Blast From The Past: Men Not Getting Married

A (very) Longtime Reader asked me to dredge up an old essay I once wrote.  This is it.

Why Bother

February 13, 2008

The non-lawyer half of the InstaCouple says this:

“Nowadays, for many men, the negatives of marriage for men often outweigh the positives. Therefore, they engage in it less often. Not because they are bad, not because they are perpetual adolescents, but because they have weighed the pros and cons of marriage in a rational manner and found the institution to be lacking for them.”

I think women don’t understand how clinical men can be when it comes to analyzing a relationship. (Note:  just because we don’t talk about our relationship with you, doesn’t mean we don’t analyze it.)

Here’s how I explain it. I think that men keep a running ledger going in their subconscious—all the good/great things about their relationship on the one side, and all the bad/terrible things on the other. At some point or another, if the perceived negatives outweigh the positives, the man will quit the relationship—I mean, just bail out of the whole thing—and usually with a swiftness and finality which confounds women.

Because we’re guys, we don’t talk about this much—even, or especially with other men, and hardly ever with women. But it’s a plain fact.

Now, because we’re guys, certain things have a disproportionate effect on both the good and bad things: on the good side, sex, food and shared interests being probably the best examples; on the bad, infidelity, constant nagging and invasion of privacy constitute the negative. The degree of each, good or bad, will vary among individual men, of course. Some men will put up with almost anything if the sex is of the “bed on fire” variety, for instance, while others will walk out of a relationship for something as trifling as compulsory weekly visits to Mom (hers).

Frankly, it doesn’t matter what these things are. What’s important is that they are each weighed, and applied to the ledger. And when the negatives consistently outweigh the positives, the man will say (to himself), “You know what? This isn’t worth the hassle. The hell with it.”

And once that decision is made, the relationship is over. Now, it may take a long time for all that to happen. Men are not accounting machines, and this is not a daily, or even a regular process. But it takes place in every man, sooner or later, when the negatives get too much to live with.

What’s interesting about all this is that as men grow older, the process becomes a lot quicker—mostly, it should be said, because younger men can put up with almost anything if they’re getting laid. As men get older and sex becomes less important, however, the “bullshit” factor and the tolerance thereof become more important.

I am not interested, incidentally, in hearing the female side of this. The topic is “why men are putting off getting married”. Here’s why.

All the great advantages of the women’s liberation movement have created an environment which, frankly, does not leave men with much. We can’t flirt with women at school, college or at the office anymore, because one man’s “flirting” has become another woman’s “sexual harassment” and the punishments for such transgressions are not only severe, they’re permanent—crippling a man’s career and prospects thereof.

When a woman can get pregnant outside wedlock, and still hound a man forever for child support (with the enthusiastic support of the State), is it any wonder that men, even though ruled by their sex drive, might actually step back a little and think with their heads? And once married, if a divorce becomes a later reality, he stands a real risk of losing access to his kids forever, because if Milady is feeling vengeful—and most do, in a divorce—the merest suggestion of “endangerment” or “violence”, and he is completely screwed, forever, even if the allegation is a complete falsehood.

I am not denying, by the way, that men have brought a lot of this on themselves. But remember, men are more clinical about relationships than women are. It is an absolutely certainty that men read all the news about some guy losing his right to own a gun just because a spiteful ex-wife filed a nonsensical claim of “abuse”, or guys getting ruined because of an intemperate offhand comment at the office, or even, good grief, getting hit up for child support after having been an anonymous sperm donor—and ask: “Looks like the rules are all in her favor. Remind me: what’s in this ‘marriage’ thing for me , again?

And the fact that women have become more sexually liberated doesn’t help matters. The old saw is true: why would a man go to the trouble of buying, stabling and feeding a cow, when milk’s available at the supermarket?

Remember: the early post-adolescent years are the time in men’s lives when they are most ruled by their sex drive. If the drive can be constantly sated by willing women, can anyone be surprised that when the sex drive starts to fade in importance, men look at all the other parts of a relationship, and find that the game just isn’t worth the hassle?

At ages 19 to about 27, men are at their most vulnerable for marriage, because the nice thing about married sex is not that it’s necessarily great, but that it’s pretty much always available, without too much work involved.

But if during those early years women don’t get their hooks into a man soon enough, the job becomes progressively harder as the man ages. So if women spend those early adult years building themselves a career and “fulfilling themselves” at the expense of getting married, they will find that when they do finally want to settle down and get married, men are no longer as welcoming as they were before.

And the foundations of all that were put down when women tried to stop men from being like men. Even with sex involved, men will always apply “The Ledger” to a relationship. Without sex, men are, quite simply, unwilling to put up with all the shit that a woman brings to the party. And when men feel that the dice are constantly loaded against them, they’ll simply refuse to play the game, at all.

None of this, incidentally, applies to the lucky men and women who found their soulmates—but I have to tell you, life isn’t much like the deliriously-happy couples on For every blissful couple in the ads, there are literally millions for whom a relationship is not a joy, but a wearisome chore.

What feminism hath wrought is simple: if men are to treat women as equals, then they will treat them like men—or at best, they will not treat them like women.

One more time: I’m not interested in hearing The Other Side Of The Story from women. We’ve heard little else for the past thirty years. The question was:  why are men getting married later, if at all?

This post is the answer, and women should not be shocked by its conclusions.

The saddest part of this is that all things being equal, most men actually enjoy being married, and look forward to it. It’s nice to have someone to come home to, someone with whom you can just be yourself, and someone to share the wonderful joys of having kids. And don’t kid yourselves, the sex is great. A buddy of mine, married to his childhood sweetheart for over twenty years, put it to me this way: “A lot of the time, the sex [between longtime marrieds] is fine, or just so-so. But every once in a while, it’s fantastic, tremendous, brilliant, and better than you could ever ever get from a stranger.”

The men who are resisting being married are cutting themselves off from all this—and women should ask themselves why this is the case, without resorting to the “men are just refusing to grow up” bullshit. They’re not refusing to grow up: this is the reaction to the constant belittlement and the infantilizing treatment they’ve been exposed to all their lives.

I haven’t changed a single word.  But the essay did provoke a response, to which I made the following reply:

Worms Turning

February 19, 2008

Oh, good grief. Any time I make some post about men and women, it seems that there’s an army of girlymen* just waiting to pounce on me, their carefully-manicured nails flailing away. Here’s one (Blogspot ID: Shakespeare’s Sister—oh, how appropriate) (sent to me by Reader Monty) which starts off with this howler:

Back in 2003, I was nowhere near the feminist ally I am today. Oh, I considered myself a feminist, and I was strongly pro-equality, but there was a lot about feminism I couldn’t articulate, and quite a bit I wasn’t quite ready to see.

*Girlymen:  Men who, regardless of sexual orientation, act like girls and not men, and approve of men and their behavior only when it does not in any way resemble traditionally-male behavior. Sometimes, these men are called “metrosexuals” in the behavioral sense—ie. they spend as much time on their appearance as women do on theirs.

You know where this is going to go, don’t you? If a man calls himself a feminist, it’s only a question of time before:

I realized that Kim du Toit was the biggest douchebag on the planet.

Oh, owie.

Suffice to say that du Toit defended men who rape, praised George W. Bush for being all manly and stuff, got bitterly angry about a commercial for Cheerios, and basically acted like the douchiest douche on the planet.

Right. “Defended men who rape.” $1,000 reward for finding any such thing in any of my writings (as opposed to many suggestions that such animals should be scourged daily until they are hanged). And I never praised GWB for wearing an aviator’s uniform: I pointed out that many women, of all ages and philosophies, had found him sexy when he did.

But no girlyman criticism of me would be complete without seeking approval from a “higher authority”:

Not for nothing did L,G&M declare du Toit “America’s Wost[sic] Blogger.”

Actually, the precise title was “Worst Blogger on the Internet”, and, considering the source (a bunch of preening girlymen academics), I wear that mantle with pride. But Sister Jeff (sorry, but I am going to make fun of any man who describes himself as a feminist) continues:

Du Toit begins by linking approvingly back to Dr. Mrs. Wingnutty Perfesser, just in case you didn’t get the memo that she’s a deep misogynist.

Okay, there’s a $10,000 reward for finding evidence of Dr. Helen’s misogyny. Only in the Realm Of Feminism can distrust of feminism (what we would call “criticism”) be painted as hatred of an entire species—but let’s not allow clarity to get in the way of a little character assassination. And anyone who thinks that the Instapundit, surely the straightest of straight arrows, is a “wing-nut”… well, let’s just say that I’m sure that Sister Jeff’s vote for Hillary Of That Ilk is in little doubt.

Here’s another good one:

Seriously—yes, men think about their relationships. But we don’t analyze them clinically. At least, most of us don’t. For most of us, marriage has an emotional component to it. We, you know, love our spouses. Love can’t be weighed or measured, and doesn’t fit neatly into a category. At least for most humans.

Actually, it can, and it is, judging from the sad comments which appeared under the post in question.

As an aside, I am continually astounded when I post something which I think is applicable only to myself, or at best rare among other men, only to find that whatever I was describing is not only to be found among my Readers, but quite a common thing among men in general. But I digress. Back to the program already in progress:

Isn’t he a romantic, ladies? Don’t you just wish you were married to someone who believes that if he adds up everything in tabular form and finds out that this week debits exceed credits, he’ll “quit the relationship—I mean, just bail out of the whole thing—and usually with a swiftness and finality which confounds women”? Doesn’t that sound like true love to you?

Talk about missing the point. What I was describing, and which Sister Jeff missed completely, is that it’s only when the negatives from a relationship far outweigh the positives do men suddenly realize that it isn’t worth it—in other words, I’m describing not love, but the death of love. I know that for some, love is all flowers and faeries (a Shakespearean term) and cuddles and kisses, but the grim and appalling divorce statistics paint another picture—and all I’m trying to do is understand why the latter is the case. But for the dreamy idealists who populate the Feminist Milieu, hard fact is quite obviously Too Unpleasant To Contemplate. To continue:

But du Toit implies that every man on the planet is going to be ready to leave his wife the second she starts demanding anything of him, at least anything he doesn’t want to give.

This is, in a word, bullshit.

Well, yes it is, which is why I neither said nor implied any such thing. That’s called “projection”. Here’s what I actually said about that:

Now, because we’re guys, certain things have a disproportionate effect on both the good and bad things: on the good side, sex, food and shared interests being probably the best examples; on the bad, infidelity, constant nagging and invasion of privacy constitute the negative. The degree of each, good or bad, will vary among individual men, of course. Some men will put up with almost anything if the sex is of the “bed on fire” variety, for instance, while others will walk out of a relationship for something as trifling as compulsory weekly visits to Mom (hers).

I had the same kind of nonsense tossed at me when, during the Pussification post, I remarked that giving women the vote has had some consequences which have not been too salutory: nanny government and intrusive regulation, and so on. To the Sisters, I was clearly saying that women should be denied the vote—when in fact, of course, I said no such thing, nor even implied it.

(Here’s a similar example: pointing out that private ownership of guns means that occasionally there will be some bad outcomes [eg. a few people murdering their spouses in a fit of rage] does not mean that I believe that all people should be disarmed. I make reference to bad things about private gun ownership all the time, but no one has ever accused me of being a gun-confiscationist.)

But, to the Sisters, saying that women voting hasn’t always proven to be a Good Thing automatically means I want to take the vote from women—once again, that’s called “projection”.

Hysteria blinds people when they denounce me. In Pussification-Crit 101, I was reviled for apparently wanting men to revert to being cavemen, even though my precise words were:

You don’t have to become a fucking cartoon male, either: I’m not going back to stoning women for adultery like those Muslim assholes do, nor am I suggesting we support that perversion of being a Real Man, gangsta rap artists (those fucking pussies—they wouldn’t last thirty seconds against a couple of genuine tough guys that I know).

But let’s not allow fact to intrude on our fantasies, anyway. Here’s another fine example from Sister Jeff, when I was talking about flirting in the office:

So why are we suddenly starting with how it’s totally unfair that I can’t tell some chick I work with that she has nice tits, and that I can get her into a better job if she gets into my bed? What’s wrong with that?

Only in the murky corridors of Feminist Agitprop can the word “flirting” be conflated with such behavior.

And that’s the precise problem. “Wow, that’s a pretty dress!” is automatically grouped with “Nice tits, chickie!” in the modern PC construct. While I champion courtly behavior often, never, not once, have I ever condoned nasty behavior like the latter in my writings. Never. In fact, if I may quote myself again (in The Lost Art), I said this about the latter behavior:

No wonder there are college rules which forbid complimenting and “staring”, when “Nice rack!” is what passes for a compliment.

You boor, you dolt, you insensitive, childish brute. Who the hell gave you the right to act that way towards a woman—a man’s daughter, another man’s sister, and somone’s future wife?

But of course, taking a single instance of writing and projecting an entire opinion on it—even though demonstrably wrong—is a hallmark of twerps like this. It’s the same thing as someone pronouncing Shakespeare to be a “racist” because he wrote stuff about black rams tupping white ewes (Othello, paraphrased), and either wilfully ignoring or being ignorant of the fact that the same racist also wrote this about interracial love:


By heaven, thy love is black as ebony.


Is ebony like her? O wood divine!
A wife of such wood were felicity.
O, who can give such an oath? where is a book?
That I may swear beauty doth beauty lack,
If that she learn not of her eye to look:
No face is fair that is not full so black


O paradox! Black is the badge of hell,
The hue of dungeons and the stole of night;
And beauty’s crest becomes the heavens well.


Devils soonest tempt, resembling spirits of light,
O, if in black my lady’s brows be deck’d,
It mourns that painting and usurping hair
Should ravish doters with a false aspect;
And therefore is she born to make black fair.
Her favour turns the fashion of the days,
For native blood is counted painting now;
And therefore red, that would avoid dispraise,
Paints itself black, to imitate her brow.
(Love’s Labor’s Lost; Act IV, Ch. III)

Some racist. But again, I digress.

The plain fact of the matter is that I’ve heaped scorn on women (especially feminists, and their surrogates like Sister Jeff), and upon men (for behaving like assholes) in almost equal measure. It’s just funny that the anti-feminist pieces have engendered more hysterical responses than the male-bashing ones, which generally get greeted with the literary equivalent of a shrug, or a mild protest of “hey, we’re not that bad”.

By the way, Sister Jeff isn’t satisfied with posting this on a group blog. He also posted what seems to be a longer diatribe on his own blog. The comments are especially interesting on the latter. You may recognize one of the commenters.

Fun stuff.

(The link to his post has disappeared, but the commenter referred to was Connie, who tore him a new one.  He probably needed it.)


  1. You can’t win an argument with unbalanced people.
    It’s best to make that determination early on and drop it.
    Unless you’re a glutton for intellectual abuse.

  2. DAMN, you write good! Makes me want to settle in with three fingers of old single-malt and read on, even though it’s only 5:30 in the morning.

  3. I remember the times. Cultural fascism had just became the order of the day. Men just like you were destroyed for talking or writing like that. My own family fell for it hook, line and sinker. The women (who were all of the liberal persuasion before) – they went off the deep end like lemmings with this cultural fascism. Another blogger I know got unpersoned and hurled into the void when he said that women are fascists and socialists by nature. It was around 2008 – 2010… that our family women rose up to start running things. Dear gawd – what a shit show! My guns were despicable and had no place in a healthy home! My mother in law was the senior woman in the family and she was going to call the shots! I was informed that I had the wrong opinions on everything from the environMINT, to feminism, to multiculturalism! I’d better shape up or else! I held on to my sanity by a thread in those days. Then my daughter came home from university with a creepy homely girlfriend and announced that our family was going to live under the rainbow, that there were going to be changes in the family, and that she would be telling everyone what we could say and think – especially me. The family nodded in approval…and the thread connecting me to them snapped.

    I told my wife she could come with me or go with them, but she couldn’t do both. I wasn’t going to have idiots like that in my life anymore. My domineering progressive mother in law started in on me and I turned on her – I told her to shut it, and to take her idiot hen pecked husband and to get the hell out of my house and not come back. Haven’t seen them in years. I went into that shit storm expecting to come out divorced… but my wife didn’t hesitate and stood with me all the way through it. Three generations of family went “poof!” in an hour – everyone’s lives changed forever… and somehow my marriage held like a rock. I know you don’t believe in God, Kim… neither did I until then.

    We joined a tiny church group out in the country where there’s others like us. They’re like a family with lots of sane old folks, and a slowly growing smattering of youngsters with kids of their own that want to see their kids grow up right. We finally have enough that we had to start a Sunday school for the little ones , and boys and girls clubs for the weekdays.

    If any queers, social justice warriors or angry vaginal cat ladies drop in expecting to change things… they are gently and firmly urged to move on. Back in The Hive, I heard that all the kids my age are now divorced. Our kids are all pretty much moral and intellectual write-offs; none of them are married or starting families or buying homes or cars. It is what it is.

    Marriage IS still a good deal for everyone. The problem is that we’ve let loons redefine it – and the wreckage to prove the error of our ways. May God forgive us.

  4. Thanks, Kim, for reposting the first piece. At that time I was 22 years into a marriage that had failed five years in and your words were a sorely-needed wakeup shot. No matter, I persisted for another 9 before the ledger became so overwhelmingly negative that I had to bail. So sad but so glad…

    Now comes a new woman into my life, also twice married and divorced, who fully understands the ledger concept and, having lived it from the woman’s perspective, is bound and determined to honor and provide a balanced relationship. What a joy (and something I hope you are also enjoying again, congratulations)!

    Who knew that starting over at ages 66 & 67 would be so wonderful?

    All the best,


  5. You should re-post more of your old stuff. Actually, I’d pay money for a (dead tree) book of your writings. I first did this with Bill Whittle’s essays. I wish Steven den Beste had published (I did grab an archive of his site). Ditto Mr Free Market and The Englishman. I do it simply because links rot but books remain in my library ever available.

    The sad thing about it is that it’s a lose-lose fight. Men don’t get to have children and women don’t get to have children.

    1. Women still get to have children, but those children don’t get to have fathers, and men don’t get any reason to care about what happens after we die, so why bother keeping civilization up and running? Eat, drink, and make merry, for the future is someone else’s problem!

  6. Well, rising above all the doom and gloom, my only wife and I will celebrate 35 years on Monday. our only child and his wife have been married for 9 years and rewarded us 4 years ago with a wonderful grand daughter. It wasn’t easy at times, and at other times it was downright miserable, but overall I have no complaints. I wish other people could experience what we have, and some can/will/do, but many won’t. Times are different now and it seems the marriage institution has been undermined in many ways. I understand why people are choosing to go alone.

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