Wednesday, May 14, 2014

The happiness imperative

Happily married men and women really don't play the happiness card enough. Dalrock explains how it can effectively utilized:
As I’ve mentioned before after the initial empowerment fades divorced women tend to find themselves excluded from their previous social networks.  Married women tend to prefer to socialize with other married women.  Since marriage confers status on women (which divorcées lose if they aren’t able to remarry), being dropped from the married social circle and being forced to move to the divorcée social circle is a painful loss.

This simple fact has Ask Amy outraged, as a married mother wrote in explaining that she and her fellow married sister and cousins don’t find they have much in common with her single mother/divorced sister.  Ask Amy is of course free to rage against human nature all she likes, but she won’t be able to undo the status hit women take when they divorce.....

In the interest of bringing all parties together, I will offer a solution which I think Ask Amy and the letter writer can both get behind.  Instead of not inviting the divorced sister, why not promise, no swear, in front of God and everyone they know that they will include her in their outings in the future.  Then, when the time comes that honoring this promise would make them unhappy, simply leave her out.
 That should work nicely. Of course, there is always the possibility that in this particular case, the issue isn't the sister's status as a divorcée, but rather her status as a confirmed freakshow.


Doorstop said...

First Saw that Amy Dickenson column scanned and posted on social media, and it was infuriating how she started scolding the married sister by saying:
"First, let’s establish that I agree with your sister: You are a horrible person."
and then finished with
"Perhaps this is something you could ponder from your church pew, because despite your regular attendance, you don’t seem to have learned much."

There's certainly no shortage of secularists preaching the heresy that unlimited tolerance and acceptance are the cardinal virtues, and hypocritically holding Christians to a higher standard of these "virtues" than they hold themselves.

Christopher B said...

I'm guessing that if the situation were reversed (the letter writer and her coop were a bunch of divorced/remarried career women and the excluded sister was a church-going SAHM) the 'advice' would be signficantly different. It's unlikely, of course, that the letter would have even been printed since it wouldn't provide an easy opportunity for snarky Christian-bashing. Five'll get you ten that at most it would have been a gentle admonishment to include the sister in other family activities, and even money that it would have been full bore agreement that the sister should just 'get over it'.

GG said...

You would not believe how incredibly difficult it is to play the marital happiness card. These days, married people are perceived as the "freakshow," as oppressors who must check their privilege. Wives are called sell outs, stepford wives, bigots. Men are ridiculed, mocked, for allegedly having a wife at all, which is obviously an oppressive act against the entire female gender.

I do live in the midst of liberal utopia, so my perceptions are a bit heightened, but in case nobody noticed, there's a war on marriage right now.

vashine said...


Question: Is the condescension towards marriage and married couples age-independent, in your experience? Or is there an age-group that seems more aggressively anti-marriage?


Yes, I am seeing this more and more on the internet and in real life, that of non-Christians or even non-practicing 'Christians' attempting to define Christianity in terms of 'unlimited tolerance' or 'unity between all men' or 'niceness'.

These people have no idea, not a clue what the Bible actually says and who our God truly is.

We must be open and forthright in putting this heresy (as you so aptly call it) down. Forcefully and openly. I find the best way to do it is to quote or reference Bible passages and stories that refute such sophomoric and ignorant notions (there are many to choose from) and then follow with a "go read your Bible" or "Jesus would disagree, emphatically" closing.

One girl, as she parted from our last date in a huff when I told her I wanted a Christian girl and a Christian family, and that we would have to wait until marriage to have sex, actually had the gall to say "I thought your God was about bringing people together." "He is, but you must come together in the right way."

These people have no shame. They will, without hesitation, attempt to rhetorically, emotionally strong-arm you, bully you with any flimsy logic, and not stop for one second to asses their true level of knowledge or ignorance on the matter. Essentially, they don't care, all they care about is getting what they want and protecting their ego, protecting themselves from judgment. It's all emotions and 'feel'. They want to feel good and if our God doesn't make them "feel" good, they will attack, twist, in any way they can, not caring on whit for the Truth.

Pacifism is another heresy that statists, Muslims, all cowardly (and hypocritical) liberals and conservatives, and even many libertarians, love to invoke against Christians. But Jesus was no pacifist. He brought the whip to bear on those who had not even initiated violence against him, yet were acting in such a manner that was so offensive to God and His Law and Order that our Lord felt justified in breaking out in righteous anger and violence. Not to mention the Old Testament if filled with examples of a clearly non-pacifist god who ofttimes does not hesitate to bury and pulverize those who have given themselves over to evil and rebel against His Law and His Order.

Subversive Saint said...

Based on the "likes" and comments on her blog, it appears that most of her readers are also divorcees.

b1bae96e-6447-11e3-b6bb-000f20980440 said...

As has been pointed out in the comments at Darlock's Amy is suffering a bit of PTSD on her reply having "survived" divorce/single motherhood about 25 years ago.

En-sigma said...

Wish Dalrock posted as often as you do.

Res Ipsa said...

A divorced women is by definition a women who doesn't take marriage vows seriously. She represents a potential threat to the married women's marriage if she decides to pursue the husband. Gee, I wonder why the other girls don't want her around.

Sean Carnegie said...

Dalrock's solution is a thing of beauty.

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Sambuca Ford said...

Anecdote (observations are the best things I can share here): I have a female cousin who is an engineer. She is very intelligent and married to an engineer she met in college. She worked full-time for four years until she had her first child. She promptly quit and became a full-time mother and homemaker. She now home schools the child and is so spectacular at homemaking (gardening, canning, home maintenance, child teaching, husband happiness) that by comparison, Martha Stewart lives in a van down by the river.

Her friends are moms, a few career women, and church members where she attends. A few friends/career women she went to college with ask her, "when are you going back to work" presumably because they believe she must be miserable being a wife and mother. She answers, "oh, I don't know" in a tone that is dreadful, not wistful. She is dedicated to serving God's charge to her as helpmate and mother.

She lives five counties away from another female cousin of ours who is divorced, a single mother, and an utter trainwreck. They converse and are polite at family functions but were they not family they'd never speak to each other let alone spend time together. Purely from general observation, why would they? The value system, personalities,and points of view are as incompatible as it gets.

Of course, unlike most "mommy bloggers" cousin #1 rightly understood how sacrifice and humility was a service to God and family, not patriarchal oppression. I'd like to Ask Amy how many vibrators she still owns.

jimmy-jimbo said...

A divorcee is a social pariah. There is no other definition. Usually it is her fault. Unless she gets married again, thus validating her own social standing and confirming that she was not at fault for her marriage breakdown, she should not get any help from others.

It is certainly a different situation for men. They are not excluded from men events as those events don't often include wives and children. Even if families are there, the men don't personalize the conversation. Women are much more a pain to be around. Single women are also a threat to the status quo. I'm sure other wives don't want to expose their husbands to the threat.

GG said...

"Question: Is the condescension towards marriage and married couples age-independent, in your experience? Or is there an age-group that seems more aggressively anti-marriage?"

I am suddenly encountering women in their 80's feeling as if they must apologize for having been married for 60 years, since, "it was expected of women, those were different times." I would say that there is an anti marriage spirit marching across this country and I see evidence of it across all age groups. My experience of course, is purely anecdotal.

vashine said...

A thoughtful take on dating a single mother...

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