Here’s the list, in order of importance:
- A husband’s emotional engagement
- A breadwinning husband
- A commitment to marriage
- Staying at home
- Shared religious attendance
- Traditional gender attitudes
I want to highlight #3, because it’s the one I most frequently find missing in younger, unmarried Christian women.
Here’s number three:
American wives, even wives who hold more feminist views about working women and the division of household tasks, are typically happier when their husband earns 68% or more of the household income. Husbands who are successful breadwinners probably give their wives the opportunity to make choices about work and family—e.g., working part-time, staying home, or pursuing a meaningful but not particularly remunerative job—that allow them to best respond to their own needs, and the needs of their children.
The reason I have found that the young, unmarried Christian women oppose this is because it negates the “follow your heart” Disney princess mentality that they are often raised on. They don’t want to be practical, and some of them even go so far as to shun the good advice of other married women. Women should be able to count the costs of a marriage and understand that handsomeness and confidence does not pay the considerable bills that married couples incur, especially when they have children. I think a good basic education in business, finance and/or econonomics for this “follow your heart”, “have no fear” women would be beneficial.
I also liked #4:
Wives who share a strong commitment to the norm of lifelong marriage with their husband—e.g., who both believe that even unhappily married couples should stay together for the sake of their children—are more likely to have a happy marriage than couples who do not share this commitment to marriage. Shared commitment seems to generate a sense of trust, emotional security, and a willingness to sacrifice for one’s spouse—all of which lead to happier marriages for women. This shared commitment also provides women with a long-term view of their marriage that helps them negotiate the inevitable difficulties that confront any marriage.
Again, I’ve noticed that young unmarried women, even those entering the period of declining beauty and declining fertility, are very alarmed by the idea of being married. Marriage is somehow seen as “boring” and they are not too keen on having to sacrifice their need to be happy to a husband and to children. Marriage can wait – it can wait till they are 40. Plenty of men around to marry them then, good men, too, they say. And so long as their friends affirm their “follow your heart” plan, cost calculations don’t enter into it.
So, to summarize, you can send a list like this to most young, unmarried woman and she can read it and agree, and then go in a completely different direction. So strong is her intuition and desire to be happy – it just overrules common sense. They don’t know enough to pursue what will really make them fulfilled (by having a meaningful life) in the long run. And that, if I may say so, is really scary. Older, married women are, of course, much wiser and more practical.
Yes, I’m being silly to get on someone’s nerves. This whole post is to annoy her. If you saw the parody of me that she wrote of me, it was even funnier than this. She is not a feminist at all, but I like telling her she is one.