Were I to offer thoughts on marriage to young American men today, in these the declining years of a once-great civilization, my advice would be as follows: Don't do it. Or, if you do, do it in another country. In America marriage is a grievous error.
And why so? Because of The Chip. The Attitude. The bandsaw whine of anger, anger, anger that makes American women an international horror. It's there. It's real.
You, a young man, may not recognize the Chip if you have never seen normal, warm, happy women. If you are twenty-something and haven't been out of the US, you haven't seen them. They exist by the billion--in Latin America, Singapore, Taiwan, Malaya, China and, last I looked, France and Holland. And of course not every woman in America carries the Chip. None of them think they do. Yet it is the default, the usual, what comes out of the box.
The following is a perfectly ordinary, everyday, bulk-lot example, suitable for poisoning a cistern:
"Other than a 29-inch waist and a full head of hair, there isn't much to recommend the twentysomething male . . . . He is living an extended adolescence -- an adult-olescence -- and every immature, irresponsible, self-absorbed thing he does is reinforced by the latest issue of his favorite men's magazine." (Susan Reimer, a columnist for the Baltimore Sun. I bet she goes out a lot.)*
Hers is the Attitude--and what they think of you. It is the defining trait of American women. Exceptions exist, and they have my apologies, but they are few and no, sport, your Sally probably isn't one of them. They're coiled to bite. As soon as problems arise in the marriage, they turn into Susan.
Susan Reimer is what is out there, guys: bitter that no one wants her (as who in his right mind could?), sure that no one is good enough for her, never having grasped that those who would be loved must first be lovable. Understand this: Susan is America. Some hide it better, springing it on you after the ceremony, but Susan is the rule.
The Susans do not like men. Sometimes they actually take courses in disliking men ("Women's Studies"). Yet they want to marry one and have babies. For them, the contradiction actually makes a kind of sense, because (and they know this, believe me) they will get the house, the children, and the child support. For you, it makes no sense. You will get raped in the divorce courts. You don't know how bad it is. Don't do it.
A prime effect of marriage is backbreaking financial overhead: the excessive house in the prestigious suburb, the pricey but boring cars, all that. But if you don't fall into the trap, keeping your expenses down means you can live in Alaska or overseas and enjoy existence. There is more to life than debt service. Although these are bad times for marrying, they are extraordinarily good times for being single.
Now, children. This is sticky. You may want them, or think you want them, or think you may want them. She wants them. My advice is to move to almost any country where English isn't spoken and women don't want their husbands to be the mothers of their children. Any country inhabited by the Chinese would do nicely.
Incidentally, remember that it is never now or never. Your prospects improve with time. At thirty-five or fifty you will be perfectly able to find a good woman if you know where to look. See above list.
Remember also that these are not good times for having children in America. It is almost irresponsible. The schools are scholastically poor, drug-ridden, given chiefly to political indoctrination, and hostile to male children. The universities are little better. Divorce is hell on children and their fathers, and nearly universal. The country lunges to police-statedom and isn't, I suspect, as stable as it might be. Worse, worst, there is Susan Reimer. Her name is legion, and she seeps everywhere, like the effluvium of unwashed socks.
Further, there is no social duty to have children. Some argue that the white population is in decline. Tough. If the country chooses to make having kids undesirable, then let it decline. It is not your problem.
Now, you might well wonder, why are American women carrying the Chip? Practically, it doesn't matter: They do carry it, and will continue. Still, it is partly because from birth they are fed the notion that they have been oppressed, battered, cheated, deprived, harassed, used as sex objects, not used as sex objects, on and on. Being rational, you are perhaps inclined to point out that never has a female population been less any of these things, but don't bother. It will have no effect. The Chip is an emotional artifact to which they respond emotionally.
The bedrock of The Attitude is that everything is the man's fault. Wonders Reimer, "What is the answer, especially if the 20- and 30-year-old male is such poor marriage material?" She does not wonder, "If I am such a grindingly awful termagant that men on three continents are crossing their legs and feeling queasy over my mere column, and won't come near me except in a Kevlar bathysphere with a disinfectant system, maybe I'm doing something wrong. Gosh. I wonder what?"
Yet something more is going on, though one does not easily see just what. Note that in recent decades we have seen the invention by women of bulimia and anorexia, which no one had heard of in 1965. Men made them do it. At roughly the same time women began getting breast implants, which men also made them do, and then suing about it. In the same period they began having induced memories of being raped or satanically abused by their fathers. Men again. The psychotherapy racket grew like kudzu, a sure sign of deep unhappiness over something.
All of this is recent. You have to be fifty to remember women who were resilient, sane, psychically strong and, within the limits of an often sorry existence, content. But whatever the answer, guys, the problem isn't yours.
Spend a year overseas, however you have to do it. For smart, classy, just plain glorious women who often speak English, try Singapore. Argentina is splendid. Many places are. You would be amazed. See what's out there before you marry a gringa with her Inner Susan, who will one day burst from her chest like one of those beaked space-aliens in the movies, dripping venom. They're death.
* Orlando Sentinel, July 1