Thursday, July 21, 2011

Divorce - A Stupid Waste of Money

The divorce rate is staggering in this country - mostly because people are not willing to work through issues and the TeeVee suggests divorce as a panacea to all problems.  But divorce is a staggeringly expensive proposition!

The divorce rate in this country is staggering - half of all marriages end in divorce.  Why is this?  Well, we tend to be very absolutist in this country, and despite the fact we feel we are sexually liberated, we really are a bunch of prudes - or at least the TeeVee is.

For example, take your typical mid-day morning TeeVee chat show -usually aimed at women.  They talk about a cheating husband, and all the women on the panel nod in agreement - if you husband is caught cheating, divorce is the only option!  Or better, yet, cut off his penis and shove it down the garbage disposal.   Gee, that makes sense!

When did women in this country become such hysterical bitches?  I mean, no wonder half the men in this country are Gay.  Can you blame them?  Overseas, people are a little more relaxed.   Your rich husband has a mistress - big deal.  You get all the money, and as a bonus, you don't have to do the dirty deed with his nasty old wanger.  And if you have needs, there is always Alfonso, the pool boy.  What's not to like?

For some reason, though, in this country, our "Liberated Women" look upon sex as an absolutist thing, and if they decide not to have sex any more (for example, after entering menopause), well then, their husband has to "do without" as well.  And when they find him banging his Secretary in a Motel room, well, call the divorce lawyer!

Ladies, if I may interject here - that is really a crummy idea.  Why?  For several reasons:
1.  You will likely be far poorer after a divorce than before.   While you struggle with bills and raising children, your ex-husband will be tooling around in his new Corvette with some Bimbo on his arm.

2.  You let the Bimbo win.  When you divorce your husband over infidelity issues, you force him into a corner.  The bimbo he was poking now will pressure him to marry HER, and that means she gets all his attention, and more importantly, money.  You are left out in the cold.   Don't let the Bimbo win!

3.  You are confusing sex with love and commitment.  Most men have sexual urges that need to be satisfied at least once a day.   If you are no longer interested in sex, or not interested as much, then let him jerk off in the shower or something.  Most wives find this repugnant, and find excuses to interrupt their husbands while they are showering and then castigating them for being "gross".  A more sure-fire recipe for sending him off to the nearest waiting Bimbo, I do not know.  You husband may have urges, but he still loves you and loves his family.  The sexual relationship he may have with another is only a transitory thing - unless you drop the "D" bomb on him and force it to be a permanent one.

4. Your Marriage May be Stronger than Before.  If you keep hubby around, seek counseling and try to save the marriage, it may be stronger than before - and you may find yourself having more power in the relationship as a bonus - not that it would be a good idea to browbeat him about his affair all the time (lest he dump YOU as a result).
Of course, women are wired differently than men - they view sex as love and confuse the two.  They find out their husband is banging the maid and assume he is in love with Consuela.  But that is not the case - he is in lust with her, and probably will dump her in short order.

The Bill Clinton / Monica Lewinsky affair is a case in point.  Bill Clinton had no intention of divorcing Hillary and making Monica the new first lady.   No, he just wanted a little fun time, and frankly, as President of the United States, you don't get a lot of that, particularly when your wife is a proto-Lesbian.

And a lot of people thought that Bill Clinton having a little nooky was shocking - again we are prudes in this country - but to me, that is an issue between Bill and Hillary - and I suspect that Hillary came to grips with her husband's infidelity a long time ago.  And Hillary is no dummy - she realized that a messy divorce would not benefit either of them.

Before you decide to dump your husband, consider marriage counseling.  Making absolutist statements, like they do on The View  - such as "If I ever caught my husband cheating, I'd divorce him in a minute!" is just stupid.   Because you are just setting yourself up for a fall.   Odds are, he'll do it, and then where does that leave you?  Perhaps emotionally vindicated but economically devastated.

The marriage vows you took were "For better or worse....till death do us part" - there was nothing in there with a bail-our clause if he pokes a Bimbo.   That, I'm afraid, is a modern invention, and again, one fostered and festered by the good old TeeVee - the source of all poor normative cues.  Just turn that shit off - watching daytime talk shows is just going to rot your brain, anyway.

And that is what "For Better or Worse..." meant, by the way.   It didn't mean like "sometimes it rains, or there is nothing good on TV to watch".  It means really bad shit happening.   You stick with it and don't bail out - or make ultimatums.

But of course, in today's instant-gratification world, everyone wants a bail-out clause.

Why is divorce so expensive?  Well, in addition to Attorney's fees and the like, you now have to maintain two separate residences.  That gets very, very expensive.  It is like owning a vacation home, only without the fun vacation.   For women, this generally means the short end of the stick, as women still do not make as much money as men in this world (act shocked) but still have to maintain the family home (which starts to fall apart rather quickly) and raise the children.  And today's "equitable" world, things like alimony rarely exist - we divide everything even-Steven, if you are lucky.  In some cases, the man walks away with more.

But what about child support?  What about it?  Despite onerous laws that say you can have your husband jailed or his license revoked, there are a lot of "deadbeat Dads" out there.  Some literally cannot afford to pay it - others chose not to, after being tossed out of a marriage. Regardless of the reason, the net result is you end up poorer - far poorer - that you were before.

And of course, the effect on your children is predictable.   Despite the acceptance of divorce in this country and the idea of having two Dads and two Moms, most kids would, if you could ask them, prefer to remain in a nuclear family.  The Christian Right may not be right about much, but preserving the family is a good idea - although most of these born-again types are usually divorced-again as well.  Maybe they need to save Straight marriage before going after Gay ones.

* * * 

This is not to suggest that divorce is never a good idea, only that today, it is used at the drop of a hat. Women in particular like to say things like, "If you so ever even look at another woman, I'm leaving you!" which is an interesting sort of threat and not exactly unconditional love - and explains why husbands "sneak around" behind their wives backs, instead of talking about sex openly and truthfully.   A relationship where one spouse has one hand on the ripcord at all times - ready to bail on a moment's notice, is hardly a relationship at all.

Of course, if your husband beats you, leave him.  If he is a drunk or a drug addict, leave him.  If he squanders money, leave him.  Why?  Because economically, you are probably better off terminating the marriage.

For example, a friend of mine married a man who was constantly underemployed and unemployed.   He drank heavily and after work every day (when he did work) he would go to the bar, buy rounds of drinks for everyone, and then show up at home at 9 or 10 at night, drunk.   If it was payday, he would cash his paycheck at the bar and bring home a pittance of money - hardly enough to buy groceries for the next day, much less the next week.  After he got multiple DUIs, she finally put her foot down.

Or, as I noted before, another friend whose husband decided to start up a crack habit - and spend the mortgage money on crack.  She left him, but not before he ruined her credit rating and took out loans in her name.

And in many marriages, one or both spouses refuse to save or even manage their money, but instead spend every last nickel on a new jet ski or deer stand or whatever, and bounce checks all the time.  Such a relationship is an economic nightmare, as one spouse stays at home trying to scrimp and save to get by and support the family, while the other is out having a good time.

Such scenarios illustrate how a marriage is indeed an economic proposition in addition to an emotional one.  If your marriage problems are emotional and not economic, then think carefully before entering the expensive proposition of divorce.   Marital counseling is cheap - perhaps even free at your local church.  Thinking emotionally is rarely a good idea.  And you don't want to turn into one of those bitter old people who rattle on about how their "Ex" is an asshole.

And divorce is very hard on children as well.  The kids are shuttled over to "Weekend Dad's House" to spend the night with Dad and his new girlfriend (and they can hear them having sex through the paper-thin walls, Eeeeeew!")  Worse yet, they return Monday to Mom's house, where her new live-in boyfriend is now hanging out.  Is this really a better arrangement?  Tossing your husband out of the house and then getting a boyfriend seems like an odd solution to marital infidelity.

Of course, in many cultures in the world today, the idea of multiple wives (polygamy) is well accepted.   And in fact, in our own Judeo-Christian heritage, multiple wives were quite the norm.  Monogamy is a relatively recent invention, probably paralleling the spread of venereal diseases in the last few centuries.  Today, we cringe at the thought of polygamy - and ostracize Mormons for even suggesting such a thing.  But really, a marriage is a private affair, and I am not certain why the Government needs to regulate it at all.  But once again, I digress.

In the United States, in the last two decades or so, women have become increasingly strident about dumping their husbands when they go astray.  Women's talk shows in particular, I think are to blame for this trend - in fact, these sorts of shows do little but castigate men in general ("He leaves the seat up!") and then wonder why "there are no good men out there."  This is not Women's Liberation - it is bullshit.   In fact, you might argue (successfully) that it is very retrograde - that it posits that women are these emotionally helpless beings and that "men are no damn good" and should be hauled out to the curb with the trash at a moment's notice.  Once again, the TeeVee provides horribly bad normative cues.

But for some reason, women are drawn to this sort of nonsense - like flies.  And in some regard, I think a lot of women get a sense of schadenfreude out of this - secretly delighting in seeing someone else's marriage fail.  In the link above, the only coherent response in the thread was, "She should talk to her minister, as we probably would give wrong advice here".  The rest of the women responding were quick to announce "the end of another marriage" (besides their own, of course).

Women are incredibly cruel to one another, and taking relationship advice from your "Girlfriends" is probably a very, very bad idea.  Before you go to your BFF to cry on her shoulder, perhaps you should think twice - a neutral third party, such as a marriage counselor, is probably a better idea.  Your divorced friend only wants to see someone else reduced to their level of misery - and misery loves company.

Whatever it is you decide to do, just remember one thing:  If you divorce your husband because he had an affair, it was YOU, not him, that "broke up the marriage".