Saturday, May 29, 2010

Some advice

for those going through or about to go through divorce (or even if you think you never will, you might want to keep this in mind).

This is going to sound awful and unchristlike, but once your wife declares she is going to divorce you, it's in almost all likelihood too late. So - here's the advice, something I've learned from hard experience:

Once she is divorcing you - don't apologize for anything. All it can do is hurt you. Two things happen: 1.) Your apologies just remind her of the terrible things you did to cause her to want a divorce in the first place. 2). It will be used against you court. I was surprised to find e-mails with my sincere apologies used as evidence that I was evil. "He even admits he has these problems" as the lawyer said.

Apologies need to come before she declares divorce. Unfortunately, since studies show somewhere north of three-fourths of left behind husbands have no clue their wife is unhappy, that's hard.

So, guys - just be careful. And make sure you really are sure where your marriage stands. Make the apologies when they can save your marriage.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

This is another example

of our rhetoric in church.

Leaving aside the main point (I have a comment somewhere in there), the Stake President bothers me a little, even if it's typical and too be expected.

The main idea - men stink, need to shape up, and their wives don't.

How does this help save marriages? It seems to me the self-righteousness and entitlement in creates in the women and the guilt it forces on the men is an unhealthy brew that will help women justify leaving their loser husbands. Yes, it might cause a few borderline men to stick it out, but since women do the leaving more often than the men, this strategy by the SP does nothing to help solve that issue.

Friday, May 14, 2010

No fault divorce is anything but

No fault divorce is suppossed to mean "it's no one's fault, it's just over." Or at least, that was how it was sold.

But that's not what it is. It just means "one spouse can unilaterally end the marriage."

It also encourages each spouse to accuse each other of nasty things, in order to try to get the best "deal" re: child support, etc. I've honestly avoided dragging out our metaphorical dirty laundry, but my ex dragged out every argument we ever had, everything I ever did she didn't approve of, and then accused me of mental cruelty and the like. It's terrible, because while I was never perfect, I never, never was as bad as she painted me in court. But every argument we had suddenly became me yelling at her to shut up and do it my way, wench. I can protest this is not true, and that she was more (or at least as) likely to yell as I was, but they were disagreements, not fights. But since she wants me to pay her more money than I earn, and she wants to keep the children all to herself, it was to her advantage to try and "prove" that I was a terrible, terrible man.

I'm lucky in that she had no proof, but since it's a no fault divorce, she "wins the war" no matter how many little battles I may win. The other problem is that the courts tend to take the wife's word for it, since apparently the default position is that all men are potential abusers. This seems to be the default position in the discussions online as well.

So, no fault divorce doesn't mean "it's no one's fault, it's just over" - it means "one spouse can accuse the other of abuse, and even with no proof and no abuse, it gets taken as reality anyway."

Or something. The feminists, for the most part, won't believe me, and smugly smirk to themselves that "finally, another woman removing herself from the dominant patriarchal hegemony of the church culture" or something equally vapid but smart sounding.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Our rhetoric in church

Far be it from me to second guess our church leaders, but there's one reason I see (among the many, many reasons) for my wife's decision I wasn't worth anything except as a source of funds.

Our Mother's Day at church was filled with many talks praising women. Phrases I heard more than once (from both men and women - in sacrament meeting, Sunday school, and priesthood):
1. "Women have a special spiritual sensitivity that men lack"
2. "Women are inherently more righteous than men are"
3. "Women are more important than men in the eternal scheme of things"
4. "Men need to follow their wives more and listen to them and do what they say."
5. "Really, when it comes down to it, women are necessary in every aspect of life."

Isolated, none of these is terrible (though the first three smack of pandering), but all together - is it any wonder some women decide they don't need their husbands, and it's okay to just walk away? Coupled with a broken family law system that favors the female and turns the father into either an absentee money man (after all, fathers are supposed to provide for their families) or a deadbeat dad (due to, as my lawyer said, "the state doesn't care if you go bankrupt or starve to death, as long as you pay the child support and alimony"), we do not have a culture that encourages families to tough it out during tough times.

As I said in previous posts, it actually makes sense for my wife to walk away. The state ensures she has income for life, regardless of what I say or do or make, she no longer has to work on maintaining a relationship with me (maintaining relationships are hard work), and the church leaders and culture tells her that no matter what, she's inherently more righteous than her loser male of a husband.