Monday, August 9, 2010

On Marriage

I am currently listening to an audio book entitled Committed by Elizabeth Gilbert who also authored the best-selling book which was made into movie starring Julia Roberts Eat Pray Love. I admit I find Committed more interesting because I can relate to it more because I'm married and a woman. I had several AHA! moments while listening to this book that I decided to read it in print. I haven't actually read it yet but I already borrowed the only available copy in our local public library and it happens to be in large print. I don't care. I am obsessed. I cannot even wait to finish the book to start mentioning it here.

Anyway, one of the topics that fascinates me that Ms. Gilbert discussed is about how marriage benefits a man more than a woman. She calls it the Marriage Benefit Imbalance. According to study, married men perform better in life than single men. Compared to single men, married men live longer; accumulate more wealth; excel more in their careers; far less likely to die a violent death; happier; and suffer less from alcoholism, drug addiction, and depression. On the other hand, married women do not fare better than their single counterpart. Married women actually take a 7 percent cut, on average, of their paycheck. They are less healthy than single women and more likely to suffer from depression.

Well, in my experience, marriage has been mostly good. Financially, I think I am better off because expenses are shared, therefore, more disposable income for both of us. There's that companionship. Lot's of things are just better experienced when you're with someone special. The biggest thing, perhaps, is the opportunity of being able to stay at home with the baby. I don't think this will be possible if I were a single mother, unless, of course, I were super rich which I'm not. Child-rearing is also easier with a partner as we can tag-team the responsibility. I cannot imagine, and probably will not survive a life of a single mother.

I will read this book and write more about it.

11 comments:

geri said...

I used to be crazy about the "Eat, Pray, Love" book, raved about it and shared it with friends who might be interested. That was until my friend Gilda introduced me to Louise Hays. The philosophies that Melissa were waxing, of self-discovery etc., in that book eerily resembled Hays and that made me suspicious and continued to be skeptical of Gilberts. But no doubt about it the story itself is very interesting and worth reading/watching in the movie (which I will) IF it were true.

If I didn't have these doubts about her first book, I would have made sure to read Committed as soon as it came out but I can't shake off this feeling suspicion.

But for the sake of discussion, marriage and motherhood does require a lot of sacrifices on women esp in terms of career but I can say I am happier married, so is my husband so it's equal for us. In tagalog - patas lang =)

malor said...

@Geri, Thanks for informing me about Louise Hay. Now I am interested about it.

The thing with committed is that she discussed about history of marriage (specifically western)and other interesting facts about it.

I agree that career suffers but in my experience I don't really care because I am not passionate about it. What took a big hit is my pocketbook. I am also happier married. Love the Patas Lang description of it.

Makis said...

That book seems to be interesting but I'm too scared to read it! LOL!

Hope all is well :)

malor said...

hi Makis, you should. you will be able to relate to her. she also has a lot of facts in that book regarding marriage. also her book eat pray love and committed, in my opinion, are memoirs not as a self-help book. a lot of people can relate to it because her experiences of heartbreak and falling in love are universal. if you want me to send you a burned copy of audio book, let me know...

everything is well. i'll e-mail sometime...

Ed said...

I must say that your comments about the benefits of marriage to males fits me well. I think I am much happier than when I was single.

Makis said...

Loraine, thanks a lot for the thought but it's too much hassle for you :) I can't wait to see the movie although I think I would want to read it first. I have so many books in line waiting to be read! Let's email sometime!

PhilippinesPhil said...

Most all the males I know have been married alright, MANY MANY times! The imbalance you talk about is MORE than made up during the terms of divorce, which ALWAYS favors the woman. Every time I got out of a failed marriage I lost EVERYTHING. My kids, and ALL my stuff and ALL my money. Oh wait, the judges always let ME keep the bills! But I'm not bitter. Well, maybe a little. chuckle...

malor said...

@Ed, Nice to know that. You are one lucky man.

@Makis, I will e-mail you. I am working more lately. But once my load lighten up, I'll e-mail.

@Phil, I'm sorry to learn that. You are right. I think, lately, men get the short end of the stick esp. when it comes to custody. I hope it will change since time change. Many men are now caregivers. I would like it to change for my son's future.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Actually, Malor, I don't want it to change. Remember, I have mostly girls, tons of them in fact, and I want the system to be there for them. Over here in your old country, I SEE how women are the ones who get the shaft. Its almost IMPOSSIBLE for the average pinay to get legally out of a marriage. So they don't. Dead beat fathers over here are NEVER made to pay. They suck. I can see that men here survive this travesty of justice much more easily than do the women; in fact, they simply go out and start another family without regard to the first one! And in the US, well, we men can take it and usually we should. I did it twice and I'm happy to. Well, actually, maybe not exactly happy! grin...

malor said...

@Phil, Philippines is a very machismo culture. I am glad that I'm here where women are empowered. I remembered few women in our church where I grew up whose husbands left and did not support their children financially (and emotionally). These women and children are forced to live with other people or relatives as indebted servants.

PhilippinesPhil said...

Exactly Malor. And I live in Angeles City and have spoken with lots of girls working in the bars. I'd say 75% of them have a kid or two with a husband or boyfriend that simply deserted them. The girl's choice is either go back to the province and sleep in the corner on the floor at their mom's house or work in the bar. They don't see themselves as having much of a choice. The legal system here makes it impossible for them to get an anullment (there is no divorce). The costs and time to get one make completely prohibit them ever being able to be free of the deadbeat husband. Its one of the most unjust things I've ever seen. It sickens me. Their only hope is to find a foreigner with money who can afford to pay the costs of the anullment. It costs MORE for one here than the average uncontested divorce back there by a long shot. Believe me, I KNOW! I've had two divorces in the US and working on my fiancee's anullment here. Trying to get it done has been the most maddening thing I've ever been through. I just want to get it done and get out. Help! chuckle...