A judge in the UK has just dealt a fairly serious blow to ‘meal ticket’ divorcees who could previously expect to waltz off with lifetime support after a failed marriage to a wealthy spouse. In most cases, the person lounging on a couch post-marriage, eating bon-bons, will be a woman, but not always. According to Time Magazine, 3% of alimony recipients are men, and that tiny number infuriates women on the hook, to the point that women are now the primary drivers of alimony reform.
How shocking! Lifetime alimony was peachy keen, until women started paying.
Now that women are paying alimony more often, they are getting involved in advocating for change.
“It’s unfair for men to pay it, and unfair for women to pay it. But women are much more outraged by it,” said Ken Neumann, a founder of the Academy of Professional Family Mediators.
Tanya Williams, who has been sending a check to her ex-husband for 13 years, is among those who do not understand the concept of “permanent” alimony – when one spouse pays the other indefinitely – and has joined the cause against it.
“There’s no other contract where the liability continues after the contract ends,” said the 52-year-old dentist who got divorced in Florida but now lives in North Carolina. “You can’t leave your job and say, ‘I still have a need so you have to continue to pay me.’ ”
Gee willikers, Batman! You don’t say! It’s almost like the whole alimony thing is a giant scam orchestrated by gold digging women who do not want to do the work of marriage, but who wish to continue to fleece the men foolish enough to marry them. Wendy Murphy, writing for CNN, isn’t down with alimony reform at all. According to CNN, the new alimony law is bad for women! They might have to get a job when their child leaves for college! Heavens no! The inhumanity!
For example, one woman told me she’s afraid of becoming homeless if her ex-husband invokes the new law to stop her alimony payments. She gave up a career in banking to stay at home and raise the couple’s child. When that child went off to college, the husband filed for divorce. She is surviving on a modest alimony payment, but under the new law, payments will stop in two years. Having left a profession, she stands no chance at being hired for a well-paying job in that career. A minimum wage job would pay less than public assistance.
Notice all the little details that are missing in that statement. She left a job in banking. Oh yeah? What job? A teller? A secretary? A foreign currency trader? A futures analyst? Do tell. As the stay at home mother of three children, I can testify to the fact that with all three off to primary school, my decision to stay home is pure luxury. There is no reason for me to be at home with the kids right now, other than sheer, unadulterated privilege, let alone a reason for me to be at home until the last one goes to college! That is pure nonsense. My husband and I are both happy to have me at home right now for a number of reasons, including my writerly ambitions, my activism, the fact that money isn’t desperately tight for us and he can focus on his career exclusively because he does not need to balance mine. Can he attend a meeting at 6PM tonight? Yes. Yes he can.
Should circumstances change for us, one of the first luxuries that will go is me being at home. That’s a no-brainer. I absolutely love the fact that I can be at home, and it gives me enormous pleasure to be able to pay for my martial arts training and occasional trips to the hair salon and my growing collection of Swag by Milo with the limited amount of income I derive from my blog and generous donors, but I am perfectly well aware that I am living a life of incredible indulgence and freedom. Part of the reason I find wage gap arguments so annoying is that feminists use my life as evidence that women are oppressed. I contribute to the wage gap numbers because I’m extraordinarily privileged, and to see that privilege cast as oppression angers me.
One might think that because I have no current market value, or only skills that are rewarded poorly, I might be in favor of lifetime alimony. I too, gave up a career in banking, as a productivity analyst. I measured people’s work output using metrics that I did not create and that were grossly unfair, quite frankly, and recommended who should be cut to meet downsizing goals – ghastly horrible work. We were known as the Housekeeping Squad. I shed approximately zero tears when I left that job for the last time. Banking sucks, firing people sucks, seeing people’s faces crumple at the realization they are being cast off sucks, and I have nothing but the most enormous gratitude that I didn’t have to spend my life grovelling in those horrible cubicles.
Gratitude to whom?
To my husband.
He is the reason I have been able to live most of my adult life without needing to earn money. I am fortunate and blessed to be economically dependent, and there is not a single atom of my being that thinks I am somehow entitled to that fortune or those blessings. They must be earned. Every day. I am often reluctant to describe being a wife and mother as a ‘job’ because it’s really not, and it certainly isn’t ‘the hardest job in the world.’ Oh please. Yeah, I’ll take picking up Legos and Barbie shoes and settling yet another dispute over whether Olaf will melt in the sun (he’s magic – he won’t melt) over shoveling asphalt or stocking shelves at Walmart any day. Those are jobs. Being a wife and mother is an occupation – they are social roles that occupy my time.
But when it comes to being a stay at home wife and mother and the issue of earning my privileges, I can see some ways that my social roles are very much like a job. I hate those surveys that claim replacing a wife and mother would cost x amount of money, because they’re usually ridiculous, and usually completely ignore the work men typically do around the house and how much it would cost to replace them. Paying someone to wash dishes every night would be (insert ridiculous sum here) but clearing out drains and filters of hair costs nothing, because men do that. Paying a plumber or duct cleaner or vacuum repair specialist every time hair needed to be cleared would quickly add up to a crazy amount in our house – three heads of long hair!
I don’t think of my role as a wife and mother in terms of market value, but in terms of long-term strategic planning and obligations, perhaps there is an argument to make that I have a ‘job’, in the traditional sense. And I can get fired.
Let’s deal with quitting first. If I ‘quit’ my job as a wife and mother by filing for divorce, why on earth would anyone expect my husband to keep paying me? That’s crazy. Even if I have a really good reason for quitting, that still shouldn’t oblige him to pay for me forever. Again, why? If I have a really good reason for quitting my job at WalMart – I’ll get a lump sum payment and be told to move on with my life. If I quit because ‘I’m not happy or fulfilled working at Walmart’, well, too bad. Under no circumstances would anyone say Walmart has to pay me for the rest of my life.
The more interesting case is getting fired. If it’s my husband who files for divorce, he’s essentially firing me from my job as a full time wife and mother. People generally get fired for either doing a really crappy job, or not doing their job at all. If you’re not doing your job, or doing a really poor job, why on earth should your employer be required to continue to pay you?
I can see a lot of women getting very squeamish at understanding the basic power dynamic between husbands and stay at home wives, but that squeamishness derives from our cultural unwillingness to suggest women have obligations to men, of any kind. I am very fortunate to have the job I do – and that job comes with responsibilities, duties, obligations and deliverables, just like any other job. Food, sex, clean clothes, a reasonably clean house, comfort, support, love, understanding, happy and polite children, a martini at the end of the day.
I do these things for a number of reasons. First, they make me happy. The job category that delivers the most happiness for women is being a housewife. Sorry, feminists. No other group of women love their jobs more than wives and mothers. Second, this job makes my husband and family very happy, too. We don’t spend our mornings and evenings screaming at each other over whose turn it is to microwave pizza or pick up the socks under the bed. And third, I do these things because I don’t want to get fired. I have a pretty sweet gig here, and I’d like to keep it, at least for the time being. I can see going to work when the kids are older, but for right now? Not so much. I love my job!
No doubt, Tracey Wright loved her job, too. Her surgeon husband provided her a life of luxury and comfort and ease, and allowed her to continue that life, funded by her husband, even after the marriage ended. Who ended it?
Tracey says several factors led to the breakdown of the marriage in 2006. In between the births of their two daughters, she suffered a miscarriage at three months, but was so busy with the business that she went back to work without giving herself the chance to grieve.
Then, when her younger child was still a baby, her father died, followed by her cousin.
Tracey says these losses forced her to reassess her life, taking a step back from her marriage and their joint business goals. She says she felt lonely and isolated, but vehemently denies rumours — circulating around Newmarket at the time — that she was having an affair.
She left Ian when their younger daughter was just two, moving into a £450,000 house with the two children. The joint business was dissolved. The house was paid for by re-mortgaging the family home, which was later sold for £1.25 million.
I said I was going to take 30 days off swearing, but I just can’t.
Fuck you, Tracey.
You had a sweet job, a husband who appeared willing to give you everything, two children and a life that few women can dream of. And then you blew it up because reasons? No way. You quit your fantastic, fairy-tale job and now you want Prince Charming to keep funding you?
Go to hell.
I really can’t fault radical MGTOWs and other men who show up on my blog or YouTube channel to shower me with hatred for being a wife and mother when women like Tracey are out there, playing the victim when they burned down their own houses. It’s heartening to see judges finally start nailing the coffin shut on women like Tracey Wright. She’s an absolute disgrace to stay at home wives and mothers everywhere.
She’s a gold digger.
I’ll quote Fannie Hurst here, reacting to some of the first legislation women voted for when suffrage was granted – lifetime alimony.
The vast army of women seeking divorce are mainly after easy alimony from men they have ceased to love – surely one of the most despicable forms of barter that can exchange human hands.
It’s about time the courts shut that down.
Get a job.
Lots of love,