Unfortunately, for men today, marriage is about as extreme a risk to your personal and financial health and well-being as any other endeavor.  From the earliest days of my life that I ever thought about getting married and having children – I had that classic, ideological view. Growing up in a house full of siblings, all of whom I remain close to today, was something I wanted to duplicate for my own children.  I felt this way even though my own parents marriage failed, albeit ending in my teen years when I was better able to process the whats, the hows, and the whys.

However, going through my own personal situation with regard to a failed marriage and high-conflict custody litigation and working with both men and women dealing with very high conflict ex-partners – has changed my outlook.  My views regarding marriage, particularly for men, are bolstered by those with whom I interact.  It’s important that we make a distinction between marriage generally and the reality that there are good husbands and bad husbands… good wives and bad wives.  This is about the bleak divorce rates and the risks associated with same, particularly when there are children involved.

Here are the realities:

  • Approximately half of all first marriages will ultimately fail.  Statistics for subsequent marriages are even more dismal.
  • Approximately 70% of all divorces are initiated by women.  No-fault divorce laws have accelerated the numbers of divorces since one no longer has to prove that the marital contract has been broken.  Now, you can get divorce for no reason at all.
  • More than 70% of all primary and sole child custody orders are awarded to mothers.  This means there is a substantial risk that fathers will have severely limited and even no meaningful parent-child relationships.
  • Men will typically lose at least half of all cash and other assets – are most likely to be forced out of the marital home when a divorce is imminent.
  • Men are far more likely to be falsely accused of domestic violence or other serious misconduct once a divorce is initiated in order for their soon-to-be ex to gain the upper hand in child custody litigation.
  • Men are more likely to be arrested regardless of who initiated actual domestic violence, and even if they did nothing or elected to defend themselves.  This is due to “mandatory arrest laws.”
  • Men are most likely to have to pay child support to their ex under the watchful eye of the government and are at risk of increasingly punitive punishments, up to and including incarceration, if they fall behind on child support for any reason.
  • Recent polls of women show that better than 60% of them would prefer to work part time or not at all.  Instead, they want to marry and “be taken care of.”

There are a wealth of articles out there that intimate that the reason men are steering clear of marriage is due to their “inability to grow up” – most of these articles are from women who are unhappy about their marital prospects or speaking for those who feel the same way.  That’s easy to claim because it satisfies their desire to claim that men just want to remain children/adolescents for longer periods of time.  These writers purport to speak for all women generally, but they don’t.

In speaking with many men on my own accord, I can tell you with absolute certainty, to a man, that is 100% of them – simply don’t want the risks associated with the above list of information.  That list is a short list.  The deck is so stacked against them that even men with a desire to have children and help to raise children – are simply opting out based upon the feedback that we receive.  Chances are, their wives will initiate a divorce, even with no reason at all.  Chances are they will lose access to their children.  Chances are that they will lose half or more of everything that they’ve worked for in their adult lives.

Despite the claims of those who wish to wholeheartedly believe that men simply want to stay adolescents into their 30s are only turning a blind-eye to these realities.  It has nothing to do with wanting to sit in their basements with their guy-buddies and play video games with all of their spare time.  It has everything to do with the reality that when they look at all of the risks associated with marriage in today’s society, they are truly hard-pressed to find a true upside to taking a run at a marriage and a family.  Everything that they love, care about, and worked hard to achieve in life can be taken away from them simply because their wives might not feel like being married any more.

It’s really a sad state of affairs for everyone.