When Successful People Get Married
One of my favorite bloggers is Scott Adams, the creator of Dilbert. While I sometimes disagree with his views, his blog is great for high I.Q. nerds (like me) who like to think out-of-the-box thoughts.
I still remember back around 2007 when found out he got married a year prior after being a bachelor his whole life. As usual when a wealthy, powerful, successful man delusionally surrenders to traditional monogamous marriage, I shook my head and mentally placed a few bets with myself on how long it would take him to either get divorced or get caught cheating.
I don’t remember exactly what my guess was. Think I guessed six years. I ended up being one year off. In one of his latest posts he revealed he got separated last year from the woman I’m sure he told all of his friends was Not Like The Rest™. I’m sure, back when he got married, he told everyone that This Would Work™ because she went to college, or because he’s smart and Knows What He’s Doing™, or because she hasn’t had sex with too many men before him, or one of the other many irrelevant, left-brain excuses smarter people use to defend long-term Disney monogamy.
Even when I got married as a rash, uninformed, 25 year-old beta male, I knew it was a long shot and that I was probably making a mistake. Even while I was married, I was never defending marriage and I was warning all of my unmarried buddies to stay unmarried. Experience over the last few years as Blackdragon has shown me that I was a very unusual exception to the rule in this regard. Recently-married people tend to be the strongest defenders of monogamy there are, though they usually end up cheating or divorced just like everyone else.
I am 100% confident that if I walked up to Adams a few years ago as he was preparing to get married to Ms. Not Like The Rest™ and showed him all the facts, stats, science, and evidence that clearly show humans were never designed for long-term monogamy and usually end up getting divorced or cheating, he would react the typical way the typical NRE-filled, oneitis-infected, Societally Programmed, Disney-infested person usually does. In other words, he would say I was full of shit and likely would have attacked me personally.
Today he’s singing a very different tune:
In 2014, marriage is still the best economic arrangement for raising a family, but in most other senses it is like adding shit mustard to a shit sandwich. If an alien came to earth and wanted to find a way to make two people that love each other change their minds, I think he would make them live in the same house and have to coordinate every minute of their lives.
Yep. But again, if I had told him those exact same words a few years ago, he would have snorted and called me arrogant or bitter. Isn’t that interesting?
Note he still thinks that marriage is the best way to “raise a family”. Clearly he has not read my blog or my ebooks explaining why this is not the case any more and how to set up OLTRs or OLTR marriages while raising kids. But even if he did a few years ago, he would have just made some irrelevant, negative, personal observation about me that had nothing to do with marriage or monogamy and proceeded on his merry way.
He touches on some other realities I’ve already discussed that he would have ignored or scoffed at a few years ago:
A hundred years ago, if you and your wife enjoyed square dancing, you had everything in common. There weren’t any options to discuss. Those were simple times. But fast-forward to 2014 and every human wants to go a different direction. You want to take spin classes and I want to go golf. You want to do yoga and I want to go to the gun range. Every minute of every day involves one or both partners compromising. This is a first-world problem to be sure, but the effect is to rob you of your sensation of freedom.
Correct again. Traditional monogamous marriage was a workable arrangement back in the 1950s or the 1800s when human beings, particularly women, had no freedom to go out into the world and do whatever they wanted. These days, men and women alike can do whatever the hell they want, even well into “old age” of 50+. This is why now even old people are getting divorced in record numbers.
This reality alone renders long-term, cohabiting, absolute sexual monogamy as unsustainable. You, or more likely her, will eventually want something very different, and won’t see the point of constant compromise. Compromise being exactly what monogamy is, particularly for people who are higher energy, more successful, more dynamic, have bigger goals, or have higher sex drives. As I’ve said before, if two very low sex drive, very boring people get married, then they have a real shot at making lifetime monogamy work. But honestly, how many non-old, modern day couples do you know like that? Where both people are boring and have low sex drives?
Now that he’s a single man and is free once again, his happiness is soaring, which is typical once a man gets over the pain of his divorce or separation:
So there I was a year ago with a blank slate, no strings, and an option to create a life from scratch. It was a rare opportunity. The first principle I established for my engineered life involved recognizing that one person would never be the answer to all of my needs. So I looked at all the things I enjoy doing with other people and sought out the right people for those activities. The result is that no one is ever compromising. I only spend time with people who are doing what they want to do when they want to do it. And wow, does that make things nice…this past year was the most fun of my entire life. No other year comes close.
All you married guys, please take note about what Adams just said about getting divorced. The most fun of his entire life, and no other year comes close. I experienced a similar boost in happiness the year I got divorced. The act of splitting up the family isn’t fun and is quite painful, but that pain subsides quite quickly for a man, and soon you’ll be the happiest you’ve ever felt.
But here’s the sad part. Let’s see if Adams remembers all of this happiness and freedom the next time he gets oneitis for the next woman who is Not Like The Rest™. I hate to say it, but the odds of him getting monogamously married again at some point are high, despite his acknowledgement above.
He goes on:
Another thing I didn’t see coming is that there are now more single than married people in the United States. That snuck up on me. So loneliness is more of a choice than a necessity in 2014.
He really needs to read my blog. I reported this right here over two years ago. And it did not “sneak up on me.” I predicted exactly this way back in the 1990s. Fewer people will be married as time goes on. In a few decades, the percentage of monogamously married adults with lifetime monogamy expectations in their marriage will be around 20-25%. I don’t know exactly when this will happen, but it will happen. Just watch. If you’re reading this blog and others like it regularly, and getting it, you’re truly on the cutting edge of societal change.
Note again his Societal Programming, implying that if you’re not married you must be “lonely.” As I explained in my last podcast, do you really think a man with one or two regular MLTRs and one or two regular FBs is “lonely?” Really? I can’t speak for other poly guys, but there are times I’m looking to get away from my women for some alone time, as much as I love them…quite the opposite of “lonely.” (I happen to be writing this blog post during one of these solo getaways. I’m typing this on my laptop while camping alone, sitting on a cliff, overlooking a lush forest on a small mountain. It’s awesome.)
Anyway, Adams gives a similar prediction, though he’s placing a more specific time frame on it:
…it probably isn’t a coincidence that there are more single and divorced people than ever. Traditional marriage is the biggest obstacle to happiness in the United States. I give it twenty years before society acknowledges it to be a bad fit for modern times…Marriage is probably a great solution for 20% of the public. The rest of us need better systems.
I love to hear this stuff, but again I am saddened that A) if I had told him exactly this a few years ago he would have rolled his eyes and told me to fuck off, and B) the odds are overwhelming he’ll get monogamously married again someday. It’s a sad situation all around.
This is why I think that while traditional monogamous marriage will go away (or significantly reduce) someday, it will be longer than we expect. Even people who are intelligent enough to admit it doesn’t work are still going to be doing it, repeatedly, in large numbers. The hundreds-of-years-old Societal Programming and thousands-of-years-old obsolete biology are just too strong for people to just “wake up” and stop doing this.
Just to be clear, I’m not saying NEVER GET MARRIED. I’m saying if you do want to cohabit or raise kids with that special someone, do it in a way that makes sense within the realities of the modern era and how human beings actually work in real life rather than in fairy tales. This means:
1. Don’t get legally married. If you do, get an enforceable prenup well before you do it.
2. Sign and file a legally enforcable parenting plan before anyone gets pregnant.
3. Don’t get sexually monogamous. It’s an extremely short-sighted thing to do and you’ll deeply regret it later. Love your special lady all you want, but keep the relationship sexually open, within whatever ground rules you both agree to.
4. Keep your finances separate. No co-owned debts, assets, or leases. If you want to financially support a lower-income OLTR or OLTR wife, do so, but that doesn’t mean you have to have joint checking accounts or have both of your names on the mortgage or lease.
Change is slow. We are moving in the right direction though. At least that’s something.