I’m starting from the assumption that you are a (mostly) beta guy who is open to the idea of marrying. I’m also assuming that the basic criteria to consider marriage are already met. You are head over heels in love with this woman, and she is with you. You have great chemistry, she is sane, has basic life skills (can handle a budget), you have compatible views on religion, kids, etc. I’m also assuming she is broaching the question of marriage. Men formally are the ones to propose marriage, but in every case I’ve seen the women unofficially raised the subject first and usually with a sense of urgency. Instead of freaking out, you can use this opportunity productively.
The problem is, now that “oneitis” has set in, you need to take a breath and think logically. Being in love isn’t enough to justify marriage; it is necessary, but not sufficient. And if you haven’t considered the issue ahead of time, you won’t be able to process the logical side. So when you find yourself in this position, your unspoken thought process should be:
You know I love you, but why in the world should I marry you?
In the world of marriage 2.0, I think a man’s default answer to this question should be no. I say this from the perspective of an advocate of marriage. This may seem contradictory, but I don’t think it really is. You have an obligation to yourself to not marry if the situation isn’t right. Moreover, you have a solemn duty to your future children to pick their mother wisely. This is bigger than love, and bigger than you. The stakes are enormous; your children need the best chance you can give them to grow up with both a mother and a father. You also have an obligation to Mrs right not to pick Mrs wrong over her.
So for all of the above reasons a woman needs to bring something very special to the table to justify marriage. The law and social convention won’t hold her to keep the vow she takes in front of God, your families, and everyone you both care about; the moral force to keep her side of the promise needs to come from within herself. Many women today lack this internal compass, but many others still have it. The questions below are aimed at assessing if she does bring these qualities.
Why do you use the term interview? Are you serious?
I’m not really serious about the term interview. If you pull out a clipboard and start interrogating your (potential) future wife, bad things are likely to happen. I’m assuming you have enough experience in relationships to know how to manage a conversation and work these questions in appropriately. I’m also assuming you will have the basic sense to know when to raise these questions and not to overload on the topic at any given time. But the concept of interview is still helpful I think. The time in the relationship that I referenced in the beginning of this post is a critical window of opportunity. She is pressuring you to propose to her. You won’t get another opportunity like this. Ever.
Below are the specific questions that you want the answers to, organized by category. Ideally many (most?) of these you will already know the answer to. For those issues you have already discussed, you don’t need to bring them up again but this should serve as a mental checklist.
Does she take marriage seriously? Are her expectations in line with yours?
- What is the best part of marriage? Is she more interested in the wedding itself or the ring than being your wife?
- Will she take your name? I can’t personally think of a convincing reason to marry a woman who wouldn’t or who struggled with this question.
- What does marriage mean to her? She’s asking you to sign on the dotted line. What’s in this contract?
- What is the role of a husband? What are the obligations of a husband? You want to be on the same page here, but this is also a setup for the next question. If she has a long list for you and a short one for her, that is very telling. Likewise if she rattles off the list for you but struggles to form the list for herself, you’ve just learned something.
- What is the role of a wife? What are the obligations of a wife? The specifics are important here, but her overall attitude to the idea of having obligations is critical as well. Does the idea of having a role to conform to or duties make her bristle? This is also your best opportunity to frame the roles the way you would expect them to be.
- What if you are “in the mood” and she isn’t (aka “wifely duty”)? I hesitated to include this, but I feel it really should be there. Part of what this will show is her general willingness to consider your needs over her own feelings (altruism) and her tendency to look for opportunities for compromise. This will also give you a hint about her perception of male sexuality. You also want to smoke out a potential to use denial of sex for power purposes. Lastly, for men sex in marriage really is love. How would you feel about a man who decided not to hug or kiss his wife, or refused to tell her he loved her?
What is her attitude about casual sex? Does she have a history of following her ‘tingle’?
- What does she think about the double standard regarding promiscuity? Frame this with sympathy to the feminist perspective. This is a bit of a trick question. The right answer is disgust with promiscuity across the board. The wrong answer is an instinct to shelter sluts from judgment for their actions. This question has the bonus of drawing out a feminist vibe she might be concealing, although in the scheme of things a little feminism in a young woman isn’t the end of the world. But you should know what you are getting into.
- Why does she think so many women have to date “bad boys” before they learn to look for good guys? Again, a bit of a trick question and should be framed non judgmentally. Ideally she should have disgust with those girls who chased alphas while she looked for something different. A convincing story about why she made this transition isn’t what you want to hear from a potential wife, but you should frame this question in such a way so this seems like a perfectly acceptable answer.
Does she see divorce as failure? Is she willing to make judgments about others who divorce?
- What are acceptable reasons for divorce? This should be a short list of no nonsense answers. I’m thinking infidelity, real and persistent abuse, persistent gambling and/or addiction, etc. Scary answers include the standard “just not happy”, “falling out of love”, “growing apart”, etc. These mean she will dump you the second things get tough or something or someone more interesting comes along.
- What would she tell your children about divorce? My wife and I were at a Thanksgiving celebration where our then 4 year old daughter met a boy who called his dad by his first name. When she asked him why, he told her about his mom’s divorce and remarriage. He explained that sometimes “mommies and daddies just stop loving each other”. She was distraught for over a week before she came to us. She was terrified we would just stop loving each other like the other kid’s parents. We told her “He’s wrong, his mommy was a brat!”. And we also told her not to say this to the boy or other kids in the same situation or she would hurt their feelings. After this she was fine. Tell her this story and see what her reaction is. Is she more protective of the frightened child, or the mommy who wanted to start a new life?
- Will she judge other women who divorce frivolously? Unfortunately it should be easy to come up with an example of this, so mention it in conversation and see what her reaction is. How would she feel about attending the second (or third) wedding of this woman?
This is just one man’s perspective, but it does come from a few decades of watching what worked and didn’t work for my peers. It also is highly influenced by the perspective of my wife based on the at times astounding conversations she has with other women. The world is filled with guys who married assuming incorrectly their wives would take marriage seriously. The good news is women with the right attitude still exist, and are often overlooked by other guys. You don’t want to be the male equivalent of the girl who walks past the nice guy betas to find the cad, only to complain about all guys being jerks.
Marriage is wonderful but every marriage will run into rough patches. Both parties need to have the commitment required to grow together and make it past the difficult periods. The law is one sided and either way insufficient for something as important as marriage. You need to make sure she has the internal compass to overcome the push of friends and society, and perhaps her own hypergamous instinct to move on when tempted. None of this should be construed as an excuse on your part to neglect her needs, be unfaithful, not work to be as attractive as possible, etc.
What do you think? Am I on the right page or out in left field? Any questions you would add or remove? Married and/or divorced men and women especially, don’t deprive others of your valuable insight. Please share your thoughts here, even if they contradict my own perspective.
Note: Comments on if one should or shouldn’t get married in the first place belong in Part I of this series, not here.
All great points. I think it’s obvious that far too many men wander into marriage mindlessly. Good marriages are great. Bad marriages are terrible.
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I would observe whether she is a hard worker or not. Does she put in the time and do a good job on projects she starts, whether for work or for personal pleasure. Or does she give in easily saying, “This seems to hard for me. Can you help me with this?” Obviously we all have our areas of competence and some things will be too hard for any one individual to manage, but watch whether it is a trend.
How are her previous relationships? Does she get in and out of her friendships or does she still hear from and do stuff with people from way back? Are her friends good people? Do they like and respect her?
Look at her family carefully to determine if the crazy is there. Are her parents still together? Have her siblings divorced or done the serial monogamy thing? Is there any pressure from her family group to stay on the straight and narrow? Look at her parents as individuals. Do they interact well? How does her mother treat her father?
This stuff can be turned around and applied to guys too. It’s hard to be cool and calculating when you are in love and perhaps tired of or scared to be alone, but this is a very serious choice to make and should not be taken lightly. Athol wrote a piece on this awhile back.
You know, there are subcultures, primarily religious and traditional, in which dating begins with an “interiew” that goes both ways–the young women also have expectations of the men and interview questions for them as well. I’d be interesting in hearing what questions you, as the father of a daughter, feel a women should ask.
Most of those subcultures also rely heavily on introductions that come from family and friends rather than on pick-ups. Prospective dates are “pre-qualified” by a number of people who hold the same values as the young people being introduced to each other. These subcultures generally have low divorce rates.
Yep, that says it.
Excellent post. Also, I think you’re the first male manosphere blogger I’ve read who has acknowledged that some quality women get overlooked by men. I suppose that such men would just accuse the women of being fat, though, which necessarily negates all of their other good qualities.
Good to see you back.
the young women also have expectations of the men and interview questions for them as well. I’d be interesting in hearing what questions you, as the father of a daughter, feel a women should ask.
Very fair point, and I think grerp touched on the same thing. The topic was a man picking a wife so I decided to leave this out. Obviously the women get to pick too and they have the same solemn duty to pick well for their future children’s sake. But I think we all would agree that the post was plenty long as it was.
As for my own daughter, I haven’t written out the list of questions yet, but I have picked out which shotgun I’ll be oiling/polishing nonchalantly when I ask the questions (cue Rodney Atkins).
I might have to get that list ready sooner than expected though. She loves the show “Dirty Jobs”, and just last night asked my wife if she could marry Mike Rowe. When my wife explained that he was too old for her, she asked if he had a son her age.
Great stuff grerp. You mentioned her work ethic, and it reminded me of the german drinking songs my wife translates for me when we go to Octoberfest. A common theme is looking for a wife who is strong enough to help with the farm work. My mother in law comes from an old school German/Hungarian farm family, and raised my wife with that work ethic so I really lucked out.
One question I struggle with is how long the list really should be. I think all of the points you referenced are important, but a some point I also understand the advice stops being practical for young people. It can be overwhelming. Plus the searching costs aren’t negligible, and the guy himself won’t be perfect either. I struggle with the right balance between enough, and a 300 point bullet list like some complain that women have.
As I think of it, the list I created (head over heels in love, chemistry, mutual goals/values, and high degree of likelihood she will keep the commitment) are much like the checklist I go through on the way to the airport. The original packing list was probably 3 pages long. But on the drive to the airport I’m thinking: Tickets, ID, Money. If I missed one of those I’ll turn around and get them. Otherwise I’ll buy what I forgot once I get there. It would be ideal to get everything just right when marrying, but if you have the basics you can probably work your way through most issues which come up.
Glad you liked it and thanks for stopping by. I just took a quick look at your blog and I think I’ll have to set aside some time to go through it.
Glad you liked it! I really enjoy your blog and am tickled to see you stopping by.
Glad to be back. My attendance will probably be sporadic as my mom is in the hospital.
“As for my own daughter, I haven’t written out the list of questions yet, but I have picked out which shotgun I’ll be oiling/polishing nonchalantly when I ask the questions.’
Ah, memories….My father had a shotgun that he was polishing when he met my husband. My husband remembers it fondly.
I’m tickled by your remark, but I think you should help your daughter prepare her own list and teach her to ask her own questions. You won’t always be there to protect her. A girl needs to be able to detect male BS when she hears it.
I’m glad your daughter is going after Mike Rowe’s son. Mike’s mine. I like to think of Mike as my second husband when I’m angry at my current one.
Sorry to hear about your mother J. I hope she is better soon.
Ah, memories….My father had a shotgun that he was polishing when he met my husband. My husband remembers it fondly.
Funny stuff! I had a similar conversation with my FIL but my MIL talked him out of the gun part (true story). He’s about 6 ft 4 so it really wasn’t needed. My wife asked me what I would have done had he been cleaning a gun, and I replied that I would have wanted to help.
I think you should help your daughter prepare her own list and teach her to ask her own questions. You won’t always be there to protect her. A girl needs to be able to detect male BS when she hears it.
Well, she has started on her own list already. She told my wife yesterday that her husband needs to be able to wipe his own bottom (reference to a 6 year old neighbor boy). But you are right of course. One thing which I already know is that the song has it all backwards. It isn’t the boy’s decision what the girl chooses to do. She won’t have the free pass that girls of previous generations did. And not putting out has a way of sorting through player BS all by itself.
As for Mike Rowe, my wife says he reminds her of me. She says we have the same sense of humor, and I’m not averse to working with my hands and getting dirty. She thinks this is why our daughter is using him as her model. I’m sure all of that will change soon enough though…
I like what you have done here. In my specific situation, I didn’t ask questions as much as make (relatively) forceful statements and watch for the reaction. While dating my wife I said the following:
“I don’t use sex as a weapon, and I will not tolerate it if you do. mad at me and not in the mood? Sure. Holding it back to manipulate me into doing something you want that I don’t? Don’t. I’ll kick you to the curb in a heartbeat.”
“I’ll never hit you first. If you ever hit me, I will knock you the (expletive deleted) out and move out before you wake up.”
“If you are mad at me, and don’t want to sleep in the same bed that night, thats fine by me. You will sleep on the couch. I will never sleep on the couch because you are mad at me.”
“In (x) years, when my youngest (from previous marriage) is 18, I’m moving to (city). I’d love for you to come, but if you decide not to then thats your decision. I’ll go without you.” (only reason I live where I do is beacuse my children live here)
Remember that she will agree with whatever you say if she wants to marry you. The tells are in the eye contact, the posture, and the head angles. Of course, it didn’t hurt that I am 10 years older than her and have no problem DHV’ing.
I also observed how she interacted with her father and how she talked about him. A woman’s relationship with her father (and your assessment of his character) tells you more about her than any questions will.
Regarding cleaning a weapon: The first time I went over to pick up my firts wife for a date, my future father in law was cleaning a pistol. As we talked, he reassembled it, and left out the slide return spring. He wasn’t happy when I called him on it, and less happy when I outshot him on the steel target range about a month later. Don’t showboat with a firearm, you might end up running into that smart ass kid that both knows more and shoots better than you.
These are good rules of thumb to follow.
Thanks, Dalrock. I almost lost her, but she appears to be on the mend.
“A woman’s relationship with her father (and your assessment of his character) tells you more about her than any questions will. ”
Ditto, a man and his mother.
“I don’t use sex as a weapon, and I will not tolerate it if you do. mad at me and not in the mood? Sure.”
Many men don’t understand the difference. Bravo.
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“What if you are “in the mood” and she isn’t (aka “wifely duty”)? I hesitated to include this, but I feel it really should be there. Part of what this will show is her general willingness to consider your needs over her own feelings (altruism)”
I notice how you say, “your needs” (in regards the husband’s sexual desire) and then use “feelings” when referring to the wife, when in fact, sex is NOT a “need” but rather a “feeling” (want/desire). So really what it is – is “who’s ‘feelings’ win out here?”
I don’t know if you were purposely trying to make the desire for sex seems MORE important than the non-desire for it by calling it a “need” – or what?
But in my many years of experience with regards to male-female relationships, it is more often than not the WOMAN’S “sexual needs” that go un-fulfilled rather than the man’s in a partnership.
A very important question for a woman to ask a man is if he is willing to spend the amount of time (and that can be considerably long in some cases) it takes for her to achieve mutliple orgasms and thus be truly “satisfied”….. or would he rather her just “fake it” like most women do so he can roll over and go to sleep?
I didn’t mean to suggest that sex was a need for men and a feeling for women. Clearly it is a need for both. And a husband has an obligation to do what he can to satisfy this need for his wife just as a wife does for her husband. Part of marriage is forbidding the other from fulfilling this need elsewhere, so this comes with an obligation to not leave the other party unfulfilled. Rolling over and going to sleep when she is saying “what about me?” is obviously inappropriate. But I didn’t reference this because this specific post was for a man choosing a wife. I think you could take the different posts I made for men and women choosing a spouse and tweak each one for the opposite sex. For example, men need to only consider real choices (vs porn or strippers) when assessing their options. They also need to stop choosing once married (aka Stop being a dumbass!).
The other thing this brings to mind is the fact that in marriage if you are doing it right one of the biggest pleasures is finding ways to bring joy to the other. A husband who overlooks the opportunity to give his wife greater satisfaction isn’t thinking in this way, and this is a tragedy.
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Dalrock, I know my comment comes a bit late, but I am very curious as to why you find it so important that a woman change her name once married. If everything else about a prospective wife was spot on, would her discomfort with changing her name be a deal-breaker?
I said I couldn’t think of a reason, and that is true. Maybe you will propose a reason which would change my mind. Although from your pissy attitude on another post I’m guessing you might not be around too long.
Men take on enormous risk in getting married. As I pointed out the laws are very one sided. A woman who doesn’t want to take your name isn’t looking to fully integrate herself into your life. She wants you fully liable, but only wants to be part way committed. Why take the risk?
I don’t have a problem with a man who disagrees with this and marries a woman who doesn’t take his name. That is his choice and in the end only he can assess the risk of marrying.
A few more suggestions..not so much interview questions as things to observe and think about:
1)Has supported herself for at least a couple of years. Much more likely to be respectful of money & not a spendthrift than someone who has always been supported by parents/boyfriends/husbands
2)Verbally kind. Women are usually better at being verbally cutting than men, be sure she doesn’t abuse this power. Observe her with people who have less status/power than she does…waiters, clerical workers at her office, etc
3)At least some degree of sexual submissiveness. Doesn’t have to be anything kinky, but if she doesn’t sometimes enjoy a submissive role in bed she is likely to be domineering outside of it.
4)This one may be controversial..has a career that she takes very seriously but not obsessively. This will help her understand the issues that YOU face in your career better than a woman who has only worked for economic reasons but never really pursued successs.
5)What are her exes like? Are at least some of them guys who are like you in some ways? If they’re totally different types, that is probably a red flag.
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“A woman who doesn’t want to take your name isn’t looking to fully integrate herself into your life.”
I agree with most things in this post except this. As a woman, and a member of a family in which most of the women have kept their names for the past three generations, I can tell you that I think you’re taking it a little too personally. I come from a culture where this is fairly common, and trust me, wanting to keep your last name isn’t some kind of attack on manhood or marriage. There are many reasons a woman may wish to keep her name in this day and age. Here are some:
1. She has a career or is well known in her field by a certain name, and wishes to avoid confusion and possibly not being given credit for her previous accomplishments. This is especially true if she has published work under her name. This is usually the reason in my family.
2. She doesn’t like the way your last name sounds with her first name. This may sound like a shallow reason at first, but it has practical implications. When employers see a resume, the name on top says a lot. Your name defines you and if it doesn’t sound good, you don’t want people having any kind of subconscious judgments that could work against you. “Rosa Smith” sounds better than “Rosa Rosencratz” for instance. It just does.
3. She doesn’t want to go through the legal hullabaloo of changing all her documents, and then the social hullabaloo of correcting people when they use her old name.
Quite frankly, I don’t see any compelling reason TO change my name upon marriage. It just happens to be a common practice in America, but it’s pretty unnecessary. It’s a very minor issue really, and completely separate from commitment to the relationship. And I’m someone who takes relationships very seriously. In fact, if my boyfriend had a problem with me wanting to keep my name, then I’d have a boyfriend who gets offended very easily.
PS: This comment is a bit late, I found a link to this post on Susans blog.
I think you are on the right track that you really have to smoke how she feels
about her “entitlement” and female prerogative…if she’s a princess and your job is to “serve” her, and she doesn’t feel the need to support your passions, it won’t be much of a marriage. I’m always on the lookout for – say it with me – shaming language which tells me someone is more concerned with THEIR image of how I am supposed to act than my own.
One question I’d add to the list is how she sees prenups and other financial compartments. Are they “unromantic,” planning for failure, or good sense to reduce tension and uncertainty and to start the negotiation? The answer is less important than how she answers. Is she spiritually motivated or transparently preserving her own hypothetical golden parachute? Of course, ideally the couple will share everything profit and loss. But IF there is a breach of the marriage, is she willing to consider ahead of time what would be a fair split?
Another might be if fiance(e)s have debt, should they pay it off before marriage, pay it separately during marriage, or pay it out of the marital pool?
A third might be how she feels about able-bodied or newly-cohabiting women receiving alimony.
I have another marker which comes from my own family past. I used to get this weird routine where my mom/sister/whoever would do something she wanted to do, then later acted like she’d been put out to do it by me. It’s like because I enjoyed it as well, the ideas has retroceded into my brain, and now she gets a gift certificate to force me to do whatever SHE wants because we did what I wanted before, even though it was her idea and desire to do it in the first place. It s a form of martyr complex.
Another thing I’d peek into is her longterm views on birth control. If a married couple plans to be childless for some time, there’s no reason in my mind to not look at an IUD over pills/rings/latex. This is pretty well taken care of, though, with proxy questions about responsibility and deferring gratification.
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I’m going to speak for myself here, but I don’t find it necessary to have “multiple orgasms” in order to be satisfied, so long as it’s not just wham bam sorry ma’am every time (that’s OK sometimes – I don’t always want hours on end of riding the wave either). Sex doesn’t have to be so goal orientated and is best when each partner can focus on making the other feel good rather than making it all about “my orgasms.” I don’t fake orgasms but I do let my partner know that it’s not a big deal if I don’t have one and so not to put pressure on himself over the fact that it just doesn’t happen that often and it’s not his fault. I still enjoy myself and in some ways, it’s good to be left wanting more because it’s always “to be continued…”
As far as the wording quibble here, sex in relationships for men is more emotional than for women, generally. I think men do have this more as a need than women – it’s how they bond with you over time and they will feel neglected without it as a typical woman feels neglected when he doesn’t hug and kiss her or bring her a bunch of flowers now and again for no particular reason.
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I’d put a bit less emphasis on things not entirely under her control. The state of her parents’ marriage? Put that on equal footing with absolute deal-breakers like a failure to understand the reciprocity of duties in marriage, and you’re basically telling that poor kid with the frivolous mom that he should go ahead and join a monastery, because he’ll never be capable of being a good spouse.
My wife’s parents had a relationship that was, frankly, pretty awful. So did mine. But when either of us is tempted to say or do something that will hurt the other, the first reaction in our heads is generally “Oh God! That’s what my MOTHER would do! I’d better step back and calm the hell down!”. It’s less important, I think, what we’ve been exposed to, than what we’ve learned from that exposure.
These are all questions worth learning the answers to, but context matters.
Finding someone you can enjoy having regular sexual intercourse with is not exactly hard. Finding someone you can build a life with…that’s the tricky part.
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But when either of us is tempted to say or do something that will hurt the other, the first reaction in our heads is generally “Oh God! That’s what my MOTHER would do! I’d better step back and calm the hell down!”. It’s less important, I think, what we’ve been exposed to, than what we’ve learned from that exposure.
This, exactly this! My own parents are divorced and my spouse grew up watching his own parents tumultous relationship (they are still together but often very visibly and audibly disrespectful of each other). We’ve had to learn our own way to deal with conflict, to be sure, but at least we knew all along how NOT to go about it! And as my spouse used to say,:”If other people’s issues are the only thing we need to work through, we’re pretty damn lucky”.
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I think it is important to make a distinction between high school and college experimentation and adult behavior patterns. Sexual experimentation in adolescence is normal for both genders, and as long as it is done safely, can make someone a well-rounded, satisfied person that is ready to wholeheartedly commit to marriage in young adulthood. During childhood and adolescence, there are a lot of behaviors common to those developmental phases that are normal and expected at the time, but are not generally carried on to adulthood. You would not refuse to marry someone because they had temper tantrums as a toddler, but if as an adult they flung themselves on the ground screaming because the line was too long at the grocery store, you would hopefully run as fast as you could in the opposite direction and never look back. Likewise, if someone went through childhood without ever losing their temper, you might be concerned about the person’s mental health and ability to properly express their emotions and not want to marry them either.
Sex is a normal part of life, and adolescence is the normal time to throw our sexual “temper tantrums”. Not having a sexual relationship during your teenage years has been linked with sexual dysfunctions later in life http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,314104,00.html – and although they have yet to determine whether people develop problems from waiting to have sex or people that already have problems wait longer to have sex, whichever it turns out to be, waiting for sex is predictive of sexual problems, and as you correctly stated, sex is very important in a marriage. On the other side of the coin are people that didn’t experiment and didn’t develop problems, but always wonder if the grass is greener on the other side of every fence, especially in our culture where we are bombarded by sexual images and a lot of women seem to think it’s cool to publicly slam their spouse’s bedroom prowess. They are at risk for deciding to try it out during stressful times in the marriage or when they begin to feel they are aging and less attractive and it’s their “last chance.” So rather than checking into the past attitudes and behaviors of your potential mate, look at how they feel today, and how those past attitudes and behaviors helped them to grow and develop into the person they are now. I’m not saying to jump right from the party to the altar, but in my experience the marriages that have lasted in our generation are those that developed a “been there, done that, done with it” attitude towards casual sex on their own and then got together with their spouse.
Other than that, I agree with you on a lot of points, but I think you left out a couple huge ones. You took the attitude that children are an assumed part of marriage, but that really isn’t true anymore. It is important to discuss whether you want children and if you do, who will be the primary caregiver and what kind of parenting style you prefer. Think you can just cross that bridge when you come to it? Think again – child rearing is a top reason for divorce. Finances are also an important (if not the most important), but oft-neglected part of the conversation with a potential spouse. How you budget, spend and save impacts your life on a daily basis. Are you planning to have joint or separate accounts, and from which account will the bills be paid and how will the remainder be divided? How many credit cards do you have, and how do you use them? What are your short and long term financial goals? Do you have any savings and investments, and if so, how do you contribute to them, and under what circumstance would you access those funds? What are the major purchases you hope to make throughout your life, and how are you planning to save for retirement (or already saving if you are already in the work force)? What kind of house do you want and where do you want to live? How are you planning for the possibility that one (or both) of you could get hurt, or sick, and be unable to work? Although finance is often seen as a dry, boring topic, finance ranks up with infidelity and abuse in the top reasons for divorce.
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@Chili, even though this is eons late.
“1. She has a career or is well known in her field by a certain name, and wishes to avoid confusion and possibly not being given credit for her previous accomplishments. This is especially true if she has published work under her name. This is usually the reason in my family.
2. She doesn’t like the way your last name sounds with her first name. This may sound like a shallow reason at first, but it has practical implications. When employers see a resume, the name on top says a lot. Your name defines you and if it doesn’t sound good, you don’t want people having any kind of subconscious judgments that could work against you. “Rosa Smith” sounds better than “Rosa Rosencratz” for instance. It just does.
3. She doesn’t want to go through the legal hullabaloo of changing all her documents, and then the social hullabaloo of correcting people when they use her old name.
For me, personally, none of those excuses wash. I don’t think a single one of them is valid.
For #1: For those who write- find a pseudonym. There’s also no law that says for article credit, a woman can’t continue using her maiden name. There’s another nothing stopping her from “first name, maiden name, new last name” which will also help cut down on confusion. It’s not uncommon or unheard of for a woman, like a performing artist, to have her last name legally changed to her husband’s last name while still being publicly known by her former last name (which might not even be her actual maiden name).
Ultimately, this smacks to me of putting self and career above the marriage, which in the long run, could be problematic. If a person is not willing (both of them) to jump in with both feet, marriage, imo, is not for them.
#2- Really? People are that vain? Nothing like not making a man feel ashamed, eh? That also rings of disaster. If a person puts more importance on the way a name sounds as opposed to what it means (as in, taking the husband’s name), I think there are going to be a whole host of conflicts that don’t bode well for a marriage. If the man happens to agree, there is nothing stopping them from combining names or coming up with something entirely new, and therefore, each has a new name. I’ve actually known people who have done this, and their children have the new last name. It was very special for them; a sign of their new union, and the children having the legacy.
No, a name doesn’t define a person- their actions do. If someone is bigoted enough to judge a person by their name, I, personally, wouldn’t want to work for them to begin with, because the constant hoops would be problematic.
Also, fwiw, in some cultures, the man takes the wife’s last name….
#3-Imo, this is by far the most ridiculous. If a person is too lazy or “overwhelmed” to go to the dmv to change their name, I would steer clear of them entirely. Is grocery shopping overwhelming? Opening up an account or going to the bank? Ending up in the hospital? Filing taxes? God forbid they have children and have to apply for all the documents that go with that. 🙄 At some point, they are going to have to go to the dmv to renew their licenses.
And what about getting a marriage license? Getting married in a church? That’s more stuff to have deal with. And they don’t want to have to correct people from using their old last name? Why? Are they ashamed of being married? Why would they not want people to know they were married? Seriously? People don’t have to say they got married- they could leave it at “I’ve changed my name.”
I could go on and on and on- life has paperwork. If they have children, she’s going to have to explain later on why the children don’t have the same last name she has. Seems to me it’s either now or later, but why the fuss? What’s the big deal?
Here again, if all this stuff is “too much”, imo, the person isn’t marriage material anyhow, because anyone that is hung up on this kind of stuff won’t be there when the going gets tough….
If a name is more important that the marriage (particularly if it’s important to one but not the other), I would be inclined to wonder, why bother? 😀 Just my .02, of course, ymmv…….
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a woman’s outlook on men will directly predict/cause the eventual future of her man.
Does she think men are pieces of shit?
Guess what she will think of YOU one day.
Inside every man is a king and a fool. The one she speaks to is the one that will manifest. Does she speak to you as a King, or as a fool/idiot?
How much of that is because of feminist contempt/baggage…. and how much of that is because you don’t act like a King?
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Dalrock, I have a new question to add to your list based on a conversation I had last night:
Do you know any crazy cat ladies?
I was talking to a woman with lots of potential, and she mentioned she has an aunt who is quite old, unfortunately widowed and her pre-deceased by her daughter. Understandably she is a bit affected by all this and has adopted some 30 cats.
I could tell from not only what she told me about this and how she felt about it but how she told me, that this sort of a thing is powerful anti-hamster medicine.
BTW, the crazy cat lady notion is cross-cultural, she is in Central America and when I raised the expression to her in Spanish she knew what I was talking about straight away.
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Unfortunately, following some of this advice will lead you to a very, very judgemental women. That’s messed up.
The taking of the names section needs further details. What exactly does taking the husband’s name entail? What happens to her maiden name? What if she has a reason not to take her husband’s name? Why is there only one correct way?
“Part of what this will show is her general willingness to consider your needs over her own feelings (altruism)”
That is a very dangerous sentence. That could be interpreted to say that it doesn’t matter if she’s in the mood or not. Yes, sex is part of a healthy marraige, but the husband should also look at why she isn’t in the mood. If he’s been ignoring her all day, that’s a possibility why she’s not in the mood.
“Will she judge other women who divorce frivolously?”
I hope not. Nobody has the right to judge each other. The question you want is ‘Does she think frivolous divorce is a perfectly good idea? Does she think it is an acceptable thing for her to do?’
Maybe she has friends who divorced friviously. And you want her to judge them? True friends don’t judge. They won’t call a bad idea anything other than a bad idea, but they won’t say ‘Anyone who does X is a bad person.’
“Frame this with sympathy to the feminist perspective.” Or you can be straight forward and simply state your opinions on the feminist perspective so you can then have a frank discussion.
Lots of these issues can be cleared up with simple, honest, straight-forward conversation. If you have to use “trick questions” to ferret out the answers you’re looking for, then: a) You’re being insulting, assuming you have to trick her into giving you answers. b) You’re setting up a destructive pattern. c) You’re not building a relationship based on honesty.
If you want to know something, ask. If she’s not willing to answer, then she’s not willing to be honest. Oh, wait. She’s a human being. That means there’s lot of possible reasons and motivations. She might not feel comfortable answering because you two aren’t that close yet. She might be distracted by her current activity. She might not feel safe answering such personal questions. Why does she not feel safe? She could either be fearful of you or she be used to people being judgemental.
Parts of your article read like you’re making the assumption that Event A = Motivation B. For example, she isn’t willing to condem sluts to die horrible deaths = she’s a slut herself. Maybe the reason she has the instinct to “shelter sluts” is because she’s picking up on the signals that you’re so willing to push them under a bus.
Personally, if I was married to someone who thought this list was his embodiment of how to get answers, I’d be freaking stressed out. I’d always have to be wondering if I just happened to be following his idea of a perfect wife, while having to study his conversations to discover his hidden meanings, while worrying myself sick if I was giving him the answers he wanted.
Yes, both spouses should be aware of the other’s views on multiple issues before marraige, but this knowledge should come from open conversation without trickery, hidden agendas, cleverly-phrased questions.
I just wanted to start off by saying that I appreciate your efforts on behalf of marriage and to point out double standards in the church’s perspective and support of marriage. However, your interview appears to have a complete lack of Biblical foundation, instead appealing solely to human sensibility and reason.
For instance, you state in bold red lettering “the moral force to keep her side of the promise needs to come from within herself”. It doesn’t come from her, it comes from God and out of her love for God and the power of the Holy Spirit within her. God is the “moral force”.
“Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.”
“For this I toil, struggling with all his energy that he powerfully works within me.”
Us humans don’t have the power within ourselves to follow God’s plan for marriage (or do anything at all for God), but through our submission to Christ as Lord of our lives and His power working from within, we can have wonderful marriages because we seek God and to please Him first.
Respectfully, the truly amazing thing about marriage that you miss is that it is a picture of Jesus and His church. Perhaps the most important question is “Does this potential wife understand how marriage is like Jesus and His church?”
“Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands. Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, because we are members of his body. “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”
The church will be “married” to Jesus:
2 Corinthians 11:2
“For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ.”
For the Lord our God
the Almighty reigns.
Let us rejoice and exult
and give him the glory,
for the marriage of the Lamb has come,
and his Bride has made herself ready;
it was granted her to clothe herself
with fine linen, bright and pure”—
for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.
My friend if we are seeking God first, we will sacrifice our lives for our wives. What wife would not gladly follow and submit to a man who is willing to put her needs first. That kind of man would always be looking out for her best interests and her having confidence in that makes it much easier to submit to her husband’s authority.
Colossians 3:12-19 “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness, and patience, bearing with one another and, if one has a complaint against another, forgiving each other; as the Lord has forgiven you, so you also must forgive. And above all these put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony. And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. Wives, submit to your husbands, as is fitting in the Lord. Husbands, love your wives, and do not be harsh with them.”
I highly recommend “This Momentary Marriage” by John Piper. It puts everything in wonderful perspective. God bless!
I know this is old but I’ll bite. I love your blog. I’m a 31 year old woman and I met my husband at the age of 17. I knew he was a keeper. We waited until after college to get married.
I would have flunked this test because I was indoctrinated by a single, feminist mother. I was never a carousel rider (virgin and waited 3.5 years to have sex with boyfriend….should have married younger and waited but oh well) and felt very strongly against casual sex. However, I admit I balked at the name change thing and a few other points before changing my mind. I’m now a SAHM and love intimacy with my hubby. Sometimes young indoctrinated women need to evolve under the leadership of a strong and loving man. That’s what happened to me. My husband has created the quintessential, submissive wife with his love and guidance. I took a chance on him with my youth (I was probably an 8.5…got lots of male attention and he was a 7 at the time not because of looks but because of his status) and it paid off for me. All my alpha-obsessed (sometimes with sex and sometimes just passively waiting for one to come along)nay saying friends are over 30 and never married. They all have “careers” but so what.
I think your blog is spot on and I worry about my son’s future. My husband hasn’t taken the red-pill because he never has needed to. I’ve showed him articles and he feels bad for the poor “bitter” men. I’m not going to work too hard to convince him of the evil truths because there’s no real need from my point of view. I just worry about my boys.
[D: Welcome. Are you saying you would tell your sons not to worry about those issues you disagree with?]
“The taking of the names section needs further details. What exactly does taking the husband’s name entail? What happens to her maiden name? What if she has a reason not to take her husband’s name? Why is there only one correct way?”
A married woman taking her husband’s last name shows her seriousness about wifely submission; a recognition that she is her husband’s wife before she is her parents’ daughter; that her husband comes before all others; and that she intends to make a new family unit with her husband.
Failing to take the husband’s last name connotes an unwillingness to submit and a familial separation from her husband; that her individual identity is more important than her joint identity with her husband; and a refusal to become “one flesh”.
“Part of what this will show is her general willingness to consider your [sexual] needs over her own feelings (altruism)”
That is a very dangerous sentence. That could be interpreted to say that it doesn’t matter if she’s in the mood or not. Yes, sex is part of a healthy marraige, but the husband should also look at why she isn’t in the mood. If he’s been ignoring her all day, that’s a possibility why she’s not in the mood.”
Well, sometimes she should have sex with her husband even when she is not “in the mood”. And sometimes it does not matter whether she is in the mood; she still needs to accommodate her husband sometimes. Husbands do all kinds of things every day when they are not “in the mood”. I don’t think it would go over well if I told my wife “I’m only going to go to work when I am in the mood to work.” If a wife is never in the mood for sex, something else is going on and is very wrong in the marriage.
Sex is a marital obligation. It is the one thing that a man does with his wife that he cannot (morally) do with anyone else. When he marries he gives up the right to chase tail like he did as a single man. As such, the wife must accommodate his reasonable requests for sex. If a woman does not want to take on that obligation, she should not marry.
“”Will she judge other women who divorce frivolously?”
I hope not. Nobody has the right to judge each other. The question you want is ‘Does she think frivolous divorce is a perfectly good idea? Does she think it is an acceptable thing for her to do?’ *** She could either be fearful of you or she be used to people being judgemental.”
Not sure what you’re saying here. It’s perfectly appropriate to judge others’ poor or substandard conduct. It’s also crucial in this context because a man isn’t selecting buddies or bowling partners, or even employees. He’s trying to find out whether a woman will be a suitable WIFE. He needs to assess her character; and one way to do that is for him to see how she assesses OTHERS’ character. This is critically important because assessments like this get to the very heart of what and who a woman is at her core.
“Maybe the reason she has the instinct to “shelter sluts” is because she’s picking up on the signals that you’re so willing to push them under a bus.”
There’s this misconception that “judge not lest ye be judged” means no one is ever to make any judgments about anyone ever ever ever. Not true. People judge other people and their conduct all the time. it is not possible to select friends and spouses without evaluating the person, his conduct, his decisions, and his suitability and compatibility. That necessarily involves judgment.
If a possible wife wants to “shelter sluts”, that could mean she is a slut herself. It’s one way for a man to find out if he is dealing with a slut or a woman who wants to be a slut. Here’s why: There is literally a mountain of anecdotal and scientific evidence showing that women lie about their sex partner counts. They do so for any number of reasons but primarily it’s because no woman wants to be seen as a slut. Also, it fits with the way most women want to live their lives –remain single, have fun and have sex with multiple men for as long as she can, then when she tires of it or cannot do it anymore, she “settles” for marriage to a man who will have her, saying to herself “well, he’ll haffta do. Guess this is the best I can do.”
A man needs to know this because a high prior sex partner count is almost always detrimental to a marriage in some way. Most women with high Ns are not suitable for marriage. No man wants to willingly wife up a slut.
It’s not so much that a man asking these questions wants to “push [sluts] under a bus”. It’s that he doesn’t want to marry one. And he won’t want to marry one because
1. sluts have higher divorce rates
2. sluts have a much harder time staying married to just one man
3. divorce is extremely costly in human capital, time, money and emotion
4. he owes it to his future children to select their mother wisely
5. sluts cannot love or bond to one man
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I’m afraid to comment. Is this what the world has come to? You want to ask a girl about sex. A guy wants a girl he can call his own. She wouldn’t know anything about sex before her wedding night. And divorce? How sick is that to discuss with a prospective bride?
If a girl has an intact hymen, and she wants to give it to her husband, in exchange for his name, she’ll be obedient, chaste and fertile wife, because the chaste, obedient wife is blessed with a fertile bounty.
Marriage is a biological function of the virgin. The blood and water released from the virgin, as she is pierced by her bridegroom, are the temporal reflection of which the Blood and Water released from the Heart of Jesus, as He was pierced by the Roman soldier are the Eternal Reality.
Jesus Belongs to Rome, and the virgin belongs to her bridegroom.
Male-female equality comes only from a man willing to place a girl’s needs for security and commitment, above his own base drive; elevating person-hood above passion, and making of his love object an equal to himself, because he loves her more than he loves his own body!
I think the post is superflous. You insult all women, and men for that matter. You cheapen and tarnish God’s Promise made through sensual beauty: The Promise of a Divine Gift–the defining element of eros.
I think you’re rather heavy on asking her to judge other people. While I, like everyone else, make judgments about others, I am not necessarily comfortable voicing them, unless the person being judged is fictional.
Also, I do know one no-fault type divorce that made good sense. My dad’s parents were a hilariously bad personality match, and were constantly driving each other up the wall. They got divorced after the kids grew up, but each spent the next decade single, and my grandma has no interest in ever finding another man. I think that no-fault divorces which aren’t aimed at finding a new spouse tend to be reasonable.
Also, listen to why a woman wouldn’t want to change her name. None of the women in my mother’s family changed their names, because their ties with their family were so strong. Growing up, I thought I’d keep my maiden name, just as mom did. Now, however, I realize that I would keep my maiden name if it was my mother’s name, because of the family ties (hers is huge and very close knit, in a way you wouldn’t expect outside of fairly recent immigrants), but because my name is my father’s father’s, I have no real ties to it. His family is small and less family oriented. Anyway, I originally assumed that I would keep my maiden name because my mom and all of her sisters did. Her brothers wives all changed theirs though. Anyway, a prospective wife saying she’ll keep her name shouldn’t be a red flag, although it might be something for a couple to discuss carefully.
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You definitely want to know her thoughts on these areas. Claiming you should never judge is a huge fallacy of our modern age. Ironically (or not), those who claim you shouldn’t judge are often the most judgmental of the bunch. Look at the posts here for the underlying judgment in those that claim you shouldn’t judge in one or more of these ways.
Good post. Just got linked here from another post, but this is definitely timeless advice. Wish my sons were listening to me for me to be able to give such advice.
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What if a woman can’t take her husband’s name because she is published in her field, eg scientific research?
What if a woman can’t take her husband’s name because she is published in her field, eg scientific research?
Why would that mean she couldn’t take her husbands name? Even if for consistency’s sake she publishes under her maiden name, or due to business name recognition, or what have you.
A wife can be known professionally under her maiden name, and legally/personally/everywhere else by her married name.
The problem, though, with continuing to be known publicly and/or professionally by a maiden name is the lack of connection this shows. It shows the marriage is not as important as her career. It shows she will not submit in this one important thing — her name, the identity by which she chooses to be known by others. She chooses publicly and professionally to be known as she was before she was married, which signifies a choice to continue to be known as unmarried or single. It says to her husband “All these other things I will give you; but this one area of my life I choose not to give you. I choose to keep my name separate from you, I choose not to join my life fully to you. I choose not to fully join your family, I will not fully leave my parents and cleave to you. I choose not to recognize you fully as my family.
Marriage is a big change. It should be evident in all areas of her life, not simply those she elects to change. Marriage is either important to a woman, or it is not. If it is not, she ought not marry.
What are the implications of a woman changing her middle name to her family name? Is that relevant in all this context?
I know this is a tradition in some families; particularly in the deeper parts of the American South. It doesn’t strike me as a slight, in and of itself.
But I could be wrong.
I’ve stumbled across your blog through your recent Mar 29 post, and have since become ensnared in your writings (I have over 20 tabs open in my browser window now). It has been just like discovering Wikipedia for the first time! That’s a major complement to you, because with as much information I read on the Internet, I usually don’t read blogs (in fact, there’s only one other person I’ve ever followed on a blog before).
Anyway, this post in particular will be useful to me in the future. However, some of your questions here appear to be written from a perspective of having knowledge of your past writings. i.e.
◾What does she think about the double standard regarding promiscuity?
You haven’t defined this double standard. I might have an idea as to what this double standard is, but I’m here to read you, so if you could please define this for newcomers, that would be appreciated.
I’m not Dalrock, but I think I can answer all the same.
The double standard is that men regard a promiscuous woman poorly, and consider her to be poor wife material, while women don’t hold the same view with men. Meaning that its a big deal if a woman had a lot of sexual partners in the past, but it isn’t a big deal if a man had a similar number.
There are several reasons why this is the case. The first is that women actually find a man who can pull other women to be attractive. In the Game community it is known as pre-selection. It is easy to determine if a woman is attractive (looks above all else), but the same is not true for a man. It takes more time and effort for a woman to learn if a man is attractive, so if other women are attracted to him it serves as a short-cut to determine he is attractive. In essence, if women want to have sex with him, then there must be a reason for this, and so he must be a catch. This dynamic is not true for women, however. Again, its easy to determine if a woman is attractive, so you don’t need to know her N (partner count) to figure out where she is on the 1-10 scale. If she is promiscuous, then it shows she has low standards, and thus is unworthy of investment. A valuable woman wouldn’t need to sleep with lots of men, she could get her pick.
There is also the issue of pair bonding. This is a complicated subject, so I will give you the short version: Basically, the higher the number of sexual partners a woman has, the greater the odds of the marriage ending in divorce. The theory is that women bond emotionally during sex, and that the more men she has sex with prior to her husband, the less ability she will have to emotionally bond with the husband.
If I may add something, in Mexico, women do not take their husband’s names. That’s never really been a cultural thing here. Suffice it to say that Latin culture is not very feminist. It’s a worthwhile question in the United States, because it’s an integral part of marriage culture there, so an American refusing to change her name suggests she has much deeper problems with the institution of marriage. But if a Mexican woman doesn’t plan to change her name, that doesn’t mean much other than “yup, she’s a Mexican.”
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I used several of your questions with my now-wife which helped me decide to marry her. Those questions are high-quality markers of whether a woman is good wife material. Grerp’s comment about “hard working” too.
My wife is an outstanding woman. Although neither of us is religious, we have a biblical-style marriage where both of us have clear, traditional roles and responsibilities. She likes it that way, and so do I.
Keep doing your good work.
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This is an excellent post (per usual, found via a more recent post), and your questions for the woman are very good. I also agree with the advice already given about getting fair recon on the intended’s family, though that seems like a pretty common sense thing.
Not being able to read all of the comments, I would also suggest—and this is not exactly a question a man can ask, but something he can perceive, I think—is how teachable the woman is. It was earlier suggested in the comments that a woman asking for help was a bad thing, but I think the *reason* for her seeking assistance is of more importance. Is she looking for someone else to simply do the job, or does she really want actual help so she can learn or improve her way of doing things? I say this having had men, from Dad and both grandfathers and a couple of uncles to even male bosses show me better ways to do things, or teach me things I didn’t know about. It was occasionally a little difficult to restrain my frustration, but keeping in mind that they were trying to help made that easier, and that knowledge later made my life a bit easier as well!
Also, just for fun, maybe ask how she feels about all of the “princess of the King!” stuff being rattled out in churches. Oh, the potential entertainment!
Marriage is obsolete. I say that being married now for 20+ years. I would NEVER advise my son to get married, ever, for any reason. Getting married doesn’t even guarantee stability in the home if there are children given the modern woman’s penchant for just walking out of the marriage for the most trivial and egotistical of reasons. Screw that.
Obama’s Mama, how do you feel about commitment ceremonies and handfasting ceremonies? Do you think they are just as bad as legal marriages?
What if your son wants to have kids? What would you advise him?
There are wayyy too many comments from women here, that insist that somehow your list should be modified to talk about what “men should do”.
Forget that. As a long-time married man, I am appalled by the endless pool of entitlement than today’s women swim in. Men already labor under the burden of endless, endless expectations from women.
It’s time to re-balance that load. in any talk with young men, I make it clear to them that THEY and ONLY THEY should be asking the questions. They don’t have to meet ANY of her standards, nor does she get to make ANY extra demands of ANY kind. You are what you are. She takes who you are, or you walk away.
Even one word of Feminist crap…dump her and move on.
Sounds harsh, but in today’s world, where men are daily and routinely crushed by out-of-control batshit insane women…and a system that encourages women to abuse men with no repercussions…in that world the default position, as you said Dalrock, is to NOT get married. Ever. Only if you find an exceptional woman who is perfect for you and who *never* dumps her shit on you, only then you marry her.
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This may sound like a nutty question, but do you have advice for determining whether or not you are head over heels over a girlfriend? Is the answer as obvious as “you know when you know”?
My GF generally meets the criteria in the post, but I find myself hesitant to propose. I am physically attracted to her to a degree but not as I have been with my past GFs. I frequently notice and pay more attention to other attractive ladies around me and while I enjoy spending time with my GF, I think I am not as excited as I should be about seeing her when we get together.
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“What is the role of a husband? What are the obligations of a husband? .. What is the role of a wife? What are the obligations of a wife?”
Dalrock – can you please write a post devoted specifically to this topic? Namely – what do you see as the respective duties of spouses in marriage?
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Wow! Excellent questions!!
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Help. Re “The Folly of the Celibate Boyfriend,” I’ve met a girl and told her sex and romance and marriage go together. She’s wrestled with it for a bit but now she’s all in, and all that’s let is for me to pull the trigger.
Reading this post, I’m trying to discern if she’s a good candidate. We’ve had all the conversations about divorce and promiscuity, but it’s hard for me to test what’s true and what is lip service.
Next, her answers aren’t 100%. For example, she has told me that if I decide we will wait for marriage, then we will wait; if I decide we will sleep together tomorrow, then we’ll sleep together. She’s put up a good fight thus far, but it still worries me some. But do I really need the perfect answer on this question (and if so, what is that?). I’m 28, the abstinence is killing me, and I’ll be alone forever if I wait for 100%, I think.
What comes next? When am I ready to pull the trigger? Thanks
As an old-school guy on this issue, and a guy who married a unicorn nearly three decades ago, I’ll offer what little I can. Your girl seems ambivalent about premarital sex, and has obviously not internalized the need to avoid it. That’s a VERY BAD SIGN since it almost certainly means that she’s not a virgin in this day and age, which makes her far more likely to cheat on you after the honeymoon is over. Marriage in general is a risky proposition, and statistically speaking, marrying a non-virgin ramps up the divorce risk by about 30%… more if she’s had multiple sex partners. That’s just divorce risk and doesn’t account for the increased odds of her cheating or putting you on a strict sex diet in the future. It is important to understand that once you “put a ring on it,” She. Holds. All. The. Cards.. Read Dalrock’s essays on “Threatpoint” to get an understanding of what that potentially means (you can use the search box at the top of every page on this website).
That’s not to say that people cannot change, but it takes a real change of heart, and your girl has NOT had that change (otherwise she would not be open to premarital sex). Given what little I know based only on what you have shared thus far: if a young man I cared about described his girl like you did and asked for my advice, I would tell him to walk away. Celibacy is grueling, but that’s nothing compared to what divorced fathers go through.
So, that’s what I’m thinking, but there are two things that make this less likely:
– She has told me and I believe that she is a virgin.
– I have been pushing the boundaries pretty hard and she has been resisting pretty consistently.
– Her attitude has changed recently, as she is convinced that she is ready to marry me.
– I’m not convinced that if I said “Okay, we’re doing it” she would actually follow through.
That said, I agree with you. If she’s fine with premarital sex, or whatever she wants at the moment, regardless of the circumstances, it’s a bad sign for the future. On the other hand, perhaps she’s already put herself under my responsibility, willing to take my lead and advice. If I tell her, I need sex today, perhaps she wants to meet that need.
I myself am not a virgin. I made the same dumbass mistake I see her making now. But, as soon as I learned how dumbass it was, I learned from my mistake. All things considered, if her attitude is exactly like mine (confusing ready to follow through with marriage with marriage), then I think it’s a relatively good position.
Does this change your advice at all?
I had a similar situation when I dated a guy many years ago. I think I was about 15, he was 19.
He basically told me that he would wait to have sex “until he got the lass’s permission”.
Aside from the turn-off of “getting permission”, was the even bigger turn-off of realising he didn’t care about God’s opinion on the matter.
We broke up after a short time, for a multitude of reasons.
But I think this issue can potentially be a big indicator of a woman’s relationship with God, and how deep it actually goes.
I’m a little confused about your statement that you’ve been “pushing pretty hard” (for sex, I assume), yet have laid down the law that it won’t happen unless you’re married. I’ll need some clarification on that. Nonetheless, seriouslyserving is correct: your girl clearly does not believe that sex outside of marriage is categorically wrong, which makes her claim of virginity highly suspect, and lack of virginity (especially if it includes deception) increases your risk of catastrophic consequences a great deal. Due diligence is in order… as a guy who has frequently worked with and around the military intelligence community I’ll tell you that you need a higher degree of confidence before you “commit the main effort.” I was serious about reading the “Threatpoint” posts – you’re letting “Little Matt” influence your thinking more than you should.
I’ve said “no way is this happening.” Then when we’re together I try pushing the boundaries a little bit at a time. Perhaps this is a stupid strategy, I have no idea what to do. But I’m trying to do due dilligence. If I never tried to push the boundaries, I’d never know how hard she’d resist.
Additionally, consistent with “The Folly of the Celibate Boyfriend,” I’m not really sure I could trust a girl if I pushed on sex and she flat out denied me (see also here: https://www.reddit.com/r/TheRedPill/comments/3fbexv/well_some_other_guy_just_took_my_18_m_gf_now_ex_i/). So far, I feel like she has done a pretty good job of saying “just wait” without saying “no way.”
Also, she has taken my lead. Against her initial desires, she has agreed to trust me in pursuing marriage quickly and has been sharing with her parents for the last month, whom I will meet this weekend. In fact, recently I suggested that we withdraw all physical contact and flirtiness, and she has taken my lead in that as well, even though she finds it painful. So I’m not sure what to credit to her being slutty, and what to credit to her taking my lead well.
In any case, what do you recommend as due dilligence? I don’t want to lead this girl on, asking to meet her parents, and asking her to consider marriage, just to ditch at the last moment cause “I’m not sure.” I want to know what exactly I’m looking for, look for it, and make a decisive decision when I find it. Thoughts?
Also, I should mention she is not a Christian. She wants to be a Christian but she is Japanese and hasn’t really been fully educated about what Christianity is. I realize the danger here, but before there was any emotional connection at all, I said there is no way I’m marrying a non-Christian at all, so if she’s not sure she wants to become one, we shouldn’t bother talking. She took my lead her, saying she is almost positive she wants to become a Christian, she started coming with me to church, and women at church have been discipling her.
I can now answer your question definitively – you should NOT marry this girl. You probably shouldn’t even be dating her, but I’m not going to be dogmatic about that As long as she’s moving toward Christianity – and not as a means to marry a Christian – I’ll refrain from opining about that. I’m not a fan of “flirty fishing” (Google it if you need to – you’re doing a pretty good impression of it), and until you’re sure that she’s had a genuine conversion, you ought to shelve any further movement toward marriage. Like yesterday.
Why? Because under no circumstances whatsoever should you marry a non-Christian. NONE WHATSOEVER. Put it out of your mind for now. 2 Corinthians 6:14 states, “Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?”
It’s good that she’s going to church, and it’s even better if she becomes a Christian, but don’t be lulled into a false sense of security – lots of people adopt the religion of the person they want to marry during the courtship, but it’s often paper-thin and short-lived. 1 Corinthians 6:14 provides no wiggle room – and it’s there for a reason.
And if you care about her: her eternal soul is a lot more important than her body. Is what you are doing leading her to Christ, or leading her away? Think about that long and hard before you decide to “push the boundaries hard” again. You have done her a grave disservice and you have your own issues to deal with that are more serious than blue balls.
When in doubt… don’t. Mixed marriages (of any sort) are perhaps a bad proposition and going all Madam Butterfly – well you know what happened there – and Anglo-Japanese (and indeed Anglo-Polynesian children) look ODD (you would not do that to your prize poodle or pussy-cat – keeping the local muts and moggies away – so why do it to your own children. Of course if everyone took my advice the human race(s) would die-out ere long.
I was looking up the expression “lovely platonic evening” – that word ‘lovely’ is meaningless and always gets used to hide what is really going on and I came across the following tweet from a woman calling herself Lipstick Librarian (‘she’s bold. she’s sassy, she’s social networking’). Pity the unfortunate man who bucked up courage to ask her out surely after some IOIs and doubtless paid for the evening. “After perfectly lovely platonic evening” she wrote “male friend asked me to go home with him. Another one bites the dust” Does she really think he asked her out at his expense merely to discuss books? Is it any wonder men turn into players? Men are damned if they do and damned if they don’t and why would a platonic evening be Perfectly Lovely? (as opposed to merely Lovely) and what specifically would make a date platonic? – as if that Usain Bolt should insist that run of his was entirely platonic. The woman must be a food and drinks whore. Just because she decided that (to her disappointment) he is not Brad Pitt and thus needs nexting is no reason to humiliate him on line. What an unpleasant woman and a date with the wall is I hope soon to be her fate thus ensuring all her future evenings are platonic.
@Lyn, Honestly, I think if someone had taken the time to disciple her she would have become a Christian long ago, she just hasn’t had the chance. In any case, your advice is noted.
If she does become a Christian, though, what then? If you read my article, I can go around “protecting her virginity,” but if she’s not that kind of person, she’ll give it away to someone else instead. So the question is how to I discern what kind of person she is? What do I do to move forward well from there?
Opus from August 24, 2015 at 4:43 am says:
[…] and Anglo-Japanese (and indeed Anglo-Polynesian children) look ODD […]
Now you are being petty. 🙂 For example she looks damn fine to me (she would be more bon-kyu-bon if she would go easy on rice and soy):
If she becomes a Christian the odds shift in your favor quite a bit, and assuming she’s still a virgin (and it sounds like she may be given her culture), the odds shift in your favor even more. As long as you’re otherwise compatible and you give it enough time to ensure that her conversion is genuine, I wish you well. But those are some big “if’s” and you don’t want to give them short-shrift (my comment on due diligence applies). As the old saying goes, “Marry in haste, repent at leisure.” If she converts, you would be fine to continue seeing her, and I would strongly advise you to use that time to ascertain how deep her conversion goes – remember the parable of the sower. If she “gives it away” to someone else: ruck up, move out, and consider that a bullet successfully dodged. If she doesn’t, I’ll send a small-and-tasteful kitchen appliance to the bridal shower. I think that answers your, “What then?” question.
Having said that, I’m with Exfernal on the issue of aesthetics, but Opus has a very valuable point: cross-cultural marriages can be difficult. I have no knowledge other than things I’ve read, though, so I’ll be circumspect and stand aside while some other brothers with practical experience answer to that topic.
I suffered: my parents came not merely from different religions but from different classes. My girlfriend – if that is what she is – is not English (but other western European) and there have been occasions when we have had the oddest of cultural misunderstandings. She, incidentally, says that she looks only too English.
I conceed that the female linked by Exfernal is seriously Hawt and I am thus reminded of that old movie The World of Suzie Wong with Bill Holden and Nancy Kwan: Kwan plays a Chinese but she is in fact, half Caucasian and frankly looks more Caucasian than Chinese. Why – by-the-way – are all American-Asiatic dramas (going back to David Bellasco’s Butterfly) about Prostitutes? – or Geishas – for In Sayonara Marlon Brando falls for the very cute Miiko Taka who seems to have been entirely Japanese despite being born in Seattle WA. Caucasians and Asiatics are genetically closely related and blend fairly easily such that their Asiatic-ness does not overpower their Caucasian-ness yet always one senses that the woman (such as Kwan) would have been even better looking had she been entirely Caucasian – her Chinese-ness – merely adds some exoticism. Not every female is as cute as Kwan.
Then there is your unfortunate President.:)
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rachel_Rhodes_(singer) – saving time with Internet searches.
I agree that cross-cultural marriages have more obstacles to overcome, and, perhaps, that would extend to cross-ethnicity marriages even when the spouses grew up in the same culture.
I suppose it’s a matter of taste, but I think Caucasian-Oriental women are some of the most beautiful in the world.
On a related note, I recently spent 3 weeks in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and I was astounded by the attractiveness of the women there. I think it is because they are seldom fat, they dress to look like a woman, and they act like they want to be a woman instead of a man. (Note: About 50% of the population is Muslim, so they usually have at least a scarf covering their hair and neck, but even then they often find ways to be feminine while still being modest.) Compared to what I see and experience here in US “fly-over” country, I can see why a wife from overseas could be an attractive option.
I also spent a week in Scotland. The women there may not be quite as bad as my locale, but they were nowhere near as attractive as the ones in Malaysia.
I think even racial purists like Opus can see your point. For the most shocking and extreme examples, look at American vs. East African black chicks. On one hand you’ve got deferential, smiling, pleasant and well educated gals who grew up with a strong father figure, usually in a solid Christian or Muslim society. These women are slim and well dressed, and always take pride in their appearance.
Then on the other hand, you’ve got a bunch of disgustingly overweight, violent welfare queens who “don’t need no man” (not until the bills come due) who started squeezing out kids at age 12. Raised by skank-ho single moms themselves, they haven’t a clue how to treat a man and are totally worthless. These ho’s dress like bag ladies or hookers, and are loud as a Metallica concert.
This is why I refuse to condemn black dudes for wiping up white women. Not that white women are that much better, but it’s a something vs nothing scenario. I’m the sort of pure white Nordic Mormon dude who is physically attracted to black chicks myself, and I won’t touch any of these skanks.
In the end, it’s better to socialize with or marry a feminine woman than a masculinized American she-twink. So if you have to go foreign, go for it.
Honestly, I think if someone had taken the time to disciple her she would have become a Christian long ago, she just hasn’t had the chance. In any case, your advice is noted.
And, how long does it take for anyone to become a Christian, really? There is a wall of difference between becoming a Christian and being discipled.
If you know how to lead someone to Christ, why not book an appointment with her for an evening and share the Gospel with her, and lead her to accept Christ? If you don’t, take her to go meet a trusted pastor who will lead her to Christ. You become a disciple AFTER you become a Christian. Conversion is a one-time event. It’s called “new birth”. People don’t get born gradually. It’s a one-time event. After that the baby starts to grow and learn from older folks (discipleship).
Good point, Dave,
As I warned Matt earlier – he’s letting “Little Matt” have too much influence because of years of grinding celibacy. The reason I wrote that was because it appears that his mind is largely made up and he’s looking for a reason to say “Yes” rather than “No.” I understand that, but I’ve also seen many a young man end up in the wood-chipper because of it. Again, “Marry in haste, repent at leisure.”
What matters is that she becomes a Christian. That is by FAR the most important thing here, since everything else is temporal. Once that happens (indeed, IF it happens), them Matt is free to marry her if he wishes. That doesn’t necessarily mean that he should, but Biblically he certainly may. I’d say that – given her willingness to follow his lead even without being a Christian who recognizes what it says in EPH 5 and COL 8 – he may have a keeper. But in the meantime, while It may take her some time to come to the realization that she needs Christ, but once she does, conversion is an event (like you noted) not a process.
If the chick is willing to go along with what the guy wants sex or no sex before marriage that is huge. That is a woman that submits to his lead good or bad. That is a wife there and the best one can get these days. She will be what ever he is. As long as the man is not wishy washy and stupidly asking her what she wants and just takes her to church she will be a loyal Christian wife and mother. All because that is what he wants.
Like I said earlier if the woman goes along with what I want that is 90% of the christian woman thing any way secular or not. In fact he would have a hard time finding a Christian woman like that anyway. Doesn’t really matter anyway because once he steps on his crank and gets married she is calling all of the shots anyway. If one of those calls is to do what pleases her husband the broken clock of western civilization is on time for this guy.
Off topic somewhat.
Can it be reduced to three that encompass the essentials? That would be easier to remember in the moment, like “oh yeah, I’m supposed to be looking for Chemistry, Compatibility & Character.”
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Basic way to check on girl is to check on her father .. she is looking for a guy like him – so is he a great guy or piece of shit?
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Thank you very much for this article I will reference it in the future when seeking marriage. There is a point I would politely make. It is my understanding that the only legitimate biblical reason for divorce is infidelity. Obviously in the case of abuse one can get help or physically leave, but I politely assert we must follow the teachings of the Bible and I believe Jesus explicitly says infidelity is the only reason. It is not that I do not feel for those who are suffering terribly. Perhaps I am wrong and misread the article because you seem to want to limit the reasons for divorce and I applaud you for that, but I got the impression you saw abuse and addictions in gambling religion at reasons for divorce. Don’t get me wrong I understand they are very serious and can make someone miserable and someone can physically leave if they are being physically abused, but I think that goes with marriage being a frightening commitment.
Jesus only answered a specific question about a specific event. He did not forever condemn the wronged party to remain single, nor did he say that the adultery would be ongoing.
He also acknowledged that the woman at the well had multiple marriages, indicating He accepted remarriage, even though it wasn’t God’s ideal.
Remarriage may be foolish in today’s environment, but you can do so and still be in compliance with God’s overall Word. Don’t be a Pharisee and apply God’s Word along with the traditions of men to keep people in slavery rather than freedom!
I think these questions need to be brought to light MUCH earlier in the relationship. BEFORE “falling head over heels” for each other because this is truly what is more important than the initial feelings. If they have contradictory thinking about these questions, it’s better he doesn’t waste his time or hers and just move on.