So, I was reading an interesting article recently entitled Young men giving up on marriage: ‘Women aren’t women anymore,” which outlined a Pew Research study that suggested a decline in the interests in marriage among young American men.
At first, I didn’t even want to touch the topic in that article (as it suggested the rise of feminism was likely the reason for the decline), but then I realized that this type avoidance of issues gets us nowhere. If we want to improve our relationships, we have to address it.
So I wanted to examine the scenario. Here are some things that came up:
Men have been taught from the beginning: “happy wife, happy life,” and that if you want happiness in a relationship, just take orders, avoid confrontation and say less.
Well, that doesn’t makes marriage sound attractive to a man now does it?
To many men, marriage is consistently being sold as a place where your manhood goes to die, voice is silenced and the place where you aren’t really needed…and, oh, if you try to get out of it, you will lose all of your money as well. That isn’t exactly the best value proposition. The writer of the article states:
“As a writer and researcher into the trends of marriage and relationships, [she] has ‘accidentally stumbled upon a subculture’ of men who say ‘in no uncertain terms, that they’re never getting married.’ When I ask them why, the answer is always the same: ‘women aren’t women anymore.’ Feminism, which teaches women to think of men as the enemy, has made women ‘angry’ and defensive, though often unknowingly.”
For some reason, a popular narrative is perpetuated that men just can’t get it right in relationships and marriage. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes men do fall short. And, no, we aren’t a perfect species, but I’ve seen many men try to do everything they can to make their women happy—and sometimes, even that never seems to be good enough.
I’ve seen men try to be good fathers to their children just to be kept from those children while being called deadbeat dads. If you’re a man, why would you keep signing up for the losing battle that marriage is being made out to be? The writer goes on to say:
“‘Men are tired,” Venker wrote. ‘Tired of being told there’s something fundamentally wrong with them. Tired of being told that if women aren’t happy, it’s men’s fault.’”
Unfortunately, many will read this as an “anti-woman” article, but I think this is where the problem starts. I ask this article be read more as insight in an effort to help us strengthen relationships and marriages.
I think a lot of men are just looking for their voice again; and we as society should be open to hearing those voices. I also think the relationship sphere is so riddled with negative perspectives, that we fail to hear the voices of successful couples. I think this should be a call to action for many of the men and women who are in happy and healthy marriages to be sure to make that known.
When we speak life into our marriages and other peoples’ marriages, then society as a whole benefits. If we can just stop blaming one another (and blaming genders as a whole) and begin seeking to understand one another, then things can only get better.
Men have to uplift their women, and women have to uplift their men. And we all have to uplift the institution of marriage so that strong families continue to be built
BMWK Fam: What are your thoughts and how do we bridge the gap?