Relying on a Man to Make You Happy is a Sure-Fire Recipe for Unhappiness

  • Posted on: 13 December 2007
  • By: mokshalom

Quite accidentally, I ran across the blog of one Debbie Maken today. Despite Debbie's conservative Christian beliefs that women should be demure and chaste, she is tremendously opinionated, and has published an entire book chastising Christians that they need to get married.

I absolutely think that marriage to the right person is probably one of the best things that can happen to a person. I would love nothing more than to find the right guy myself. Yet...and here's the big but...

Even if you do find the right person, you cannot rely on that person for your happiness.

I took a bit of time to poke around Debbie's blog and read the intro to her book. Debbie appears to be still somewhat young (in her mid-30s from my guesstimate) and has only been married since 2002. Yet, after only five years of marriage she claims to be an expert on marriage and how to get a husband.

(Side note: It never ceases to amaze me how many women find "the one" and then go write books and do seminars on it, as if somehow their experience has anything to do with the rest of us...and why are they still so obsessed with the subject anyway? Meanwhile, their perfect husbands are perfectly silent on the matter. Quite curious. But onward...)

Debbie holds a number of conservative beliefs, including the idea that premarital sex takes away the desire for men to get married...because why buy the cow when you can get the milk for free? (To this I respond: If a man's only motivation to marry is regular sex, then the wife is simply another form of prostitute.)

I'd like to think that an evolved man would be interested in marriage not just for the sex, but for the love. I mean, isn't that the point in the first place?

What's Your Life Worth?
But what's the real message here? Judging from Debbie's book intro and blog posts, the message is this:

1. If you are still a single woman by the time you are in your late 20s, you are destined to be miserable, depressed, and an all-around pathetic person.

2. If only, if only, the right man would find you (because you as the "feminine" woman can't ask him out), then and only then will you be happy and your life have meaning.

3. Career women can't be happy; only being a housewife can make you happy.

Right. Boy, if I were a man, that's what I'd be looking for in a woman. Someone who is desperate to get married, and who wants me to work my ass off so she can live off my money.

What's the problem here? (Besides the message that your value as a female is only in your capacity to breed?)

The problem is this: There are no guarantees in this world. There is no guarantee that your husband will remain faithful to you. There is no guarantee that he will live past tomorrow. He could be hit by a car. He could become ill and die.

Or what if, out of your desperation, you pick the wrong guy - a guy who at his worst beats and hits you? Or abuses his own children?

What if he leaves you for a younger woman once you hit 45?

So then, after all your scheming to get the right guy, and putting all of your eggs into the basket of permanent housewifery, you are a single mother taking care of three children. And then where are you?

Look - I absolutely love the idea of marriage, as long as it is between two whole people who support each other's individuality and personal growth. Marriage should not be something used to save you from your miserable self. Marriage should also not been seen as a security blanket.

Even if you do manage to get a good, healthy husband who never cheats or dies prematurely, the chances are you will still outlive him, because women tend to live longer than men. Perhaps by that age you will have children you can then burden with your old self, but wouldn't it be better if at that age you were happy and self-sufficient all on your own?

Don't Be a Black Hole
Call me an idealist, but my concept of a good marriage is one where two happy whole people with their own lives and interests come together to make an even bigger whole. Deciding to become married because you are depressed single person is the wrong reason to get married. If you get married from that place of lack, then you are bringing a whole host of psychological issues to your new family.

You will perhaps end up smothering your husband or your children. You could end up one of those horrible stage mothers pushing your children to live out your own unfulfilled life. You could end up like the mother of a woman I know - the mother was married for something like 20 years. Her husband left her. She had no job skills. All she had was her children.

So, instead of allowing her children their freedom and their own life, she sucks the life out of them like a succubus. If they want to move away, she'll guilt-trip them from here to Jericho - because they owe her, and she has nothing of her own. And so, the children are screwed up, unhappy, and mentally ill.

Is that the kind of mother you want to be to your children?

Find happiness in yourself first. Then go find someone to share that with, as a way to bring more love to the world. But don't just do it because you'll be miserable otherwise. Because trust me, the misery will catch up with you, husband or no.

As for Debbie, let's see if she's still happily married in another 20 years. Then, maybe then, she'll have something to preach about. Until then, she's just an overly-enthusiastic new wife and mother, thinking she's found the answer, when really, she hasn't.

Comments

All I can do is stand up and cheer! Some of my own sad experience backs up everything you are saying. I always wanted to have my own life, but it took until I was about 46 to figure out that should actually be more important than having a man in it.

Perhaps, before criticising Debbie Maken and her book, you should take the time to actually read it?
You are so comprehensively and completely misunderstanding everything about it and her motives for writing it, that I would be here until the new year if I was to address every faulty conclusion you have reached.
READ THE BOOK!
Then your views might be worth something. At the moment, it is nothing short of irresponsible to blog negatively about something you know nothing about.

Dee, as you can see from my post above, I read quite a bit of Debbie's blog as well as the intro to her book. She more than states her case (actually, she beats it into the ground) on her blog. I don't need to read her whole book to criticize what I've already read. What I read was enough to criticize.

Why on earth should I bother to buy and read a book by a woman who hates women such as myself just because you said so? Her blog was insulting enough as a standalone.

And, as you can see from the previous commenter, what I said in response to Debbie's assertions hit a chord with one of my female readers. You may not agree with my beliefs but that doesn't mean I don't have a right to speak my mind.

I believe well-meaning women like Debbie Maken are very misguided and do more harm than good. They teach women they are nothing without a man. Hey, I LOVE men, but I have found there is no good reason to base my self-esteem and life purpose around them.

Now if you want to post an actual intelligent argument as to why Debbie is right, go for it. But you have written little of substance here to make me change my mind.

I think it would be great to read the D.M. book. I'm not sure how much different the book would be from her website, afterall she is the same person with the same viewpoints. Sometimes reading the shortened version actually gets to the heart of the matter. Personally, I found many of Debbie's comments and writing funny. It was almost hilarious, like LOL only quieter, LOI (laughing on the inside).

I was amazed at the seriousness of which she undertook her material, her statements, her theology analization. It reminded me of times when I have taken myself too seriously. Her blog was like reading a fantasy book . . . so amazing to believe these thoughts. I wonder if she's put some of these thoughts up to inquiry?

I love Debbie's idealism and simutaneously wonder where the reality is. The reality of the world is that there are singles everywhere and yet there is only one in all of humanity. I love that she has a path that she follows for she and I have that in common.

I remember when my mother encouraged me to marry a couple of men . . . one was 30 years my senior and loved to go boating every weekend, the other a functional alcoholic. I stood my ground and said these men don't feel right and I waited.

I love that Debbie wants to protect women in her thinking and through her writing. I would Debbie's book just as I would read Ayn Rand's writings. Wonder what Ayn Rand would have to say of Debbie's work?

Enough musings . . . just sitting here, loving what is. :)