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"Men do better out of marriage than women."

(81 Posts)
Farlalalala Wed 05-Dec-12 16:51:05

This is a view I've seen expressed on here a few times, and I was wondering - is it a common view held by many people on here/IRL? Because, unless you are married to a twat who takes you for granted - which is obviously a problem - then I don't see how men do better out of marriage than women, nowadays.

Dahlen Wed 05-Dec-12 17:05:13

You don't have to be a twat to take someone for granted unfortunately. In most married households, women still do more than 80% of the housework and child-related tasks according to most research. No one is saying that 80% of men are twats, but that's just one reason why men do better. Plus there is quite a lot of evidence to suggest that women act as listeners to men far more than they repay the service.

SolidGoldYESBROKEMYSPACEBAR Wed 05-Dec-12 17:09:00

Because the basic deal of marriage always has been that the man gets domestic, sexual, breeding and emotional service from someone whose role is his appendage, inferior and possession.
The woman gets a roof over her head, and her keep.

Because this was never all that appealing for women, society was mostly structured in a way that made not marrying appallingly difficult and unpleasant for them.

And yeah yeah waaa waaaa Not Your Nigel. Some marriages are happy partnerships between people who truly regard each other as equal. But the idea that the man is Head Of The House and He Who Must Be Obeyed still exists. And the reason there is still so much propaganda about how women must marry, and not to marry is to be a failure, and there's still the Big Lie that women are desperate to be married and men are desperate to stay unmarried, is because the only way to get women to swallow the idea that being a man's breeding animal and domestic appliance is heaven and destiny is to pretend to them that it's not only desirable but difficult to obtain.

CailinDana Wed 05-Dec-12 17:17:11

I think generally it is true. The main aim of any organism is to procreate. Marriage (and other long term partnerships) affords men the opportunity to procreate without it affecting their lifestyle much at all. That is a massive bonus that an incredibly tiny amount of women can avail of. Until society changes drastically to ensure that men and women put the same amount of effort into child rearing (and how that would happen given the biology element I don't know) men will continue to do better out of being in a couple than women.

HousewifefromBethlehem Wed 05-Dec-12 17:18:40

Well I'm sitting on my arse mnetting and he's at work so ..... grin

Farlalalala Wed 05-Dec-12 17:35:19

Ah, great explanation SolidGold! I do think it's twattish to sit on your arse while your wife deals with all the 24/7 domestic stuff. But then it's (almost) equally twattish to do everything for a grown man. I was just wondering whether there were any other moral/spiritual/psychological reasons that men do better from marriage, other than getting away with doing less domestic stuff.

Farlalalala Wed 05-Dec-12 17:36:45

Sorry, Cailin and Dahlen, your explanations were good too. SolidGold's was just impressively thorough.

MooncupGoddess Wed 05-Dec-12 17:38:24

Statistically (at population level) married men are happier than single men, whereas single women are happier than married women. Which suggests SGB's analysis is broadly right.

Farlalalala Wed 05-Dec-12 17:46:02

I've never heard the single women are happier than married women statistic before... I'm 27, and lots of my friends are engaged or starting to worry about not being engaged (the Big Lie?) I've never been bothered about marriage and always thought i'd just do it if I wanted to have kids (for security). But don't think I want kids either - though I know this could well change later on. I'm with a man who does believe in marriage so i'm wondering what i'd do if he proposed.

Fuckitthatlldo Wed 05-Dec-12 19:09:34

Yes studies show that married men enjoy far better mental health than married women. This is because despite progress made in terms of women's rights, the vast majority of marriages are still unequal to some degree.

You'd be surprised at the amount of women who still do almost everything related to housework and childcare.

Fuck. That.

stargirl1701 Wed 05-Dec-12 19:11:58

I believe that, statistically, married men live longer than unmarried men. The reverse is true for women.

No idea if this is true or not. I've heard it many times but not sure which research it came from.

sarahseashell Wed 05-Dec-12 19:12:54

well said solid that's absolutely right I think

Yama Wed 05-Dec-12 19:26:09

I do see this all around me. At work, my colleagues think my dh is some sort of superhuman because he does his share. I have repeatedly pointed out that I do too.

My uni friends do most of the housework and childcare too.

So, why did it never enter my head that running the house was my sole responsibility? As Fuckitthatlldo says - Fuck That.

Why does dh think that as a grown up, he is perfectly capable of seeing what needs done and just getting on with it?

I mean, in terms of marriage being desirable and difficult to obtain - I can see the propaganda but it has always made me cringe that I am to be included in wanting that.

Anyway, I find dh makes my life easier and I hope I make his easier. We certainly make each other happier. (I only mention this as it relates to the thread title. I think.)

Farlalalala Wed 05-Dec-12 19:42:13

Fuck that indeed! How very scary. Fuck biology too.

Yama I am glad you have an equal partnership, but it's horrifying that it's not at all the norm. I look at my mum's life and my bf's mum's life - both educated, working women who do all the housework and cooking as if thats somehow their job too - and think how bloody awful. But I did think it wouldn't be like that for my generation...or people under 40 anyway.

gettingeasier Wed 05-Dec-12 19:42:24

Oh god yes men have ,generally speaking, got it sewn up.

I wonder if its all so entrenched it wont ever change

Dont care for me happily single but wonder wtf to say to young teen DD without sounding crazy and embittered

PanickingIdiot Wed 05-Dec-12 19:45:41

Cailin - what you're saying made sense in the 19th century. I'm not sure it's still the case today.

Men don't need to procreate, for a start. Actually, it was probably only ever a need for the upper classes anyway, monarchs and the such, to have somebody to inherit the family's property, political functions, land, or continue the business, etc. For the poor, progeny was another mouth to feed. Sure, they might also look after you in your old age, but still, children were more of a liability (not to mention the consequence of limited contraceptive options) than a necessity.

I'm not sure there's all that much in it for men these days, to be honest. Yes, 80% of housework and childcare is still done by the women - but the bulk of that housework and childcare didn't exist, in the first place, if it wasn't for family life.

I think in general it's mostly women who strive for children and therefore need the emotional and financial safety of raising them in a family, if possible, rather than alone. That's why, on the whole, women are more keen to marry. It's a safety net for mothers, first and foremost.

That's also why they put up with doing 80% of the work. The biology element has little to do with men doing far less childcare, imho. After all, biology only matters during pregnancy and breastfeeding, which is a relatively short period in the grand scheme of raising a child to adulthood. I think the real reason is that if more women insisted on a more equal division of household chores, then even fewer men would agree to have a family in the first place. Negotiating power isn't on the woman's side when her biological clock is ticking and the bloke can take or leave marriage and kids.

JugglingWithPossibilities Wed 05-Dec-12 19:52:41

Yes, good point about what to say to DD. My DD is 13 and hopefully has found things fairly equal at home with her brother, and at school - in most areas of her life so far in fact. But I'm aware that the world of work and relationships - especially if she chooses to be a wife and mother at some point, will probably be much less equitable - as I of course have found myself.

Read "Wifework", that has some interesting stuff in about this.

I reckon a lot of it is in the sort of mental "looking-after" which I think still does fall more to the wives than husbands.

Even though DH is relatively enlightened, I'm sure I've somehow ended up with much more of the remembering-things, sorting school letters, checking for things that have run out round the house, all that sort of organizational activities; and I think there is some truth too to what was said above about wives doing more emotional support and listening/encouraging etc. than husbands (and more than they get in return), especially when considering what they do for the family as a whole than just for their OH.

I seem to be always stressed, rushing around trying to remember things and listing all the million things that need doing. DH doesn't even have a to-do list, if he ever has some spare time and feels like getting something done, his usual tactic is to ask me what needs doing (or what we need from the shop, or whatever). Uh, we both have eyes and a brain (and we both work - in fairness I'm part-time, but still don't get that many more spare hours once looking after the DCs is factored in)... so why do I have to be the one to keep track of everything and chase up all the urgent things?

Daddelion Wed 05-Dec-12 20:04:03

But if half of marriages end in divorce and single women are happier than single men there's no need to worry, men will get their just desserts in the end.

Yama Wed 05-Dec-12 20:07:37

I may be able to answer my own question then. My Mum has and had a 'Fuck That' attitude (she wouldn't swear though). And my Dad has always done more than my Mum in terms of managing the home.

Dh was brought up by a single mother from babyhood so didn't have a father who did fuck all (in his house).

So, all good for us. I do worry about our dc though. There are an awful lot households where women do the drudgework. Forewarned it will have to be.

Farlalalala Wed 05-Dec-12 20:10:15

This is really interesting. I don't feel like I have enough experience to contribute much though... But, what about if a woman, before she gets married, is pretty messy and disorganized, forgetful etc and she marries a tidy, clean man who remembers all the stuff that needs doing. Will the woman still end up doing it all, if they have kids?

Darkesteyes Wed 05-Dec-12 20:14:37

Agree with Solid.
I read an interview with Tracy McMillan in Easy Living magazine a few months ago. She was talking about this book she wrote which IMO is only good for using as a door stop!
The mysogyny in this book totally backs up what Solid is saying.

www.amazon.co.uk/Why-Youre-Not-Married-Yet/dp/1742704255

LaQueen Wed 05-Dec-12 20:24:17

Pah...my DH pays for a cleaner, and if he ever got home to a hot dinner on the table he would assume I had pranged the car...I don't do cooking (ahem).

I work 21 hours per week, and he puts in on average a 65 hour week, so I'm happy to facilitate all the house/family stuff, for the most part.

Folding a bit of laundry, dropping some stuff to the dry-cleaners, booking the occasional train ticket, dealing with the school paperwork...tis damn sight easier than putting in a 65 hour week, methinks wink

7to25 Wed 05-Dec-12 20:25:47

I think it is a bit more basic than any of this. As star girl said, it is crude statistics that unmarried men do not live as long as married men and unmarried women outlive married ones.
I think that the "married" effect belongs to an earlier age meaning living in long term partnership.
it is easy to draw conclusions about men, they are less likely to indulge in risky pursuits, more likely to access healthcare and also very ill, disabled or mentally ill men tend not to marry. With women it may be harder to decipher a reason, but the effects of childbirth and child rearing have a detrimental effect on overall health.

PanickingIdiot Wed 05-Dec-12 20:32:52

I think I read somewhere that the married men living longer thing was due to women being more health conscious and diligent in keeping routine medical appointments, cancer sceening etc., whereas men tend to be more neglectful. Married men have wives to nag them. Single men just leave it too late. (This has certainly been true in my family through several generations).

But I also read that the gap was closing with increased awareness, campaigns aimed at men like movember, etc.

On the women's side, I'd think it's mainly childbearing and associated health risks, plus being carers more often than men (not just of children but elderly parents etc., which is not exactly conducive to good health, on the long run...not sleeping, eating crap and so on.)

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