In January, the Pew Research Center did a study called, “The New Economics of marriage – the Rise of Wives” and that single study might explain why more men are suing for alimony these days. It seems a larger share of women than in, say, 1970, are marrying down. What that means is that more men than women are marrying up these days.
Men are selecting women not only for their sex appeal (she still has to be smoking hot) but also for her income producing real estate and her income producing brain. Women, on the other hand, are often forced into the role of playing “desperado” and so she takes what she can get and selects or accepts a man who is not on her level whether educationally or economically. And it makes logistical sense as the number of eligible heterosexual males continue to dwindle in comparison to the number of heterosexual females for some bizarre reason. Global warming, perhaps?
Men and women have definitely changed their game plan as far as marriage. It is definitely not a tango of equals. These days, almost no one can argue that the average guy can get the creme de la creme of a woman if he wants a woman because there are so many to choose from. The opposite is not true, though. Women are increasingly having to settle for less than she would have had to years back.
Is this a workable scenario? Initially, in the beginning of the relationship, this arrangement and changed circumstance seems to work: The woman can get married and doesn’t have to grow old and gray and alone and unmarried. She has a partner with whom to tango. And so does her spouse. He can have a hot, smart, affluent wife even if he himself barely has a college degree. It seems win win. But is it? Says the Pew Research Center:
A larger share of men in 2007, compared with their 1970 counterparts, are married to women whose education and income exceed their own, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of demographic and economic trend data. A larger share of women are married to men with less education and income.
From an economic perspective, these trends have contributed to a gender role reversal in the gains from marriage. In the past, when relatively few wives worked, marriage enhanced the economic status of women more than that of men. In recent decades, however, the economic gains associated with marriage have been greater for men than for women.
That may be true. But can those gains sustain a marriage into the long term? That’s the big question. It almost seems that once the initial attraction wears off, a lot of guys ultimately can’t handle this alpha female who essentially wears the pants in the family because she earns more money. There seems to be this almost symbiotic relationship between a man’s ego/sense of well-being/earning power and his marital satisfaction/marital bliss. Actually, that seems to go both ways. Many wives eventually seem to start losing respect for a spouse who earns less than she does. In the beginning, she was perfectly willing to settle. She knew what she was getting. But then, time passes and she loses respect for him, and then what didn’t matter initially begins to matter a lot. Not sure what that is exactly. But this seems to happen quite a bit.
Be that as it may, the denouement is usually that the marriage implodes. And so we are now faced with an alimony situation which a lot of women can’t stand, this thing with their husband wanting to bleed them dry for every dime he can get. These days, dear husband is more likely than not going to seek alimony from his wife and he will get if she earned more and there was no prenup. And that is fair. If a woman marries down (in an economic sense) or the man marries up, whatever the permutation, for whatever the reason, then whomever makes more should pay the alimony and get on with it.