On Marriage: Can it be Saved?

I recently heard my aunt’s parrot make a door-slamming noise and shout ‘FUCK YOU!’.  Apparently the bird had been sold to my aunt by a couple who divorced immediately after.  My aunt, who divorced too, years before she got the bird, speculates that the woman kicked the man out of the bedroom because he was a male chauvinist pig who wouldn’t help with the housework.

Decades ago, when men earned all the money in a household, and women stayed home all day, men got the idea that they didn’t need to help women with housework and child raising. Today, it is not possible in most professions for a man’s income alone to support a family. So women now work as much and as hard as men. It only makes sense that they split the child raising and housework duties evenly too. Just as employers require employees to cross train in additional skills and back up other employees, so to family members help each other out. Most men appreciate sports. We surely can understand teamwork. I fully believe in equal responsibilities and rights. But that’s where it stops.

No woman is ever going to kick me out of my bedroom or house. I pay the mortgage on that house on time every month. I put 20% of the purchase price down on that house to buy it – out of my own money. I put $25,000 of materials into renovating it (a century home) – and I did the work with my 2 bare hands.

To be fair, woe be to any man that thinks he is going to marry a rich woman and walk off with half her stuff. I would like to beat such men personally! (if one can consider them men at all).

In this country, the divorce law requires the man and the woman to split up their assets equally at the divorce, in the absence of a prenuptial agreement. Any woman I marry will sign one of these agreements renouncing her legal right, in the event of a divorce, to anything that I had before the marriage. And I don’t want her stuff either – its her stuff.

…which brings me to a reform:  The law should be rewritten so that only those assets acquired during the marriage be split equally in the event of a divorce. Stated another way, that is, to exclude from division at divorce all those assets either spouse possessed before the marriage or inherited during the marriage.  This would save people from having to go through the ugly step of asking one’s  beloved wife (or husband)-to-be for a prenuptial agreement. Marriage should be all about love, and not about money!

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6 Comments on “On Marriage: Can it be Saved?”

  1. C Says:

    I agree: marriage should be about love and not money. I disagree though that both partners HAVE to work to survive. The key word here being survive. If Americans would pare down their lifestyles and quit collecting “stuff,” I think some families could exist on one income. Not all, mind you, but some. If we would stop having to have a new car every 3 years or a 96 inch plasma TV, Wii, iphones, and cable, families could “survive” on less money. They would also spend more time together and might not need that prenup after all. Good post. Thanks.

  2. Livia Rojas Says:

    Why not to think about saving the marriage instead of looking for ways of charing properties.I really think that would be the best solution….People solve everything nowadays by divorcing…I mean that should be done when U have no other option and u are totally unhappy with your partner. Most people don´t even try solving their problems …Most of the time they just forget all the things and the love they felt for any silly reason.I was married and I had no option in my case,we were not made for each other,but nowadays I am in a relationship where I really feel comfortable with ,I mean the person is the man of my dreams and I don´t wanna give up on him for any reason .I never think about what he has got (specially cause right now he is unemployed what doesn´t matter cause I met him this way.I really don´t consider this a negative point cause I know he is a hard worker and he is trying to get a job)but I do think about how happy I would be with him if I could have him by my side forever.That´s why I say this.If I had to sign a silly paper to make him sure about what I want from him I would with no problem at all .The most important thing I want from him I already have that is his love the rest we will build together.

  3. wakemenow Says:

    Like it or not, marriage is, at least in part, an economic arrangement. If not for desiring access to one or the other’s resources, or to combine resources jointly, most folks wouldn’t get married in the first place. Love factors into the equation in modern times, but marriage didn’t originate out of feelings of love between partners.

    And I’d never sign a pre-nup. Any man that asked would be dumped immediately. It demonstrates a blatant lack of trust, that if felt, is a clear sign we shouldn’t be getting married in the first place.

    • Thank you all for your comments:

      Wakemenow, you raise a fair and a good point. I find the idea of having to ask a woman for a prenup to be embarrassing and ugly (even though I feel it is necessary). This is why I feel that the law should be tweaked so that I can avoid such an blatantly un-trusting request.

      Ms. Rojas, you raise many insightful points around your advocacy of saving marriage rather than divorcing. You must have a wonderfully lucky man, who knows that you will still be there for him even if he asks you for a pre-nuptual agreement.

      C., Thank you for your comment. I also agree that Americans are overly focused on physical stuff instead of more-important matters of freedom, love, peace and social-justice. We have gotten far out-of-balance in favor of stuff and convenience. I hope my blog can help raise the conscience of this country.

  4. wakemenow Says:

    How ought the law be “tweaked” so that you may avoid directly requesting a pre-nup? I’m curious to know.

    • I think the marriage law should be rewritten to include an automatic prenup…

      I can also now see where that was not entirely clear. I have rewrote this idea more explicitly within the final paragraph where I present the reform.

      Thanks for your feedback!

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