Recoiling from Resounding Resentment

Dalrock’s latest post challenged the findings of the authors of this paper, “Divorce Rates Have Halved for New Wives. Why?” and took some umbrage at the suggestion that men doing better is a plausible reason for women to not choose divorce. He quotes the conclusion of The Marriage Foundation paper:

Because it is almost entirely the reduction of wife-granted divorces concentrated into the early years of marriage that accounts for the overall 22% reduction in divorce rates since the 1993 peak, any explanation for this phenomenon has to account for wives being less prone to divorce. By far the most plausible explanation relates to wives perception of husbands.

In other words, husbands are doing better during the early years of marriage.

Which he rejects:

The paper he cites to back up his assertion that men’s commitment matters in marriage and women’s doesn’t is Commitment: Functions, Formation, and the Securing of Romantic Attachment.  Strangely I can’t find such a claim being made in that paper.

In the comments he goes on to say:

The reason which immediately came to my mind is 1) Women are marrying later in the UK (as I referenced here). 2) Older women divorce at much lower rates than younger women. The basic thesis is the same though, that perceived remarriage opportunities are lower. EPL isn’t about a one time family detonation, but about trading up.

and

[W]hat I found so noteworthy about the part I quoted was after he shared some astounding statistics showing that new wives were becoming far better at honoring their commitments in the UK, this was then immediately reprocessed as proof that new husbands must have suddenly had greater commitment to their marriages. This kind of doublethink is truly impressive. There isn’t even a hint of cognitive dissonance.

I think it’s possible that there’s no hint of cognitive dissonance because there’s no doublethink at play. From “Benson 2012 Marriage…”:

This gender-specific finding strongly suggests men are doing better in the early years of marriage.

It seems that what they mean by “doing better” is “getting their way” in the relationship; whether that is a choice to stay or to leave. To wit:

The rate at which wives have been granted divorce has fallen 27% during the first ten years of marriage compared to a rise of 1% for husbands. The most striking reduction is a 51% fall in the rate at which divorces are granted to wives during the first three years.

First off: Basically everyone who wants a divorce gets one. So, presumably, everyone who wants to stay married doesn’t file because they already have what they want, and everyone who does file gets the divorce they want, but the other spouse who did not file does not. Those spouses on the receiving end of divorce are not “doing better”, but “doing badly”, i.e., not “getting their way”.

Second, husbands are choosing to leave their wives in about the same percentages as they have for the last several decades; even going up 1%. (The husbands who file maintain “getting their way”, and the husbands who are not filed upon also “get their way”.) Yet wives are choosing to leave their husbands at slightly less than half the rate they they previously were. This suggests that wives are happy to continue in marriage as their path of “getting their way”; whereas before twice as many wives were filing to “get their way”. Since neither the laws and demographics have not changed, and since everyone who wants a divorce can have one: The authors of Benson 2012 Marriage Foundation have concluded that since women are happier with their husbands, (and not much else has changed) then some husbands have changed how they go about the marriage. Hence: “Doing better”.

In the early years of a relationship, constraints can be added either by deliberate intent – “deciding” – or by happenstance – “sliding”. But whether deliberate or not, every important relationship transition – such as sleeping together, moving in together, having a baby, getting married – adds an extra constraint, crucially making it marginally harder to leave and easier to stay even if things are not going well. This short term pressure to stay in a less than ideal situation is usually called “inertia” (Stanley et al, 2006) but can also be thought of as “premature entanglement” (Glenn, 2002).

[…]

Amongst couples who had been married for five years, men who cohabit before getting engaged (some “sliders”, some “deciders”) tend to have consistently lower levels of dedication compared both to men who get engaged before cohabiting (“deciders” only) and also to women in both categories. The order of events — moving in and getting engaged — thus appears to matter in some way a lot more to men than to women (Rhoades et al, 2009). The researchers concluded that some men were “sliding” into a relationship, getting stuck because of the “inertia” of cohabitation, and thus not fully “deciding” even when they got married. In other words, men’s commitment is specifically dependent on “deciding” whereas women’s commitment is relatively independent of “sliding” or “deciding”.

But, where did Benson 2012 Marriage Foundations get that it was specifically men’s “deciding” for commitment (as opposed to “sliding” into commitment )that was driving this change; instead of women’s sliding or deciding commitment? From “Commitment: Functions, Formation, and the Securing of Romantic Attachment” (by Rhoades et al):

The tendency of individuals to sacrifice, or forego immediate self-interest for the good of the partner or relationship, is strongly dependent on the presence of commitment. Not only does commitment predict the number of sacrifices performed for partners (Van Lange et al., 1997), it also is associated with both the degree to which individuals feel satisfied with sacrificing for their partner’s benefit (Stanley & Markman, 1992) and their willingness to sacrifice (Van Lange et al., 1997; Wieselquist et al., 1999). Whitton, Stanley, and Markman (2007) showed that commitment to the relationship’s future is strongly related to whether or not day-to-day relationship sacrifices are perceived as harmful to the self—especially for men

.

In other words: Does the man feel he is making sacrifices for a person and relationship he has deliberately chosen and is purposefully building; or is he making sacrifices for a relationship that he has found himself in by external forces; love, pregnancy, fear of being alone, etc.? If it’s the former, then his commitment for the long haul is strengthened. If it is the latter, then that sacrifice is a drain on his commitment; even if if marginally increases short-term inertia to stay in the relationship. Wives who feel this lack of commitment and the resentful sacrifice are more likely to choose divorce as the path to “getting their way”.

This is explained further in this section from “Commitment: Functions, etc.”:

Stanley and colleagues (2004) assessed dedication commitment in a random national (U.S.) sample to compare married respondents who did or did not cohabit premaritally. We found that married men who lived with their wives prior to marriage reported significantly less dedication to their wives than those who did not cohabit before marriage. This finding led to speculation that the well-replicated risks associated with premarital cohabitation may, in part, be due to a subset of couples in which the men were always less committed to their partners but were nevertheless propelled by the greater constraints of cohabitation into marriage. We call this phenomenon inertia, which is the property in physics representing the amount of energy it would take to move an object from its present trajectory or position to another. We suggest that living together, especially when sharing a single address, makes it relatively more difficult than dating without cohabiting for a couple to veer from a path toward a future together, even into marriage (see Stanley, Rhoades et al., 2006).Glenn (2002) referred to a similar risk to mate selection, called premature entanglement, which interferes with the search for a good fit between partners.

Now, we don’t see the number data here because those are tucked away in a boatload of other studies these two papers (“Benson 2012 Marriage etc.” and “Commitment: Functions, etc.”) reference, but if we believe they are reading those tucked-away numbers correctly, then they’ve got a pretty good argument (not definitive, but pretty good) for how male leadership itself at the various phases of relationship transition (engagement, cohabitation, pregnancy, etc.–and all the sacrifices that go with them) is its own incentive for the wife to stay; to choose continuing the marriage as her path to “getting her way”. They’re seeing that this “leadership incentive” the husband provides can outweigh those other incentives that push women to choose “getting their way” via divorce; which persist even now just as forcefully as they have over the last several decades as neither laws nor demographics have changed remarkably enough to account for a 27% drop in wife-granted divorce.

Hence: “Men are doing better”; most specifically at “deciding commitment” leading to continued marriage. I find that extraordinarily encouraging and hopeful because there are ghosts of Christian marriage haunting those studies. Yet…they are scaring the hell out of men who nurse resentment for their sacrifices; who are self-righteous towards their spouses; who did not and do not choose to decide commitment to their wives, but rather slid into it by guilt, lust, happenstance, or whatever.

The thing is: They can change that today.  And while it is no guarantee that wives will follow the freely-given sacrificial commitment into happy marriage, God will still be glorified, and such men will still be doing better.

I have every confidence that Dalrock is not one of those resentful men. My suspicion is that he (like all of us about many different topics) has over-estimated human preferences for material incentives; specifically of women, and even including “trading up husbands” among those materialist incentives. It’s a classic error of the free-market economist. Good company; all things considered.

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Hold Your Fire

In the past, I’ve had trouble convincing my wife to get more exercise. We’d have talks, and I’d help schedule activities. There was just a lot of resistance; though I was the dutiful and suffering leader. Recently something’s changed. Now she’s getting up early and taking all the kids with her. I have the sneaking suspicion that she enjoys working out. Her clothes are starting to fit better, and the shrew will probably be better in the sack, thanks to her program.

All this time I’ve been the one motivating her, and now she’s all “Oh, look how much better I look; see how much better I feel; life’s so awesome; blah blah blah.” 

And get this: After all my complaints and recriminations that she needs to be sweet and obedient, then last week she decided–on her own–to start doing what I ask and being kind because she’s concerned about her own holiness; as if working out and being submissive was her own idea.

The nerve. Well, I’ll tell you I’m going to put a stop to that nonsense

 

[Editor’s Note: Some of you may have seen an unfinished version. I accidentally hit “Publish” instead of “Save Draft”.]

Family-Friendly Films: Sabotaged to be Supplanted

While laws can influence culture in ways great and small, the usual way of things is that culture informs the law. By culture I mean that alloy made of the a society’s aspirations, desires, fears, and biases. These are what they hold important. It is the stuff their art and media is made of. And by law I mean not only the letters of the laws that are passed, but how they are passed, and how they are enforced…or not, as the case may be. Right now there are a lot of people across the political spectrum who are anxious to control the law because they don’t understand that the winner of this cycle of political battle we’re in right now has already been decided by the culture (especially the art and media) of the 80s, 90s, and before.

So when we look at a smear campaign by the pink mafia that causes the destruction of a TV show about brothers flipping houses for in-need families on the HGTV network,

HGTV announced on its Facebook page Wednesday that it was scrapping plans for the upcoming series after a report emerged identifying one of its stars as an activist against gay marriage and abortion. After the CNN interview, David told Deadline he and his brother had been “really excited” about the reality series, thinking it would give them “that opportunity to show America that you can be Christian and not be so extreme on one side of an issue that you’re not loving toward people. I was excited about that opportunity,” he said.

we’re looking at secondary explosions of a bomb that went off in previous decades. Those decades gave us cable and wealth. They gave us the housing market boom that increased homeowner envy, incited irrational exuberance for building more and bigger houses, created the glut that makes flipping houses a thing people believe anyone can get into, and the Internet makes all this knowledge available. Without those things, you don’t even have a show about flipping houses to be cancelled; or even an HGTV to cancel it. And sometime before all that: Homes and gardens–the church buildings of the family–became the cultural domain of homosexual men. We should not be surprised that two straight white men’s[3]  show about helping actual families (Dad, Mom, and kids) live together got caught in the blast.

The Good News: At least one man has heard the call to arms. His name’s John Erwin, and he’s not going to let the next generations suffer the same fate.

Erwin, whose new film “Moms’ Night Out” opens in theaters nationwide Friday, lambasted the industry for failing to take the time to consider the social consequences of distributing messages rooted in rampant violence, sex and smut.

[…]

Hollywood, he charged, doesn’t “have a soul anymore” — a paradigm he’s hoping to change through the work he’s doing with his brother, Andrew Erwin. The two co-directed “Moms’ Night Out,” a comedic follow-up to “October Baby,” their dramatic feature film about abortion survival.

The Erwin brothers are taking an entirely different approach.

“There’s no emphasis on anything other than, ‘Does this make money?,’” he charged of studios’ movie-making decisions. “There’s no boardrooms where people are asking, ‘Is ‘Grand Theft Auto’ good for people?’ They only ask, ‘Does it make money?’”

Erwin, a Christian who’s bent on producing films that focus on a fulfilling story or an uplifting message, said it’s long past due for Hollywood to really take the time to pursue a “double bottom line” — that is, creating content that is both financially profitable and ethically sound.

The Bad News: He’s leading F Troop.

Instead of a pretend enemy of equally hapless American Indians, we’re up against a deadly serious new Reich hellbent on slaughter, sodomy…nothing less than general and utter desecration. To see what I mean about leading F Troop, watch this trailer for John Erwin’s film-as-cultural-cannon, “Mom’s Night Out” as it topples the watchtower of patriarchy.

It’s a film about how mothers are over-worked yet under-appreciated, and how if they didn’t labor under this unfair burden all our children would be dead. All the fathers are inept, ignorant, and with one exception completely unappreciative. Even that guy suffers being tied-up and injured to the point of needing an ambulance–and that at the hands of small children. Every single father in the preview tries to weasel out of taking responsibility of his children; either by whining to his wife, checking them into an arcade, and even up to dropping them off at a tattoo parlor.

A bit of good luck there for our surrounded and outnumbered wives, though. Because while tattoo parlors are generally considered dens of slightly-less-iniquity than whorehouses, they also come stocked with presumably (and hopefully!) unmarried and fearless bikers who will stick by those wives no matter what to save those kids. Good thing, too, because the dads are too busy bumbling, hiding, and healing up from their traumatic experiences in babysitting to be of any help whatsoever. The necessity of the bikers is depicted in the clips where the bikers are leading even the police in the rescue, and will not hesitate to rough up another idiot father who stands in the way of their mission.

The snippet that really drives home the beautiful alliance of the bikers and the wives…

Did I forget to mention those wives are also smoking hot when they’re not being kept down by the idiot bastards to whom they’re married?

…is when they show the massive and tattoo’d leader[1] of the bikers sitting with the wife in the little black dress at the police station. Bikers–as everybody knows–aren’t only in it with your wife for the excitement. They’re in it for the long haul of fretful nights, too. One imagines those bikers could be in all kinds of things for wives.

There’s your Family-Friendly Film warriors at work; bringing us an “ethically sound”, clean and relatively painless lethal injection of fatherhood that frees up wives to have real adventures, sexy bikers, great clothes, the joy of kids…everything.

Before some wiseguy cracks that I haven’t even seen the movie yet, and so I can’t know what I’m talking about: You’ve not only missed the point of my post, but the point of movie trailers altogether.

Later in the Blaze interview I linked above, John Erwin says:

“There was a day when Hollywood really had a moral fiber in my opinion, that there was clear good versus evil and there were rules for what could and could not be portrayed,” he told TheBlaze. “I love comedy, but it stinks that there are so few comedies that I can go and see.”

Erwin said it’s unfortunate that so many people of faith are put in positions in which they need to sacrifice their values in order to get a good laugh, many times feeling like they “want to take a bath afterwards.”

[…]

“We’re going off a cliff in the kind of content we’re creating,” Erwin said. “My appeal to everyone in Hollywood is, can we please clean up our act?”

Tell me about it, Captain Parmenter.[2]

Edited to include footnote [3], which is out of order.

[1] Played by country singer Trace Adkins. Trace is 6’5″ and has family values written all over him. He’s sold millions of albums filled with dozens of songs about himself, been married and divorced three times, and has had at least five children by at least two women. (His groupies declined to comment during the calls I didn’t make for clarification.) 

[2] For those of you in the mood to take another beating, check out this clip of the creators of this film talking about why and how they made it. One pitch for the movie–by the co-writer, director, and brother to John: Andrew Erwin–is such a farce that I will transcribe it here:

It’s this feel-good, empowering story, and it’s really about a husband and wife fighting for each other and fighting for their family. And I hope there’s just this resounding message to moms to keep going; just keep going; just keep doing what you’re doing[…]

  1. It’s not a story about a husband and wife fighting together, but rather wives, their friends, and bikers.
  2. Keep going towards what? Divorce, girls’-nights-out, and bikers, presumably.

[3] As I have already received and deleted one off-target racial comment meant to redirect from my post to a discussion about race, let me make my inclusion of white clear. It matters in this case because NAMs, when attacked, can always resort to their Aggreivance Protection Policy to abjure the haters. In the alternate reality where everything is the same except the twins are black, their show is still in production. But if you’re a white guy: There’s no APP for that. I’m not particularly upset about that, either. Find the black dudes who are housing and supporting families and put them on the air.

Prayer and Sodomy in the News

I was going to do a real post on this, but I want to move onto the flip side and talk about those people who are going to Save Our Society. Instead, just read this article about how bowing down in prayer is risible, but bending over for another dude is laudable.

One more thing: One of the jokes I cut from my last post was about Michael Sam going to school at (vulgar term ahead[1]) FDAU. I blinked because I am sometimes overly sensitive to the need to “not contribute to the pollution”. But, dammit, that is exactly what homosexuality is. The perversion of homosexual behavior isn’t fond feelings between two (or more) men. The perversion is sex (including sexual desires) between men.[2] Homosexuality is fundamentally about one man putting his dick in another man. It’s sick. In the inversion of the truths Dalrock spoke: A people who cannot even bring themselves to say sex between men is grotesque have no hope to turn the ship of marriage around.

This is already more of a post than I intended at the start.

[1] Ironically, I hear about most NSFW things at work.

[2] This fits with what I’ve said about divorce, and sex in a marriage. Don’t do the first, and keep doing the second. Work together on the desire.

Eurovision Owns NFL at Tolerance. Film at Eleven*.

The Pink Mafia is successfully erecting their goalposts right in our faces and mushroom-stamping all of Western Civilization along the way. This past week the NFL drafted its first openly homosexual player. THWACK! Not to be outdone by wee Yankee upstarts: Europeans choose a bearded transexual as their mascot of pop music. THWACK! THWACK!

It was an ignoble effort, but (unfortunately for the Americans) their sexual deviant icon is a large black man who–if you can avoid the picture of him kissing his white bitch boyfriend–still clings to some vestigial masculinity. The European candidate for degenerate of the year is a full-blown nut bag…which is even more fitting than the American one’s overly developed fondness for balls. All hail the queen.

* For the edification of the even younger fogies than I:

Churches are Real Things

This topic isn’t one of my normal offerings, but I want to have it here so I can reference back to it.

I’ve seen a lot of variations on the idea that church isn’t a necessary part of the Christian life; that there is no scriptural basis for being a member of a church. Let me show it to you.

I don’t know which Bibles you all may have, but it’s not terribly important. Turn with me now to the beginning…I mean before Genesis. There it is: The second Chapter of the Table of Contents, New Testament, verse 6

  • Letter of Paul to the Church in Rome
  • First Letter of Paul to the Church in Corinth
  • Second Letter of Paul to the Church in Corinth
  • Letter of Paul to the Churches (more than one!) in Galatia.
  • Letter of Paul to the Church in Ephesus
  • Letter of Paul to the Church in Philippi
  • Letter of Paul to the Church in Colossae
  • First Letter of Paul to the Church in Thessalonica
  • Second Letter of Paul to the Church in Thessalonica
  • First Letter of Paul to Timothy, a Pastor of the Church in Ephesus
  • Second Letter of Paul to Timothy, a Pastor of the Church in Ephesus
  • Letter of Paul to Titus, Pastor of the Church in Crete
  • Letter of Paul to Philemon, a minister of a Church in Colossae

In total, of the 27 books of the New Testament, fully 13 are specifically addressed to churches, or to specific elders of specific churches. Within the other books of the New Testament–the Gospels excluded–there are many rules, guides, suggestions, encouragements, and so forth about how these church organizations should run; what there duties are; what responsibilities one has towards them; and so on.

In the last book of the New Testament–the Book of Revelations–there are seven letters to seven churches; each of which actually existed:

  • The Church in Ephesus
  • The Church in Smyrna
  • The Church in Pyrgamum
  • The Church in Thyatira
  • The Church in Sardis
  • The Church in Phliadelphia
  • The Church in Laodicea

Again: These were real churches with real people and real elders and all the things that go with a defined body of believers.

If you don’t want to go to church, have the honesty to just say you don’t want to go to church. Do not pretend like you’ve actually read the Bible and found that churches are not real and necessary things ordained by Christ and inhabited by the Holy Spirit since the Pentecost; as recorded in the first book after the Gospels: The Book of the Acts of the Apostles. You didn’t even make it through the Table of Contents.