My Boyfriend is Wonderful, but Not Ambitious or Successful

My Boyfriend is Wonderful, but Not Ambitious or Successful

Hi Evan,

I have been struggling with the fact I have a wonderful man in my life who loves me more than I’ve ever felt loved, but I’m just not satisfied somehow. We have known one another for about ten years dating on and off, taking a four year break at one point. He is VERY persistent and continues to take me back into his life if I let him. We are compatible on many levels, but there is one thing that continues to turn me off (from ten years ago to now) and that is his lack of ambition to be successful professionally. I wouldn’t be picky about his career field of choice but at the rate it’s going I’ll never see him in a 6 o’clock loosened tie… which is a huge turn on for me.

I’m very much that young professional go getter with the high stress job, always moving to the next promotion. I’m busy all the time professionally and personally because I thrive on feeling accomplished. He on the other hand is satisfied with bringing home an okay pay check to put food on his table, not that concerned with finishing college (he’s 31) and rarely has anything interesting to talk about outside of “us”, movies, and other media outlet driven conversation. A full day of freedom in my life does not revolve around TV, 90% of his would.

I can’t let go of wishing he were a stronger, more creative, more successful man who I could look to for experienced life advice. I’m very independent but I’d also like to get some reassurance and empathy from a reliable source from time to time. I know that’s harsh. I would never say those things to him, but it’s how I feel. I find the sexiest thing about a man is his intelligence, and no matter if a person is well read or not, a great deal of intelligence comes from professional life experience. Please tell me I’m being too hard on him and myself.  I should be happy to have a man who loves me and I can trust.

Thanks,
CJ

Thank you, CJ, for writing one of the most self-aware letters I’ve run. I think everyone here can feel your pain. Love is only easy when we’re so whipped that we can’t even think clearly. In such circumstances, there are no decisions to be made. But right now, you’re seeing things quite clearly. Which means the world is grey, not black and white.

Love is only easy when we’re so whipped that we can’t even think clearly.

So before I get into talking about him, let’s talk about you.

You’re not a gold-digger for wanting a guy who is more ambitious.
You’re not snobby for finding intelligence sexy.
You’re not shallow for craving conversation that doesn’t revolve around pop culture.
And you’re not wrong for wishing he were stronger, more creative, and more experienced professionally.

The questions that linger for me are these….

1)    Are compatibility and kindness more important than worldliness and ambition?
2)    Is it realistic to think that you can find a worldly, professional man who is as kind and compatible as your current boyfriend?

This is the calculus of dating. And the same answers don’t apply to everyone. Which is why giving advice on such individual matters is somewhere between impossible and pointless.

But that doesn’t mean I can’t try.

Someone told me recently that women expect men to fulfill ALL of their needs, which sets them up for failure. They want men to fulfill the role of their best girlfriend and their rock solid Marlboro Man simultaneously. As I said in “Men Don’t Go Both Ways” chapter of “Why You’re Still Single”, these are different men and you’ll always be disappointed if you expect a man to cover all bases. Strangely, this is one area in which I think men “get it” more. We can compartmentalize. Which is why we’d rather watch football with only the guys, while you’d like us to come shoe shopping with you.

Point is, it’s a failing proposition to expect one man to be all things to you. Thus, you have to make hard choices. What’s most important to you? And what things can you NOT get from anyone BUT your boyfriend?

I’ve wrestled with that myself, because, like you, I get a rise out of ambition, philosophy, and creativity. Who doesn’t? But I can talk to my business coach about my business, I can talk to my best guy friend about philosophy, and I can experience my own creativity and others’ creativity in 1000 other forms. But I can’t make love to my business coach. I can’t wake up next to my best guy friend. And with all the art and culture out in the world, I don’t need my spouse to be a creator as much as an appreciator.

I get the joy of sophistication. It’s fun to feel like the witty, urbane couple that can break bread with the prime minister if need be. Just know that apart from the spark you feel around a sophisticate, it doesn’t have much inherent value. The ability to quote Proust pales in comparison with the person who will drive you to your chemo treatments in thirty years.

The ability to quote Proust pales in comparison with the person who will drive you to your chemo treatments in thirty years.

So, back to the original question: are compatibility and kindness more important than worldliness and ambition? Well, if it were either kindness OR worldliness, I’d say yes. But there are ambitious people who are kind as well. And it would be easy to tell you to dump your guy and seek one of these guys out. The thing is that most good qualities often come with bad qualities as well. The ambitious guy may work 70 hours a week. The sophisticated guy may be a know-it-all and a snob. You just don’t know until you put yourself out there. There’s a pretty big risk in doing so.

I would encourage you to look long and hard at what really matters, CJ, and how hard it is to find it. For years, I said that I wasn’t jealous of any of my married friends because it’s not like they married MY wife. And I meant it – I never really met anyone with whom I was super-compatible. But now that I have someone with whom I’m super-compatible, my mind succumbs to the temptation – what if there’s someone else? Someone younger. Someone more accomplished. Someone more well-read.

Is there someone like that out there? Maybe. But she wouldn’t have the number one quality that my girlfriend has: she accepts me as I am, and loves me unconditionally. No other girlfriend I’ve ever had has done that. Which is why I’m keeping her and never letting her go.

I can’t say what’s right for you, my friend. Intellectual stimulation matters. Money definitely matters. But if you can get stimulation from other people and you can make money yourself, why not land the one thing you can’t get anywhere else – a partner for life?

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Comments:

  1. 61
    Sarah G

    First off, women still don’t earn as much as men. And the much ballyhooed statistic about more women getting into college — these are not in the higher paying fields, which are still male dominated. Add to that the fact that if women have children (let’s say it’s in a marriage, so as not to feed that troll thread again), most likely the couple’s economic decision will be that one of the earners in the two-earner household stay home — and that is far and away most often the woman. The loss of income has been calucated here to be about $1 million over the course of a woman’s career.

    When society changes to the point that men are home taking care of the children and the house in equal numbers — and also suffer with resultant blow to the career — then we can talk about equality having been achieved. Right now it’s one-sided — women have proved they can work. Have men proved that they can birth and raise children and manage a household?

    I think not. This too, my friend Vino, is work. Studies show that even when women work outside the home, they still do the lion’s share of work inside the home.

    So if you are a man and you want a family, you better pony up. And if you want a woman to take you seriously as a partner, that starts at the beginning of your romantic relationship. Why? Because men compete with each other for women, and a guy who ponies up is going to win over a guy who doesn’t.

    But if a guy want’s a different kind of relationship with a woman, one that is based on a more obviously equitable division of labor, then he can learn how to do all the things within the home that women do — and still look cute doing it. Which means, work out, buy nice clothes, have good hair, and have done whatever sort of cosmetic procedures are available to keep your woman attracted to you.

    I know — like all of us career gals who could afford such a guy are ever going to find one. :)

  2. 62
    Michele

    vino….your posts #51 & 52

    Thank you for clarifying your techniques to assess your dates’ financial worth. I found them relatively shallow, superficial and out of touch with reality.

    That said, I usually drive a pick up truck that is almost 17 years old…original transmission and well over 200K miles (my other vehicle is a newer BMW). Personal residence is located in a smaller town (very) middle class area and am a business owner. My “stash” is my business and I guard it well.

    Would I share with a first “date” any information about my tangible assests and/or liabilities? Don’t believe that will occur in this lifetime.

    My approach is to listen more than talk. That method usually allows me to learn more about his character as a human being. Many of the guys I have dated spill their guts anyway when they know a lady is being attentive. And I only date professional and polished men.

    I would find it a laborious task to judge a book by its cover or to live in a World filled with unfounded broad generalizations. Seems to work for you vino and please know that your thing is your thing – and I respect that. Just not my thing :-)

    You are definitely on point about the divorce rate escalating due to the present economic situation. Now that most will have to curtail old spending habits, the law of averages will make countless divorce attorneys happy campers.

  3. 63
    Sarah

    Vino: I don’t doubt that you’ve met many gold-diggers in your life. But I would like to respectfully suggest that not all questions about occupation or neighborhood are based in gold-digging. I mean, work accounts for at least 40 hours/week of a person’s life (in my case, a lot more), and a person’s neighborhood accounts for the majority of a person’s non-working hours. So learning about these two aspects are a way to get a sense of a person’s day-to-day reality, which is an important part of understanding who they are . . . although hopes, beliefs, interests, etc. are important parts as well.

    My boyfriend and I both live in really poor neighborhoods. When we first met, I didn’t ask about his neighborhood in order to disqualify him for not owning a condo in Lincoln Park (expensive area here in Chicago). I asked because I was interested in his life.

  4. 64
    vino

    Michele,

    Let’s see if I understand – It’s not shallow and superficial for women to seek guys for their money, but it is if guys do the same. Hmmmmm.

    Re: Sarah G’s 61:

    “First off, women still don’t earn as much as men.”

    – Yes, they do, especially in cities. See http://www.reuters.com/article/domesticNews/idUSN0334472920070803 So I’d say your premise is flawed.

    Not to be cynical & confrontational, but it’s hard to accept the complaint that ‘women earn less than men’ while at the same time they want the choice to stay home (with or without kids), which necessarily removes them from the workforce, creating much of the disparity complained of. In other words, the disparity is a result of CHOICES many women make. She CHOOSES to have kids (she always has that choice, BTW; see another thread) and/or stay home. The CHOICE for her to stay home with kids is further one she’s going to do under of pain of divorce to him, costing him even more. So she CHOOSES not to work, and to have him replace her income, so she doesn’t really lose income – she’s choosing someone who earns more to substitute that income she CHOOSES to forgo. That’s the point. She loses nothing. He does, however. Please tell me the benefit to him. Sorry, but I don’t see it.

    “Have men proved that they can birth and raise children and manage a household?’

    – Moot, spurious question. Women are the ones who choose guys earning more so they have the option of staying home to raise children so they don’t have to work. Many men also choose women who do this. More & more aren’t though.

    “So if you are a man and you want a family, you better pony up.”

    – Boy, there’s a disincentive to marry, if ever there was one.

  5. 65
    m

    Dear Steve:

    Please clone yourself.

    Several hundred thousand times, otherwise I’m sure there will be a fight.

    Please drop several copies off in the NYC metro area – say, 210,000 or so.

    xo
    m

  6. 66
    vino

    Sarah,

    Have a beer for me @ Gamekeepers…

  7. 67
    A-L

    Vino, you’re right, it’s superficial if a woman’s only interested in a man because of his money.

    At the same time, just because women in some of the largest American cities earn more than men, please don’t assume that’s true for the other 90% of the country. From the latest census figures (data from ’05 for the ’06 report) women earned 76.7% of what men earned (http://www.census.gov/prod/2006pubs/acs-02.pdf).

    And from the article you quoted:

    Women are faring the best in the Northeast and West, closing the gap in the states of Maryland, District of Columbia and Massachusetts. In contrast, women are farthest behind in Arkansas, Louisiana, and West Virginia, according to the National Committee on Pay Equity.

    I’m in Louisiana where women get 68.6 cents for every dollar a man makes (see census data). And I’m one of those people who’s not sure about having children (my future spouse’s feelings will probably be the determining factor). So I get to earn 31% less than men, just because my gender affords me the choice to have children, even if I don’t exercise that option. Frankly, that doesn’t really seem fair either.

    Basically, what I’m saying here is, life isn’t fair for anybody. Not for men, not for women. I’m not going to stop working because I don’t have equitable pay with men, nor am I going to sue every employer I work for because of that issue. It’s just a fact of life that I need to deal with. I do the best I can, and hope for the best. I’d say that men should have to do the same thing. Yes, the higher-earners in a relationship take on more risk in a marriage. But instead of avoiding the institution at all costs, do the best you can to find a responsible, respectful, and caring mate, and hope for the best.

  8. 68
    A-L

    By the way, I don’t want to make it sound as though men have to get married. They obviously can choose not to. But I’d recommend just doing the best you can in finding a mate, and hoping for the best.

  9. 69
    vino

    A couple of points.

    The article doesn’t specifically state the reasons there is a disparity. I remember searching Warren Farrell after reading a verbosity cite of him re: earning disparity. I’d google him for more info. Don’t have time to now, though.

    In terms of gross numbers, there is a disparity (76%+) because more women take time off for kids, because they choose less dangerous occupations, etc. The Reuters article almost touches on this when it notes the gap widens after age 30 for women. Not without coincidence, this is usually when women often start having kids & taking time off. My point is that there is a disparity because of choices women make creating that 24% difference, not because of some mass corporate discrimination. Devil’s in the details…

    What I think I’ve read is that single women (particularly by 30’s) who have stayed single, actually earn more than male counterparts. So you’re really not earning 30% less individually for the same work, but when you factor in women in your state not working or working part time, or in less-hazardous (& therefore lower paying) jobs, women in your state overall may earn less. But it’s due to the choices they make. If they stay at work and don’t take 3+ years off for kids, there is no earning gap.

    I think most people now live in metropolitan area now. Don’t have time to find the stat, but I’m pretty sure it’s true. Just goes to point that more people likely earn the same, in part b/c they are in metro areas.

    I agree with your sentiment about hoping for the best. I have to acknowledge reality, though, where the odds are not favorable. Sadly, I find little to no reassurance this trend will reverse.

  10. 70
    A-L

    Much of what you say is true. At the same time, though, I know for a fact about conversations that management has in terms of who they promote and who gets what kind of raises, regardless of their legality. It’s often as women approach the 30ish mark that many businesses assume she will start having children and taking time off, even if she hasn’t yet, and will therefore promote her male counterpart because they don’t want to take that risk. Also, men (at least in the southern metropolitan city I live in) are awarded larger raises, and paid a higher salary for the same qualifications, experience, and skills, perhaps because of the expectation that men are supposed to financially support their families, and therefore are in need of more money.

    And the census data is coming from all over the country, big metropolitan areas and rural areas alike. I suspect that our own geographical locations skew our perspectives. I live in a state where the Good ‘Ole Boy network (and commensurate pay scale) thrives, and I would guess that you live in a major metropolitan area in the NE or perhaps out west and deal with that difference in dynamics as well. Am I right?

  11. 71
    Sarah G

    So Vino, it seems like you’re saying that women hold all the cards re: men’s sex lives, child birthing and rearing, and work. Have I left anything out?

    You’re quick to point out what you think the problem is — what are you recommending as the solution? That no one date, get married, have sex, have children?

  12. 72
    vino

    Sarah G,

    Actually what I’m saying is that guys in general hold the cards, but don’t know it. They just need to make choices that are in their interest.

    If you sniff money is on her mind, don’t date her, let alone marry. As this board indicates, it is the majority’s minds. Sex is fine, just make sure she’s also on birth control also, including morning after pill. Use condom. If a guy definitely doesn’t want kids, do vasectomy. My belief is that women who don’t use their own birth control want a child. More importantly, they want someone to help pay for it See. Lori Gottleib’s article. It’s her whole premise to ‘settle.’

    There is no reason to marry. Period. See other threads.

    Funny thing is, Sarah, neither you nor anyone else has given me any answers to the questions of how I or men in general benefit from the dating/marriage rules and expected behaviors as they are. As I’ve said, I see the benefit to women, to kids (if any). I just don’t see it for guys in general. No one is saying “Wait! Here’s the benefit to guys…” What you seem to be saying and most others is “Too bad. Suck it up and play, even if there is no benefit to you.” I’m not saying this to be nasty or antagonistic. It’s not that I’m getting answers I want, I get none at all.

    Actually, I’m not proposing any specific solution, just make choices that benefit you as a guy. You see it already occurring. Many men are increasingly checking out of dating and marriage. By leaving the dating/marriage playing field, you hold complete control over your life. You already see women in their 30’s & up asking where are all the good guys? Well, Elvis is leaving the building, so to speak.

    Who will pay for the dates, kids, staying home, etc. then? Fewer & fewer, that’s who.

  13. 73
    Sarah G

    So if you are against dating, courtship, and marriage because they are a losing proposition for men, and you are a man (I think), why are you always writing so much on a DATING blog? Seems an odd CHOICE.

  14. 74
    Eda

    Vino,

    Why ask women what the benefits of dating/relationships/marriage are for men? We never really know why men do any of the things they do. If you want accurate answers, I think it would be best to go right to the source and ask men. While more and more men may be opting out of the man/woman thing (not really sure it’s true), lots more aren’t. Most people don’t do things that don’t benefit them in some way and men are no exception. So, while you may not see it, men must actually find something very worthwhile in dating/relationships/marriage. I suspect, however, that no matter what benefits a man (or a woman) might present, you would argue that they could get those benefits from somewhere else and for a lot less money! The reality is that while you may be content getting those benefits from elsewhere, lots of men want those things from women, and I for one am glad that they do!

    What I continue to find so interesting about men who have opted out of dating/relationships/marriage is that some of you seem to want to recruit other men to join your ranks. I honestly don’t get that. As I have mentioned many times, I am not at all interested in marriage and children, but I don’t try to convince other women not marry or have children. I know that what’s right for me may not be right for them. I am comfortable being in the minority, and I don’t feel the need to try to convince other women to want what I want, or to see the world the way I do….but I march to the beat of a different drum in many areas.

  15. 75
    vino

    Re: Sarah G’s #73:

    Sarah, I’ve written about the whys somewhere else, I think, so I don’t care to re-write it. Check thread about whether women should ask guys out. Maybe there. What I do notice about your post is that rather than even try to articulate even one way I or guys in general benefit from the current dating/marriage expectations, you instead question why I even post. A form of attack, I might add. No biggie. But it also tells me you don’t care if guys get a benefit or can’t think of one. Reinforces my point, unfortunately, which saddens…

    Re: Eda’s #74:

    Eda, I like many of your posts in general, but I respectfully think this one’s beneath your usual standard, and know you are capable of much better. Part of the purpose of this blog is to actually try and understand where someone comes from in the dating arena. See Understand Opposite Sex Day thread. You can’t even think of one way I or any guy benefits in the current climate? No, vino, go ask guys how they benefit. What’s that old saw about not judging someone till you’ve walked in their shoes? My point exactly – women rarely try.

    “Most people don’t do things that don’t benefit them in some way and men are no exception.”

    – So does that include alcoholics, drug addicts, sex addicts, codependents, OCD disorders, extreme sport adrenaline junkies, etc? The reality is that people do things all the time that don’t benefit them. But, due to lack of knowledge, stupidity, psychological issues, etc, men & women make choices that in fact hurt us every day. Dating/marriage is no different.

    Never said I was seeking recruits for anything. Please don’t create something where nothing exists. It’s a diversionary tactic.

    Sounds cranky, but it’s late & insomnia has been rampant last 2 nights, going on 3.

  16. 76
    cinnamon

    vino,
    You ask for arguments for marriage. I will no present mine because the whole discussion evolves around marriage as financial contract, while I do not perceive marriage as financial contract only (personally, I see just as many pros as cons of being financially bound to a man). I have, however, found a reference to a book which seems to be summing up existing research on the benefits of marriage to both parts:
    http://www.psychpage.com/family/mod_couples_thx/waitgalligher.html
    I have not read the book myself, but what I find in the review is e.g. that:
    – Single men have mortality rates that are 250% higher than married men. Single women have mortality rates that are 50% higher than married women (Ross et all, 1990).
    – About 40% of married people have sex twice a week, compared to 20-25% of single and cohabitating men and women. Over 40% of married women said their sex life was emotionally and physically satisfying, compared to about 30% of single women.
    – Married men are more successful in work as well, getting promoted more often and receiving higher performance appraisals. They also miss work or arrive late less often (Kostiuk and Follman, 1989, and Shaw, 1987).

  17. 77
    cinnamon

    oh, and I can see there is a whole chapter devoted to the sexual advantages of marriage ;-)

  18. 78
    Hadley Paige

    Eda @ #74 writes: Why ask women what the benefits of dating/relationships/marriage are for men? We never really know why men do any of the things they do. If you want accurate answers, I think it would be best to go right to the source and ask men.
    ————————————
    Vino and many other men ask women what benefit there is to men in dating/relationships/marriage bc we love women (in the abstract) and are attracted to them sexually and as companions. We ask bc we would like to hear something that we may have missed. And if we haven’t missed it then, hopefully women will understand (but probably not like) where we are coming from these days.
    I see what has happened to marriage as a part of what has happened to American society in the last 40 or so years–namely the feminization of society. What does this look like to me? More mommy type laws requiring everyone to be more careful, requiring everyone to be “nicer”. More liability for acts of lesser culpability. More intolerance of “not nice” behavior (e.g. no dodgeball in school). Lower thresholds of criminal liability for alleged sex offenses against women. (e.g. recent court ruled rape has occurred when woman changes mind during sex and it continued for longer than 5 seconds). Increasingly blurred lines of legal distinction btween mariage and not. (meaning that whatever situation the woman gets into w respect to kids, the $$$ flow to her).
    Consequently,while I would like it to be otherwise, my advice to my two sons (and my own behavior) is much like Vino’s response. Namely, date women (while trying to not pay for everything); have sex with women (free vasectomy for each of my sons) but don’t father kids until you are ready to pay child support; don’t marry women (financial risks are too great); generally, try not to hire women for jobs where the door might be closed (don’t need the harasment and dscrimination suits everytime some man executive get promoted when seemingly similarly qualified women are present).
    I love the idea of marriage. Its a beautiful idea and reflects a beautiful goal– A lifelong commitment to a person you love. Its just that in reality, for me as a man, marriage (and many other interactions w women) is a bad idea bc my liability is increased.

  19. 79
    rsl

    Vino, I’d like to reply to your question of what benefit is there to guys in dating and marriage? Well, sort of. I don’t think I can answer it completely, because everyone needs different things. I can completely see your points, as I am sure other men do, but I also think there is an emotional piece to having a romantic partner that cannot be filled anywhere else. Again, this is what benefit *I* think there is to men. I would bet some men agree with this, and clearly, some would not. I realize what the divorce statistics are, and all the injustices that occur for both men and women in relationships and marriage- BUT… I also know a lot of really happy couples who couldn’t imagine their lives without each other. I think for some men, the possibility of this is enough to motivate them to stay in the dating game. I am not sure that there is a much clearer answer in that as to what the benefit is for men in dating.

  20. 80
    vino

    cinn:

    I think you make a circular argument. The higher mortality rate applies to divorced guys also. Women, too, I might add. But since 70% of marriages where I am end in divorce, it’s more likely than not I’d fall into the latter category, no? So what you seem to be saying is still take the likely risk of losing 1/2 or more of your assets for the unlikely possibility you may live longer? I still don’t see the incentive. Again, what’s more likely than not to occur? Sure, I can fall out of a 14th floor window & live, but would you advocate that people voluntarily do that? That is, in effect, what I’m hearing.

    ” Over 40% of married women said their sex life was emotionally and physically satisfying, compared to about 30% of single women.”

    – Why is it then that 1/2 or more cheat? See http://www.nypost.com/seven/03022008/news/regionalnews/miss_leading_100063.htm Couple this with ease of divorce and you have powerful reasons to avoid. Not saying guys are perfect, but if I make more $ than you & am a good guy, though not perfect, you can harm me & still take 1/2 of what I’ve worked for.

  21. 81
    Eda

    I did not realize my posts were being graded. I just share what I think and/or feel. I don’t think there really is much of a desire to see things from a different perspective when your mind is really made up. I am pretty sure that there is nothing I could write that would make you say, “My God, that is an amazing benefit that I’ve never considered.” More than likely you would refute it and try to make it a benefit for the woman only. So why should I even bother.

    By the way, just because something has a benefit doesn’t mean it can’t have a negative side too. Drug addicts like getting high… They like how they feel as do alcholics. So even though it may destroy their lives, they actually do get something out of it.

    Well, it’s been an adventure, but this will my last post as I don’t want to be insulted or belittled for trying to help to men and women understand each other a little better.

    I wish everyone the all the best in love and life.

  22. 82
    Evan Marc Katz

    Please don’t go, Eda.

    Vino – I’d rather lose you than have you insult my readers. I know you take a lot of crap from women who don’t want to acknowledge the male point of view, but you have to remain above the fray.

    Thanks.

    The Management.

  23. 83
    cinnamon

    “Not saying guys are perfect, but if I make more $ than you & am a good guy, though not perfect, you can harm me & still take 1/2 of what I’ve worked for.”
    Vino, this is simply what I live for.
    I guess I’m joining Eda. Been nice talking to you.

  24. 84
    vino

    Well I certainly did not intend an insult. Looking at it now, I can see where you’d think that Eda. So, my apologies to you. I simply meant that you usually try to understand, Eda, and I did not see your usual understanding (which doesn’t mean it didn’t exist). Nothing more. Again, I meant no offense.

  25. 85
    A-L

    Why should men marry?

    Call me a traditionalist, but how about to have someone who will love, honor, and comfort you in sickness and in health, for richer or poorer, until death do you apart?

    If you want more tangible benefits, the research shows that wives do more housework than their husbands, while men do less than when they’re single.(http://www.redorbit.com/news/health/1327044/having_a_husband_creates_more_housework/index.html shows how getting married increases a woman’s workload while a man’s workload decreases and http://www.usatoday.com/news/health/2007-08-28-housework_N.htm?csp=34 shows that woman do a greater percentage of the work.)

    As has been previously mentioned, married people have more sex, more often than their single counterparts. And there are also those who are holding off on sex until marriage, so there’s another benefit for them. :)

    Many men want children (see some of the later posts in the settling thread) and children are much more succesful if they come from two-parent homes then single-family ones as well. And even with Gottlieb’s idea of settling so a man helps with the work, it was really only assistance she was talking about. The wife would still be the primary one responsible, but there would be someone around to give her a break once in awhile. The burden of childrearing still largely rests on the woman’s shoulders, and that’s a huge benefit for men.

    And despite the much ballyhooed CA statistic of a 70% divorce rate, the national rate is really more like 41%, and if you’re married to a college-educated woman, then it’s 16% (see http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/19/health/19divo.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&oref=slogin&adxnnlx=1209270241-ZrA9+wwEhLxV3q5/SyjPFw). So odds are, your marriage will last.

    This list is hardly comprehensive, but definitely (I hope) indicates that marriage is not only beneficial for women.

  26. 86
    Richard

    CJ,
    You’re looking to marry up (marry a man who makes more money than you do). This is narcissistic and an unrealistic sense of entitlement.

    Over 51% of college graduates are now women, but over 90% of American women still marry up (marry men who make more money than they do). The expectation of American women to marry men who make more money than them is a contributing factor that over 51% of adults are now unmarried (for the first time in history). As Vino pointed out, if men had the same sense of entitlement as women, and demanded to marry up (marry women who make more money than they make), the marriage rate would plummet to near 0%.

  27. 87
    hunter

    To A-L,

    You said, “married people have more sex than their single counterpart.” This maybe true for, like, the first two years into the marriage, after that it tapers off. And the people, that say, that, they continue to get sex, frequently, are not getting it at home. LOL!….

  28. 88
    vino

    A-L,

    I think you are off with the national rate. Here is the cdc’s site on divorces & marriages. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvsr/nvsr55/nvsr55_20.pdf

    You’ll note that several states don’t report divorces – CA, IN, GA, to name a few. In 2006 there were 2,184,985 marriages in the US. So, when you back out 4 states who don’t report divorces, but keep in CA, it’s 2,008,097 marriages. Take out CA, and it’s 1,792,112 marriages.

    The total divorces reported were 871,491. When you divide that by the 2,184,985 marriages you have a 40% divorce rate. This is misleading, because the total divorce number is too low, because california and several other states don’t report divorces, but they do report some 450,000 marriages. BUT, when you divide 871,491 by 1,792,112, the divorce rate is 49%, exclusive of CA and 4 other states that don’t report.

    Add CA 215,985 marriages and its 157,929 divorces (a 73% divorce rate, btw), and the total divorces of 1,029,420 / 2,008,097 = 51% nationwide divorce rate.

    CA divorce info – http://www.courtinfo.ca.gov/reference/documents/csr2007.pdf

    The western states are worse – AZ is 62% divorce rate & climbing. OR 53%; WA 59%;

    Don’t love those odds.

    Yes, we men historically got married to vacuum less. BTW, the article doesn’t mention that wife no longer has to go to Jiffy Lube, put air in tires, get gas for grill, grill food, wash her car, mow lawn, rake leaves, clean pool, adjust pool chem, trim hedges, shovel sidewalk….they’re outside the home. And, since we know that many women would like the option of staying more with kids, they necessarily should and need to do more housework. For housework, it’s cheaper to get a housekeeper for $50-100/week than to marry & by default give someone considerably more via divorce law.

    Oh and if author Leslie Bennetts is any indication on the subject of marriage & housework “Bribery and punishment work; so do yelling and complaining. With husbands, tender blandishments are particularly useful.” – Find me the nearest housekeeper quick.

    Actually Lori Gottleb wrote : “So if you rarely see your husband but he’s a decent guy who takes out the trash and sets up the baby gear, and he provides a second income that allows you to spend time with your child instead of working 60 hours a week to support a family on your own how much does it matter whether the guy you marry is The One?” – I understand her premise, which is that marrying and having kids necessitates some compromises. But this quote gives me chilling insight – he’s there to fund & work for HER baby desires so SHE can spend time with child. She was talking about income.

    Problem is that guys can get all of this stuff far cheaper (including sex) by simply not marrying & outsourcing it. But the common issue that goes unacknowledged is it’s all about the $$ – it’s all a court can award.

  29. 89
    naturegirl

    The US Department of Health and Human Services reports that marriage has positive benefits for both partners.

    http://aspe.hhs.gov/hsp/07/marriageonhealth/rb.htm

    “Married people are generally healthier than unmarried people, as measured by numerous health outcomes.(1) To investigate the complex relationship between marriage and health, this review scrutinizes recent research, focusing on studies that use rigorous statistical methods to examine whether marriage is a cause of these better health outcomes.

    A focus on the most rigorous recent evidence reveals that marriage has positive effects on certain health-related outcomes. These studies find, for example, that marriage improves certain mental health outcomes, reduces the use of some high-cost health services (such as nursing home care), and increases the likelihood of having health insurance coverage. In addition, an emerging literature suggests that growing up with married parents is associated with better health as an adult. Marriage has mixed effects on health behaviors leading to healthier behaviors in some cases (reduced heavy drinking) and less healthy behaviors in others (weight gain). For other key health outcomes in particular, measures of specific physical health conditions-the effects of marriage remain largely unaddressed by rigorous research. ”

    vino – Why you are dating? It does not seem as though you want to find a female partner with whom to start a family. Your quotes about divorce statistics lead me to think that you are unlikely to legally marry. Are you just looking for NSA sex? As you point out in #88, you can buy housekeeping. You can also buy NSA sex.

    So, why are you dating? I wish you luck in finding whatever it is that you are looking for. But, I would venture to guess that the majority of people on this board are looking for a long term committed relationship, leading to marriage and children. Reproduction is an animal instinct. Why are you so intent in convincing everyone that reproduction and marriage are not to the benefit of men (or women who are high wage earners)?

    The sexist nature of your comments is grating. As I’ve stated before, my ex-husband married up. When we divorced, he was legally entitled to half of everything earned during the marriage, and ongoing child support and alimony. The divorce laws are set up to benefit the weaker partner. I knew this when I married, but it did not prevent me from getting married. Marriage is about more than finances.

    I’m also very curious to know about your history. Have you been married? Divorced? How old are you? Any kids?

    My basic question is how did you become so anti-marriage, and why are you commenting so much on a dating website if you are so anti-marriage?

  30. 90
    Evan Marc Katz

    How old is this conversation?

    Linking to marriage articles with contradictory statistics.
    Questioning why an anti-marriage guy is reading this website.
    Writing without listening to the validity of each other’s arguments.

    I am extremely grateful for your readership, but doesn’t this back and forth get tiresome for anybody else? Can’t we all just get along?

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