Occasionally, someone writes a manosphere post that hits a nerve. It causes a seismic shift that creates a stark division among commenters who are normally in agreement on most things. Dalrocks link to this post from Heidi Stone was one of them this week. Here are his thoughts on it.
The rift, occurred along a dimension that goes something like this:
If a woman [extrapolated to all women] can only appeal to her acquaintances considering divorcing their husbands on the grounds that they will likely do worse in the after-divorce market, than this validates Rollos “men love ldealistically/Women love opportunistically” axiom. Women suck.
Maybe, but she is only telling women the exact same thing the manosphere is shouting at them all the time, and at least she is telling women to stick it out.
And so you don’t have to drill down into the comments, I’ll remind readers that my own initial reaction was in the first camp:
I have to admit. I wanted this to be a beautiful, idealistic approach to reasoning in favor of staying, but as Mandy points out it falls short of that.
“Stay because you will probably not do well in the after-divorce market” is not exactly inspiring.
I stay in my marriage because it honors a commitment I made and I look forward to growing old with her, and having a house full of grandbabies running around when I am old.
An Orthodox priest/scholar who I read a lot talks about the folly of the “true love” argument. I can’t find the quote now but he basically you can’t “know” if it was “true love” until one of you is dead. Until that point, you are just perfecting your love for each other.
Lying on your death bed, you look back at the entire story and realize you accomplished “true love” rather than having it be something that hits you like cupids arrow. I hope all those little faces are the last thing I see before I close my eyes for the last time. Why is that so hard to understand?
The conversation went on for a long time, and nobody really seemed to budge from their position, even after Heidi herself came and clarified. I made a couple more comments but stopped.
I found the exchange between Carlotta and others to be obnoxious. MGTOW is just bunch of closeted homosexuals? Come on.
But my stopping is part of my personality. Because, generally when something like that happens, it is my policy to step back and think–for as long as it takes to figure out why the conflict is happening.
It drives my wife crazy actually–the fact that I can put something on the back burner for weeks or even months before I say another word about it. I think its because she thinks I am hoping it will just go away, but I always come back to it–eventually.
In that thread, even Cane Caldo, love him or hate him (and is not known for his subtlety or equivocation) brain farted:
A lot of men don’t like to hear Heidi’s cold, calculated, and right-on message because it’s not a romanticized view of husbands. Honestly, It’s not something I want to hear either, and for the same reason.
Life is tough, Cane Caldo. Get over it.
That’s when I knew it was time to reevaluate.
I processed Dalrocks comments as well, which were compelling. And I realized, yes depending on the audience–the message must be tailored to where the recipient is at the time. I saw nothing in Heidis follow up comments to suggest she does not deeply love her husband. But I also remember my own divorce and the loving, gracious members of my church family at the time making the exact same argument to my ex– “you are not going to do better. Scott is a decent guy, young, inexperienced, but good. You will regret this.”
And at the time, I was so desperate that I just wanted her to listen to any argument that would work.
I have used the exact same argument with couples who are divorcing in the 17 years since my divorce.
There is a second matter. One that does challenge the Rollo axiom. If women [writ large–“AWALT”] are incapable of loving idealistically then all of scripture requiring them to love is a sham. I think its definitely true that women, in general have a difficult time seeing the big picture, and using those idealistic measures to make decisions, but that is their cross. Mens cross(es) are different, but not insurmountable.
And so, Heidi–I apologize. I think I misread your original intent. I don’t have any insight into the motivations that make people stay together when things get rough–because all the external messaging is indeed “Eat, Pray Love” “your husband gained weight? He must be wrong for you” “not feeling the tingles? Probably not meant to be” and so on. It’s a wonder any modern marriage stays intact after the first bump in the road. They probably do it for whatever reasons are rolling around in their head at that particular time. If staying together for any old reason gets them to a place of deeper love later, then ultimately that is a good thing.