Addiction to divorce fantasy is also about power.

As recent readers know, I’ve been poking at a massive sore spot for some of my female commenters lately with the themes of post marital spinsterhood and the remarriage strike.  To be clear it is only a minority of my female commenters who are disturbed by this, as most seem to accept the truth in what I am saying and more importantly understand why I am addressing the issue.

Grerp’s spin-off post on the Hamster 500 addressed the charge of manosphere spinster schadenfreude, and she made a strong case for why such a feeling might be warranted.  However, animosity towards spinsters isn’t my underlying motivation or point.  Since the commenters most incensed by my posts were self proclaimed happily married women, I don’t think it was their true point of contention either.  My fundamental point is that marriage is something women can’t expect to get multiple shots at, at least without risking either trading significantly down or losing the option to be married (or even be in an invested LTR).

I think my critics understand this all too well, and this is what has them thrashing in denial and rage.  For far too many women the threat to leave their husband if he doesn’t do what they demand is their trump card.  It is their nuclear option, and they reserve the right to threaten to press the red button whenever he displeases her.

Do what I want if you know what’s good for you!

What I’ve had the extreme bad taste to point out is that you can’t launch a nuclear war without suffering from the blow-back.  Instead of a unilateral threat of annihilation, I’m pointing out that it really amounts to Mutually Assured Destruction.  It isn’t just your husband and your children who will suffer if you press the red button, but you as well.

This of course isn’t nearly as much fun.  When your go-to relationship tool is to be a bully and someone points out that it really won’t work as hoped, this will provoke a massive tantrum.

This entry was posted in Aging Feminists, Grey Divorce, Marriage, Post Marital Spinsterhood, Remarriage Strike and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

42 Responses to Addiction to divorce fantasy is also about power.

  1. Omnipitron says:

    I think you hit the nail on the head with this one Dalrock; it is about power or leverage between the sexes. While I’m sure that there are many women who resort to bullying in order to get their way, I believe quite a few women like to think that they are on an even stance with their husbands in terms of power in their marriages. Most would love to think that there husbands are just as lucky to have them as they are to have their husbands and your recent posts suggest otherwise, shedding light on a dynamic which puts most women on the defensive.

    IMO, women do know this, but they just don’t want to consider the reality of the situation.

    I believe that it was Hope who had stated that most people would like to think that they have options in terms of their dating prospects and the truth is that men have far more than women do. Let’s be honest, there’s a sort of pressure which one may feel in terms of relationships when you know that your partner is sought after and they can easily say that they are with you by choice, not by circumstance. Your posts Dalrock have been highlighting the issue that this may not be the case for women, or at least as much as they would like to think so.

  2. Doomed Harlot says:

    Posts by Dalrock and other bloggers in the manosphere do hit a sore spot for me — but not because I have some diabolical desire to threaten my husband with divorce in order to exert power of him.

    The idea of the aging spinster as a pathetic loser because she can’t attract a man manifests a contempt for women in general — a contempt which, unfortunately, still has some traction in our culture despite the strides made by the feminist movement. And I don’t acquiesce to being held in contempt. I don’t agree with the notion that my husband, lovely though he is, confers status and validation upon me by having deigned to marry me. I believe I, and other women (and, of course, men too), have worth and value to our society regardless of whether we marry.

    The hatred directed at single women getting their comeuppance also disturbs me because I encountered hostility from men whom I rejected during my youth (despite my efforts to be kind which, in my opinion, seemed to provoke more hostility than a curt or blunt rejection). I suppose I never got my comeuppance, at least not yet, but being an object of irrational hatred was chilling for me. I sense that same irrational hatred in many of the vicious manosphere comments about women.

  3. dalrock says:

    @Doomed Harlot
    The idea of the aging spinster as a pathetic loser because she can’t attract a man manifests a contempt for women in general — a contempt which, unfortunately, still has some traction in our culture despite the strides made by the feminist movement.

    You assume that whatever women do is due not to their nature but to the culture. Lack of any corroborating data whatsoever is prima facie evidence to you that your belief is correct. As the science piles up this gets more laughable by the day, but that doesn’t matter. The more your feminist efforts to rework women fail, the more you see this as proof that feminism was right all along.

    The reality is that women are the ones who judge other women as spinsters, sluts, etc. It will always be that way. But you don’t want to believe it, so you want to silence anyone who would warn women when a given road has danger ahead. If only Dalrock would stop pointing out that it was wrong, somehow it would magically be as you have been telling people it was for decades. And if only enough women are involved in the pileup, somehow the mysterious forces of the evil patriarchy will lose its grip on them.

    Well, you got your wish, but it still hasn’t changed reality. The latest census data is out. There are just under 14 million divorced women in the US. Over 80% of them are over 40 (89% over 35). Their chances of remarriage are very low and if not married their chances of being terribly alone are very high. Don’t take my word for it, see what the AARP found when they did their study. The same study the feminist media spun as showing late life divorce was exciting and empowering for women.

  4. Omnipitron says:

    “I sense that same irrational hatred in many of the vicious manosphere comments about women.”

    And once more, I’ll suggest you take a look at the loaded media and see how Misandrist it has become in it’s nature. You’re right that the manospehere may have some issues in terms of anger toward women, but compare that to what men are exposed to on the radio, television and movies. Dalrock and others have blogs to combat this rampant misandry, quite a bit different from the books, movies, and political groups which women have, no?

    Some may say that hate begets hate, correct, but the truth is that Western men are at a disadvantage currently and information which wakes them up so they see the situation correctly is in order to give them more of a fighting chance.

    I find it laughable that you complain about comments on a blog when men are raising children which aren’t their own, being demolished in family courts and vilified in other forms of jurisprudence.

    Feminism being about equality, I think not.

  5. Guardial says:

    Dalrock’s original post wasn’t schadenfreude over spinsters, it was laughing at the spectacle of their rationalization hamsters in overdrive.

    The Rationalization Hamster 500!.

    The title alone makes that obvious.

    Grerp tried to distract from that, as did some of her commenters who displayed their own rationalization hamsters in fine form.

    Dalrock responded with more mockery in Linkage is Good.

    …in my Hamster 500 post I secretly included images of cute furry hamsters doing things like driving pink cars and waving a checkered flag. Normally this is chick crack of the first order, but none of my female readers even noticed. Some made logical arguments about the point, others were hysterical about it, but the emotion of the topic was so powerful it overwhelmed the cuteness of the hamsters!

    Seriously. It has had those cute pictures all along. Those images you saw instead with me juggling kittens while clubbing a baby seal were strictly in your mind”

    The response? More Hamster Rationalization Dancing!.

  6. dalrock says:

    @Guardial
    Dalrock responded with more mockery in Linkage is Good.

    I think you may be the only one who accurately read my tone there. Thanks for pointing it out!

    Edit: And I love the dancing hamsters!
    Dancing HamsterHamster Dance

  7. Doomed Harlot says:

    I didn’t think I did anything to try to “silence” you, Dalrock. I was under the impression that I was engaging in a discussion with you and your readers on your blog. If you are going to put ideas out there on the internet, you should expect some criticism. Is that not part of the give-and-take ? of blogging

    [D: What substantive point have you made, aside from questioning my motives?]

    You are quite right, Dalrock, in that women also crap on other women. So what? Does the fact that many women out there engage in slut-shaming and spinster-shaming make it okay? Does that make it a moral license for you or your readers to do it too? I am either missing your point, or your point doesn’t follow.

    As I told you, by the way, I am not someone who encourages divorce. And I don’t have any particular reason to doubt that it is hard to find a new partner after a mid-life divorce. I do, however, disagree with the notion that being unmarried is so terrible that a man, any man, is preferable. I may be married myself but I strongly believe that being alone is better than being trapped in an unhappy marriage. I disagree that women need to be lectured (for their own good, mind you!) that they ought to be grateful to have a man, any man, willing to marry them and stay with them. This meme is degrading not just to the “sluts” and divorcees you despise but to your wives, mothers, sisters, and daughters.

    Dalrock, you have also made an entirely subjective determination that a woman is virtually always better off in an unhappy marriage than being alone. But your subjective determination doesn’t matter. I would wager that for every woman who regrets her divorce, there are more who would never want to go back to their husbands even if post-divorce life is hard. I would wager that most women who stay single don’t sit around pining away for their rejected suitors.

  8. Doomed Harlot says:

    Hey Omnipitron,

    I agree with you that the popular media includes a great deal of anti-male sentiment! So does that mean I am supposed to agree that women suck??? That I suck??? Forgive me, but I don’t see how one follows from the other!

    [D: Who said women suck? That you suck? Are there voices the rest of us can’t hear?]

  9. dalrock says:

    @Doomed Harlot
    I do, however, disagree with the notion that being unmarried is so terrible that a man, any man, is preferable.

    Kindly point out where I said such a thing.

    Dalrock, you have also made an entirely subjective determination that a woman is virtually always better off in an unhappy marriage than being alone.

    Same as above. You are making things up.

    I disagree that women need to be lectured (for their own good, mind you!) that they ought to be grateful to have a man, any man, willing to marry them and stay with them.

    Again, I didn’t say such a thing. However, I did say that women should know the truth. Are you suggesting the media is getting this message out? I’ve shown countless examples where the media showed the opposite. Please show your examples where it portrays it accurately.

  10. Doomed Harlot says:

    Dalrock,

    Yes, I did question your motives (and those of other manosphere bloggers and commenters) because I was genuinely curious about them. Far from silencing you, I encouraged you to speak.

    And I have made a number of substantive points. See, you seem to think that proving that unmarried or divorced middle-aged women often wind up alone establishes that spinsterhood and divorce are always bad for the woman. My substantive point is that this is only a SUBJECTIVE determination on your part. It ignores the fact that a woman may well make her own subjective cost-benefit analysis that the single life is preferable to an unhappy marriage.

    You are also trying to play it both ways. You claim that you are making a strictly rational argument based on statistics about older women’s chances of remarriage, when in fact you routinely rely on loaded, shaming language (such as “old maid”), anecdotes about screwed-up older women, and subjective assumptions that marriage is always the best result. Then when you are called on these tactics, you claim that no one has substantively addressed your points.

  11. Doomed Harlot says:

    I wrote my last post before I saw your comment of 5:20 p.m. Apparently, we have a misunderstanding. If I am reading your most recent post correctly, you agree then that a woman might well make an intelligent determination that she will be happier post-divorce or without marrying at all, and that your anecdote about “Suzie” is not representative of most or all post-divorce women. You just think that women who get divorced believe they will inevitably find a better partner like the woman in “Eat, Pray, Love” and you want to make sure they are not under any misapprehensions on that score.

  12. Brendan says:

    I think what Dalrock was trying to say was that there is this meme out there that life post midlife divorce is just totally transcendent and amazing for women. EPL/Stella are just two main data points. The meme is out there — we’ve all seen it. Dalrock is saying “look, statistically, it doesn’t typically play out like it did in EPL/Stella (even without the Stella footnote)”, and that women are being misled to make marginal divorce decisions on the basis of a misleading/false meme.

    It’s true that there are some marriages that are just very unhappy and need to end in divorce for everyone’s good. However, there are also a lot of midlife divorces that are more “elective” – marriages that are not at their happiest, but which are tolerable, and with some work could be good again, but which are ditched for various reasons — including the meme Dalrock is talking about here, as well as the “whispers” he mentioned in another post — how divorce seems to be contagious, for example, among groups of female friends … these women don’t all have dead-end, terrible marriages. They are in middling marriages and the decision to divorce is often motivated, in these cases, by a desire to upgrade rather than to be rid of a completely untenable situation. Dalrock is saying that women who divorce under those assumptions are being misled, in many cases.

  13. WP says:

    Doomed –

    I think its pretty obvious (I guess not really……) that Dalrock does not consider 100% of all divorces to be on the fault of women, and there are situations where the woman is better off leaving the man (if he’s a true abuser, alcoholic, drug user, etc etc yadda yadda)

    BUT. These situations are not as frequent as the mainstream media would like to portray. Not every man is a rapist, a drug user, a child abuser, a sex/porn addict, a deadbeat dad, what have you. However, if you listen to MSM, that’s what you would be led to believe.

    Dalrock provides the much needed voice that, hey, “perhaps women should evaluate what they have before they throw it away on a whim.” Hey, maybe wives should honor their husbands, instead of celebrating stupid vampire fantasies? (Side note: the only group of people I saw wearing “Team X” t-shirts at the movie theaters were 30-50 y/o women, not tweens).

    The fact you ASSUME Dalrock’s stance, in as much as you’ve pointed out in the comments here, is pretty telling. Maybe time to lay off the feminist teet.

  14. dalrock says:

    @Doomed Harlot
    If I am reading your most recent post correctly, you agree then that a woman might well make an intelligent determination that she will be happier post-divorce or without marrying at all, and that your anecdote about “Suzie” is not representative of most or all post-divorce women. You just think that women who get divorced believe they will inevitably find a better partner like the woman in “Eat, Pray, Love” and you want to make sure they are not under any misapprehensions on that score.

    Suzie most definitely isn’t representative of anything but herself. But the hard data itself is quite grim, and I have shared a truckload of it. As far as what women’s expectations are, how can they not be rosy given the anecdotal and statistical nonsense being fed to them 24/7? I would challenge you to try to find another source sharing what I have shown. I can’t find it. Google for remarriage rates and you will find the 75% remarried after 10 years stat which I have already debunked (with even more debunking on the way tomorrow). This assumes the women are thinking logically and not emotionally and going with the crowd. You act as if I’m saying what everyone already knows, even though you have said I was wrong every step of the way. And like I said, show me one other voice saying what I am saying. Just one.

  15. dalrock says:

    @Brendan

    Your most recent comment seems like a pretty good synopsis of my point. I would only add that much of the reason the marriages seem so bad in the first place is the mental attitude that divorce is an ever present choice. The more divorce becomes an acceptable outcome, the unhappier men and women get in their marriages. This is backed up by research in several different areas, and shows up in this chart. I am working on a post to cover this in greater detail.

  16. It should be pointed out that every woman who is “happily divorced” and “would never go back to the loser” once thought the very same man was worth marrying. There is clearly a lot of rationalisation going on at some stage.

  17. Viliam Búr says:

    @ Doomed Harlot
    The idea of the aging spinster as a pathetic loser because she can’t attract a man manifests a contempt for women in general…

    No one have said that.

    Author shows contempt for the “rationalization hamster”. That’s all. The article describes a situation where this hamster is alive and full of energy.

  18. nothingbutthetruth says:

    “There is clearly a lot of rationalisation going on at some stage.”

    Maybe at both stages.

    More movies like EPL or Stella:

    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0466839/
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1205535/

    (The only difference is that the woman divorce because of her husband cheating. But, after that, they are a estrogen fantasy that could have been written by Jessica Valenti. The one with Michelle Pfeiffer made me puke).

  19. MQ says:

    Just from my personal observations, I think divorce is somewhat of a wash for both men and women. Men have an easier time partnering up after divorce, I think that’s clear (although their partners are generally other divorced women 35 and up, some with kids, not the smokin’ 25-30 year old of fantasy). But I think older women have an easier time being alone than men do. They seem better at maintaining social supports with other women and less likely to get isolated and toxically embittered. Divorce is no joke for either sex. The “nuclear option” strikes me as a better metaphor than one which emphasizes some advantage possessed by either sex.

  20. Lavazza says:

    MQ: “But I think older women have an easier time being alone than men do. They seem better at maintaining social supports with other women and less likely to get isolated and toxically embittered.”

    I think that is due to the difference in life style a man has leading up to marriage and kids and during marriage and child rearing. Married men often work hard, work far away, travel and so on and the same goes for the men who used to be their friends before their marriages. Women are more likely to stay in the same place and to keep their social network. When they have kids that means they have the opportunity to spend MORE time with their friends, who also have kids, as opposed to men who have less time and whose friends have less time.

    In the US divorce seems to make no difference for the woman’s future life style. She does not have to become a breadwinner for the kids and can keep staying home or working part time. The man still has to support the family after the divorce, so he will not have any extra time or money to use to increase his social network.

    Change “men” to “sole providers” or “breadwinners” and “women” to “people of leisure” or “stay at home parents” and you will get a gender neutral description that does not imply inherent differences in men and women.

    “But I think older [people of leisure] have an easier time being alone than [breadwinners] do. They seem better at maintaining social supports with other [people of leisure] and less likely to get isolated and toxically embittered.”

    No mystery in that!

  21. Anonymous Reader says:

    Of course it is about power. If one could buy a car on payments, and after a year threaten the lender with unilateral abrogation of the contract and keeping the car as well, I reckon that there would be a lot more issues around that kind of lending. And in a short time, it would be a lot more difficult for everyone to borrow money to buy a car, too.

    Given the reality of the overt bias against men in “family” court, the overt bias against men in child custody, the overt bias against men who are cheated on or cuckolded, unilateral divorce clearly gives the woman what appears to be a nuclear bomb that can be used to ruin a man’s life (it is no accident that suicide is higher among recently divorced men, a fact that I have never seen any feminist comment on save with a flippant shrug).

    And given the anti-marriage bias that feminism has had going back to the “fish without a bicycle” 1970’s, it should be no surprise at all that Lifetime/Oxygen/Orpah etc. all peddle divorce fantasy camps endlessly. Because those outlets are all about “grrl power”, too.

    So little wonder that Dalrock gets denounced for daring to point out that the average middle-aged divorcee is not very likely to Eat, Pray and Shop her way to a better man than that no-good slob she dropped a few years back. Because in so doing, he’s taking away power from women/wimmen/wymen/whatever-the-spelling-is-this-week, and that’s a mortal sin to feminists.

    All feminists…

  22. J says:

    It should be pointed out that every woman who is “happily divorced” and “would never go back to the loser” once thought the very same man was worth marrying. There is clearly a lot of rationalisation going on at some stage.

    Or just a lot of change or fatigue. It’s unfortunate but some people tire of each other after a while. Over the summer, we were discussing “gray divorce.” I related a story of a man I know regaling me with complaints–in front of his wife–of how 40 years with one person was just too much. I have to assume he once thought the very same woman he was publically humiliating was worth marrying.

    Who knows? Maybe one day she will file for divorce for him. She become one of those women who intiate 70% of divorces, supposedly leaving their husbands for no reason.

  23. J says:

    @Lavazza

    “But I think older [people of leisure] have an easier time being alone than [breadwinners] do. They seem better at maintaining social supports with other [people of leisure] and less likely to get isolated and toxically embittered.”

    You could also make the case that it should be easier for men socially after divorce because they are generally not tied down to kids who keep them isolated from the adult world.

    I think a simpler truth is that men tend to be lone wolves more than women do. When a lone wolf settles down, he tends to center his life on family and to rely on his wife to orchestrate social life. When he loses her, he losses the social network she set up.

  24. J says:

    @Doomed Harlot,

    I think I’m also among the “self proclaimed happily married women” that D alludes too. There’s a difference between objecting to D’s stats and objecting to the orgy of schadenfreude they kick off, and I echo your comments about the schadenfreude. Ironically the men who enjoy it most are probably the ones most likely to be alone. Here’s a question: If you found yourself back on the market, dating divorced guys, who would be more attractive–the guy who said that “things just didn’t work out and refused to bad mouth his ex or Mr. Schadenfreude? A lot of the animus on the net towards women comes from guys who can’t let go of past hurts.

  25. Brendan says:

    Nothing wrong with being a “lone wolf”, though, really — each man has his own center and balance, in my experience. And men need less, socially, than women do.

    I think, in terms of the “badmouthing the ex” factor, in my experience women want to know a LOT about what happened with the ex, and will, often enough, badmouth your own ex themselves. I do not really “badmouth” my ex, yet I am clear about what happened, and also clear that it is from my own perspective.

    That, in itself, has nothing to do with “Schadenfreude”. The “Schadenfreude” that I feel about someone like Lizzie Wurtzel is not because she’s my ex (I don’t feel Schadenfreude about her because she didn’t make Wurtzel’s decisions in her 20s), but because she, like so many other women I knew from my college and grad experiences, behaved exceptionally stupidly in their youths, and I was there to see it. So you’re contrasting things that aren’t really linked: (1) how one feels about one’s former marriage and ex-spouse, on the one hand and (2) how one feels about women who behaved like entitled, narcissistic princesses when we were both in our 20s.

    Those two things are not really related, at least not necessarily so.

  26. Brendan says:

    And, courtesy of Jack at Haley’s blog, comes this link to a Salon story. BOHICA, nice guy husband …

    http://www.salon.com/life/since_you_asked/2010/11/16/divorce/index.html

    Choice addiction?

    [D: Great link. Zed linked to the same article on Solomon IIs blog. But it can’t be true. J has assured me this sort of thing never happens.]

  27. J says:

    Nothing wrong with being a “lone wolf”, though, really — each man has his own center and balance, in my experience. And men need less, socially, than women do.

    True.

    I think, in terms of the “badmouthing the ex” factor, in my experience women want to know a LOT about what happened with the ex,

    That is often because we want to see if the man is at fault or if he is a safe bet.

    and will, often enough, badmouth your own ex themselves.

    Always a red flag in my opinion, no matter who’s doing it. It’s a sign that “things aren’t really over” or that the complainier is a grudge-holder.

    I do not really “badmouth” my ex, yet I am clear about what happened, and also clear that it is from my own perspective.

    That can be helpful info for the women you date.

    Those two things are not really related, at least not necessarily so.

    I believe this is the case for you, Brendan, but there is undeniably a lot of gloating in the manosphere.

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  29. K Eggers says:

    As a man who was ass-raped by the family “law” system – harridan wife walked out because I began to revolt against betatude, then ruined my finances, “legally” abducted my children and moved them hundreds of miles away, giving whole new depths to divorce theft – I take enormous pleasure in messing with the heads (and psyches and souls, insh’allah) of entitled bitches who are hopelessly mired in the USA female fantasy world and the accompanying rationalization hamster.

    Most of them are 35-40, well educated and successful in wordly terms, deeply infected by the Reigning Ideology, in other words textbook SWPLs. All are “mysteriously” single still and usually quite desperate about it. Being a good looking and charming fellow, I act like a malignant alpha from the start and they fall for it without any real effort on my part. Fuck them right and nearly all is forgiven, for at least a while.

    How delusional and self-absorbed the white American woman of said age and category actually is — for me, this was a bit hard to accept at first, because its implications for our culture, what’s left of it, are so profound and terrifying. Over the last few years I’ve seen it all, and scary it is; a screenplay is required, but no one would (want to) believe it.

    The gals go nuts as the Big 4-0 approaches – I’ve caught various bimbos attempting to get pregnant by stealth, try to ask me to marry them (often with overt bribery involved) – at which point I walk, often in the cruellest way possible; if the dumping can be made to work near her birthday or major holiday, so much the better.

    Feels great, why lie. They deserve it, every last one. Small payback for all the men in this Godforsaken country who have been ruined by women since we went collectively nuts in the 1960s.

    Lest anyone complain about horrible me, I have dated decent women, meaning those who are not entitlement princesses, usually they’re not American (surprise!) and, with such gals, I am a very decent and caring, while still suitably alpha, sort.

    But the SWPL beeyotches get the full monty … Bwahahaha!

  30. Niko says:

    K Eggers

    Sir, you get a salute. To quote Churchill, “Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few.”

  31. DJ says:

    K Eggers – you rock! I do the same as you, especially with gold digging white N. American bitches.

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