Carol Platt Liebau: Getting the Milk For Free?

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Getting the Milk For Free?

This story from The New York Times discusses the fact that a sizable percentage of college educated men in their mid-40's aren't married.

The article sets out some of the possible reasons, but tiptoes around one of the obvious ones. The closest it gets is this paragraph:

Jeff Enos, 40, a high school graduate and a construction foreman in Kenosha, Wis., said he dated several women at a time when he was younger, but having lived through his parents’ divorce, he wants to avoid a similar fate. That is one reason he has cautioned his girlfriend, with whom he lives, not to pressure him about marriage.

Spot the key phrase? No, it's not his parents' divorce, although no doubt that can leave significant scars.

The key phrase is this: WITH WHOM HE LIVES. What reason does Jeff Enos have to get married? He's got a wife in everything but name . . . so what's the point in making a commitment?


Blogger Colonel Steve said...


In a former church, we were one of several church marriage mentors. Every couple said they wanted a marriage that lasted. Some attempted to sell us the idea that they should live together to make sure it lasted.

We'd then throw the statistics at them: The risk of divorce is 60% higher for those that live together first; women who cohabitate are 3 times more likely to have a secondary sex partner after marriage; long-term cohabitating relationships are far rarer than successful marriages.

Yeah, some toss out alot of the statistics as religious junk, but honestly, I haven't seen the study yet that has shown how greatly successful cohabitating has been.

6:07 PM  
Blogger The Flomblog said...

When I was in High School, before most of you were born, I hung out at the local Jewish Community Center. They had a large youth program. I dateed and married a girl from that group. We've been married for 37 years.

Perhaps the commonality of bakground or that fact that we both have the same set of moral values help?????

6:52 PM  
Blogger skribe said...

Is it any of your business, Carol? No. Sounds like you're much too close to socialism and want everyone to become just like you, comrade.

9:19 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

Well there you go, colonel. In little more than three hours, skribe tossed out the statistics. He would prefer to just make an outlandish statement about wanting some wacky system of forcing others to believe as Carol, and for that matter, most of us on the right, do. It doesn't occur to him that some simply wish that all people would see the inherent harm caused by putting one's libido first. Perhaps he'd rather that everyone be as he is, instead.

10:14 PM  
Blogger Alan Kellogg said...

They're not married? It's one thing to tell the world you're making a commitment. It's quite another to show the world you are.

A ring is not marriage, a vow is not marriage. Marriage is getting up in the middle of the night when your oldest has a stomach flu, your youngest has chicken pox, the dog has eaten the science class lizards, and the wife just came down with bronchitis.

Marriage is chauffering the kids, midnight runs for cough syrup, and taking old bowser to the vet to be put down. Marriage is falling asleep on the couch while watching your favorite movie. Marriage is holding your grieving son in your arms while watching his best friend move away. Marriage is watching a child die is you sit there doing your best to reassure him that everything will be all right.

Marriage is not a product of words, marriage is the product of a liFe together.

11:20 PM  
Blogger skribe said...

Hear hear, Alan. Nothing worse than the Christosocialists trying to claim a monopoly on love and committment.

11:26 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

skribe said, "Hear hear, Alan. Nothing worse than the Christosocialists trying to claim a monopoly on love and committment."
Don't Forget that marriage
was and is a religous institution that is part of the foundation, not only of Christianity and many other religons, but of civilization as well. Without the moral principles of marriage, families and the societies that they exist in would sadly crumble. We have seen this in the downfall of all civilizations throughout world history.

8:30 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

...And, I might add, we see this "crumble" effect happening in our country today.

8:34 AM  
Blogger Alan Kellogg said...


A marriage takes work. Lots of hard work, and the acknowledgement that both parties need to cooperate to keep it all together.

And keep this in mind; it's the serial marriages on the part of a few who skew the numbers.

For example: A man marries and divorces three women in the course of a year. The same year each woman finds and marries a 2nd husband, and stays married to him. Thus you get 6 marriages, half of which end in divorce.

12:54 PM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Alan Kellogg, Thanks for Your comment. I Agree completely with what you have said but what I was referring to was to those who have tried to, "hijack"
the traditional, Biblical, and religious meaning of marriage,and turn it into something it is not,I.E, same sex marriage or other such abominations.

5:45 PM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

I don't disagree with Alan's description of marriage and committment, but to not take that first step, the vow, is to not take the full step. All the "joys" of marriage listed are indeed signs of committing to the relationship, but without the vow, without the legal side to it, it's far too easy to walk away. The ring and license can actually serve to make one of the parties think a little harder before entering the world of divorce litigation. But more importantly, a public pronouncement shows the prospective spouse just how serious one is and provides for accountability.

I would add that just because many divorce anyway should not be a factor in deciding what is best. We should always think in terms of the outcome we'd prefer, rather than the problems that might arise due to less than perfect individuals.

11:11 PM  
Blogger skribe said...

So how long have you been married, MA, and how many kids have you got?

12:21 AM  
Blogger Cliff said...

Regardless,or in spite of,
the high and unacceptable divorce rates, those of us who honor our vows must continue to champion and lift up the importance of those vows, for the good of the society as a whole. Strong traditional famlies are, and always have been one of the great strengths
of all civilizations. It has always been that when the family crumbles, the nation crumbles.

10:46 AM  
Blogger Marshall Art said...

16 yrs. 3 kids.

2:23 PM  
Blogger HouseOfSin said...

Carol - I wouldn't worry too much about this arrangement. A quick story.

My brother in law is in exactly the same place as this guy - 40's, living with someone, no intention of marriage, having witnessed a horrible relationship in his parents during some key years. (They almost divorced, but not quite and are happy now.)

For this guy to have gotten married to the woman would have been too much, too soon for him. If the choice is all or nothing, he might well have gone with "nothing," but then become more miserable.

This is not some swinging bachelor. I think he just wants to take it extremely slowly. He is in a position where every good thing that happens in a relationship, from his point of view, is almost without precedent.

10:54 AM  
Blogger Hefeone said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

1:26 PM  
Blogger Hefeone said...

Houseofsin, You are quite accurate with you comment. I am the Jeff in the article.

1:28 PM  
Blogger racine girl said...

I am a girl that dated the Jeff in the article. It sheds a bit of light on what was going on in his head. I typically do not doubt myself, but he made me feel like there wasnt something quite right with me..... now I know it was never about me. As it turns out I actually owe Jeff a big THANK YOU! I have used him as a driving force behind my success as a business owner. On the other hand NO THANKS to Jeff I am still single and now feel a little like he does, much to much to lose.
I protect my heart as much as my milk. PS... Jeff really was and i'm sure still is a good guy.

6:39 PM  

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