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The (Lack of) Realism of Reducing the Odds of Divorce
-By Caleb Jones
A quick aside before I get into this article. I think Stefan Molyneux is the smartest man on the internet, and outside of his positions on sex and relationships I agree with 99% of the things he says on just about every topic he speaks on. I have donated hundreds of dollars to his radio show, listen to it often, and think you should too. I have nothing but respect for Stefan and his work. Fantastic stuff.
The caller correctly pointed out that today's divorce rates are terrible. Which, of course, they are. He also correctly pointed out that men pay a massive and terrible price for divorce, even when it's not their fault, and that the vast majority of the time it's the women divorcing the men. All these items are statistically and factually true, and are things I've been pointing out for years.
Stefan's response is one of the common responses from monogamy / marriage defenders that I've already rebutted in item number 37 right here. It's the argument that if you simply do certain things you can reduce your odds of divorce.
Alrightee then. Let's examine these things and see how realistic they are in the real world rather than in an online PDF full of statistics. I will provide links for sources after every data point described below. Before I do that though, I need to repeat something I've said a thousand times, so that no one uses this common argument-derail when the topic of marriage or long-term monogamy is discussed.
I fully support long-term pair bonding. YES, fall in love with one special woman. YES, move in with a woman if that's what you want. YES, have children with that woman as long as you can afford them. YES, stay with that one woman forever in the same home with her forever, if you can. Yes, yes, yes. All of that is wonderful, I'm all for it, and I think those arrangements are best for society (not that I care).
And, while you're doing all that pair bonding with that one special lady, you should be allowed to have meaningless, condomed sex on the side if you so desire, which you will, because you're a man, and that's how we're biologically wired. Human beings are not long-term monogamous creatures and never have been. Any biologist worth his salt will tell you this (albeit very quietly, Societal Programming being what it is).
So hear me on this: I am 100% for long-term pair bonding. I am against sexual monogamy and legal, state-enforced marriage.
Pair bonding and sexual monogamy are two different things. God, that's hard for so many societally brainwashed men to understand. Pair bonding does not require absolute sexual monogamy at all times, nor does it require legal marriage, which is an insane three-way contract between you, her, and the state. You can pair bond in a serious open "marriage" with sexual ground rules you both follow (OLTR marriage). This is not "polyamory" so please don't call it that. Polyamory is MLTR, not OLTR. Two different things.
Now that that's out of the way, let's get to the feasibility of reducing your odds of divorce if you stupidly decide to get legally married or long-term monogamous in today's modern society. Below are the items shown to statistically reduce the odds of divorce, often touted by Alpha Male 1.0, marriage 1.0 monogamy / marriage defenders. To be fair, I'm going to exclude the items you have no control over. For example, if you're Asian, your odds for divorce are lower than if you're white, black, or Hispanic, as is the case if your parents are still married. Yet you can't "Be Asian" if you're white, nor can you make sure your own parents never divorce. We'll just cover things you have control over.
1. Wait until you're at least 25 before you get married.
The odds of you getting divorced go down if you wait until you're at least 25 to get married.[*] Is this feasible? Yes. I think waiting until 25 is feasible for most men.
(Hey...wait a minute...I think I know someone who purposely waited until he was 25 before he got married for that exact reason...to prevent divorce. Who was that guy? Oh yeah! It was me! I waited until I was 25 to get married and have kids, on purpose. But I still got divorced. Hmmmm. Oh well. I must have screwed up somewhere else then. Yeah. That must be it. Let's continue.)
2. Keep the number of women you have sex with very, very low.
Oh, you'll love this one. An oft-quoted stat by the pro-monogamy Alpha Male 1.0s in the manosphere is that the odds of divorce for women go down based on number of sexual partners.[*] Again, this is for women only. There are no studies on men's divorce risk if they have sex with a lot of women (that I know of), because society doesn't give a shit about men's happiness. However, many have extrapolated that this dynamic of more partners = higher divorce risk applies to men as well.
Okay, great. So you want to get married someday? Better stay a virgin. How does that sound? Sound fun? Sound like something that would make you happy as a man?
Okay, okay, so let's say you can have sex with three women. How does that sound? You don't want to get married until you're 25, because that will decrease odds of divorce. So you date a woman when you're 18 and have sex. It doesn't work out, so you have sex with another when you're 20, then another when you're 21. That's three girls in four years...not very many. Then what? Sorry, no more sex for you for the next FOUR YEARS until you find the Woman of Your Dreams™ who's Not Like the Rest™.
Don't like that? Tough shit, pal. If you get horny, just be a beta male and jerk off to porn instead of having real-life sex. If you actually date, just dry hump those women. Or cuddle. Oh, they'll love that. They'll just love a guy who never has sex with them. I'm sure they'll stick around with you.
For fuck's sake, gentlemen. How feasible is this in the real world? Seriously. Are you going to go years and years with no sexual intercourse because you want to raise your odds of some possible future marriage working out? Really?
Of course you won't. You're a man. That would make you miserable (unless you were an exception to the rule with a really low sex drive).
(By the way...I think I know someone who had sex with a very small number of women before he got married, yet he got divorced anyway. Who was that? Hm. Oh yeah! It was me! Why did I still get divorced then? Darn. I must have screwed something else up. Oh well, let's continue.)
3. Only marry a woman whose parents are still married.
When both partners have still-married parents, the odds of divorce go down.[*] You can't control your own parents of course, but you could certainly start screening out every woman you meet whose parents still aren't married. I've already talked about what I think of the technique of screening. I also know that if you do this, you're going to screen out a huge number of perfectly intelligent, wonderful, kind, attractive women, many of whom had decent childhoods, whom you'd really like. But okay, I guess you could still do this. Doesn't sound very enjoyable to me though.
(Hmmm...I think I know a guy whose parents are still married, and who married a woman whose parents were still married, yet he got divorced anyway. Who was that guy? Oh yeah! It was me! Damn! Foiled again! I must have completely fucked up something else in my marriage because I'm such a moron.)
4. Get a college degree and marry a woman with a college degree.
Lots of monogamy-lovers love to point out that divorce is less likely if one or both partners have a college degree.[*] That's great, but there's one slight problem with that I've pointed out numerous times before. That is, according to real facts and stats, getting a college degree in the modern era is literally one of the stupidest and most destructive things a man can do these days unless he's a very unusual exception to the rule. I've talked about this various times including here, here, here, and here.
So you're going to go $100,000 into debt (that you can't bankruptcy away) for a useless history degree just so you can be a bouncer in a bar, all to possibly reduce the odds of divorce a few percentage points? Yeah. That sounds like a great idea.
Moreover, even if marrying a smarter, more highly educated woman may decrease your odds of divorce, what about your happiness during the marriage? It's interesting the discussion of the man's happiness never comes up in these "I'm never getting divorced!" discussions. I've already discussed how usually smarter, more educated women tend to be a little bitchier, more demanding, and higher maintenance. I know many mono-married men married to women like this. Yeah, they're not divorced (yet), but they're not happy either.
(Ah-HA! I didn't have a college degree and I married a woman who also didn't have a college degree! We both had genius-level IQs though, but I guess that doesn't matter. Yeah, intelligence doesn't mean shit if you don't have a college degree. Everyone knows that. Well, I guess I figured it out! That's why I got divorced! The mystery is finally uncovered!!! We didn't have college degrees! Damn! If only we had gotten those, then I'd still be married right now in monogamy Disney Narnia bliss! Oh well. Live and learn.)
5. Only marry Asians.
That's right. Asians have the lowest divorce rates of all races.[*] So if you're not already Asian, I guess you're fucked. But you can choose which race to marry! So if you marry a white girl, you're a dumbass! Only marry an Asian for maximum marriage success odds!
What did you say? You're not attracted to Asian women? You only like white (or black or Latina) women? Well tough shit, buddy. To maximize your odds of your future mono-marriage working, you're just going to have to bite the bullet and marry an Asian chick. Hey, not getting divorced is the entire point of the marriage, right? After all, your happiness doesn't matter, just the marriage.
(Ah HA! Another mystery uncovered! I married a white woman! That's why I got divorced! Little did I know I was increasing the odds of divorce by marrying within my race. How STUPID of me!)
6. Make a lot of money, BUT, make sure she doesn't make a lot of money compared to you.
The higher income you have, the lower your odds of divorce are, particularly over the $50,000 a year mark.[*] However! The higher income she makes in relation to you, the higher the odds of divorce become[*].
Obviously I think all men should make at least $75,000 a year or the equivalent, so finally we come across something I agree with. But if you fall in love with a woman who makes close to the same amount of money than you or more, are you seriously going to dump her because of it? You know the answer to that. Screening out women who make too much money is insane, and you're not going to do this. Nor would I (if I was dumb enough to get legally, monogamously married of course).
But wait a minute...didn't we just say that you want to marry a woman who has a college degree? But wait, we're also supposed to marry a woman with a low income??? Uh...what?
That's fine for statistics on a web site representing large numbers of people, how does that correlate in the real world to you individually? I thought the whole point of going to college was making more money...right? So you have to find a woman WITH a college degree but whose income stays LOW throughout her lifetime.
Are you seeing the problem here yet? Are you seeing how unrealistically stupid this all is? Do you see how applying broad-based statistics to your personal, individual behavior to this degree becomes cumbersome and unworkable?
(Hmmm. When I was married she was a stay-at-home mom, so her income was zero, and my income was six figures. So I made A LOT more money than she did. Yet we still got divorced. Hm. But oh yeah! She didn't go to college and was white! Yeah, that's why I got divorced. I forgot.)
7. Never move in with a woman unless you marry her first.
Co-habitation before legal marriage slightly increases the odds of divorce[*] unless you move in with the intention of getting married. So, yeah, you want to live with a woman? Well then you have to marry first so you can subject yourself to the high odds of divorce, alimony, child support, and giving her half of your retirement, or going to prison.
Feasible? Maybe. Smart? In a society with divorce rates this high? Even if you do the other items on this list? You tell me.
(Wait a minute! When I got married, she didn't move in with me until we got engaged. So I did that right. Yet I STILL got divorced! Man, her not having that college degree and being white really screwed me up. If only I had known...)
So there you have it, my starry-eyed, Disney-invested, societally brainwashed friend. That's how you can reduce your odds of divorce. Now let me ask you a question:
Are you going to abstain from sex for years and years while going to college, then get your degree, then marry a low-income Asian virgin who's gone to college while making sure she never makes too much money for the rest of your life?
I'm not being funny here. You tell me, honestly, are you actually doing to do this?
Of course you're not. You're unlikely to do any of those things except for maybe go to college. Why? Because you're a flesh and blood man who lives in the real world.
Even if you actually did all of these things, the reduction in your divorce odds are not cumulative, since many of these qualities and studies already overlap. As I've said before, if you do EVERYTHING we've just discussed (and we both know you won't), you'll possibly reduce your odds from 64%+ to around 25-30%.
Are you going to still get married when you know your odds of divorce are 30%, maybe 25%?
Are you going to let me cut off 25% of your arm because it's so much better than cutting off 64%?
Would you bet me $10,000 of your own money if you knew for a fact your odds of losing were 25%?
Would you jump out of an airplane if you know for a fact there was a 25% chance of your chute (and emergency chute) not opening?
I hope not.
Look, if this was 1953 and the odds of divorce were only 7%, then this would be a very different conversation. But it's not 1953 any more, and 7% is very different than 25%, to say nothing of 30% or 64%, which, as I've just demonstrated, are far more likely for you because of your natural human choices.
I hope you wouldn't risk your future happiness, children's happiness, and all current and future finances all on a 25-30% failure rate with your marriage to your low-income, college-educated, virgin Asian wife who is only the second or third woman you've ever had sex with.
By the way, I haven't even covered the second huge issue here. Let's say you really do beat the odds and stay married forever, while giving me the finger about how wrong I was. What are you as a man supposed to do when, at some point after the three-year mark in your marriage at the very latest, you're going to strongly want to have sex with other women? Unless you're a very low sex drive exception to the rule, this is 100% guaranteed to happen at some point. Then what do you do? Make your wife wear a wig and dress in funny outfits? Sounds fun for about six months or so, but will that really work for 40 years? Really?
Another question to ponder in your unlikely "successful" forever marriage. What do you do when she starts getting bored with you and doesn't want to have sex with you anymore, which she is biologically designed to do? Then what do you do? You can't get divorced, so now what do you do, Superman? Jerk off to porn for the rest of your life whenever she says no? (Which will be most of the time you try to have sex with her once the marriage gets many years old.) Oh, that sounds like a really happy life for you. I'm so jealous.
If you don't want to jerk it to porn and don't want to get divorced, we both know what you're going to do. You're going to eventually cheat. Oh, that sounds like a happy marriage to me. What a great life, sneaking around like a frightened hobbit, hoping you'll never get caught. Or getting caught, and then getting drama from hell from her, and then possibly divorced. But wait...I thought you were going to prevent all that?
So next time someone screams "Oh, the divorce rate isn't so bad! There are things you can do to reduce your odds of divorce!", just show them this article.
OLTR Marriage is your least-bad option if you want a pair-bonded lifestyle. Pair bond, live with her, have kids if you want, don't get legally married, and have an open marriage/relationship where you're allowed to discreetly get a little on the side within whatever ground rules you both agree to. (Or good luck with monogamy and your college-educated, low-income, virgin Asian wife who complains she has a headache every time you want to have sex after you've been married for a few years. I'll be over here being happy.)
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New Hombre 2015-03-22 05:29:10
In both my experience and observation, the advice given to reduce your odds of divorce just does not work. The church environment, one of the most pro-marriage environments I can think of, where you are most likely to check many of the items advised, still has a divorce rate equivalent to society in general. I think people that give this kind of advice ignore two things: 1 - The HUGE incentive most women have for getting divorced - the social structure highly favors women in divorce. It's a good deal for many of them. 2 - Women's nature. Women are very emotional, variable creatures. One cannot expect women to deny their emotions the way men do, and her emotions will vary greatly over the next 5, 10, 15 years. In my opinion, the only reliable way for a man to reduce his odds of divorce today is to not get married.
TarzanWannaBe 2015-03-22 05:38:55
Bingo, BD! I heard the same Stefan episode and took the same exceptions. I thought "wow Stefan, you've really got a blind spot on this one", then wondered "or is it just me?" Perhaps not. heh
maldek 2015-03-22 06:03:28
About marriage: Prefix: BD is right - listen to him In detail: 1) Good idea. You value as man goes up until your mid 35 - you will get a better, hotter women if you wait until you are around 30. 2) True for the woman but not very important. For men this is false. Get as much pussy as you can b4 you settle down with a woman. Try ONS, try FB, try MLTR if you can. Try 3some, go anal, get good blowjobs, get bad blowjobs, fuck 18yo and try 40yo. THEN you can settle down and live with a woman and have kids. Dont do it as a virgin or know-all-experience-nothing guy. 3) Has some value but again it is a MINOR issue. 4) Just NO. Repeat NONONO. This is the last thing you wanna do. Degree for men is questionalbe, but for a WOMAN???!! Are you fucking kidding me? This is the exact opposite of what you wanna do if you are after a HAPPY and LASTING marriage with plenty of SEX. Why? If you dont know yet, let me hammer this into your stubborn skull. Woman should be young, so they are hot and sexy. They should get babies, more than one. And they should NOT work, even less have a career but instead focus on supporting your career and make you happy as their goal in life. Then the marriage with be both happy and lasting. Career women are the devil. Besides is she is well educated, chances are she is too old for you. Maybe worse, YOU are her beta, who she finds sexually repulsive. Ever consider that, no? Well thats why so many marriages fail, because the man is her beta-backup plan, she never wanted to fuck just his bucks. 5) dumb 6) Best thing in the whole list. Should be crystal clear by now why. 7) Dumber. Live with a woman you plan to marry FIRST. At least 1 year or so. Then have a child. THEN marry....if you still into it. 8) Important: My addition Make sure you money is save in a place where she does not get it. At the very least in a different country. Dont invest where you live. If it is more profitable for a woman to stay with you, she will. If it is more profitable for a woman to dump you...you get the idea. Dont be a sheepish dumbass and you will do better than most. Be a fullgrown asshole (like my humble self was called many times) and you will do very well.
Tony 2015-03-22 06:54:26
I hear this excuse a lot when somebody brings up the high divorce rate. "If you meet X Y and Z requirements then your divorce rate is only 15%" or whatever. In addition to the problems you bring up, it seems like these people are silent when somebody who doesn't meet the requirements wants to get married. Outside of maybe parents and siblings, how many people tell an early 20's, uneducated, high sex drive, low income couple not to get married? If the divorce rate is so low for the people who do it right, then these people must have divorce rates of 70% or higher. Yet I don't hear peep out of the people who use this excuse about them.
Blackdragon 2015-03-22 10:50:06
I think people that give this kind of advice ignore two things: 1 – The HUGE incentive most women have for getting divorced – the social structure highly favors women in divorce. It’s a good deal for many of them. 2 – Women’s nature. Women are very emotional, variable creatures. One cannot expect women to deny their emotions the way men do, and her emotions will vary greatly over the next 5, 10, 15 years.Much of standard Societal Programming relationship advice, as well as much advice regarding long-term relationships from manosphere Alpha Male 1.0s, revolves around the idea that we're all still living in 1953, the divorce rate is only 7%, and she'll stick around with you no matter what as long as you pick the right girl. Was true once. Not try any more. Advice must reflect modern-day realities, or else it's bad advice.
it seems like these people are silent when somebody who doesn’t meet the requirements wants to get married. Outside of maybe parents and siblings, how many people tell an early 20’s, uneducated, high sex drive, low income couple not to get married? If the divorce rate is so low for the people who do it right, then these people must have divorce rates of 70% or higher. Yet I don’t hear peep out of the people who use this excuse about them.Wow, FANTASTIC point. You're absolutely right; I've seen exactly the same. The message among these people is: "There are things you can do to reduce the odds of divorce, therefore everyone should get married." If they were being consistent with their own advice, they would want only a small percentage of the population to ever get married, and of course they wouldn't want that! Therefore, this entire "prevent divorce if you do x, y, z" thing is a complete smokescreen. They just want most everyone to get married, period, regardless of the sky-high odds of divorce (and cheating and drama and lack of sex, etc).
Cliff 2015-03-22 11:15:12
I've been married for 18 years to a well educated wife who I met when I was 30, we waited to have kids for a few years. Both of us would be considered high income. Statistics are great because they show trends. However, Stefan's list is pretty ridiculous in a scientific statistical sense. There are just way too many variables that go into a marriage to reduce it down like this. By the way, I'm getting a divorce and if I could turn the clock back would never have gotten married. Take it for what it's worth.
Blackdragon 2015-03-22 11:27:18
I’m getting a divorce and if I could turn the clock back would never have gotten married.Same here. I would never have gotten married. Instead, I would have moved in with her, not gotten legally married, not gotten 100% monogamous, and had the same two kids with her I have now. After about three years or so, we would have broken up amicably, she would have moved out, I would have paid child support but no alimony, and we would have remained friends, possibly even FBs. Compare that to nine years of marriage, the typical decline in sex, a legal divorce, alimony, attorneys, chaos, anger and resentment (on her part anyway), etc. As I've said a thousand times, a man can pair bond and get everything he wants without getting legally married and without promising 100% sexual monogamy forever.
Jon 2015-03-22 13:11:35
If it makes you feel better, I did everything you did PLUS have a college degree and married an Asian girl who also had a college degree and still got divorced. Actually, I kind of feel worse now that I know it was all my fault for being white. There's nothing else left to blame... 🙁
Jack Outside the Box 2015-03-22 13:14:31
BD, please hear me out: Who gives a fuck what the divorce rate is? What if the divorce rate were exactly zero percent? My reaction would be: Wow, everyone is imprisoned for life in a state of pure hell and misery! A zero percent divorce rate would be the best reason for me to never get married! The higher the divorce rate, the more people want to get married because they don't feel trapped. Would you get married if divorce were non-existent? Why? That would be hell! The reason so many people today are getting married is because they know they can get divorced if it doesn't work out! That's what's keeping marriage alive! Criminalize divorce and marriage will cease to exist! That would be awesome! Today, the number one cause of divorce is marriage, so by eliminating one we eliminate the other. Who's with me? BD I think you're wasting your time by pointing out high divorce rates to men who want to get married. Those high divorce rates ENCOURAGE men to get married because they won't feel imprisoned! Now, a low to non-existent divorce rate - THAT would make men and women think twice about getting married and might actually get rid of that barbaric institution of the state! And by the way, I will NEVER get into a serious relationship with a woman who doesn't have her own career, or who doesn't have more money than me. Poor women are gold diggers! Why would I risk a parasite when I can be with a woman with more money than me, thus resting assured that she's with me because I'm hot and not for a roof over her head? Do guys enjoy risking half their money getting stolen by a poor parasite? If you're stupid enough to get married, it is she who should demand prenups to protect herself. That's when you know you're safe! In other words, Maldek has everything backwards!
Blackdragon 2015-03-22 13:39:36
BD I think you’re wasting your time by pointing out high divorce rates to men who want to get married.Correct. I've said that myself. I've shown with surveys that even most manosphere / PUA / red pill men STILL want to get monogamous and/or married "someday," despite all the knowledge they have about how it doesn't work. I'm not trying to help those men. They're welcome to read my stuff, and if they find it valuable that's wonderful. But my message isn't geared towards them. Instead, I'm trying to help those 5-10% of men who A) admit the system is screwy, B) want something completely different, and C) are willing to put in the action to get it even if most other people look at them funny while they're doing it.
Would you get married if divorce were non-existent?If such a marriage was nonmonogamous and I was allowed to fuck anyone I wanted on the side while being married, and doing so was was a normal thing that didn't get me any drama from my wife, then sure, I'd probably go for it in my older years. But as marriage works right now now? Hell no!
I will NEVER get into a serious relationship with a woman who doesn’t have her own careerPartially agree. I would have a serious relationship with one of those, but I wouldn't live with a woman who didn't work. If I'm going to actually live with someone, she needs to contribute to the financial aspect of the household at least somewhat, so yeah, she needs to work, even if it's a part-time job or something. I've seen first-hand what happens to modern-day women and long-term relationships when the woman earns zero income over a prolonged period of time. It isn't pretty. So in a cohabitation situation I agree with you 100%.
Doubter 2015-03-22 14:32:22
Scathing commentary......well done BD
Marty 2015-03-22 16:07:44
Eh ... I've listen to Stefan on the Joe Rogan podcast. I'm not sure Rogan's political views ... but I know he questioned Stefan, in earnest, without an agenda, about how his "libertarian utopia" would function, in reality ... and even Rogan ... who self-admittedly is not a genius, and didn't have an axe to grind ... unwittingly made Stefan look like a bumbling nut. Just saying ... smartest man on the internet? I'm not so sure about that. But his fantasies may certainly extend to how women behave, as well.
eldm 2015-03-22 16:28:03
I'd love to hear a debate between you and Stefan Molyneux (too bad you're probably too busy for that) regarding this marriage thing. Then again, if Molyneux starts loosing the debate he'll launch into his usual ad hominem - you had shitty parents and haven't gone to therapy and therefore you're a r-selected spray and pray etc etc etc
Dave 2015-03-22 17:21:39
OK, here's an idea: Put your money in the Caymans, marry a woman in Ukraine, and rent a house in Costa Rica to live in. Any time she wants to leave, you'll buy her an ticket back to Ukraine and hire a nanny to look after the kids. Women are extremely unlikely to divorce in situations where they won't get anything out of it, and your power over her will keep her juices flowing.
Blackdragon 2015-03-22 21:03:31
Just saying … smartest man on the internet? I’m not so sure about that. But his fantasies may certainly extend to how women behave, as well.I don't agree with 100% of everything he's ever said, but I've certainly have never seen him look like a "bumbling nut." I'm sure his opinions regarding monogamy are skewed somewhat just like most men currently in a monogamous relationship.
I’d love to hear a debate between you and Stefan Molyneux (too bad you’re probably too busy for that) regarding this marriage thing.We've been emailing over the weekend and he's invited me to call into the show to discuss marriage. I said I would put it on the to-do list, which I have.
OK, here’s an idea: Put your money in the Caymans, marry a woman in Ukraine, and rent a house in Costa Rica to live in. Any time she wants to leave, you’ll buy her an ticket back to Ukraine and hire a nanny to look after the kids. Women are extremely unlikely to divorce in situations where they won’t get anything out of it, and your power over her will keep her juices flowing.I'm sure there are several unusual and creative ways to offset the usual marriage risk, and yours is a good example. The question that men have to ask themselves is if all that trouble is worth it.
Sachmo 2015-03-22 21:38:39
To some extent I agree with the futility of 'screening.' no matter what you do, odds of 'failure' are still high. I did come across a book by Ty Tashiro entitled, "The Science of Happily Ever After". It actually verbatim spits out the 50% divorce rate, 10% separation rate, 7% chronically unhappy couples rate and puts the overall 'success' rate of marriage at 33%. It also mentions that cheating occurs in 30-40% of relationships. Ty's book recommends attempting to look at the Big 5 personality characteristics - Extroversion / Conscientiousness / Openness / Agreeableness / Neuroticism. Big 5 personality test has survived more empirical tests than say Myers Briggs - though I find that useful as well - so it has a some basis in empirical research. He argues Neuroticism is the #1 relationship killer. He also argues that the combination of having a Low Conscientiousness and a High degree of Openness create a combined effect of 'novelty seeking' which usually is associated with substance abuse / cheating. Also he shows that couples in which partners score highly on Agreeableness tend to have greater marital satisfaction. Having sex regularly *does* matter to couples having a successful outcome. Also successful partners tend to exchange 5 positive interactions for each negative one. His advice is basically to screen on psychological characteristics (as opposed to demographics presented here). Go for low neuroticism, at least moderate conscientiousness, and at least moderate agreeableness. Also go for someone with a 'secure' attachment type - meaning partner had a healthy relationship with their parents as an infant. Overly anxious or non-attentive parents can create a 'combative' or 'anxious' attachment type which is also associated with bad outcomes. He covers how you might screen for this stuff in the book. Ok, I have a feeling I might know what BD's reaction is - this is stupid. Come back after proving that this particular method works via an empirical study. And I'd agree that being generous, this might at best reduce divorce risk to 30% - still terrible odds. But here's my counterpoint for why I'd recommend this approach (until convinced otherwise): 1) There haven't been any long-term studies done, because OLTRs are not exactly advertised, but all of the anecdotal evidence I've seen (particularly the book - Opening Up) points to Open Relationships being even *less* stable than mono relationships. 2) With regards to point #1, if you don't want or already have kids - then no big deal. Jump from OLTR to OLTR (almost like a serial monogamist without the monogamy) if you like and you can probably live a very happy life without any terrible financial / legal considerations. But if you believe that a lasting OLTR is possible then look right back to the psychological profile of your partner, b/c its the same stuff that makes a relationship work. Also if you are thinking of having kids, I think one objective would be to have a stable relationship as long as you realistically can while maintaining happiness. I agree with BD that realistically this may last 3 to 7 years and then fail, but I don't see the harm in trying if you have all the various legal / contractual stuff in place (parenting plan, no co-owned assets, etc). If it gets to the point where the lady starts refusing sex for months at a time, then nix it. If one partner cheats then renegotiate for an OLTR or nix it. If there is beta-ization or drama to an unacceptable extent, nix it. But during the time period that you raising small children, I think it is worth sacrificing *some* happiness to maintain stability for the household. If some psychological screening can improve odds, it makes sense to me. In general this makes more sense than the demographics. By the way regarding Asians, I think the reason they tend to do better is b/c most divorce statistics are based on 1st gen immigrants. With the 2nd gen established here, I suspect they will regress to the mean as the newly weds will soon discover.
Blackdragon 2015-03-23 09:10:33
You're essentially recommending some slight screening for "serial OLTRs." Fine by me.
Duke 2015-03-23 14:09:26
@ sachmo, I looked up the author of that book "opening up" that you referenced and she is a little hottie. http://www.amazon.com/Tristan-Taormino/e/B000APS9US/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0
POB 2015-03-25 08:09:29
I just wish that people sttoped to look at me as criminal everytime I say modern marriage does not work. They just put on the ugly faces and I can tell they are thinking I'm a womanizer. And I'm sorry but religious people (I'm religious but not like them) just add more confusion to it. With all these folks it's never about happiness...only about following the rules.
Farfalla 2015-04-17 06:46:05
Actually I think that if you're not Asian and you marry one then you will still divorce because she will be under pressure to divorce from day one by her racist parents. I've always wondered this about divorce stats; How can people determine it accurately? If you want to know the current divorce rate wouldn't the most recent marriages skew it? I mean that marriages in 2014 add a notch to the successful marriage column, simply because it's only been 6 months or so. So the marriages in the last five years, say, will pump up the 'non-divorce' numbers. Well, give them time, right? Wait until McKayla packs on a cool 80 pounds. Or wait until Chase plateaus at 95 K a year (Not good enough for McKayla, even though she outweighs NFL corners) If you want to know the true divorce rate from 2010, for example, you have to wait until all married couples from that year pass away (successfully married for life) So I think divorce is more prevalent than many stats will show, even honest stats. The more recent marriages tilt the numbers favorably but only due to timing.
Farfalla 2015-04-17 06:48:47
POB, It's because marriage is a feminine imperative institution. Go against any aspect of the feminine imperative and you will get bitter beer face from any woman and most men (who are good little feminine imperative lap dogs 87% of the time)
Blackdragon 2015-04-17 11:33:17
I’ve always wondered this about divorce stats;
How can people determine it accurately? If you want to know the current divorce rate wouldn’t the most recent marriages skew it? I mean that marriages in 2014 add a notch to the successful marriage column, simply because it’s only been 6 months or so.
Exactly correct. I address that here.
Farfalla 2015-04-18 06:24:23
Ha! Great post from back then that I hadn't seen.
Elkay Mann 2015-10-19 04:09:02
Hey man, If "Polyamory is MLTR", what is OLTR? Just a terminology question haha.
Blackdragon 2015-10-19 09:01:46
OLTR is pair bonded. You are with just one woman, love just her, date just her, but you're allowed to get a little on the side with FBs or one night stands if needed. MLTR is more like polyamory. Multiple people dating multiple people (not pair bonded).
Tyler Cheng 2016-02-12 21:22:24
Hey BD, You know what the irony of this post is? Virtually every man and woman living in East Asia exactly and literally live out their sexual and academic lives according to the rules listed above. Not that I'm gonna follow in their footsteps and break my neck down a flight of stairs. The majority of East Asian people (at least Taiwan) lead really mundane lives and suppress their basic biological needs. They don't know what they're missing out on!
Blackdragon 2016-02-14 12:44:00
True. Asian cultures are more traditional, right-wing(ish), and conducive to men being betas. Though there's now slowly rising divorce rates in Asia too...
Nic 2017-03-08 02:48:54
Though there’s now slowly rising divorce rates in Asia too… I'm curious if you have any statistics about this. I'm currently living in the Philippines, which I would consider to be a very westernized Asian country as opposed to Asian neighbors which is why I believe your advice is still very applicable here.
Blackdragon 2017-03-08 11:03:58
Though there’s now slowly rising divorce rates in Asia too… I’m curious if you have any statistics about this.https://www.researchgate.net/publication/233709670_Divorce_Trends_in_Asia The divorce rates in Asia are rising, but very slowly.
I’m currently living in the Philippines, which I would consider to be a very westernized Asian country as opposed to Asian neighbors which is why I believe your advice is still very applicable here.It is. The Philippines is full of the horniest women on the planet. Tons of sex, tons of cheating (despite an ostensibly Catholic culture) and lots of gay / metrosexual / feminine men who aren't very strong competition.
CTV 2018-06-21 18:46:11
Let me add one to that list.. Have Trad Con/Right Wing Values and Mind Set. Many of those guys Alpha 1’s and Beta types DO HAVE this mindset and don’t get divorced, but their marriage are full of drama and very unfulfilled in happiness.. BUT THEY’RE TOGETHER so we have a winner..
Alex 2018-08-11 20:49:17
Men and women are natural adversaries.