Originally Posted: 2006-05-22 13:25 (no longer live)

Re: Single Moms / Why some husbands leave their wives

"We're our own worst enemies a lot of the time, but I still blame men."
- Janeane Garofalo

First of all, I wouldn't pick on single mothers. Anyone trying to do their best and raise a proper kid is fine by me. It's a tough job, and the ultimate example of the phrase "Hard work is its own reward." I have one issue with divorced mothers. I know a lot of women here want to defend themselves as a gender AT ALL COSTS and always blame the men for all marital problems, but there is one cause of divorce that no women want to talk about, much less admit might cause problems in a marriage.

What about marriages that fail because the woman has completely and entirely given up on her feminity? I understand a little baby weight that's leftover from childbirth, I understand she doesn't feel like applying make-up and earrings just to buy groceries on a Saturday morning, I understand having sex 4 or 5 times a week is too exhausting. I don't expect a working mother to dress up all day, every day like she's headed for the nightclub.

However, what about those women who, once they've become mothers, decide they want to resign their womanhood? Women who have absolutely no interest in appearing attractive to anyone. They purposely re-design their appearance to accommodate their own sense of convenience. They chop off all their hair and a get a low-maintainence boy's haircut. They stop wearing make-up, perfume and jewelry. They only wear running shoes. They buy those absoutely disgusting jeans with the elastic band on them. They don't even shave their legs. The only remaining pleasure they're willing to indulge in is food, so their waistline expands over the years without concern for blood pressure or cholesterol levels. They don't want to exercise, they want to drink coffee all day and blab on the phone with other moms over the intricacies of how-to-read videos.

She's given up on any catering to her husband. Should he be the primary focus of her life? Of course not, but she will not give any consideration to his needs. He is a chauffeur, a source of income, and her date on national holidays--that's it. I'm not talking about the 1950s-style husband either, who comes home and drinks scotch and reads the paper while she's running around cleaning everything. Those days are over. These days, both halves of most couples have to work full-time to keep the family going. Both halves of most couples also have to do house-cleaning, help with homework, and alternate duties in general. One-income families with stay-at-home moms are growing fewer and fewer in number, and women can no longer defend themselves on the grounds that they do more family work than the men do. It still happens, but not nearly as much as it used to.

Women only put effort into their appearance and their relationship when there is competition. A married woman with children figures her husband isn't going anywhere. He married me, we have children together. She's through trying to look good for him. Hey, if he's let himself go as well, then it's fair game. But a lot of times, the female sexual end of a marriage starts to evaporate before his does.

OK, you're a married mother who's still in shape. You still wear make-up and fitting clothes. Once in a while, you and your husband still pop open a bottle of wine at a downtown hotel after sending the kids to your parents' house for the night. Fine, I'm not talking to you. You are the exception to the rule. Millions of other women are on the opposite end of the spectrum. They've decided they'd rather look like a middle-aged lesbian.

Dad gets sick of this shit. Like the mom, Dad doesn't have so much time to run around with friends. His routine is pretty much composed of family life at home, which he understands and accepts. But, he still wants to have a little fun with his wife now and again. This is impossible to do for two reasons. First, she doesn't want to have any fun that doesn't involve the children. Adult pleasures were dispensed of in the delivery room. Second, he can't have fun with her even if she was willing, because she now has let herself turn into Kathy Bates.

Even Miranda -- that megalomaniacal control-freak yuppie on Sex and the City -- once properly remarked that "no one wants to fuck mean old Mommy". Once the kids come, these women completely let themselves go, they no longer see any need to look attractive or pursue any kind of romantic or sexual fun. She no longer wants to be a woman, she justs wants to be a Mom. If you take away from your husband any and all reasons to have sex with you, he will go have sex with someone else, and he will do it to the tune of any monthly alimony payment if he has to. Sooner or later, as much as he loves the kids, the joy the children bring him are nullified by his roommate, who is now someone he used to share a life with who now exsists solely as a mental manager to remind him of what he supposed to do next for everybody else in the house (along with an unwanted running commentary of everything he's doing wrong).

Many married moms, 10 times out of 10, would rather have a marathon cookie-baking section rather than do something spontaneous or fun with just her husband. OK, 8 out of 10 times is fine, 9 out of 10 times is understandable, but 10 times out of 10 for the kids? Nothing for just you and your husband, or even just for yourself? There are women who are that slavish in their devotion to making sure their children are entertained at all times. But don't they realize that it will create side effects and eventually repercussions to their marriage?

No, they don't realize it, and even if they did, they lie to themselves about it. Women repeatedly try to fool and outright lie to themselves with the aid of self-help books, magazine articles and daytime television into believing that sex is not really an important marriage component to their husbands. Generally speaking, a woman will never hesitate lying to herself to maintain the belief that she's on top of it all. They honestly think (subliminally or consciously) that they can hold a man's sex life hostage. If a couple has been married more than a decade and she has let herself go as previously described, he has definitely compromised his wedding vows for a little strange (if he's unattractive, he just goes to a massage parlor or a prostitute -- but they all do it).

"Not my husband!" Yes, your husband too.

Once he's cheated, he's done so because he considers this a cheap alternative to divorce. He will do his best to make sure she never finds out, either out of love, or out of fear of adultery being brought into the divorce proceedings. The most disciplined of men, those who are planning their escape from sexual Alcatraz while his wife is orchestrating another backyard sleepover, knows why, when and how he is going to bail from his marriage. He waits until the lawyers are done before sending himself into new female company. Women continually fall for this crap, thinking they can get away with having a husband who's satisfied with a dormant sex life. They've been hearing the schemes of men since high school ("I promise I'll pull out"), and yet they cling on to false hope, believing that their man is different and is going to put up with all her bullshit for the sake of the children. There are a lot of good family men out there, but they all have their limits.

And when these good men break and leave, her defense of her own negligence is that "you don't understand how I really feel". As if to imply that if he did understand how she really feels, that he'd rightly throw his own feelings out the window (which is what she'd really like him to do), because Mom is so beleaguered and overwhelmed with all this parenting that she insisted she do all by herself. Women do this to themselves, then they muster up the temerity to blame all their marital problems on their husband. "...and that, my friends, is the end of the story."

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