Where Are All the Mr Rights
Wanted: A Few Good Men
In life we shall find many men that are great, and some that are good,
- Charles Caleb Colton
Not many men have both good fortune and good sense.
- Marilyn French
No nice men are good at getting taxis.
- Katherine Whitehorn
Source: Funny Times November 2001
Wanted: More Than Just a Few Good Men
by Jim Wallwork
The price of success is perseverance. The price of failure comes cheaper.
My daughter graduated from college in 1988 and 3 years later married a caring, wonderful husband. Unfortunately, several of her female classmates are still single - and not by choice - with diminishing chances to find "Mr Right." These young women are attractive, intelligent, have good jobs and would make wonderful wives.
They are joined by tens of thousands of other young women who are also not married. What's wrong here?
At a Loss
Frankly, I am at a loss why so many young men are so irresponsible. It seems they want to "live together with their girlfriend" - even "share" expenses! - but make no commitment. Or now, on college campuses, they like to "hook up" for a night with a female student and then move on to "fresh pastures." According to one well-publicised study, co-ed groups "hang out," while traditional dating is all but dead. For young women, this behaviour is degrading and a true dead end, without a future. It's also destructive for young men as well.
Most young women still want to marry - although in the current climate, that number is falling. But if we've thrust a very mixed message on our daughters about how best to balance a family life and career, it seems as if we've done almost worse by our sons.
How many times are young men asked about marriage? How many parents have ever discussed with their sons not sex, but wedlock? Too many people today signal young men, directly or indirectly, that lifelong commitments aren't a priority, that kids don't need wedded fathers, and that playing the field is a better deal than providing for a family you love. I wonder how many fathers, or mothers, ever say to their sons, "I'd like to see you grow up to be a good husband. That would make me very proud."
Last December, riding the New York City subway, I noticed an ad that ran the whole length of the subway car. There were at least 40 pictures of pained young women, with different captions under each picture. The ad was reaching out to battered young women who were high school or college age, with an 800 number to call if your "boyfriend" was a batterer. Of course, there also was a subliminal message to everyone about violence and sexual harassment.
I had a lump in my throat. This was a poignant public service message. What a sad commentary of our times. Teenagers and those in their early 20s were being warned about being physically abused by young male bullies - or worse. What has become of our society? Our families?
Marriage Is Important
For all the talk about how times have changed and the world is "different," the fact remains that marriage is the great stabiliser and ultimate bedrock of a civil society. Children desperatety need to be raised in a home with two married parents. We need only look at communities within our own country, where so many children are born out of wedlock or raised in single-parent homes. Too often, we can see devastated lives, despair, crime and drug abuse.
In addition to the well-being of children, marriage brings stability, and physical and emotional health to those who undertake its responsibilities. A wealth of data supports the positive effects that marriage has on both husband and wife.
As my wife and I approach our 37th wedding anniversary, I can attest from personal experience that life's uncertainties and hardships are more easily overcome with a team effort than all alone. We need to teach these realities to our children.
Your Opinion, Please
I am asking you, the readers of this column, for your comments on what's wrong. Please e-mail me with your opinion. After I study your replies, I will share your comments with all our readers. Hopefully, your thoughts will help some of our young people who need a sense of direction and moral leadership.
Jim Wallwork of Far Hills, NJ is a former Republican state senator, a businessman and West Point graduate. His column appears the second and fourth week of the month, alternating with a column written by Gordon MacInnes, a Democrat. Mr Wallwork's e-mail address is Peoples-Biz@hotmail.com)
Source: Hanover Eagle and Regional Weekly News - Morris Newsbee Thursday 9 August 2001
-------- Original Message --------
Comments: I like your site. I am puzzled by the "lack of good men." I was considered beautiful, very intelligent, fun to be with, but alas, I had a great education when I went to marry in the 70\'s and 80\'s. I attracted a stinker of a man, whom I later divorced. Then, still beautiful at 32 and even more degreed, I waited another 18 years before someone came along. I had not a clue where the good men were despite joining dating services and so forth. I am, finally, remarried. But he has a low status job, is younger than I am, and regrettably, is unlikely to ever be able to support me. So it goes. He is loving and kind and I guess there is no more expectation than that...
The Extraordinary Effects of Marriage
by Andrew Oswald
A new branch of research is finding that marriage has powerful and beneficial effects on human beings. Currently this work is done by applied statisticians, and appears in arcane journals. But their findings deserve a wider reading.
Large random samples of families are followed through time - interviewed each year about their lives, incomes and psychological wellbeing.
Marriage, it appears, makes you richer. In virtually every country studied, workers who are married earn between 10% and 20% more than those who are single. This figure holds after other influences are factored out. Some economists say "better" people - healthier, more tenacious, more conscientious, better looking, more productive, stronger - are the ones who get married. Marriage itself, on this line of argument, does nothing to earning power - those with large pay packets simply choose to get hitched more than those on low earnings. However, in their early 20s, those who are married earn barely more than those who are not. The "marriage wage premium" increases with the number of years married, suggesting marriage is more cause than effect.
One possibility is that marriage makes a person work harder to hang on to his or her spouse. Evolutionary biologists often remind economists that human beings are basically nest-builders and mate-chasers - and they may be right.
The second finding: marriage makes you live longer. Epidemiologists mostly agree that marrieds prolong their lives by about 3 extra years on average. One of the most intriguing studies followed male graduates of Amherst College in the United States in the late 19th century. At 18, all had their health, height and weight measured. Later occupation was also recorded, and much else besides. They were followed throughout their lives. Strikingly, those who married lived much longer, even after factoring out other influences.
In Britain in the late 1960s, 20,000 middle-aged male civil servants were medically examined and tracked for two decades. At the end of that period, 14 of every 1,000 married men had died, compared to 21 for widowers, 17 for singletons, and 21 for those separated. This study pinned some of the blame on cardiovascular disease - unmarried men had much higher blood pressure.
Current conventional view is that marriage works through some protective effect on mental wellbeing. It lowers stress and worry. (Does sharing worries halves them, as tradition says?) Married people also smoke less and tend to eat more healthily.
Andrew Oswald and Jonathan Gardner of Warwick University in England followed a group of thousands of British men and women through the 1990s. They found that if the subjects were married at the start (in 1991), that was a fairly good predictor of whether they'd be alive by the end of the decade - this appeared to be especially true for women. In some cases, the marriage effect on mortality risk almost offset the risk from smoking. (In other words, if you must smoke, make sure you're married.) A detailed theory for why it appears somewhat dangerous to be unmarried is still being developed.
Marriage also moulds mental health and happiness. A New Jersey study followed a large group for a decade, measuring subjects for depression. After allowing for other factors including health at the start of the period, statistics showed marriage greatly reduced the probability of later depression - with the quality of the marriage the best predictor of overall mental health in later years.
Must one be formally married to derive the mental and physical health benefits of marriage? No, but it helps. Cohabiting appears to bring some, not all, of the protective effects. How about second and third marriages? They appear to generate less protection than the first marriage. This implies the best marriages are those that survive intact. According to research, second and third marriages bring happiness, though statistically not quite as much as first, lasting marriages.
Andrew Oswald is Professor of Economics, Warwick University
Source: www.oswald.co.uk January 2002
A researcher found that men and women, when asked to list and rank desirable attributes in the other gender, produced dramatically different lists.
Women seek in men:
Men seek in women:
Children get their IQ from their mothers. Do you see "smart" on the men's list? No?
Children get their emotional personalities from their fathers. Do you see "kind" on the women's list? No?
We are not as civilised as we think. Women want financial security while men want physical gratification. Bowerbirds have the same values.
Source: Gilmour, Robin. "Desirable and Negative Qualities". Eye to Eye, P. March ed., Topsfield, MD:Salem House P. 1988. p. 197.
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