, then why did you say he was guilty of “mental cruelty”? That doesn’t sound like he’s such a great man. If he’s really such a great man, then why did the church sanction him based on his behavior during your marriage? Was it just a case of the LDS Church being afraid to bite the hand that feeds it? Or was he legitimately immoral, unethical, and cruel? And finally, if he’s such a great father, then why did his biological son have to be legally adopted by the kind of father who wouldn’t attend his own son’s funeral?

Of course, it’s Marie’s privilege to not answer these questions for us. In fact, it would be inappropriate for her to do so. Some things should remain private. But I hope she’s asked them of herself. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints believes that a temple marriage seals spouses together for all eternity in a celestial marriage that not even death can tear asunder. I hope that she’s not yoked herself to a cheater.

I wish you well, Marie. And I sincerely wish that I am dead wrong. People can change, and you married young the first time around. Maybe you’ve both matured. Congratulations!

May 5, 2011 at 11:42 pm 6 comments

A Generation of Peter Pans


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The Wall Street Journal recently published an article on their website called, “Where Have the Good Men Gone?” The author’s name is Kay S. Hymowitz, and she is a social commentator who lives in Brooklyn with her husband. She is the mother of three grown children. She writes about gender issues, poverty, racism, and the decline of the American nuclear family. I’m sure there’s more, but that’s what I found on my initial sweep of the internet.

The article has been very popular. In it, Ms. Hymowitz points out that girls are outperforming boys and that a whole new generation of men is literally failing to attain adulthood. Ms. Hymowitz is making some great points, and she is a gifted writer. While she doesn’t directly implicate feminism with turning full grown men into a generation of Peter Pans who still live with their mothers or bunk with their friends and spend their free time drinking beers and playing video games, the inference will be made, whether she means for it to be or not.

I read some of Ms. Hymowitz’s other articles. She writes on gay marriage: against, on traditional marriage: for. Here is someone who at least makes a good argument, whether you agree with her viewpoints or not.  The Manhattan Institute, which currently employs Ms. Hymowitz, is a conservative think tank, and so we should expect Ms. Hymowitz’s views and insights to fall in parity with an American conservative political agenda.

In an article on the decline of the institution of marriage, she points out that amongst college educated women who are marrying later in life, the marriage rate is good, and the divorce rate is significantly lower. It’s the females who are marrying younger, and who are less educated who are generally either preferring not to marry at all or not to stay married. So, while some may blame feminism for the collapse of the American family, it seems that amongst the women who have benefitted from feminism, marriage is still very much alive, well, and healthy.

Do we care that American men are now destined to become slackers? We should. These people are the future of America. It’s not enough to just say tsk, tsk and shake our heads at how sad this is. Young men are failing to live up to any responsibilities or potential, and an entire generation of young women will be forced to look to men who are old enough to be their fathers to find suitable mates — or be relegated to being single.

Of course, the third option is settling for sperm donor slugs. I doubt if the kind of guy who’s not motivated to graduate from college or look for a job is going to make an effective Mister Mom. Let’s face it. Parenting is hard work.

I wish that instead of just reporting on the problem that Ms. Hymowitz would propose a solution. However, maybe she has, and you just have to plunk down $25 for her new book in order to get it. How do we motivate young men to succeed without demoralizing our young women? What can we do as a society in order to lift up our boys without putting down our girls?

February 23, 2011 at 1:14 am 5 comments

Take A Chance On Me

A Walk to Remember

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Remember the ABBA song? I love that song. There’s a video I found on today that is just great. A teenage girl named Sabrina is dying of ALS. Her family has arranged for her to have a “friendship” ceremony with her boyfriend, Matt. These kids don’t look like they’re too young to go ahead and get married. I would guess they’re sixteen or seventeen. And under normal circumstances, I’d be appalled, but if they both wanted to do so…why not let them?

It makes me think of the movie, A Walk to Remember. I think I’ve previously mentioned how much I hate Nicholas Sparks’ novels. The Notebook is one of his books that was made into a sappy movie. I usually think it’s schlock, but for some reason I love A Walk to Remember.

A few years ago, my great uncle (my maternal grandmother’s brother) lost his wife after a very long battle with cancer. He’s probably in his nineties now. He remarried, to a woman who was the best friend of his late spouse. They remarried right away. I mean it was practically like they embalmed my great aunt and then booked the church for a funeral/wedding ceremony. The woman he remarried to has since passed away.

Now a lot of our relatives were deeply concerned at how disrespectful it was to not wait the customary year to remarry after widowhood. Not me. I think my great aunt would have wanted him to remarry and to be happy. And who better to get married to than her best friend? Seemed like a win-win to me. And given the short amount of time that my great uncle had with his new wife it seems doubly good that they didn’t waste any time in walking down the aisle.

A lot of whirlwind marriages happen in wartime. People rush to the altar. When we’re talking about the greatest generation (my father’s generation), they made these marriages last and work. There were a lot of happy marriages made to virtual strangers during that time, much like the old arranged marriages where people grew to love each other.

Now I know that I’ve made a supreme fuss more than once about how I think that people should attain a certain age and maturity level before marrying, about how important it is to know someone in a dating context for a good long while before you choose to spend THE REST OF YOUR LIFE with someone…but what if the rest of your life might not be that long? Do what your heart tells you to do.

At the end of life the things that I think we regret the most are not the things we did that we are sorry for but rather the things we didn’t do. When it comes to love if you don’t act on that impulse sometimes you might miss an opportunity. As the hero from My Best Friend’s Wedding says, as he and Julia Roberts are dancing on a ship’s barge and the ship comes out from the shadow of a tunnel so poignantly (gotta love Hollywood’s subtle symbolism), the moment just passes you by.

So, there’s an exception to every rule. Be open to life’s possibilities.

December 20, 2010 at 11:58 pm 7 comments

The Divorce Myth


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Wow. Statistics. I took a course on it when I decided to go to graduate school. No, I did not graduate. But I did pass statistics! I even got a B. Thank God for Eastern European geeks in the math lab and for partial credit. One thing I did learn about statistics, I mean besides that the Greek letter Sigma is not just the “funky E,” is that statistics can be and frequently are manipulated to come up with an answer that’s sometimes less than truthful.

Some stories about studies have come out this month about the marriage success rate in the United States of America. And, if you’re college educated, you make decent money, and you don’t marry too young, your odds are actually pretty damn good. Congratulations! You won the marriage lottery.

If you’re not college educated, if you’re middle class or working poor or, worse yet, impoverished, or if you marry young, you’re screwed. Well, not really. But your odds of success are way lower. It doesn’t take too much in the way of brains to figure out why this is. Since money is one of the big stressors in marriage, those people who have it are far less likely to be stressed over it.

As for religion and how it affects the divorce rate, agnostics and atheists have the lowest divorce rate. Born again Christians have the highest divorce rate.

You know how the media has been reporting for years that the divorce rate in this country was 50% or better, no matter what. Turns out the media is wrong. Check out these links.

The saddest trend I find is that marriage is becoming irrelevant for many young couples with only a high school education. They are becoming parents and cohabitating first, then perhaps marrying later when they can “afford” to do so. With the tax advantages for being married, particularly when it comes to having a family, I don’t see how you can afford not to be married.

This seems to me to be indicative of the greater trend in American society to think of marriage not as a serious lifelong commitment but rather a pit stop on Serial Monogamy Lane. A marriage is a ceremony, a great big expensive party that you host for all your friends, which is why you can’t afford it. Better to breed now and save up for that big party later.

If you’re married, please, please remember what a privilege it is to be married, to have someone who loves you to walk through life with, because not everyone does. Treasure it. If you’re not married, there’s plenty of rich, rewarding life ahead of you whether you get married or not. Happiness, like marriage, is ultimately a choice that you get to make. You can choose to be happy. Choose wisely.

December 15, 2010 at 1:03 pm 14 comments

Signs That the Guy You’re Seeing Just Might Be Married

Jewish wedding ring. Chased and enameled gold ...

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  1. He wears a wedding ring. I never used to look for a wedding ring. I just assumed that if some guy was flirting with me or pursuing a relationship, that he wasn’t married. And you know what they say about assuming.
  2. There’s a tan line where his wedding ring would normally be.
  3. He tells you that he’s married. This is a big clue. Pay attention to this one. Life is not a Rock HudsonDoris Day movie, and if a guy tells you that he’s married he’s not just a cute playboy who’s looking to escape commitment; he’s married.
  4. He tells you that he’s separated. A guy who’s separated is married. A guy is either married or single. Being separated is kind of like being a little pregnant. You’re either pregnant or you’re not. You’re either married or you’re not.
  5. You spend all your time at your place. You don’t go to his place or you go there very infrequently. You only go there during the day in the middle of the week when his wife is at work or on those rare weekends when she takes the kids to visit her mother.
  6. His bathroom includes feminine hygiene products or implements of female toiletry such as makeup and eyelash curlers. Guys don’t use that stuff, and they wouldn’t just leave it lying around. They’d haul it off to the trash.There are homey touches at his place, like curtains and tea towels and placemats and plug in air fresheners. If you see signs that a woman is living at his place – there’s a woman living at his place.
  7. You haven’t met any of his friends, or you’ve met a limited amount of his friends. You know his old high school buddy Bob. That’s it. That’s because Bob is the only friend who’s morally bankrupt enough to be okay with his two timing on his wife.
  8. You haven’t met his family. There is always some excuse why you are never together for holidays, and he doesn’t want to introduce you to his kids and then have them become attached and then have you break up with him. His parents still love the “ex.”
  9. He’s an enlisted man in the military. I’m going to get flak for this one, I know. I’m not saying that all military guys cheat, and I value the sacrifices they make for our country, but my high school boyfriend married a college buddy of mine, and then he enlisted in the Army. They both said they were shocked that the minute some spouse deployed, his or her partner had a replacement waiting in the wings to move in the next day. This happened about half the time. I always thought they were exaggerating, but years later I worked with a couple who had been in the military. She accepted a job in Costa Rica and took the three youngest children with her for several months. While she was gone he moved in a girlfriend and then quickly moved her out when the wife came back. I can’t make this stuff up.
  10. He has a wife. If your boyfriend has a wife, then he just might be married.

A married man is not a good bet for a relationship. If you don’t believe me, then just ask Mrs. Michael Landon #2. She hooked up with a married Michael Landon and then was shocked, SHOCKED I tell you, that he dumped her nearly twenty years later for a newer, younger model. But he loved her. And I’m sure that at one point in time, he did, just like he loved his first wife. And then wife #3 came along: Cindy. He loved her, too.

Some might call that poetic justice. I say it’s just life. But if you’re dating a married man and he does end up dumping his wife for you, then don’t have the unmitigated gall to expect him to be faithful to you. He isn’t engaging in false advertising. He’s telling you exactly what you can expect through his actions. And you aren’t that special.


December 14, 2010 at 1:14 pm 1 comment

Anecdotal & Statistical Proof That Women Over Forty Are Not Destined To Be Old Maids

Harold and Maude

Image via Wikipedia

When I was a kid I used to think that it was funny that unmarried women of a certain age were called old maids. So was a kid’s card game and, funnily enough, unpopped popcorn kernels. The unpopped popcorn kernels were a metaphor for something, I think.

I was humbled, humbled, I tell you, by the comments of one man named David, from the United Kingdom, on my blog yesterday. He reminded me that although the statistics seem to skew for men who are interested only in significantly younger women that not all men are that way. He himself prefers women closer to his own age. Or, at least, of the women he’s been dating lately, the one who was his favorite was a woman in her mid thirties, because he could relate to her. With the good men, the kind of man you might want to marry someday, personality will play a significant role.

I hesitate to mention the example of Ashton Kutcher and Demi Moore given their recent tabloid rumors – but Ashton and Demi. I mean, he did marry her. There’s a sixteen year age difference there. And there are certainly other examples somewhere besides fictional characters like Harold and Maude and even some where the woman is not the boy’s school teacher and the boy is not under age. Some men prefer older women or women closer to their own age.

All kidding aside, men generally prefer younger women because nature has made them that way, and shouldn’t we all thank the good Lord that it did. To produce healthy babies men have to mate with younger women, hence, the attraction. They’re made that way. They really, literally can’t help it.

We could talk about how that’s unfair all day long, the biological clock and all, but the plain fact of the matter is that one of a child’s parents should have a good chance of living until it reaches adulthood. Giving a woman a finite number of eggs and years in which to accomplish procreation seems designed to ensure that the kid is not just born but also raised by at least one loving parent.

So, I did a lot of reading on the internet yesterday, because David challenged me, on the chances of a woman’s marrying for the first time after the age of forty. And one thing I found out was that a Newsweek article from 1986 that said that college educated women over forty have a greater chance of being killed by terrorists than marrying for the first time is statistically unsound. Can you imagine? Shocking!

Eighty percent of all women are married by the age of forty. Of those women who remain unmarried, they have at least a 40% statistical probability of eventually marrying, maybe even better! And those statistics are probably not accounting for lesbians or for women who don’t even WANT to get married, for whatever reason.

In my reading I found advice for women over 40 who wish to marry for the first time. The advice, in a nutshell, is to relax your standards. Don’t relax them about everything, but about the stuff that’s frivolous, let it go. In other words, he should be kind and make you laugh but the full head of hair might be something you could compromise on.

Also, when a woman is in her teens and twenties she starts to put up many barriers to screen out unwanted suitors. After 40, it might be time to lower the drawbridge. Let down your guard a little. When you were younger and there were many, many unsuitable suitors it made sense to give the men some hurdles to jump. Now, not so much. Men are intimidated by them. They want a woman who’s approachable – another quality that the younger women have in spades because they don’t have the battle scars that come with dating over time. The approachable thing might take some work.

In my internet scouring I found many helpful articles and even a forum of a discussion on the subject that I’ve copied and pasted a link to below. I also copied and pasted the Wikipedia pages of famous women who were first married after the age of 40. Yes, these women all look 20 because they have the money for that personal chef and personal trainer and personal plastic surgeon, but “real” women get married after 40, too. I promise. I think I’ve even met some of them. In conclusion, I’m also pasting an inspirational song from YouTube to give you some motivation. So, if you’re a woman of a certain age and you want to be married, get out there and strut your stuff!–bag-husband-40.html;col1

October 29, 2010 at 12:28 pm 234 comments

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