Breath of Fresh Air

Breathe Deeply

As I said before. I met a woman that is a breath of fresh air. Of course my expectations are different. I am not looking for a wife. I am looking for the finer things women have to offer without the mess. I don’t know that its possible, but I am willing to try. She is 14 years older than me. This of course presents many long term issues, but for now it nice. She has a different perspective than the women of my generation. She lived out the hard times. She doesn’t throw a lot of bullshit my way. There just doesn’t seem to be the games that I have had to deal with in the past, so either she is running a much more complex game, and I am toast or I have met someone that at least for the time being is going to be engaging to get to know and enjoy some time with her.

She gives me hope that things are totally ruined between men and women. The culture is a mess, but it doesn’t mean that we can’t navigate it without dropping out. At least I hope so. I think marriage is broken beyond repair. I don’t believe that it can be fixed. Now its time for us men to create a new deal. What does that look like? I think first is we have to preserve a distance. We can’t move in or have them move in. To eliminate our own spaces is death like modern marriage. Pretty soon the laws treats it the same anyway. We need to have strong boundaries in our financial, personal, and love life. We can’t let the modern woman invade to deeply, or at least not too quickly. The commitment levels are just not what is needed to make it worth the potential costs. It used to be a man knew that he was getting someone who would stick by him through the worst of things in marriage, but now it is until she has become bored and bled you of your emotional self worth. This is not what men thought they were getting, but they must understand most women get married believing they have an escape hatch.

I guess this is why a widow is attractive to me. Not a cougar, though she might be one, but a woman who stood by her husband until he died. Still looked at him as her strong man, even when he was weak and dying. This is what has drawn me to this woman. Now I must be cautious, because I am not that man to her. I will see where life takes me, but I don’t plan on this being a solo ride. I don’t want to give up the greater things women have to offer me. It is just time to think of these relationships differently than before.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

The Power of Women

“Nature has given women so much power that the law has very wisely given them little.”
– Samuel Johnson

The wisdom of this man was spoken in the 1700s. Samuel Johnson saw the pitfalls of the society we live in now. I have always understood that the founding fathers saw that women had their power in the family. They had their say and influence with the men who voted. It constructed a natural balance. The problem is our society is not concerned with balance, we are concerned with fairness and most of all equality of outcomes. The natural consequence of giving women so much legal power as we have now is for us to have an equality of outcomes, we have to limit people to the lowest outcome available. As we try to limit outcomes, there are those that will still find ways to excel in society either by sidetracking all the pitfalls designed to stop or slow down the majority, and those who find a way to become the gatekeepers so they can ensure they are taken care of. Then there is the prickly affair of some people just work harder than others. The gatekeepers constantly find ways to give away their results to someone who doesn’t work as hard. As time goes on, there become protected classes of people. Now that we have protected classes, and women are one of them, and as the quote says above, we end up with a giant problem. This is where the United States lies now.

What power did nature give women? They have the power to give life. Men were designed to desire to protect women. They have an emotional intuition that allows them to manipulate men without hardly trying. They put out chemicals that make men stupid with desire. Men are designed to care for and protect women. The balance makes it a fair trade to not give women legal power, because they have the power to manipulate their men. The men in turn in their desire to protect will have to balance how to go. Whether to respond to the women or to protect them. Some of this is simply the changes in the brain that happen when sex is determined. A man’s brain is split down the hemispheres. They literally think with the emotional and creative side completely separate from the logical side. Women don’t have this. Their emotional and logical thinking are intertwined. This explains a lot of the differences. It is also why men respond to their women, and then with some time to think about it can determine a logical response in law to the thing they emotionally responded to. The mistake most men make is to believe that women are illogical. They are not. They simply have their logic intertwined with their emotions. They can be just as tactical and cunning as a man. The motives and manifestations of this between men and women are discrete. This again is why we should seek balance, not some form of equality. In the modern world we do not have that. Lucky men have found women who desire that, and who will allow that balance to exist, even though there is no enforcement of it under the law. It will be interesting to see where the world goes from here. I don’t have high hopes for my children, but it is my job to train them to be both prepared for the world they will face, and to train them on how they can be good human beings regardless of the world they will face.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Men, Women and Communication

Communication

Recently as I was reading through my favorite blogs, I was reading some stuff by Susan Walsh at Hooking Up Smart. I was struck by the stats she was providing. Women rarely listed communication as a reason for divorce, but men did. I have been hammered over the years that men don’t communicate well, and that women do, but then I read this and wonder. I know that in my own experience I was told I didn’t communicate well, but was constantly frustrated that my ideas weren’t being heard. I have come to the conclusion that we often mistake communicating well with communicating more. Women without a doubt communicate more. Sometimes this is substantiave and valuable, but it is not just because they are communicating something that makes it so. The fact that men are reporting communication as a problem tells me that the men aren’t feeling like they are being heard. Women please take note that for solid communication, you must not only be heard, but hear what is being said to you. This is especially true if you believe your marriage is suffering right now.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Hawaii Five-O on Divorce

#1319 Hawaii Five-O tie-up with police

Before Christmas I was catching up on some TV and was struck by a comment a female character on the show Hawaii Five-O said. Danno was driving with his female partner. She was a fairly new character, and so they didn’t know each other well. He was fiddling with his ring finger as he drove. She said something along the lines of “So, how long.” He didn’t understand the question, so she explained “You were rubbing where your wedding ring used to be. All divorced men do that when they are thinking about their marriage. So, how long has it been.” The conversation went on briefly, and her comment towards the end floored me. “Men just don’t seem to understand that marriages end.” This seems like such a simple comment, but it really does define where our culture is right now. She said it with an attitude that seemed to say that men are the stupid ones in this. That comment demonstrates two points in our culture right now. One, that women don’t view marriage as a life long commitment. Two, that men are foolish for seeing it as one. The second point I write with both sarcasm and sincerity. We are foolish for believing it is forever, because the majority of marriages don’t last forever. The problem is, it is supposed to be, and a man who enters into marriage generally has weighed the losses of getting married, and judged that the value of this life long commitment is worth the cost. Most would not make the same judgement when viewing it as a long term relationship stage with a ceremony for the express purpose of feeding the ego of the bride at a tremendous cost to the couple or their parents. Because the costs of divorce rarely are apparent to the women, they don’t view marriage as something more than a long term deal to have some kids without dishonor, and maybe enjoy the fruits of a mans labor for as long as they can, even after the marriage is over. I make no claim that women don’t pay a cost. Its an extreme cost, and one that the shallow view of marriage and divorce does not make apparent to them without spending some time looking around them. Most divorced women suffer financially over time, because the same short sighted view of marriage invades other parts of their life, and they tend not to plan for the future financially. The men who they left have fewer resources most of the time, yet they start to worry immediately about the next month, year, 5 years, and so on. They may flounder initially, but start to flourish again. They then have learned to live on a budget that is stunted by child support and maintenance, and when those payments are complete, they are able to turn that money directly towards investments and savings. They may be starting late, but are able to invest at a higher rate late in life to make up for it. The women on the other hand will have to deal with the fact that the money they used to rely on is gone, and if they fail to reduce their lifestyle they go bankrupt. The short sighted view of the women who view marriage this way also fails to account for the fact that these men are fathers to their children, and they will be in their life whether they like it or not. Most men in unloving marriages make the decision along the way that it is better to find a working relationship inside marriage than to divorce because of this. They take a long view.

We are at a crossroads. As time goes on marriage is unlikely to survive. Men don’t seek temporary long term relationships the way women have designed them. They will opt out of marriage, rather than deal with women who won’t honor their promises. Men don’t want a marriage that has been stripped of its meaning. Unless marriage can be turned back into something that people choose to end only in the most dire circumstances, then marriage will have shot its final shot in the west. I fear that this will be the end of the western world as well.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

What is Fair in Divorce

Divorced-Car

So many of our divorce laws are based on the idea that a perpetual contract is being violated, and not that it is now null, but now it is managed by the court, because the parties involved are unable to manage it. Once kids are involved there is no such thing as a split. This is a renegotiation between adversaries who might even be hostile towards each other. The general principal of fairness that is applied in an equal partnership is that each gets half. Since the partnership is managed by the court now, the court almost reflexively tries to maintain a 50/50 partnership through divorce. Each party gets half of the stuff, or at least as close as the court can get. Each party gets half of the money. This isn’t done at the time of divorce. Support payments and maintenance are used to keep this split over a prolonged period of time. In most cases it is the man who makes these payments. He will pay out a portion of his earnings to equalize the lifestyles of the two for sometimes the rest of her life. The ideas about child support are rooted in a philosophy that the child is due a portion of the parents earnings, and that too in a shared custody situation should be split 50/50, thus the higher earning parent now must pay the other parent to equalize this. In a sole custody situation this money transfer becomes large enough that often times the ex-wife now can maintain her lifestyle completely, and the ex-husband lives in squalor. His living arrangements now prevent him from gaining more time with his kids. This all makes sense to the courts, because they truly aren’t closing a contract between two equal partners, but they are now managing that contract.

We are now in an age when marriage is not even entered into as a permanent contract. Very few people enter into marriage thinking this will be forever. I see far more men duped by the idea that marriage is forever than women. Now legally marriage may be a 50/50 partnership, but we all know in truth it is not. The husband generally puts in more hours to earn the money for the family. The wife may work, but after kids come along, she will reduce her hours, and even change jobs to a job that allows her to spend more time with the kids. This all makes sense in the partnership. The man is willing to sacrifice his time to allow his wife to spend time with his kids. In modern marriages most men come home to a wife that then quits for the day. She figures he has been out of the house and now it is his turn. He takes over completely with the kids, and may even cook the dinner, and do the housework she didn’t have time to do while taking care of the kids or napping because she was exhausted from taking care of the kids. This may sound obnoxiously sexist, but just spend some time reading Facebook, and you will see moms posting about their naps and their hard days at the park with their friends and other taxing things like making peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. These women will often take off to have a social life once their husband is home, and leave him to take care of the kids alone. A true partnership would be one where when he arrived at home, they would parent together, and spend this time working together to finish what was unable to be done while he was at work.

Now splitting in divorce has become the tricky part. It shouldn’t be. Marriage is no longer permanent. This makes me sad, but it is a reality I am forced to face. I accept that the contract was 50/50, and that in the marriage the reality may not be anything of the like, so anything owned by both should be split in the most equal way possible. I would say this about retirement moneys earned by both during this time as well. What is fair payment after the divorce for support or maintenance, nothing. That’s right, nothing. The marriage is over. The contract is closed. There should be no support. A budget for the children’s necessities should be drawn up, and an account should be set up that is contributed to equally to pay for these things. In most custody, this would be medical and school expenses. Each parent can get clothes and food when they are together, and if dad can feed them steak and mom can feed them hot dogs, so be it. That is the cost she paid and passes on to her kids by the divorce. She would have steak with them if she hadn’t divorced their dad. The idea that the husband owes some amount for any amount of time after the divorce is antiquated. It should be cast off just like the idea that marriage is forever has been cast off. Those two ideas went hand in hand. It is not fair that one goes away, and the other has stayed. Anything extra for the kids can be negotiated between the parents or each parent can pay for what they care about. There is no reason for child support to do this.

Well that is my rant. I do understand that the biggest part of the inertia for change is the fact the government is trying to keep stupid people who divorce from entering the welfare roles. This should not be a part of our family law decisions. The husbands in large part are being punished in divorce, because the wives might not be financially prepared to go out on their own. Its time for fault based divorce to return to society or for legal marriage to go away. I am a fan of the government getting out of the marriage business, and marriage being left to the religious organizations or social clubs as people see fit.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Chivalry Lost

Chivalry

I have a bad habit of trolling through craigslist ads. Mostly because they crack me up. I never in my life seen so many BBW women wondering where their prince charming is. Well for the record, he left with the skinny chick. The other common theme I see is all these women complaining about no chivalrous men left out there. I am sure there are some. They are happily married and retired. Lets define what chivalry really is, because I think it has been lost on so many in our society. Women want it, even expect it, and men don’t do it because they are tired of the madness that this post-modern world has created in relation to men and women.

The first thing to extinguish is the idea that any woman deserves chivalry. It’s origins is from the days of knights. It has many meanings, but generally came from the concepts of how a knight is to behave himself when not in battle. I suppose the ideas spread as at every age, men preferred to liken themselves to the battle hardened warriors of their era, rather than to the realities of their life, so they adopted the behaviors they attributed to knighthood into their daily lives. Chivalry defined how a knight was to behave in the castles and court. They were to extend certain courtesies to those around them. Acknowledging that they were under their authority. Things like opening doors for even the little lordlings and ladies who had no true command of resources or physical ability to have authority over a knight was a for of respect. . The knights extended these courtesies to ladies of the court that also had no authority, nor any honor due to them. This extension was submitting an honor or power to someone else, that they had no right to. I am not going to talk about all the aspects of chivalry, but this last point is important to understand. Chivalry as we understand it in modern culture is based on the voluntary submission of privilege or position to honor someone else. You must also understand that socially, politically, and in almost every other way in the cultures women were not afforded the same “rights” as men. This public showing also demonstrated that this man was providing protection of the woman. Chivalry was far less practical in the home. Men didn’t show the same deference for his wife. He also in the average family home gave her far more equality in decision making for the family than she was allowed in public. This meant that the power difference in the home was less, and the was less honor to give by the husband.

Lets skip ahead to modern times. As women have become publicly and socially equals to men, so has chivalry faded. The men have less power than they used to. These courtesies are based in power, so it stands to reason that men would be less chivalrous than they were in days gone. Allowing a woman to pass before you is not a courtesy when she can merely just go before you without prejudice. There is no cause for chivalry when the decision is hers to make. There is no social or legal moor to prevent her from retaining the right of way when passing through a door. In the past the woman would have waited for the man, and he would then open the door and allow her passage as a courtesy. I have rarely seen a woman in the modern world who pauses for a man to go first, so it stands to reason that there is no reason for him to allow a courtesy that there is little opportunity to provide.

Lets further explore the realities of the modern world. Men are second class citizens in the west. We are treated as necessary evils. Where men in the past treated women as things to be treasured when they had the power. In many ways women were treated as fragile, but valued. Now men are treated as the unwanted dog, or the jester in modern society. We are objects to be tolerated or laughed at. We have very little true power in society or in the family. We aren’t even considered physical threats. This negates chivalry. If men were to try to be chivalrous, it would really be duty to keep the women who have the real power now happy. Chivalry is not rooted in duty. If there is chivalry to be shared, then it is the women who should be chivalrous to the men. They hold the levers of power now, so I should have more doors held open for me.

Before I get a bunch of NAWALT type arguments, it doesn’t matter. Societal moors, family courts, and DV laws have changed the playing field. If you don’t like what you see from men out there, I suggest you go talk to women. Women need to stop fighting for more to be taken away from men. They need to stop breaking up families because life is hard, and when they do, they need to accept that it is going to be hard to work with that man to raise kids in separate households. Women need to fight for men to have a strong footing in society again. Stop complaining, and look at the playing field from a man’s perspective. If you want men to behave like men of the past, then the world they live in needs to look more like the world of the past. If you want men who are going to use you, and go about their lives doing what makes them happy, then keep on doing what you are doing. Men will adapt, and you are not going to find freedom when men stop making themselves a choice in your lives. There will be fewer and fewer gullible chumps looking to marry you, because that is how you raise a family, since very few families are being raised by an intact family any more. The dream has been exposed to young men, and they aren’t signing up for what their fathers endured.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Child Support Is Immoral: A quick followup

Slave shackles

I just want to clarify one thing for anyone reading this. I don’t support men not fathering their children, or paying for things the children need. My accusation of immorality is the against a system that demands that they owe a portion of there income to their former partner to pay for the children, and that system is going to take it by force. It has turned motherhood into a paid vocation. The only system in history where motherhood has been a viable vocation is the ones where the mother was married to the father of her children. We have replaced the husband/provider/protector role of men in society with a model that has women choosing a lover of the moment, the government is her protector, and the father(s) of her children are her providers. Women are given the children in so many cases because they were the primary provider, and men are accused of not being active enough in the children’s life when they were together. Well that doesn’t account for the fact that there isn’t a man I know who wouldn’t want to stay home and raise their kids, but responsibility takes over, and they realize someone has to provide the means for these little people to grow up. They do this willingly, and often view the time that the mother has with the children as a gift they were able to give to both the mother and the children. That is used against them in custody cases and child support issues. Men if you are brave enough to get married, then realize that she will be treated as sacrificial for your sacrifice of time with the kids, and if you are the stay at home dad you will be treated as lazy for not getting a good job, and letting her stay home and be the doting mother.

Ten-Foured,

JeD

Child Support Is Immoral

Slave shackles

I know that in our culture, this statement is considered ridiculous. We have been fed a line for our entire lifetime about dead beat dads. I think it is time for us to reexamine this thing we call love, marriage, and child raising. The rules we are playing by are from the 1930s. They are based on a society very different than the one that we live in. Alimony and child support are based on a society where women rarely worked if they were mothers, and couldn’t earn what a man earns. They are based on a society where women rarely left left their husband providers, but the men left their families to start over with another woman. I don’t know that I actually believe that story, but it was certainly more likely than it is today. I am not going to talk about abusive relationships, and when I say abusive, I mean someone is being controlled or broken in some way. We all feel abused after going through the trials of a failed marriage. Truly abusive relationships are much more rare than we are led to believe. Now in modern culture marriages are ended with little more thought than a dating relationship, and women have the same opportunity to earn what a man earns.

The next problem is that the courts, at least here in the USA aim to provide the same standard of living for the children that they had during the marriage. They also apply a standard that the children deserve a certain portion of the parents income. The standard of “the best interest of the children” is applied.

The first problem is when two parents are not together, unless there is significant means involved, it is impossible to provide the children with the same standard of living. You suddenly have two households where there was one. Now that father’s rightfully expect to have equal time with their kids, they must have a home that is adequate to house their children.

The next problem is the idea that the children have any right to the parents income. This is the idea that is applied to justify child support. When a marriage stays intact, the only index used to measure if the child is receiving what they deserve is whether they are healthy mentally and physically, and if they aren’t then they are receiving appropriate care. Suddenly in divorce, they deserve a percentage of the income, and that income is entrusted without strings to one of the parents, usually the mother. This is insane. What if the parents normally saved 60% of the income, and now suddenly one can’t. Or what if the divorce is over the fact the husband wants to take a job that pays 50% of what he used to make, so he doesn’t have to travel anymore. Suddenly the court has control over whether he is allowed to do that without going to jail. The court says he must earn close to his total earning potential. He no longer has a choice in the matter like he did before. Sure sounds like slavery to me.

The best interest of the child drives me nuts. If the court were interested in the best interest of the child, then there would be more remidations ordered to avoid divorce by the court, and less screwing with peoples lives. Since when is it in the best interest of the child to have the court in the middle of their lives their entire childhood. The other problem with that argument is that it is completely subjective. The courts are supposed to try to make objective decisions, and they are being placed in a position that requires subjective reasoning, which they are not equipped to handle, so they try to pretend that with the right experts they are making a subjective decision. Lets not kid ourselves, none of this is about the best interest of the child. If it were, then very few parents would be allowed to raise our children. We screw them up even in a good home. That is a part of life. We learn how to overcome the shit in our lives, and we all have shit even in the best of circumstances.

All this sets the stage a little, but the truth is in the western world, money is power. Having money gives you power, but so does controlling someone else’s money. Child support being based on a percentage of the parents income is not about providing for the child. It is about transferring wealth, and that is always evil. Simply put in the modern world, when parents are sharing responsibilities for the kids, there is no reason for a wealth transfer. The logic is convoluted. Probably because it isn’t about the kids at all. If a mother or father has chosen to cut out the other parent, then they deserve no part of that person’s income, and if that person shares in any part of the parental duties, then they should pay while they are have the children in their custody for the child’s needs. If the carrot of money from the other partner is removed, there would be far fewer divorces and out of wed lock children.

Now lets look at the logic of child support turned on its head a little. If time with children is valuable for the parent, then the time that is taken away from the parent should be compensated for. The parent who has the most earning power has the most valuable time. They should be compensated for the lost time with the children at a higher rate than the parent who has a lower income. In most divorce situations that would mean a stay at home mom would be due no child support at the time of the divorce, and if she had the children 50% of the time, she would owe the father a large sum for the lost time with his children. She would have to get a job, and support herself and compensate her ex-husband for his lost time with his kids. Isn’t this how most law suits work. The person who has incurred harm is compensated to make up for the harm. Well in a split custody situation both parties have incurred harm, but one is more valuable in the market place than the other.

Men have sought divorces at roughly the same rate throughout the history that it has been tracked. They divorce today for roughly the same reasons they always have. Women rarely sought divorce before. It took some extreme circumstances to give up the security of marriage. The system has been changed enough that they don’t lose the security when they divorce. They get financial support, and the state steps in to make sure their ex-husband continues to dutifully take care of her in the name of the children. Once the risks of not being married with children were reduced women have sought divorce for rather frivolous reasons at an alarming rate. Not that the men’s reasons were less frivolous, but the rate of them choosing to divorce is and has been much lower than the women choosing to do so now.

The truth is I don’t think anyone should pay child support. If two people or one of two people choose to part ways, then the children should be considered marital assets (didn’t want to say property). They have value to both the parents. It doesn’t matter much if one is a better parent than the other, if both are adequate. Yes merely adequate, because if the bar is set any higher, it is just a foothold for the state to come take everyone’s kids and give them to parents they deem better than you. We have already established that with the parents not together, the best interest of the child isn’t really the issue. Both parents decided to have kids together, so they decided at some point the other one was going to be the kind of parent they would like to raise a kid with. The ramifications of that decision is that you are stuck raising that kid together whether you want to or not. Along with the decision to split, both parents should determine how they are going to afford to not be together. The fact our society puts so much weight on romance in marriage is ridiculous. The purpose of marriage is to raise a family. It is designed to combine the financial a time resources of two people to take care of each other’s needs and the needs of the children. Since the marriage is broken, then each party should be responsible for both the financial and time needs of their family, which is inclusive of the times you have the kids and are nearly complete, and the times when you don’t and are single.

We all know that the biggest reason for child support is to prevent divorce from putting women and children on the welfare roles. I suggest that if the financial incentives for divorce were removed, and some disincentives for divorce were in place, then you would have fewer split families, and the cost of the welfare cases that result would be less than the cost of child support enforcement costs now, and fewer dads would be estranged from their children. Of course this is supposition, but I don’t think I am too far off.

Ten-Foured,

JeD