These Are The 'Good Old Days'

Marriage is both a covenant and a contract - but for those who aren’t religious, it is much more of a contract. And when it comes to dividing property - that “contract” aspect looms quite large.
I went into business with someone and didn’t have an exit plan spelled out in the agreement. This turned out to be a grave error - causing me no end of trouble. I will never make this mistake again. If the exit plan had been spelled out, the costs it would have imposed would have focused everyone on staying together, rather than giving people the mistaken idea that they had a cost-free ability to take advantage of me.
I feel that Mr Crapper’s presentation was quite dark, but the theory behind it was largely sound. Laying out what an exit looks like will set everyone’s expectations properly, and I believe, it will encourage people to stay together.
However, if Mr Crapper is actually seeking to persuade, I do have a suggestion: lose the tone, while providing the same information. My claim: if you are nicer about the presentation, this will end up persuading more people, because they won’t have to wade through the…crapper…to get to the good stuff buried within.
Of course, if persuasion isn’t the goal, then … never mind…

Crapper - As you are new here I found your initial post and attitudes to be worthy of examination. Reading your further posts which include boasting and judging people in public solely by their IQ, I know you hold values dissimilar to mine. I am paid lowly, I work with the elderly and disabled, my little wealth comes from inheritance and hard work, my house is small, and old, and in need of repairs regularly. I trust my husband, buy my kids clothes from the op-shop, and gift things forward to my neighbours’ grand-kids. I chose an older car my hubby can fix. I know how to cook, mend, create, scavenge, barter and build. I know my neighbours and am active in many local clubs. I volunteer my time. I find kids and people interesting and entertaining. I find gratitude every day that I am young, fit enough, and healthy, unlike many of my clients. I am wealthy enough to travel occasionally and enjoy hobbies of my choosing, unlike many of my poorer clients. I enjoy the birds and critters in my little veggie patch, lament the apples I left to rot on the ground (a sign of overabundance) and enjoy the simple things in life. Your posts seem to display no grattitude for the wealth of things and fortune you claim to own. You boast of multiple citizenships - useless if you show no grattitude for people wherever you are. I see only negative emotions. I’m not naive. I’ve spent time in Sowetto and Johannesberg, read Gavin DeBecker’s books, nearly died multiple times in the last few years, and had a friend nearly murdered by their ex. Anyone in a well off country, with freedom of speech, health, good food, land, and assets, who is taken to the cleaners by their ex needs to take a grattitude check and move on in life. Not all men are innocents, and not all women are conniving bitches. It pays to treat people on their individual merits, and practice grattitude.

This thread has gone down an ugly rabbit hole but it perfectly illustrates my takeaway from the original post.
We need to use the tools at our disposal in a judicious manner, because those tools will not be available for much longer.

  • instead of using screen time on divisive arguments, use it to research something productive
    *instead of using precious gasoline to go on a “road trip” use it to haul manure for your gardens and building materials for that sustainable project.
    *instead of buying a stereo system for your house, buy an acoustic guitar that will comfort you no matter what the world decides to do and whether there is power or not.
    *instead of eating junk food because your time is limited, go on a short fast and wait for some real food to become available.
    Every decision you make and action you take can be productive or destructive. Choose wisely.
When my wife got the seven year itch she found out everything was in a family trust and untouchable.
And don't let your significant other know if you have a buried treasure of precious metals! As to being divorce raped, it goes both ways. Sometimes the man gets shafted and sometimes the women does. What's interesting about human nature is that we tend to then extrapolate from one situation where a man got shafted by an ex and then presume that this always happens. This is a result of narrow minded thinking and leads to things like racism and xenophobia, and lots of other social ills. If I got robbed by a black man, than all black men are criminals. My sister went through a messy separation and he ended up with a large support payment bill. But she has their son in the week and can't hold a normal job. And she gave up years not working and put her career on hold. He is being a total dink about the situation and tries to get sole custody and cut her off from all access to the child. She had breast cancer and couldn't work for a few months during treatment so she set up a go fund me account to pay the bills for a few months. He then actually went to court and argued that the money she received from donations should be subtracted from his monthly support, and that he should have sole custody. Of course he got laughed out of court, I don't think his lawyer can stomach working with him. He sets himself up for his failure. And he refuses to get a divorce because then he won't be able to play the system anymore, they'd have to come to an agreement. Meanwhile he got another girl pregnant (he's gay so I'm not sure what's going on there). Anyways, I agree with crapper that protecting oneself before going into a union like marriage is a good idea even though he does have quite an arrogant way of getting that message across.

I just want to say that I mostly supported you Crapper when I read the original posts last night. But this morning I see you ridiculing people that don’t have advanced math skills as “low IQ”. Well, some of us grew up poor, had to drop out of school, were told all our childhood to not worry about learning math because girls aren’t good at it…yet are extremely intelligent and successful humans. Someone, for whatever reason, not being able to do your math equation in 30 seconds says absolutely nothing about their intelligence. I work at a top university and know many math and physics geniuses that are basically morons. I out perform most people with advanced degrees in the “sciences” in my career in IT. While I actually agree with some of what you have said, you might want to consider that you might actually the one with the stunted imagination and intelligence. I find that typically those with the need to ridicule others are actually projecting their own insecurities.

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I happened to be in a high school where the math teacher trained fast math; in fact, he paid one of my father’s former students to protoboard a electronic game-show device, and began VACE (Virginia Academic Competition for Excellence), which was one of the first televised high school game shows in the area.
The breadboard version included pushbutton switches in film canisters, and was done before school as a fun thing for bonus points and kudos; when it went live, it had nice screen-printed acrylic bezels and large push buttons, large automotive lights.
You will know from my topic heading that I found your quik-math to be no problem.
And I, too am an engineer.
But I agree with the others here that you are coming off as arrogant, first that your own intelligence is the only kind that is of value (did you never learn about the different kinds of intelligence?) and that intelligence is the only virtue worth having (how do you think we have all these successful species of animal… and plant… and prokaryote… and more? And have you never observed the communication among other life forms, and even other interspecies communication, and considered that your own is extremely limited?)
So I agree… please check arrogance at the door, so that you can improve your tone. If you do that, I would be VERY interested to hear about your industrial automation, and what you do.
I think such things are neat, and I could even imagine a next great use for it… but the use depends on what the type of automation is. There are so many kinds.

I see a graph of oil production; but I don’t see a graph of oil energy gain, which might be more useful in understanding where we are.
Does such a graph exist? Is it possible to find the list of oil retrieval by type, and conflate that with EROEI to get oil energy gain?

Being stuck in a community property state and watching trophy wives of the 60’s-70’s abscond with the family fortune, I can see the need for a prenup. I, a working woman, insisted on one because I simply don’t agree that the government should decide how a family splits financial and childcare duties.
Before getting married people should probably be required to sit down and decide how to split the finances, what to do with the kids [during marriage and after divorce], etc. Mariage rates would fall a bit, but so would divorce rates.
I may be reading between the lines on the original comment, but I assume Bill had decided to keep his wife bored at home rather than letting her enter the world of functional adults. As long as successful men have the trophy wife model of marriage, in which statistics also say they trade them in for a younger model every few years, then men should not be surprised when “Bill’s wife” is the model for the women they marry.
Might such men actually consider competent professional women who don’t need the guy to work himself into the ground to support them? If marriage is between two equals, both with business sense, then a prenup that forces discussion of all those hard questions is a great thing. It’s not a “you don’t trust me”, it’s a “have we thought about how we each think/feel about these important issues?”

Women initiate >70% of divorces. They take the assets, the man’s future income, and his kids.
[Sentence deleted by moderator. Please restate your point here in a data-driven way that is not intentionally inflammatory]

Wow. I did not expect this article to stir up the acrimony it has.
Folks, several posts here come close to or actually cross the guidelines of civil discourse we guard protectively on this site.
This is notice to everyone to review these guidelines, and if triggered by another commenter’s words, pause a beat before responding.
While not the point of the original article, if you want to debate the merits/shortcomings of our modern marital system – have at it. But argue with logic and data, without denigrating another individual or demonizing an entire gender.
Several posts in this thread violate our rules against ad hominem attacks, abuse, bloviating, irrelevance and inappropriateness (yes, we define each one of those infringement types on our site posting guidelines page). If that continues, the heavy hand of the moderators will be invoked.
But I’m hoping that won’t be necessary. Peak Prosperity is an amazing rare community where intelligent folks can maturely debate their differences with logic and evidence, without devolving into the feral moshpit seen on so many other discussion boards littering the internet.
I have faith this community will follow its better nature and keep things respectful.
Don’t let us down.

If marriage is between two equals, both with business sense, then a prenup that forces discussion of all those hard questions is a great thing. It’s not a “you don’t trust me”, it’s a “have we thought about how we each think/feel about these important issues?”
This makes the most sense to me. If you haven't gone through something before, then you're in an unknown-unknown situation. You don't know what you don't know. And hopefully the discussion of a prenup can provide a framework to surface, and then think through these issues together. This discussion caused me to read about divorce. Here's an interesting article - it supports the statistic that mostly it is women who initiate. It also tries to explain why that is.
Women seek closeness and vulnerability in marriage where, under the veil of marriage, it is safe to be real and raw with our chosen one, or soul mate. When she reaches out for that connected feeling and is met with the “wrong” response, she lays a brick down. Then one day, the wall is too high to penetrate it. In its simplest form, women want connection but don’t know that’s what they want, so the men need to read their minds. This is where the communication breakdown often occurs. Women not saying what it is they want, and men completely not “getting it.” So the wall goes up.

Women not saying what it is they want, and men completely not “getting it.” So the wall goes up.

  • Translation - men are clueless victims and if only women would get their shit together?
  • Come on Dave? Blame and victims a perpetual hamster wheel!

Dave, I think it may be a bit more complicated than simply a failure to communicate whereby “…women want connection but don’t know that’s what they want, so the men need to read their minds.”
For those who want to dig deeper down this rabbit hole, here are two resources that may be of interest:


  Come on Dave? Blame and victims a perpetual hamster wheel!  
I invite you to find and present another article which you believe explains it better. Certainly being a woman you may well have some insight as to what might lie behind that 69% statistic - which I found interesting, because it was something I didn't know before. I'm thinking that 69% number supports the case that men are statistically more oblivious to changes in the underlying relationship. Intentionally or not, that's what the original post seemed to be saying also. I'm in the middle of reading a book on Roman history - SPQR, by Mary Beard, an excellent book for sure - and back then, the amount of violence in daily life was pretty extreme by modern standards. Rome - the pinnacle of Western Civilization back then - had no police force. So if someone stole from you, you pretty much had to deal with it on your own. If someone tried to murder you, you just had your friends and family to rely on to protect you - and/or extract revenge. I'm just guessing that the epigenetic & genetic effects of that way of life resulted in our modern world. Those who were able to dish out violence to protect those they loved survived to reproduce, and so guess where we find ourselves today? Its just a thought anyway. That's not blame - but the effects of that history remains in our genetic (and epigenetic) code, and we ignore it at our peril.

Marriage is always between two equals, whether or not both parties recognize the fact.
In this discussion, what is the resolution we are trying to get to in the context of the article? Isn’t it finding the type of marriage that will be resilient in the face of hardship, especially hardship of the monumental nature discussed on this site? According to a Citibank survey, 57% of divorced couples cited money as a primary factor in their decision. I understand the necessity of discussing finances, my wife and I certainly did before we married. The framework for our discussion was how our possessions would be merged and shared (granted they were minimal at the time).
As Davefairtex quoted above, “Women seek closeness and vulnerability in marriage where, under the veil of marriage, it is safe to be real and raw with our chosen one, or soul mate. When she reaches out for that connected feeling and is met with the “wrong” response, she lays a brick down. Then one day, the wall is too high to penetrate it.” In my opinion, deliberately choosing not to enter into financial vulnerability (at a mutually agreed level) lays the first brick in that wall before the marriage even begins.
Due to our personal beliefs, we entered a mutual agreement that divorce was not an option for us. Not to be kept in the back of our minds as an escape route, never to be used as a threat when we argue.
I’m thankful that an intelligent, kind and thoughtful woman has chosen to love me, even when I am unlovable. I choose to love her daily as well, even with all her very human faults. Being in love is a feeling, and like all feelings is a response to external stimuli. Of course we feel this way frequently, but when we inevitably don’t, we fall back on that choice taken freely. My choice to love is most critical in the moments I don’t feel love. Then as the world changes dramatically under our feet over the next decades, for better and worse, I know we can rely on our commitment, and not roll the dice on our emotional states.
I’m celebrating my 10th anniversary this month, so I’ve been thinking about marriage a lot lately. We’ve seen friends and relatives who married about the same time as us divorce, and others stay together, and I have been pondering the why. Please excuse the rambling, but this thread brought up a lot of thoughts.

I enjoyed your statistics. As you say, there are a lot of moving parts. I found it especially interesting that the “contagion factor” (friend getting divorced, parents getting divorced) increased the likelihood of you divorcing. It makes sense, but it is fascinating to see just how strong the effect really is.
I also liked the “divorce rate by profession”. Those Agricultural Engineers - who knows why they are so stable. Maybe its something about being around plants all day long.
Ultimately, I like your stats for this reason. If the goal is to focus on our own experiences, we can look at the risk factors that statistics helps to provide and try to mitigate or at least be aware of their impacts in our own lives.

  • mismatch in alcohol consumption
  • frequent arguing about finances
  • mismatch in smoking behavior
  • incarceration (!)
  • below-average IQ
  • did not attend college
  • liberal
  • married before 18
  • straight couple
  • US Navy Seal
  • living in a Red state
  • no religious affiliation
  • living together before marriage
  • met in a bar
  • woman works, husband doesn’t help with the kids
  • facebook, porn, video games
  • child of divorce
  • friend who recently got divorced
  • don’t have kids
  • have a baby before marriage
  • income below $25k
  • no assets
    So a bad candidate for a husband: US Navy Seal, with no assets, no kids, met before you were 18, living in a red state, liberal, no religious affiliation, smokes, drinks, with whom you argue about finances frequently, a child of divorce, who watches porn, plays video games and facebook, whom you met in a bar. If he gets sent off to jail, that’s just the cherry on the top.

“Sadly, it increasingly seems that in order to be successful, narcissism helps. Leaders and politicians who are bullies often get the most attention and the biggest paychecks. Our system is set up this way. It works in our society. There is no room for compassion. All the ethical people I know are broke.
If I could get every divorced woman to pick up this book, my guess is that the majority will have witnessed many of these patterns. Because one place where narcissism doesn’t work is in relationships—if you are on the receiving end. If you want the fancy car, the fancy house, and the big wallet, be prepared for what you are signing up for. Great material providers are often not empathetic partners.”
The book Dr. Durvasala refers to is “Should I stay or should I go?”
This thread has had a mysogysnistic tone started by Crapper and I have found it distasteful. It’s interesting that Crapper ended a post with -
“I am now logging off to enjoy the affections of my chattel and the company of my heirs LOL”
“The definition of chattel - a personal possession, an item owned other than property”
It’s NOT funny to refer to ones partner as property. And especially after a long rant about divorce rape with thumbs up. Think she feels respected, any wonder Mrs. Ex wasn’t happy? Interesting no guys picked up on that.
From a female reader misogyny seems to be thriving, sadly.

In our current society I think we are encouraged to just worry about the feeling. As someone who reads up on relationships (being a woman many of us do) I like the notion of marriage given by my favorite Jungian analyst CP Estes. She calls it an orchard (producing much) but also points out that it has a series of life cycles and relationships within the larger relationship in a “life death life” cycle. The marriage cannot help but change in fundamental ways over the years. Partners who cannot recognize this and are afraid to see the “old marriage” die and the new one emerge in the same relationship run into trouble.
You point out that love is an act as well as a feeling and I agree.

I would agree that narcissists make for great providers, and terrible partners. I can’t reliably diagnose someone as having NPD from my armchair 3,000 miles away, but I would agree that someone who is angry enough to write Mr Crapper’s post would probably not be my ideal mate, nor would I choose him for my sister’s mate. Or for my Mom, were she still alive. My advice: go for a lesser provider, but the more compassionate person. You’ll live longer, and have a happier life. My two cents.
That said - I still think the structure of writing a prenup to sort out the property issues ahead of time while everyone is in a good mood is probably a good idea. That one bit of advice would have saved me a world of trouble…I actually got said advice, but didn’t quite understand why, so I didn’t follow it up.
I sure do now.

Dr. John Gottman of the Gottman Institute( describes the factors contributing to divorce as the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse (criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling). His blog (, trainings and products based on his lifetime research into relationships provide positive, actionable approaches to maintaining healthy marriages. [Disclosure: I have no personal experience or professional/financial interests in the Gottman Institute and/or its methods.]
I also found Crapper’s and a very few others’ posts on this thread misogynistic. Now I appreciate more fully PP guidelines for civil discourse. I suspect Crapper rides those four horses frequently and hard given the “tone” of his posts. On the positive side, his posts compelled me and other less-frequent posters to contribute, along with “regular” PP contributors, to this far-ranging, thought-provoking discussion.
Missing from this discussion is research concerning some of the “protective” benefits of marriage, relationships and community. Here’s an article with embedded links for those who want to explore this further:
May we all "live long and “Prosper!”’ in a world worth inheriting. ? ?