Why do most men want their wives to help their economic progress, but not ensure anything in return?

A recent study showed that 78% of millenial men want their job to take priority over their wives' and for their wives to do most housework.

Pew Research surveys found that most men, and more men than women, believe that women should be stay-at-home moms while the kid is young.

This involves sacrificing her own career progress whIle hastening the career progress of her husband - since he doesn't have to do the unpaid labor around the house and for the kid, he is able to go back to school and/or progress more quickly in his career and gain more experience, enabling him access to more and better jobs & pay in the future.

Meanwhile her own economic progress is hindered. This is why alimony exists. To balance out that inequality. Since her labor contributed substantially to his economic progress while hindering her own, it'd be unfair not to balance that out.

Yet most men on here say they don't think alimony or even division of assets should exist, and therefore that women's unpaid labor should count for nothing.

"But it's her choice!" People get compensated for their choices all the time. For example I don't think anyone would say it's unnecessary for the man to get paid for his job just because he chose to do the job.

"Her compensation is getting to live in the house!" But that ends after the divorce, meanwhile his economic advantage positively impacts him the rest of his life, so that's still unequal.

  • I agree with you. alimony should exist for that reason (the woman helped the man's economic progress at the expense of her own)
    Vote A
  • I agree that alimony should exist, for another reason
    Vote B
  • no, alimony shouldn't exist. it's justified for men to expect women to help advance their careers while ensuring no financial compensation
    Vote C
  • no, alimony shouldn't exist. I admit I'm a hypocrite
    Vote D
  • other
    Vote E
  • i don't know
    Vote F
Select a gender to cast your vote:
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Most Helpful Guy

  • I understand what you're saying, but alimony needs to be looked at on a case-by-case basis, and it isn't. I'll give you two cases where the system failed.

    My friend put up with his wife smoking weed constantly. For years. She couldn't hold a job and she barely took care of their two kids. Weed was what she needed for stress relief from the kids. So he worked a lot. When he came home, she was so "exhausted" from dealing with the kids that they were his as soon as he got home. She went out to relive stress. Fast forward a few years. She wants partial custody. The court says he's got to set her up with a car and an apartment so she can have supervised visits with the kids when they could barely afford the house they had because she kept quitting jobs. She fails court-ordered drug tests all the time. She's been to rehab on his dime for harder stuff 3 times. He *still* has to pay her alimony (out of their kids' college savings) and she uses it to buy drugs.

    That made me think the courts are seriously biased towards women, until this…

    My wife's cousin is a nurse. She and her husband have 4 kids of their own. They both had one before. So 6 in the house. She works. He literally does nothing except play video games all day long. He's able bodied and able minded. This goes on for years. He cheats on her and gets his mistress pregnant. His wife is now paying him alimony because she was the one who was gainfully employed. He and his girlfriend live on that and government assistance only. Neither work. What. The. Fuck.

    In the classic textbook case, yes, it makes sense and I agree with you. But classic cases are the exception. The courts don't have the resources to look at every case as closely as they should. Obviously! The real underlying problem, in my opinion, is the cheapening of marriage in the first place. One hates to think of people who were trapped in bad marriages in the past—my parent's generation—but if lifting the stigma around divorce and practicing serial marriage hasn't caused a net increase in human suffering, I'd be very surprised. I think a lot of folks your age see this and don't want marriage as a result. I don't blame them when "until death do you part" is taken seriously by very few.

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Most Helpful Girl

  • if mutual children are involved, the non-custodial spouse (whether husband or wife) should pay alimony.

    my father lied about his income to get out of child support, and his lawyers were the crookedest scum of the earth you could ever imagine. the way i see it, you helped make the baby, you help pay for it.

    this is also why prenups were invented.

    i once dated a guy who told me that, "if you ever publish anything, i can take half your assets if we split because i can say i supported you while you wrote it".

    uh, no. i was injured with no use of my dominant arm and it took nearly a year to heal, you greedy piece of shit; unemployment and the savings account you drained were what supported me, not you. so no, you are not mooching off of my hard work. sorry, not sorry.

    (i actually stopped writing for about 5 years because of this guy. thankfully, he is no longer in the picture.)

    my husband and i don't plan on getting divorced. but, if anything were to happen, we've decided that we'd take whatever we came into the relationship with and split everything we acquired together.

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Have an opinion?

What Guys Said 19

  • I believe there is a flaw in your portrayal. A man can only progress his own economic position with the mom at home in the sense that he must work harder to provide for his family. He can't afford to go back to school through any means other than loans which really don't get him ahead in life in the first place. He can work harder with the possibility of getting promoted, but in terms of not needing to worry about anything because his wife is at home doing chores? (Apologies if I misunderstood that's kind of the impression you've left me with as to your perspective on the subject). It seems a bit illogical at best.

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  • According to this that 78% figure is way too high: www.nytimes.com/.../...ant-stay-at-home-wives.html

    Also, alimony is not capped, barely exerts any pressure on the wife to go look for a (higher earning) job, doesn't take into account the amount of "sacrifice" the wife made*, and is based more on the husband's earnings than the wife's REALISTIC earning potential if she hadn't made sacrifices. Until all of that changes the current system in most countries is hugely flawed.

    * really, if there are no young kids then being a housewife is like being on a permanent vacation.

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  • There's no middle ground it's either the husband does the wife does or someone else takes care of your kids. Wives should only get a certain amount of alimony to ensure they can transition to get a job. It wouldn't be fair for a divorcee to pay for most of the persons living expenses just because they made the choice to be the one who pushed aside their career.

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  • Your loaded answers on the poll are just dumb, just leave the options open without those explanations cause it just forces me to choose "other".

    Anyway your whole argument is based on the idea that it will actually help the guy advance in his career or that he will have the time to get education. When in many cases that's not the case and the man just ends up working his ass off in shitty jobs to provide for his family. You have so many flawed arguments or stuff that you just didn't think through I don't know if I should even start.

    IF the guy actually took advantage of his wife taking care of the kids to study and advance his own career then of course she deserves some compensation. But if the guy just worked his ass off the whole time to provide for his family and didn't make any progress himself then why should he have to pay alimony?

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  • Umm, I believe your stuck in a gender debate that's based on bs. My wife has her career and I have mine. We are one unit and success is ours together. A team divided will never conquer.

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    • May be based on BS but it's the most prevalent today. Like I said most millenia men want their career to take precedence over their wives'

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    • She's been through a lot with her family but I and my daughter need her to just get better first. Hardest thing in the world to do is being apart by thousands of miles but we speak every day.

    • So... you're a married millennial who identifies as a single non-millennial? Seems contrived.

  • "This involves sacrificing her own career progress whIle hastening the career progress of her husband - since he doesn't have to do the unpaid labor around the house and for the kid" - These are all terms that not all men make, and that women CHOOSE to accept. She doesn't have If she spent a lot of time on her career before getting married. If abortion is legal, women are free to marry who they want, and there are laws that require them to be paid equally (ones that actually work that is), then it doesn't make sense to have alimony. Alimony should only exist if women have an inherent disadvantage or lack of choice in terms of how they get by.

    Funny thing though my co-worker (female) is getting divorced at the moment and the state is actually trying to get her to give money to her soon to be former husband, because he spent his 401k account and they want to redistribute some of hers to him. Sounds fucked up.

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    • There's clearly a division of what men want though. I wouldn't say "most" men want their wives to "help" their own personal economic progress. Seems about 50/50 but women also tend to choose that path often too. I know multiple women who prefer to let men provide for them rather than try to create their own careers and stuff.

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    • Only people who have done really well for themselves already and fixed their issues should have kids.

    • So needing to work for a living is an "issue"? Okay...

  • My wife and I both have careers. We've both helped the other in our careers in many, many ways so I feel like things are equal. If we were to get divorced, I don't think I would mind her taking half my assets because I think of them as belonging to both of us anyway.

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  • I think men should just refuse to marry any woman who makes significantly less than them or wants to be a stay at home mom.

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  • ooooh shit you didn't just go there... ok you gonna get a treat , you're welcome... mgtow:

    https://youtu.be/xVHIGYgDvsI

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    • Male earning power is much higher than female, if not then go do it yourself. Most women stay at home and do housework, what work, men created household appliances, self cleaning stoves, floor cleaning robots, dishwasher, washer/dryer, and childcare = nanny or sending kids to daycare, so what does a wife do at home, cook, nope most don't been there and done that, pizza from local joint doesn't count, so while you choose to shop with his money, live for free in a house, get money for shopping and your boy toy on the side while you cheat as he's at work and then at the end of the game you can claim "I fell out of love" and take the kids, house, money, alimoney and 1/2 his pension while you sat at home enjoying life, when he could have hired a minimum wage immigrant servant to do all (including sex if she likes him) for what you do. The option giving away all the money he has earned out in the real world with real pressures and challenges vs you sitting at home getting fatter.

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    • @Analinda1999 That's even easier to answer then, why did I waste my time, oh yeah your question was so long I lost track of the initial question/statement. Based on your simplified explanation is NO, you don't deserve alimony, because you have a choice and free will. If you agree to it you still by my calculations get free shelter, food, spending money etc. etc. and you can still work from home (we are on what we call the internet atm see). Or you can choose not to be with him if those conditions don't suit you. You're EQUAL now and empowered so utilize that empowerment as the government supports you, which is men through taxes (net taxes are almost wholly supplied by the male populace - not going into that, you can Google it). So you're choice, your life.

    • People are compensated for their "choice and free will" all the time. A person chooses to endure the stress of being a doctor, for example, but they still get financially compensated for it

  • in this economy its not possible for most people to have a stay at home partner

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  • I'd never agree to marry someone who would take care of the children and hinder her own career, I prefer to have ambitious people around me, people with dreams and passion and who follow their dream even if they don't make it, at least they tried. Kids aren't too hard to deal with, there's always other options.

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  • The only problem is that if a woman doesn't want to be a start at home mother she just shouldn't have children.

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  • The woman received everything she was entitled to in room and board while she was with the man. Once she leaves she deserves nothing.

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  • It's a safety precaution against the misandrist family courts.

    Men are more likely to be denied alimony by a judge than women are even if they qualify. It's evening the playing field in case of divorce.

    People gotta look out for their own best interests. Women are doing it now men are doing it too.

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  • The only issue with this MyTake is generalization. If what you've said happens to every single marriage that ended in divorce, then I truly believe that alimony is necessary. However, that's not always the case. Some women choose not to have a career and mooch off their husbands because they've never even tried. Each and every marriage is different; therefore, each situation should be taken into account when thinking about alimony.

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  • im sorry, but whose choice was it to have a child? if you did not want it to come to this, then simply choose one or the other. Either you admit that you have kids to take care of, or be a worker and focus on that. you also have to look at the fields that men goto compared to women. Women naturally go for jobs that are not as high paying so on average, of course a man is going to want a women to sacrifice it because she is not the main source of income. If a women makes more money, it would be logical for the man to give this up, of course if neither want too, all this can simply be avoided by not having a kid. problem solved.

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    • It was the man's and the woman's choice

    • obviously, but if you have a kid you know whats coming up next. to complain afterwards makes no sense. If you did not want to give your career up for kids you shouldn't be having kids in the first place. Having a family is a sacrifice to your work and social life a lot of the times.

  • My wife had no real career just skipped between jobs before kids. Kids are in school full time now.

    While she likes to rant that if we split she's not taking the kids (and I'd love to have them) I don't believe her. She'd get alimony either way but with the kids she'd have enough to live off easily where without she'd have to get a job.

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  • i don't know

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  • I think some should have to pay it but not most I guess it would depend on a few different things

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    • Yeah I don't mean all men should have to pay alimony, just in certain situations. In fact sometimes a woman would have to pay alimony

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    • Yeah it doesn't happen in most divorces

    • Probably just kind of figured in with child support

What Girls Said 10

  • I'm kind of half and half... I fully believe and live by the standard that all adults should be (or at least be capable of being) self sufficient financially. Until there are children involved there is no need for a wife to not have a job in my opinion, so she should have some career aspirations and income up until that point.
    If it was agreed by both parents at the time of having children that she would take time off; that's where alimony should be calculated from. If she had no career to advance from on her own steam before the joint life choices such as children then she shouldn't be entitled to claim monetary compensation when she didn't earn anything when she could.
    Still, every family is going to have different views on money

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  • A
    I agree BUT
    to insure this doesn't breed Gold Diggers!!!
    alimony should be re-designed more to
    1) divide assets in 1/2
    2) divide her re-training/education in 1/2
    3) provide child support/health care according to the time each provides that care and be barred from building wealth in caretakers (some pay off their house then add to retirement then build a vacation one while kids wear greasy clothes on loan).
    4) provide - according to escalating incomes from both parents (exclusive of new mates') - college funds for these kids

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  • I believe that alimony is important- for relationships where one partner DID in fact sacrifice their own career and economic progress to prioritize their partner's. And that goes for either gender. If a man is a house husband/ stay at home dad, then he deserves alimony in the case of a divorce.

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  • Thankfully, ALL things during marriage also belong to the wife. Houses, businesses, cars, debts, etc. And if you sacrifice long enough you can get alimony. It's best to select a true man that wants to be a provider and take care of women in the first place if you make the choice to stay at home. The smartest way to go is to use some of the money during the marriage to create your own business or something to make money that allows flexibility of your time and always keep a secret money stash

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  • If you have a wife that is basically the "trophy wife" who has limited experience in a workplace and you split up with her, chances are she is going to need some way to start her off in a new life. Especially if she has the kids. Although, I rarely see house-wife types that are millenial. If millenial men want Betty Crocker type, then they might as well start dating women older than them. Even if we wanted to, we can't afford that kind of lifestyle. Both people in a relationship have to work in order to sustain bills.

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  • i think that there a men that do that, but woman also epect too much too sometimes, and just cause they say that they would prefer their wife to stay home, doesn't mean that its a dealbreaker for them- couples are supposed to compromise, and one of them is going to have to stay home anyways, so sure, woman sohuldnt be forced to be stay-home moms but neither sohuld men, which is of course why they have to compromise, and i guess that woman just like it more or something

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  • that is why alimony exists. and it should.

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  • i think house husbands / housewives should be compensated provided they actually put in work. my cousin wife is divorcing him and she quit her job as soon as they were married. then she traveled. in their case she did not earn alimony.

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  • And what most men do not understand is that when the woman is the primary bread-winner, the alimony laws apply equally to her. The law seems biased, but it's biased in favor of the lower-paid or unpaid partner, not specifically women. (It's just women tend to earn much less and are more likely to be the stay-at-home-parent.)

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  • For there to be alimony, that would assume that first comes divorce. Personally, I think people should step up, be better spouses, respect the one they gave their heart to, and stay married. Divorce is used too often these days as an easy way out.

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