My Parents Got Divorced
When you’re a man who views the world in a rational, objective, and fact-based way, you live a great life, but sometimes you run into scenarios where being right isn’t very fun.
That’s why so few people are objective and fact-based in their worldviews; it’s too just painful and emotionally disturbing to admit that the world isn’t at all what you want it to be, or, more importantly, what you were told it is. Fantasy, Societal Programming, Disney, and nostalgia is fun even if they’re all total bullshit. Reality is sometimes anything but fun.
About a year ago I wrote a big article here about my family, including my parents whom I describe in detail. Feel free to take a look at that article to give this article context.
To summarize, my parents are both in their mid to late 70s and have been traditionally, monogamously married for 47 years(!). They have five children of which I am the oldest. Because long-term monogamy doesn’t work, many of their friends and couples they have had in their social circles over the decades have gotten divorced. Yet, my parents were always held up as the rare example of marriage actually working. Married for decades, raising kids, working, retiring, and still staying married. Neither of my parents ever cheated on each other to my knowledge. So yeah, their marriage worked…
Until it didn’t. Last summer, to the shock of almost everyone, they got divorced. Yes, in their 70s, after 47 years of marriage.
My dad actually told my mom last year, “I guess Caleb was right all along. I guess monogamy doesn’t work.”
Like I said, sometimes it sucks being right.
Why did they get divorced after so long? I’m going to just summarize this because I don’t want to get into my parents’ personal lives too much.
It was a combination of two factors. One was my mom’s fear of mortality. Some old people really get scared of death when they get older and make radical shifts in order to alleviate this fear. My mom is a positive, happy, extremely high-energy person (I get a lot of these aspects from her) and she really wanted to go do a lot of big, fun, crazy things before she died. Rightly or wrongly, she felt she could not do this with my dad.
That brings us to the second reason, one I’ve talked about on this blog many, many times. That is that my dad lost his Alpha Male edge and drive as he aged and when he retired about 15 years ago. For most of his life, he was an Alpha Male 1.0, with all the positives and negatives that are included. As such, he was motivated and driven, and thus attractive and exciting to my mom.
That changed when he retired and got older. He lost his drive and motivation for life, and started just taking it easy, just like most men do when they get into old age.
Both my parents are adult enough to admit they got complacent in their marriage and didn’t address these problems when they should have. Thus, over many years, these problems festered and got worse, which is what happens when you don’t address them (I was guilty of this myself during my first marriage). Finally, my mom looked up her high school sweetheart on Facebook (yes, from 50 years ago) and left my dad to go be with him, as per the statistics that show 70-80% of divorces are initiated by the female. This all happened early last year, but I wanted to give it a little time before I talked about it publicly.
Since I know monogamy doesn’t work in the long-term, I had much less of a problem with all of this than some of my siblings. To me, my parents are behaving normally. Long-term sexual monogamy doesn’t work. Humans were never designed for it. As I’ve shown many times, if you try to force it, eventually you’ll crash. This crash can mean one of three things: A) a divorce, B) cheating, or C) a horrible, soul-sucking marriage that just goes on forever.
It was the fact that my parents were monogamous for 46 years that makes them unusual, not the fact they are now getting divorced. Now they’re just returning to biological normalcy, as painful as that is.
On the flip side, many of my siblings and other family members are (or were) very hurt, angry, or sad. This almost always the result when you expect Disney, which is always a silly thing to expect, including from your Western parents, and including from yourself.
I love both of my parents and support them in their new lives, even if I disagree with certain things they’ve both done. I also have to be lenient since, as I’ve said before, when you’re “old” (certainly in your 70s), many of life’s rules change, just like I talked about when I discussed Gene Simmons getting traditionally married.
As always, there are those TMM defenders who will say that my parents’ marriage “worked.” If you saw how unhappy, uncomfortable, and awkward things were and are for them and their loved ones, you would not say this. Getting divorced is the opposite of fun, and I would know. Getting divorced in your friggin’ 70s is an additional set of problems on top of that. If you still think it “worked” you really need to read this article.
Long-term sexual monogamy doesn’t work, folks. Not sure how many times I have to keep repeating this. The exceptions to the rule are out there, but they are exceedingly rare. Even I thought my parents were the exception, and I was wrong, which means I was correct more than I could know.
As I’ve said many times, just because you know a couple who are still traditionally, monogamously married and happy after five, or ten, or 15 years doesn’t mean shit. Statistically that only means they haven’t cheated or gotten divorced yet (and maybe one of them has cheated; again, that’s statistically likely; you just don’t know). If they live in the Western world, they will eventually cheat or get divorced. Just give them time.
I hate that my parents went through this. I hate that anyone has to go through a divorce. Perhaps someday, society at large will finally accept other long-term pair-bonding models (like mine, though there are others) that are more realistic and conducive to how humans were actually designed.
Until then, we will all have to continue to suffer through the horrible pain and inevitable outcome of traditional relationship models that no longer work, and haven’t for decades.
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