There’s been a lot of not-so-great news about the declining marriage rates, plus news that you can no longer snag Mr. Big whilst working as his secretary. Are people getting married less and for different reasons than our parents did? Yes. Does that mean marriage is obsolete? Hell no.
Listen to me, and listen to me CAREFULLY. The smartest people on Earth will ALWAYS marry, because even with its flaws, it’s the best we’ve got to secure a legacy of wealth and breed superior children. It doesn’t matter if women are making more money and their counterparts may be making less, or if today’s man is looking for a woman equally-matched to him education and career-wise, not matter how culture changes, logic remains the same: 1+1=2, and 2>1.
Remember that Atlantic story we were discussing last week? Here’s the reality of single-parenthood:
Median incomes among families led by single dads and single moms have flat-lined or worse in the last few decades, falling behind those of married couples, whether or not the wife is working.
Single moms and single dads are more likely to be poor, not only because they don’t have help in the household, but also because they didn’t have much money to begin with.
What these single-parent families lack is the other set of hands, the help. They’re the 1+0 crew.
The article goes on to say that the decline in marriage is almost completely concentrated on the underclass. This isn’t you. The average BB&W reader has a college education, is between 23-45, and makes 50,000+. In other words, you’re a prime cut, chica. The men who are looking for their intellectual and financial equals will no-doubt be looking at YOU.
I’ll cop to the fact that marriage isn’t necessary if you’re not planning to have kids (but good luck with finding someone to change your Depends and tell you you’re beautiful when you’re 80 and toothless). But I go out on a limb and say that a woman who voluntarily creates a baby with a man she can not or will not marry is essentially tying one arm behind her back for the next 18 years. I’m not making it up–refer to the above equation. I live in a fairly affluent community where the majority of adults are college educated and surprise! married. The public school my kids attend has a PTA that’s bursting at the coffers, and the school has an API score of 10 out of 10. On any given day you’ll see the halls littered with parent volunteers (I’m one of them) who give the teachers much-needed man power, and those instructors want for NOTHING. These married families are creating high-acheiving kids, who will become adults doing superior things, and going on to marry and create children in a superior environment. Of course, individual results may vary, and no doubt someone is itching at the fingers to chime in that their mother raised eight kids by herself and they all went to Harvard, but in this regard, the exception PROVES the rule.
Yeah, I know that today’s single guys are namby-pamby and seem reluctant to marry. But any man whose worth a damn will want his children to have his name, and will want to have a hand in raising said children. Again, cultures shift, but biology doesn’t.
While many black women are primed to benefit from such a same/same union of financial and career power, many of us don’t come to the table with a reference of how a functional, married family works, because the black community has an out-of-wedlock rate wider than Kimmy K’s vagina. She and I don’t always see eye-to-eye, but on this I must give her credit: In her book, “Sojourner’s Passport,” author Khadija Nassif recommends that black women ONLY date men from married, in-tact families.
“Meanwhile, fatherless men have not seen a man perform any, much less large, portions of a father’s role. This means that fatherless men have not learned most of the things that go into performing their own future role–the role of being a father.”
Conversely, says Nassif, fatherless girls have seen their mothers struggle heroically to fulfill their roles, and then some. However, there’s some problems with this theory, because while the daughter has seen her mother perform Herculean tasks, she has seen little-to-nothing about what it takes to be a good wife and negotiate compromise within a marriage. If this is you, you might require some additional counseling to help you navigate working as a team.
Bottom line: If you want kids, your best bet is marriage with a marriage-minded man. If you want to raise children with an advantage, your best bet is marriage. If you want to raise your child whilst not landing in the poor house, your best bet is marriage. If you need someone to change your Depends when you’re 80, your best bet is marriage. Is marriage perfect? Better question, is MY marriage perfect? No. We fight–just had a big ‘un a couple weeks ago. But when we see our kids thrive, see the happiness and hopefulness in their eyes and hearts, hear them giggle as they run throughout the house, we FIGHT to keep all the parts working. It takes commitment, and sometimes it’s hard. But mostly it’s awesome.
Again, the equation…