Aging and Single, Self-Reproachful and Relieved

You know you’re in extremis as far as marriageability goes when you find yourself composing sonnets to the memories of women you met and knew — against your own wishes, exclusively — through social media:

The first “Like” after each posting is mine;
A blogger self-promotion makes or breaks.
Far more than talent, moxie’s what it takes.
Neglected posts are pickled as by brine –
Preserved and yet grotesque, in time confined:
All sapient pretensions shown for fakes,
All judgments stripped and branded as mistakes,
Such boo-boos as the trolls thrill to enshrine.
The second “Like” is yours, you fickle thing.
I rightly blocked you from my Facebook page.
Perhaps your marble conscience feels a sting
You mean by sylphlike haunting to assuage?
To my disgrace I dursn’t break that string;
In this mug’s game, I need your patronage.

Like many poems, good and bad, this one contains a germ of wishful thinking. In actual fact, the second person to “Like” my posts is usually my editor. Still, you get the idea.

Serious questions of taste come into play whenever a writer decides to present his own life for inspection, either for its entertainment value, or as a kind of sociological artifact. Admittedly, I’ve done it before, but never without the fear that I was committing a foul. I risk it now because — well, because aging singles are suddenly hot. No one can hear too much from us. Katie Bolick started it, so if I’m sending myself to the dock, I hope to see her there with me.

In an essay published last month in the Atlantic, Bolick cops to a certain ambivalence over the habits of thought that have left her single at the age of 39. Raised to believe that life would present her with “endless possibilities,” she avoided committing to any of her “long string” of ex-boyfriends. Now, advised by well-wishers to either stay single or find a “good enough” mate, she chooses instead to see herself on the cutting edge of a seismic cultural shift. That is, Bolick takes some satisfaction in belonging to a society where imperatives to marry, both biological and social, are fading into irrelevance. Like historian Stephanie Coontz, she finds it “immensely liberating and immensely scary.”

Here, Bolick interrogates herself:

Of course, between the diminishing external pressure to have children and the common misperception that our biology is ours to control, some of us don’t deal with the matter in a timely fashion. Like me, for instance. Do I want children? My answer is: I don’t know. But somewhere along the way, I decided to not let my biology dictate my romantic life. If I find someone I really like being with, and if he and I decide we want a child together, and it’s too late for me to conceive naturally, I’ll consider whatever technological aid is currently available, or adopt (and if he’s not open to adoption, he’s not the kind of man I want to be with).

In an interview with National Review Online columnist Kathryn Jean Lopez, Jennifer Marshall, author of Now and Not Yet: Making Sense of the Single Life in the 21st Century, dissects Bolick‘s essay. Marshall comes out in favor of restoring “more family, congregational, and social support for helping young people discern the path to marriage,” explaining, “That takes a willingness to be in a community where we know others and are willing to be known — really known — by them.” She’s also glad to hear from William Bennett, who blames the current trend, by which women are outnumbering men in higher education, on men themselves. In Bennett’s view, men, having received “different and conflicting signals,” “refuse to get good jobs,” and “refuse to take responsibility in relationships.” It’s a failure of will, and nothing more.

I presume to speak here because my own view of the world splits the difference between Bolick’s on one hand, and Marshall’s and Bennett’s on the other. Like Bolick, I’m 39 and single. Also like her, I know the odds of my pairing off decrease with every passing day. To be coldly realistic, I can look forward to getting uglier, but probably not much richer. I suspect I mourn my fading chance for domesticity a little more acutely than Bolick does, but for selfish reasons. After all, she and I were both raised with what she calls “the post-boomer ideology that values emotional fulfillment above all else.” That my marital status might affect the Republic, and maybe cost me my Legion of Honor, never crossed my mind.

But here’s the twist: the reason I never married has nothing to do with any mixture of signals on which qualities were worth cultivating. On the contrary, I grew up with a very Bennett-like set of ideals. Forgive the Freudian lingo, but if a police artist were to sketch my superego, he’d emerge on paper with Bennett’s jowls, Reagan’s pompadour, and Kitchener’s mustache. This may surprise some of my regular readers, who know I was raised mainly by my mother. Well, the lady was smart enough — or, if anyone insists, traditional enough — to date men who were reliable, ambitious and open to commitment. She’s been with the best of them for 27 years, ever since they met on jury duty, which I always took as a plug for civic-mindedness.

No, what kept me on the margins of the marriage market was my growing awareness that I’d never realize those ideals, the first of which is that a man should be a have a career. I never have. My LSAT scores were awful; the grad program I entered turned out to be one for which I had no aptitude. I did endure a decade of misadventures in what eventually became infamous as the subprime mortgage industry, but it was not a field where I’d fain have planted my flag. At 37, after writing off a successful corporate future as a lost cause, I made the risky (if you must, frivolous) move of turning to writing full time. Earning enough to provide well for a family seemed unlikely in any event, so I opted to hang for a sheep instead of a lamb.

The Marshalls and Bennetts and Lopezes will read this as nothing more than post-boomer, follow-your-dreams twaddle. Indeed, given Marshall’s “family, congregational, and social support” for marriage as an end in itself, I might have entombed myself in a low-paying (and insecure) job I hated, and entombed others along with me. Over the years, I’ve met a number of women who seemed to want me, meager prospects and all. Most of them lacked self-esteem. They’d been treated foully — some by ex-husbands or ex-boyfriends, others by parents or life in general. As a result, they expected little. Their resignation frankly repelled me; I didn’t want to be anyone’s little. Either I’d be a lot, or I’d be nothing — Aut Caesar aut Nullus, as a real go-getter used to say.

Here again, I may reveal myself as a product of my age. In truth, I find myself most attracted to women who seem to have been raised, as Bolick was, to pattern themselves after Atalanta or Artemis, or some other avatar of girl power. (These are the ones who’ve dumped me, earning my grudging respect for their powers of discrimination.) If I’d grown up under different circumstances, maybe I’d have looked more kindly on the frantic nesting instinct these other women showed. Well, I’ve learned through the grapevine that three-quarters of them have married men anyone would consider far more suitable than I was. Chalk up three victories for Western Civ.

But Marshall and Bennett would be wrong to suppose that the life I’ve backed into, and have ultimately chosen, is a life free from sacrifice. I’ve given up a lot — not only the comforts of marriage itself, but any ease in being able to move among married couples with any measure of self-respect. Maybe New York hipsters like Katie Bolick have throngs of engaging and attractive single friends, but the late 30-something singles I meet out here in Real America tend to depress or frighten me.

The fact that I’ve recently turned Catholic may explain it. For one thing, guilt-free hookups are out. Studies do show that Catholic weddings are decreasing in number — one reason being, perhaps, that Catholics are marrying later. But that doesn’t seem to have produced a glut of presentable singles my own age — far from it. Recall the scene at the beginning of Animal House, where the rush chairman at the jock fraternity thrusts the geeky freshmen into a dark corner with all the other misfits, and you’ll get some idea of who my peers are now.

This is life. I’m a creature of my own limitations. When I consider where I am and how I’m likely to end up, I’m not nearly so stoical as I try to sound here. (Nor am I so resigned. As we’ve seen, I occasionally forget myself, grasp at fading hopes, and scribble awful poetry in self-consolation.) Nevertheless, I don’t claim to deserve better. That, right there, is what’s left of my inner William Bennett talking.

Outside of statistics, I don’t know too many 20- and younger 30-something men. I can’t say to what extent they resemble Bennett’s caricature. Maybe they’re far more responsible, on the whole, than he claims. If, as Bolick sees happening in her world, more women are choosing to marry men who earn less than they do — well, good for the commitment-craving low achievers. It’s the others I worry about, because I see a mighty backlash coming.

We’ve already heard about the New Victorians, the young marrieds who throw dinner parties for other young marrieds and wheel their kids around in double strollers. If their lifestyle somehow becomes the new ideal (with some auxiliary hectoring from old guardsmen and -women), then society will show these guys no mercy. It’ll be like one of those medieval charivari festivals, where villagers crowned the lintels of cuckolds with antlers and splashed animal blood on the doorsteps of adulterers. What mark of shame will the new wave of revelers reserve for umarried or undereducated men, I wonder?

Actually, I’d rather not wonder. For once, I’m glad I’m old — or at least old enough to have swallowed my pill.

Adventures in Acedia
Valentine’s Day: For Some, 50 Shades of Blue
Lent and the Lame Evangelist
Here We Go Again, Folks
  • jkm

    It’s a jagged little pill, Max; don’t swallow it. You are not alone. I have been spending an inordinate amount of time lately listening as smart, funny, handsome men in their late 20s and 30s and 40s share that same aching need to shed the single life, the same puzzlement about what’s getting in the way, and that same refusal (though often apologized for, unnecessarily) to be anyone’s “little.” They feel safe sharing this stuff with me because I am old enough to be their mother, and because (most of the time) I can strangle the urge to say, “Oh, honey, where were you when gals like me needed you?” The time is out of joint.

    And it was ever so. Shakespeare’s Benedick, the married man, is no spring chicken, and it took much ado for him to recognize his Beatrice and she him. It may be so for you, too, but only if you can manage to keep your heart open even when it feels like it’s being used as porta-potty at the street festival of love. And to that end, your faith gives you remedy–no, not Catholic Singles nights, or the personal ads section of Our Sunday Visitor (really, don’t you wish there was one, if only for the anthropological field study it would provide?), but prayer. God, who knows better than anyone how lovable you are and how loving you can be, wants happiness for you. Just ask him.

  • Jo Ann Elder

    Dear Max,
    Ditto to what JKM said, including being almost old enough to be your mother. My son is 24 and is too much the artist/skateboarder to make it through academia. I recognize his struggles in your story, both financially and with young women. Yet he has such a passion for his family, is unbelievably cute, and is funny and charming. Yet, the last girl he fell for had a master’s degree from MIT and apparently felt she could do better. Totally her loss. God will answer his prayers, I know.
    As for you, I love the way you write. The sheer breadth of your curiosity, your ability to integrate so many diverse topics, your willingness to expound with well thought out arguments on so many subjects (particularly my beloved faith), and the fact that you are so well read, keeps me checking your blog every day. I didn’t even know God was still making men like you! You, my friend, are exactly where you are supposed to be, doing exactly what God created you for. One day soon a woman who isn’t old enough to be your mother, will fall in love with who you are and what you have to say from reading your blog. (The fact that she did, will be the sign that she is awesome, too.) When that day comes, know that she is God’s gift to you and you deserve her.
    Meanwhile, I’ll be praying for both of you!

  • deiseach

    I am amused that Miss Bolick appears to think she and her cohort are a new thing. Ever heard of spinsters? Old maids? Maiden aunts? Bachelor uncles? Throughout human history, there have always been those left single for various reasons. She may think she’s unique in having chosen to remain single, but even back when dinosaurs walked the earth and I was in ny young girlhood, people did make decisions not to marry even if that avenue was available to them.

    How gracious of her to deign to consider adoption – yes, dear, if you ever do find Mr. Perfect and the pair of you decide to clutter up your lives with a child, naturally the perfect baby will just be out there waiting for you, courtesy of younger women who foolishly allowed biology to dictate their romantic lives. Children are not possessions or accessories, and I hope someone points this out to the lady.

    Max, if you want to marry and cannot, I sympathise. I never wanted to marry (ever since I was seven, I’ve said I would not, and although the adults all smiled and said “Oh, you’ll change your mind”, I never have done). I’m happy as I am, but I can feel the pain of those who want that life and are denied it. I have little or no sympathy, however, for those who could have married decent spouses but apparently thought they were Princess Wonderful and someone worthy their high value would eventually throw themselves at their feet. And then they hit forty and wonder where the time has gone?

  • Oregon Catholic

    I think one of the secrets to happiness in life is making good decisions given the info and circumstances at hand and then not second-guessing them or beating yourself up over them. Nothing you decide will ever be perfect forever but I think it’s better to choose a path and give it your all than to drift along wondering what to do and ultimately making your choice be no choice at all.

    For example, if you know yourself to be someone who eventually feels bored and smothered by any choice you make and feel forced to change direction then that is good self-knowledge and a good indication you don’t want to make lifetime committments yet, like marriage and children. Be happy with who you are right now and don’t beat yourself up over it. Some men don’t settle down until they are in their 50′s and 60′s when the desire for excitement is less than for stability and security and comfort. Men go through a kind of menopause too and when the sexual urges diminish around this time it can sometimes be easier to see a particular path to take and a partner suddenly doesn’t have to be so perfect to be ideal anymore.

    On the other hand, if you know you want to have your own biological children then it’s time to get moving in that direction and put your energy into finding a like-minded woman you can love and respect and appreciate as the mother of your children and not wait for ‘perfection’ in a mate. Sometimes knowing the person you marry is as flawed as yourself helps a lot in the everyday give and take of marriage.

  • Mike Melendez

    I am reminded of an old saw.

    There was a young lady who spent her life looking for Mr. Right and finally found him. The trouble was, he was looking for Miss Right.

    Marriages don’t spring into existence. They are built a day at a time.

  • David_J_White

    I just got married this past May, for the first time, at age 49, to a wonderful woman I met through a Catholic dating website. I had pretty much given up, but everyone was right: it really does happen when you least expect it, when you aren’t really looking for it. Both of us feel that the other is an answer to prayers neither of us really knew we were praying.

  • Holly in Nebraska

    Every Lent I pick a few things to do. I pick my own crosses. Of course, they are doable and I don’t exactly suffer. But every Lent, God seems to say to me, “Ok, I accept those. Now here’s one I’m picking out for you.” I don’t like it. It forces me to really change (or at least see that I need to change). Life can sometimes seem like a long, long Lent. We are suppose to embrace crosses, but sometimes they just really suck.

    “Life is just a long, long Lent” — you really need to take that to Nashville. — admin.

  • Tim

    Solid post. I’m not the sharpest pencil in the box, so I don’t know what this means:

    “It’s the others I worry about, because I see a mighty backlash coming. We’ve already heard about the New Victorians, the young marrieds who throw dinner parties for other young marrieds and wheel their kids around in double strollers. If their lifestyle somehow becomes the new ideal (with some auxiliary hectoring from old guardsmen and -women), then society will show these guys no mercy. It’ll be like one of those medieval charivari festivals, where villagers crowned the lintels of cuckolds with antlers and splashed animal blood on the doorsteps of adulterers. What mark of shame will the new wave of revelers reserve for unmarried or undereducated men, I wonder?”

    I’m 42, single white male, and was raised Catholic. I don’t currently practice it, however. I am still fond of catholicism, and must admit a Sunday service at a genuine cathedral with the organ and pipes and choir is quite inspiring.

    Shortly after I obtained a BA in English I decided to take a job as a deckhand working on ocean-going freighters. I figured that’s what Jack Kerouac would do. I’m telling you this because unlike the previous generation (or the one before it), we don’t need to get married, and furthermore, about half of us don’t. We spend a lot of time alone, it just is.

    Lately I’ve been feeling as though I were playing hookey from school, not being married. It is unusual, especially during Thanksgiving or Xmas. But who cares? I’m happy, Katie Bolick is basically happy, and so it goes.

    What’s the upside? We’re men, and let’s face it, aging doesn’t really hurt us as much as it does women. Can you imagine a 50 year old trying to snag a guy? But a 50 year old man can. Heh.

    [What I meant was, whenever society perceives some flaw in itself, it tends to overcorrect. (Here's where I might cast a stone at the so-called chattering classes, except, well, I kind of want to join them.) Mark my words, over the next few years, Bennett and his like are going to make a few fortunes publishing books that ask titles like "Why Your Average American Man is a Worthless Shit." Not that women will get off the hook so easily. Just as Bolick's generation gave itself hell for not being independent and competitive enough, this next generation will drive itself nuts trying to be dependent and acccomodating. The economy beng what it is, I wish them luck. -- admin]

  • jkm

    “What’s the upside? We’re men, and let’s face it, aging doesn’t really hurt us as much as it does women. Can you imagine a 50 year old trying to snag a guy? But a 50 year old man can. Heh.”

    Nice, Tim. Not only did you manage to imply that the thought of a 50-year-old woman “trying to snag a guy” is both horrifying and unimaginable—your lack of parallelism also has you cheering the fact that a 50-year-old man would have no problem snagging a guy. Glad you’re happy being single.

  • Rambling Follower

    I have a dear friend from high school who married at 45 for the first time to a woman about five years younger. They met online in a chat room about teaching Spanish. They discovered they both are devout Catholics and she ended up moving two large states away to be with him. They are very very happy.

    I don’t believe in statistics when it comes to love. I believe in the human heart.

  • Tim


    Yes, I should not have written that. My apologies.


    I never thought of that angle, and it is a scary prospect this backlash you speak of. I can sometimes feel the eyes of older women glaring at me in polite society, knowing that I am a bachelor, and disapproving. Good Lord, it almost sounds as if a bachelor tax will make a comeback. Scary because that is what happened to Rome just before it fell.

  • john

    @jkm – LOVED your post, its still burning in my heart right now

    @Tim,jkm – although Tims comment was abit out of character of this blog its really a small response to unfortunately how men are being hugely devalued ATM by women, which we are in every area, there are laws in force to accomplish this, speaking as a divorcee, most men I know are torn asunder by the whole process (which is 90% female initiated – straw poll amongst many friends) , this is just part of our devaluation. Its astounding, in just 2 generations women have become like the worst of men and we are watching at the sidelines as its all happening with utter disbelief. Almost all the divorces are caused by (wives) affairs, and the behaviour of females in the 30-45 age bracket (alcohol, lies, spousal abuse, breaking family ties etc.) really has to be seen to be believed at the moment.

    Men don’t have a place anymore, nor do we know where to find it. Females are allowed to obtain value in many ways : home maker, mother, worker, student, ladies who lunch, etc. A man has few options, without a job(purpose) or wealth he really is a lost cause. And with females having far better social networks than males, a single male is a lonely species indeed.

    Men have lost their status in the workplace and the home, even access to our own children. Most females after divorce don’t consider that fathers actually have any rights to their own children. Just think what a fundamental right to be denied this is, then apply across the whole spectrum, and thats where we are.

    @author – loved this blog, think I will read the rest of your articles. I dont know if there will be a backlash, I doubt it. Its too unmanly to protest against women. I think what will happen, is happening, is that the golden goose is being killed. And the benefit that females have appropriated from men for generations will come to an end. But I hope not.

    If there was a backlash, in what form would you expect this to come and when ?

    Hope to hear from you soon

  • Sarah

    “Almost all the divorces are caused by (wives) affairs”

    I’d LOVE to see some numbers on this, John. Really, I would.

    I have always had my own problems with the second wave of feminism, and I do think it created many problems, not just for men, but for women. However, as a woman, I’m glad men like you are no longer Masters of the World. I think your comment reeks of bitterness and projection (you said yourself that you’re a divorcee) and you’re applying your ex-wife’s negative traits to women-in-general. This is a revolting mistake, and if you continue to spew that kind of nonsense, don’t be surprised to be undervalued by women.

    Of course there are bad women, but there are also bad men. My father never had a high-paying career, and we never had very much money. There were times when I was young that he worked for a garage, a pizza place, and a gas station, all at once. He was a hard worker who took care of his family and did so smilingly, and I hope I can be as lucky as my mother.

  • john

    Well it all depends on your age, I would reckon you arn’t mid 30′s-40′s otherwise you might just see what Im talking about. I used to be a firm advocate of womans rights but I do now see that those rights have come without responsibility.
    My comments have come from seeing what is occurring to 50% of marriages, whereby the females are initiating separation 90% of the time. In my case my ex initiated with an affair, then I had to pay for the divorce (at her bequest) as part of her ‘settlement’, although I had contributed 90% of the finance in the 11 year marriage – this of course counted for naught. Most of my friends are in exactly the same boat.
    It is a fallacy that men in their 30′s-40′s commit extra marital affairs like mad, but it seems to be a popular misconception. NOW this does happen late teens and in the early to mid 20′s at which point it tails off as guys tend to focus on career\family at this point.
    What seems to be happening in this age group (but no-one will talk about) is that a cheating man (of which I know a few) will have sex with many female partners 6 or 7+, but these women will only have sex with him. The issue is that most of these women are\were currently married at the time.
    In my extended family, the only affairs have been committed by the females. In my ex’s family her father had that role with scores of women on the side but his generation is 70+ now.
    I just want the truth to out, and most women of age (mid 30′s-mid 40′s) know what I’m talking about, its like the number of females initiating divorce, if that figure was truly known the law would have to change to counteract the imbalance. As all the laws are currently constructed around the fact that men are lying cheating bastards who abandon their families and abuse their spouses.
    The other option that is frequently exercised is that a potential replacement is setup but the act hasn’t completed, in the case of close friend, his wife announced that she wanted to separate and was in bed with the other within 4 hrs or so, now she claims this isn’t cheating they had split up :) Im including this type in my stats.
    I know absolutely horrible men (truly dreadful) and pretty awful women too.
    I just want fairness, fair access to my child(currently denied), fair financial settlement, open responsibility and accountability for our actions.
    At the moment Sarah you have taken my observations (which you think I have lied) as offensive, and then insulted me for daring to bring to the light (from my observations) what is going on.
    To be honest, I (not my peers) think that some sort of collective breakdown is occurring among women of this age group, my last gf’s family (she was wonderful btw) – all her female relatives were on antidepressants, a friend’s wife was recently mentally sectioned, and another tried to throw herself of a bridge. And if you look at the articles talking about 1/4 of women are on some form of mental health drugs.

    Have you read Michelle.Langley-Womens.Infidelity ? Its a good read, very informative and I would agree with its findings.

    The general consensus (from my friends) with men who have been through a divorce is that they are too scared to marry again, none of this is difficult to find online. I could have been remarried but I just wouldn’t be able to sleep at night knowing how easily my life can be ruined by the current system.

    Anyway blessings to you and I look forward to see how you will insult me in your reply !

  • Sarah

    First of all, you must not be very familiar with statistics, because playing the “All my bar buddies and cousins married bitches” card isn’t statistics– it’s conjecture.

    Second of all, don’t make assumptions about my age and subsequent lack of knowledge. I work for about eight lawyers, all of whom practice family law and deal with divorces. Therefore, instead of relying on biased observations of people close to me, I can say with a significant level of objectivity that divorces are caused by all number of issues across the broad spectrum of gender. But if we’re playing around with conjecture, then I will remark that the affairs and divorces that have happened in MY family have almost exclusively been men. My family has a long, proud history of infidelity– I know what I’m talking about.

    I’m now going to address your oblique way of calling women crazy. (I’m honestly not sure what depression rates in women have to do with this if you’re not being bitter.) Eaier this year, I spent months pleading with my closest male friend to get medication for his depression that left him listless, tired, a poor friend and frankly, hard to be around. Our friends tried suggesting vitamins, a change in diet, just something to get him back to his old self. I’ve never had to do that with any of my female friends. it doesn’t matter, though. Men and women have different issues, as genders and as individuals. But blaming the decline of society (or simply your failed marriage, which is what it sounds like) on one gender or another is counter productive. This is the stuff of total revolution, which is rarely successful, as they always seem to make the oppressed the oppressors, over and over again.

    I’m not going to say all men are lying, cheating swine; far from it. Also, I never said you were lying. I’m sure you, in your heart of hearts, see yourself as a victim of the system. I’m saying that Man is wolf to Man. PEOPLE are bad to each other. Your wife cheated on you. I’m sorry about that; I’m sure it was very painful and I doubt she has made your life difficult. But don’t make generalizations or place blame on a single gender. And don’t be A Victim. Not only does it cloud your judgment, but it’s just plain unnattractive in either sex.

  • Sarah

    I meant to say, “I DON’T doubt your ex has made life difficult.”

  • john

    Not wishing you even more angst but you seem angry and frustrated. I am not angry with the ‘system’ it is what it is, and we are where we are. But the realisation of the bias of the system did come as a shock which only a divorced male will appreciate. You keep mentioning my failed marriage and trying to make this personal, can we stop this and move to generalising.

    I have studied stats in the past as part of a degree, but again I have stated this is from my viewpoint and also Im from the UK, maybe where you are its totally different. But from my view point (and I am clarifying – it is my view point) this is what I am seeing. As for the reasons of divorce, for example, ours was down as unreconcilable differences as to state the obvious would have quite frankly would have made my life not worth living (having to already deal with a very unstable ex). So the reasons for divorce as many and varied, alot of them don’t state the actual reason but something more PC. All women initiating a divorce while having an affair will use some other reason and blame the other party of course.

    Just to let you know how things are regarded in the UK, when I had to retain a lawyer, she was female and brilliant, the 1st thing she said was ‘we can’t believe how the system is for guys at the moment and why arn’t men fighting this’ , I also know of a judge advising his son who was arranging his wedding to what is really going on out atm and trying to dissuade his plans.

    You don’t need to be sorry for me regards to anything, and I’m not a victim. You are acting like one though and are very defensive. My point in all this is that females have changed radically over the last 20 years at least in my culture, and not for the better. At least the ones approaching middle age.

    You seem to think I’m applying this to all females, I’m not, the blog is about males being devalued in our time, divorce and its law’s are a large proponent of that. But you seem angry if I discuss the truth of the situation I am seeing in my culture, you maybe don’t like what I am saying. What bothers me is the lies that are still existing and being upheld.

    “I’m now going to address your oblique way of calling women crazy. ” – :) okkay, have a search for that article I mentioned. Again you seem to miss the point Im making in that its an age specific issue I am addressing, something is happening when the levels of Testosterone increase in women early 30′s to mid 40′s, and ain’t good. Dosn’t apply to all women but a subset during a particular age group. Please go and read.

    Who blamed the decline of society on one gender ? You seem to have made several statements already and attributing them to me ? Don’t do this. I am not going to make this personal with you, so don’t with me.

    [I beg your pardon, but my blog is NOT about how society devalues men. This was strictly a personal essay: I acknowldged I got to where I am by my own shortcomings and through my own choices. Along the way, I tried to make the case that those choices owed more to conventional thinking than someone like William Bennett might suppose. Argue with your fellow readers to your heart's content; I only intervene when one or both parties becomes abusive or threatening. But if you want some men's movement screed to cite in support, please look elsewhere. -- admin]

  • Sarah

    You tell me not to make the conversation personal, and yet you keep referring to your own marriage and divorce?

    As far as what your lawyer told you, I can only chuckle a little. It’s an attorney’s JOB to gain your trust by speaking sympathetically, and it’s extremely advantageous to have a client believe themselves to be the victim of some kind of breach of justice. I’m not saying she lied– perhaps she knows or thinks something I don’t. What I’m saying is, what your lawyer says hardly makes your case.

    I will say that you may be right about the cultural thing– the laws concerning divorce, custody, and child support may be much different in the UK than here in the US. As it is, I know of many men who have full custody and rights to their children.

    I think its humorous that these wonderful, brilliant women you give any credence to (your lawyer, Michelle Langley, etc) are the ones who agree with you, and support your idea that women are “The Problem.”

    It’s this “all women” language that makes you sound ignorant, emotional, sexist and unhinged from reality. Carrying on a conversation with such a person sounds uninteresting and pointless.

  • john

    @admin – sir, you are correct
    Sarah – all the best to your life.

  • Tim

    For the record, it should be stated that john’s statistics are correct. 90% of all divorces are indeed initiated by women. This is a fact, not a slur against the female sex. I’m ambivalent about the custody issue because I think most men would rather not have custody. However, it must be said that most men don’t want to be divorced, either. You can deny it til the cows come home, but in this culture, at the present time, it is literally “empowering” for a woman to initiate divorce. There is no shame in it. She will be rewarded with girl’s night out, and we all know it. Moreover, her feelings will be validated by the Lifetime channel and other women’s tv networks. I don’t think women know this, but a man who initiates divorce is given no respect by his peers. He will be viewed as a man who has abandoned his family. There will be no celebratory boy’s night out.

    Keep in mind this is not female-bashing. You just have to open your eyes and admit what you see is real. The modern woman has no boundaries and is the most sluttastic she has ever been in history. We haven’t seen this kind of behavior since we were swinging from trees. A lot of men are avoiding women and choosing to opt out. It just is. Rabbi Shmuley talks about modern women in the Huffington Post here:

    The point I am making is, everyone is on to the modern woman. She is the first one into a marriage and the first one out. Cash in and cash out. You can call me a female-basher and the blog owner can ban me, but you can’t say I’m not keeping it real. Women have money, they have careers, but what the modern woman does not have is a man who loves her and appreciates her – THAT is the number one complaint of the modern woman. And for that, she needs to look at herself in the mirror.

    [Not to worry, Tim. Unless posters get excessively vulgar or personal, or unless they start talking like they're going to blow something up in the name of their pet cause, I welcome their input. And yeah, I know what you're thinking: How can someone get too personal when the message they're responding to is itself personal? All I can say is, there are lines, and I try to leave as much inside them as I can. -- admin]

  • Sarah

    Tim, his “90%” statistics were about the fidelity of women, which he admitted was a straw poll. Frankly, it’s ridiculous.

    I’m not going to debate this any longer. I’m sick of men complaining about bad women (as sick as you are of women complaining about bad men.) I think the blaming and the name calling is only worsening and lengthening the Battle of the Sexes. We’ll never get anywhere unless we acknowledge that we, as individuals, not as genders, need to be good to other people.