Research Section: Leading Experts and Studies Confirm the Claims of Happier Abroad
By Steve Neese
The purpose of this section is to provide expert opinion and studies that back up and support the material presented here at Happier Abroad.
As the Happier Abroad team member who was responsible for
putting this research section together, I want to reiterate a view I hold that
this website’s creator has already said before. “Now, don't
get me wrong, I love
Lastly, I should make one thing very clear. The parts of this research report that refer to the women in America ARE NOT meant as a reference to ALL American woman. Such an "all encompassing" statement would be fool hardy to make. The issues below in this research report speak of generalities only. These are generalities within the American culture itself with particular attention paid to what is happening within the women of America and the detrimental effects this is having on the American dating scene for American men. A perfect example of what I mean by this is that although Social psychologist Jean Twenge states that the narcissism epidemic that America is currently suffering from seems to be predominantly occurring with American women, (she mentions this 3 different times in her book) she further clarifies this statement by stating that the narcissism epidemic is disproportionately attributed to those born after 1967. So this right there would preclude the idea that it's occurring with ALL woman (or men for that matter).
Research Specialist and Promoter of Happier Abroad
Table of Contents
Her Website: http://www.generationme.org
Jean M. Twenge, Ph.D
Twenge is Associate Professor of Psychology at
She has made numerous media appearances to discuss her research, including:
The Today Show
NPR's All Things Considered
CBS Radio's the Osgood File
San Diego TV stations: KUSI, XETV, KNSD, KFMB, KGTV
The Wall Street Journal
NBC Nightly News
Fox and friends
She is the Author of several nationally well known books:
Generation Me – “Why today’s young Americans are more confident, assertive, entitled - and more miserable than ever before.” In this provocative new book, headline making psychologist and social commentator Dr. Jean Twenge explores why the young people she calls “Generation Me” – those born in the 1970’s , 1980’s, and 1990’s – are tolerant, confident, open minded, and ambitious but also cynical , depressed, lonely, and anxious.
The Narcissism Epidemic – The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement
by Jean M. Twenge and W. Keith Campbell. Published
in April 2009 by Free Press,
a division of Simon & Schuster, Inc.
On a reality TV show, a girl planning her Sweet Sixteen wants a major road blocked off so a marching band can precede her grand entrance on a red carpet. Five times as many Americans undergo plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures as ten years ago, and ordinary people hire fake paparazzi to follow them around to make them look famous. High school students physically attack classmates and post YouTube videos of the beatings to get attention. And for the past several years, Americans have been buying McMansions and expensive cars on credit they can't afford.
Although these seem like a random collection of current trends, all are rooted in a single underlying shift in American culture: the relentless rise of narcissism, a very positive and inflated view of self. Narcissists believe they are better than others, lack emotionally warm and caring relationships, constantly seek attention, and treasure material wealth and physical appearance. In The Narcissism Epidemic: Living in the Age of Entitlement, psychologists and professors Jean Twenge and W. Keith Campbell draw from empirical research and cultural analysis to expose the destructive spread of narcissism. Perhaps most important, they also discuss treatment – what each of us can do to stop the epidemic of narcissism so corrosive to society.
Her Website : http://www.drlaura.com
Dr. Laura Schlessinger
As one of the most popular talk show hosts in radio history,
Dr. Laura Schlessinger offers no-nonsense advice infused with
a strong sense of ethics, accountability, and personal responsibility; she's
been doing it successfully for more than 30 years, reaching approximately 9
million listeners weekly. She's a best selling author of eleven adult books and
four children's books, which range from the provocative (New York Times chart
topper The Proper Care & Feeding of Husbands) to the poignant
(children's book title Why Do You Love Me?) Dr. Laura holds a Ph.D. in
His Website: http://www.davidmyers.org
David G. Myers
DAVID G. MYERS is the John Dirk Werkman Professor of
His scientific writings, supported by National Science Foundation grants and fellowships, have appeared in three dozen academic periodicals, including Science, the American Scientist, the American Psychologist, and Psychological Science.
David has digested psychological research for the public through articles in four dozen magazines, from Scientific American to Christian Century, and through seventeen books, including general interest books and textbooks.
His research and writings have been recognized by the Gordon Allport Prize, by an "honored scientist" award from the Federation of Associations in the Brain and Behavioral Sciences, by the Award for Distinguished Service on Behalf of Personality-Social Psychology, and by three honorary doctorates.
In recognition of his efforts to transform the way
Her Website: http://www.lorigottlieb.com/
Lori Gottlieb is the New York Times bestselling
author of Marry Him: The Case for Settling for Mr. Good Enough,
a surprising look at modern love, marriage, and what really matters for true
romantic happiness. A New York Times Editors' Choice selection, the book
was an international bestseller and has been translated into
Lori other books include the national bestseller, Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self, an American Library Association "Best Books" selection and Book-of-the-Month Club selection that was optioned for film by Martin Scorsese, who described it as "Holden Caulfield goes on a misguided diet"; Inside the Cult of Kibu: And Other Tales of the Millennial Gold Rush, an exposé of her experience as editor-in-chief of an online magazine with a mission to "empower" teen girls but whose culture devolved into "Heathers meets Lord of the Flies."; and I Love You, Nice to Meet You (co-written with Kevin Bleyer of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart) which comically explores the status of modern relationships from the male and female points of view. Or as they like to put it: “Twice the perspective, half the insight.”
A contributing editor for The Atlantic, Lori has also written for such publications as The New York Times, Time, People, Elle, Glamour, Marie Claire, Redbook, Self, Parents, Slate, More, and Salon and has contributed commentaries and feature stories to NPR’s All Things Considered, This American Life, Weekend Edition, and Marketplace. Her work has been included in numerous anthologies including the National Jewish Book Award winner The Modern Jewish Girl's Guide to Guilt, The Secret Currency of Love, and The Best of Technology Writing. Lori has also co-created original pilots for Showtime, Oxygen, TBS and Nickelodeon, and was a staff writer on the NBC/Bravo series Significant Others, a sitcom about couples in therapy.
Lori has been featured on, among other programs, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The Early Show, CNN, Dr. Phil, Inside Edition, Entertainment Tonight, CNBC, Oprah Radio, and NPR's "Talk of the Nation." She is a parenting expert for Lifetime Moms and speaks frequently at events across the country on topics including parenting, relationships, teen girls, body image and media culture.
BLUE = Dr. Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell
MAROON = Dr. Laura Schlessinger
BROWN = From “The American Paradox” by David G Myers
PINK = ”Affluenza” by John DeGraaf, David Wann, and Thomas Naylor
RED = EXTREMELY critical points that support Happier Abroad’s notions
Green = Lori Gottlieb
Black = My own comments mixed with quotes from Happier Abroad
"Most of the women we interviewed insisted they were not looking for a prince charming -then, without missing a beat, they described an equally unattainable ideal". It’s ironic that we’ve developed such lofty expectations of our potential husbands at a time when nearly 50% of marriages still end in divorce. (Gen me pg 133)
*Ref the above in blue, none of Jean Twenge’s books made any statement or reference about men having unattainable ideals of women. I didn’t want anyone to think I cherry picked and conveniently left out a similar statement in her book about men. There simply was none.
women in America have an off the chart sense of entitlement, and seem to think
that they deserve the best of the best in everything, as if they were some kind
of royalty. No man likes that. It’s unfeminine and unsweet. And it puts
unrealistic demands and expectations on the men. Add to this the fact that
American women want someone who looks a certain way, and who has certain “social skills” such as dancing or clever conversation, someone who is interesting and exciting and seductive. Now go to any international dating site and look at what the girls say they want. It’s pretty simple, really. Over and over they state that they are happy to settle down FOREVER with a man who is willing to try to hold down a steady job and be a loving and understanding husband and father. Fact is, more often than not, this will get you NOWHERE with most American women! Many men opt for Women Overseas because most women would accept you for who you are, not what you do or what you make.
With many American women, if the men don't fit a rigid and unrealistic criteria or she doesn't feel the man can take care of her enough, then she will drop him like a hot potato, regardless of his character or commitment to the relationship.
Read more on this unrealistic expectations of American woman: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/femail/article-1213212/The-ego-epidemic-more-inflated-sense-fabulousness.html#ixzz19HTMlvJU
The American divorce rate is through the roof in large part because American women’s unrealistic and hard to please expectations. Ask any marriage counselor.
What horrifies me time and time again is the evil some wives perpetrate in the name of their “feelings.” This is an extension of the entitlement issue. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 58)
I believe this entitlement problem stem from the unsatisfying way many American women are teaching themselves to live - which is, in essence, a self-centered way.
Women have become selfish and have a sense of entitlement that is out of proportion. She berates women for feeling as if the man should meet her needs without her making an equal effort to meet his. She points to women who are so busy with outside careers, volunteering, hobbies and children, that they neglect the one who should be number one in her life. Dr. Laura is a working woman, and does not condemn women for working, but she does insist that women must put their husbands above their work, and even above their children. (http://www.takeninhand.com/book.review.of.dr.laura.schlessingers.the.proper.care.and.feeding.of.husbands)
A large number of married men in
This grandiose self-centeredness about the value of women, paired with a virtual disdain for men, leads women to treat men badly. Too many women look at men with a sense of entitlement versus an opportunity for selflessness. Why? All of those forces taken together have given women a false sense of superiority (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 54)
On my radio program, I hear from too many women who believe that they are somehow entitled to have all their needs, wants, desires, and whims met by life in general, and their men in particular, no matter what choices they’ve made and no matter how poorly they treat their men
(Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 103)
This last paragraph by Dr. Laura really hits
the nail on the head! This paragraph by Dr. Laura explains why it is not an
exaggeration to say that it can be somewhat dangerous to marry an
American woman and why
3rd party review of Lori Gottlieb’s book - Chapter three of her book is titled How Feminism Fucked Up My Love Life. "Feminism as a social movement is a great thing," she says, "but unfortunately a lot of women grew up thinking the 'we can have it all' mentality was feminism." The way she sees it, this version of feminism has hurt women by inflating their egos and giving them a false sense of what they deserve. "Part of it comes from the media and the movies. Everything we see is always women telling each other how fabulous they are and that they deserve the best. (AKA: entitlement comlexes) It happens in real life, too. Your friend will say, 'Don't you think I can do better?' and we say, 'You go, girl; go for the best!' even though we know maybe this guy is the best she can get." And, she adds, neither are we honest with ourselves: "We think, 'Oh, I'm so unique and special' and in our romantic fantasies we think that some guy is going to see us for how uniquely special we are, when most of us are pretty ordinary." (Lori Gottlieb) http://www.guardian.co.uk/lifeandstyle/2010/feb/06/lori-gottlieb-feminists-marriage
A quote from Lori Gottlieb’s book - “A number of my single women friends admit (in hushed voices and after I swear I won’t use their real names here) that they’d readily settle now but wouldn’t have 10 years ago. They believe that part of the problem is that we grew up idealizing marriage—and that if we’d had a more realistic understanding of its cold, hard benefits, we might have done things differently. Instead, we grew up thinking that marriage meant feeling some kind of divine spark, and so we walked away from uninspiring relationships that might have made us happy in the context of a family. Our culture tells us to keep our eyes on the prize (while our mothers, who know better, tell us not to be so picky), and the theme of holding out for true love (whatever that is—look at the divorce rate) permeates our collective mentality.”http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/03/marry-him/6651/
Again, we have a 3rd expert confirming that American woman are misled by the media and hollywood and romance novels that marriage is about some kind of valium state drip or a spark that once gone, (which always eventually happens in 99% of marriages) they will easily divorce because they feel like they are missing out on their so called “soul mate experience”! Foreign woman are not brought up with this unrealistic fantasy notion of what a marriage is supposed to be about.
Before quoting the experts, I want to point to one bit of obvious common sense evidence that American woman, as a culture, are disdainful of men. What I am referring to is the repeated use of the words “creepy” or “stalker” when referring to men. Just look at my dating profile comparison chart (foreign woman vs American woman) and you can see these differences. You NEVER will see foreign woman refer to men in these terms but it is extremely common to hear American woman say these words about men.
When she started in radio in her 20s, she was attracted by the women's movement. "But I've been on the air for 29 years and now I say I'm a recovering feminist. Feminists are women who are angry, starting with fairness and employment. Every human being should have that, but the movement was co-opted by women who didn't love either men or femininity. They rant about all this patriarchal nonsense. Women don't realize how angry they are.
When Laura Schlessinger says that men are “simple,” she doesn’t mean they are stupid or limited. In fact, she decries the liberal, feminist agenda that seems dead set on insulting men. She feels that young women have been raised in a culture that is hostile to men (http://www.takeninhand.com/book.review.of.dr.laura.schlessingers.the.proper.care.and.feeding.of.husbands)
To clarify, though, she says feminism “isn’t all about hating men it’s largely about disdaining and dismissing them.”
Women want to be in love, get married, and live happily ever
after. Yet disrespect for men and disregard for the
value, feelings, and needs of husbands has fast become the standard for
male-female relations in
Most of the women who complain that they are not getting what they want from their husbands should stop and look at how disrespectful and disdainful they are of them. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg xiv)
Unless you’ve got a man with a frank mental or personality disorder (the exception not the rule), men admittedly are putty in the hands of a woman they love. Give him direct communication, respect, appreciation, food, and good loving, and he’ll do just about anything you wish – foolish or not. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg xvii)
There isn’t a day that goes by when I don’t ask at least one woman caller on my radio program if she expects to stay married considering her hostile, dismissive, or undermining attitude and actions toward her husband. What is even more amazing is that insensitivity to their husband’s needs and feelings (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 1)
How is it that so many women are angry with men in general yet expect to have a happy life married to one of them? (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 53)
My experiences in private practice (as a marriage and family Therapist), on air, and with the emails, faxes, and letters I’ve gotten from my listeners draw an alarmingly clear picture of, in my opinion, gender abuse. That abuse consists of an amazingly crass disdain of wives for husbands’ feelings. And it causes husbands deep pain. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 66)
It is astonishing to which female society denigrates a man’s sex drive, reducing him to merely a rutting animal with no deeper context. Male sexuality is another subject that seems to elicit hostility in many women. A stay at home mother, Jessica belongs to a number of groups, and the talk about sex is always anti male. She wrote that the majority of the women are just tired and see their husbands as selfish for “wanting some”. As I said in my chapter on communications, verbal exchange is but one means of communication. A lot is said by one spouse to another by the willingness to fulfill each other’s needs. Yet wives expect husbands to ignore their own neglected needs and hurt feelings and do for them whatever they want…..or else! Mike’s letter was one of the most touching I received. He began by saying: “ Dr. Laura, you have been openly supporting husbands. And that is contrary to the popular ‘man bashing’ that I usually have to endure. “ Mike describes himself as forty four years old, with three children. He is in his second marriage. When months pass without sex or affection, the message I get is that I am undesirable and have no value. If I were appreciated, I would be ‘loved’. Caring and nurturing is what I need to feel healthy and happy. “ (Note - foreign women are notorious for how nurturing they are in comparison) I get so many letters like Mike’s, and it tears up my heart to read about the depth of hurt men feel from their wives sexually rejecting them. (Sexual Rejection - HUGE problem with American woman)This isn’t physical frustration, it’s real emotional hurt. Interestingly, one male listener wrote that when wives constantly belittle and neglect their husbands’ sexuality, he believes these women are displaying the “moral equivalent of infidelity.” Perhaps we should start looking at the act of intentionally depriving a spouse of his legitimate needs as infidelity, too, because it stems from being unfaithful to the intent of the marriage vows. Sex is a serious point of contention for many women. I can remember one female caller in particular who complained that her husband wasn’t understanding about how tired, burdened, and overwhelmed she was. He still wanted sex. I asked her what was wrong with that since most people expect monogamy in marriages not celibacy. That seemed to startle her, but only for a moment. She hit back with the challenge, “should I be expected to have sex when I don’t want to just because he wants to?” I took a deep breath and answered , “most of the time, yes.” She was horrified and likened my response to a call for some form of slavery. I reminded her that she expected him to go to work and earn money to support the family even on days he didn’t feel like it. I reminded her it’s called “loving obligation.” (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 126-134)
The destructive anti-male subtext of the modern feminist agenda argues that catering to or deferring to a husband is a slave like submission to the male. In fact, after the Southern Baptist council published a statement on “submission,” the media went crazy, railing against their so-called backward, oppressive notions about women. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 149) This extreme paranoia and sensitivity to perceived male oppression is what makes many American women automatically assume that men who go overseas for marriage are looking for a wife to control or to have a submissive wife who will do their bidding (there is that “male oppression” thing again), when in reality we are just trying to escape the dysfunctional traits that many (*Not all) American women bring into relationships that ultimatley lead to our nations world leading divorce rate of 50-60%, traits of which these experts are talking about.
Too many women have lost too many wonderful opportunities to have a happy and fulfilling life by buying into the destructive notion that a woman becomes more if she sees and treats men as less. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 163)
Lou Dobbs report - Women finally realize feminism has failed
New study by the wharton school at the Univeristy of
Feminism portrays women as either perpetual victims who can do no wrong, or as creatures with superior rights to men.
Gloria Steinem wrote that “women need men like fish need bicycles”. Unfortunately, more than a generation of women have foolishly bought that destructive nonsense and have denigrated men, marriage, familial obligation, and motherhood – all to their own detriment. Normal healthy women yearn to be in love, married, and raising children with the man of their dreams. However, when their own mothers, much less society, tell them that they don’t need men to be happy, or to raise children, and that their own children don’t even need a mother raising them (day care will do), it’s caused many women to lose the incentive and the ability to treat their personal lives with the love, dedication, sacrifice, compassion, and loyalty that will ultimately bring them happiness and a sense of purpose. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg xxii)
The feminist double whammy of the elevation of women without men (and children without fathers) and the dismissal of men as unnecessary or even dangerous has certainly not contributed to the kind of positive disposition that women need in order to function well within a monogamous, heterosexual committed relationship. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 54)
Note that in the last sentence Dr. Laura is implying that feminism has made American women generally unable to function in a healthy manner in relationships. Secondly, the above paragraph states how feminism has taught American women to view men as dangerous. Yes, even Dr Laura affirms this as fact. This is so true and partially explains why American women are usually so unapproachable, defensive and paranoid, so they are not easy to meet. Men do not feel comfortable or natural trying to meet them. Hence few guys have the guts to approach attractive females, not cause they lack courage, but because the females carry a vibe that they don’t want to be approached.
One male listener wrote to me of his frustration with a double standard that exists today. It was his perception that everything the woman feels or needs is legitimate and very important, while anything related to the man is unimportant and selfish. I think, as a generalizations go, he has a good point. Try visiting various female oriented internet chat rooms, and you’ll find cheering sections rallying behind women who trash their men, determined to leave them for trivial reasons (Once again, the experts are pointing to the tendency for American women to divorce their men. This spoiled sense of entitlement causes our women to create imaginary perceived transgressions) (i.e. He’s not talkative enough, I just don’t feel complete, I’m bored , or He doesn’t want me talking to my mother every day) And while we’re talking about double standards, let’s not forget what happens in the bedroom. Women expect their men to “understand” when they’re not interested in sex, but when the men don’t or can’t perform – watch out! What causes this double-standard mentality? In one big, hyphenated word: Self-Centeredness. And what is the source of this self-centeredness? I believe it’s a result of the women’s movement, with its condemnation of just about everything male as evil, stupid, and oppressive, and the denigration of female and male roles in families. The result is women get married thinking largely about what their marriage and their man can do for them. And when there is so little emphasis on the giving, the nitpicking and pettiness chews up and spits out what could have been a good marriage. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 2-3)
Pop psyche and women’s magazines generally recommend that when a woman is “fed up” with her life, it’s time for spas, solo vacations, more girlfriend time, plastic surgery, affairs, or divorce. This is all in search for “getting one’s own needs met.” (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 162)
The stereotype of a woman insensitive to a man’s feelings is, unfortunately, well–earned. This problem for men is one of a severe magnitude. Many women treat their men’s feelings with disrespect and disregard. Women seem to imagine that that their husbands can, will, and ought to take a lot of abuse and keep on ticking (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 79 & 81)
Bill , a listener, wrote: “Being married to a woman the opposite of my first wife, I am painfully aware of the significance of the proper Care and Feeding of Husbands.”
(Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 90)
This difference is what almost all previously divorced men say when they marry a foreign woman. These guys often say their foreign wife is just the opposite of their American ex-wife. Below are posts I found on the internet that points out such differences.
“They say foreign women are gold diggers, after you for the money. I have dated 2 foreign women, one for 3 years and my current fiancé for 6 years. Each one of them refused expensive gifts, my fiancé made me return her first engagement ring when she found out how much it cost and had me purchase a much smaller diamond. They don’t like to eat at expensive restaurants, preferring to cook and clean and help me in my business doing the hardest work to help me succeed. American women on the other hand want to compete with their girlfriends on the size of their diamonds, the type of carat and the size of the house, they don’t cook and want to spend your money all day long and still bitch about it.”
“I was in the Navy and I have seen the light. Women from other countries look better and treat you better too. I didn’t pay for shit when I was overseas but I pay up the wazoo in the states.”
“Foreign women are more family oriented which makes them more caring and nurturing”
“My Joy is quick to say “I love you”, “Thank you”, and show respect very frequently. This warms my heart and makes me more than willing to return my love as well. While my American X is more inclined to say “what have you done for me lately”.
“Filipinas are hard wired differently than many American women who grow up spoiled and undisciplined. Filipinas don’t marry a guy because he is “cute” or “cut”. To them, marriage is about security, family, and faith.”
The issue of power struggles is at the core of many marital woes. The typical complaint from men: she nags and is never grateful or satisfied. The typical complaint from women: He’s insensitive, doesn’t meet my emotional needs , and won’t do anything around the house. And it goes around and around and around as he becomes more disgruntled and she becomes more frustrated. Both husband and wife are unhappy. Then they go to a therapist, but sadly, much of the psychotherapeutic profession is populated by folks with an agenda: Traditional values are out, men are the bad guys, and women are oppressed. Their cure is either to feminize the husband or suggest divorce. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 99)
I believe that women basically take men for granted and want to mold them into an image they have in their own minds of what a husband-their husband- should be. Many women expect their husbands to always bend to their whim and will. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 176)
paragraph below, Dr Laura is touching upon the “Bad boy” syndrome of
American woman which is caused by their dysfunctionality. This commonly known
syndrome is about how American woman often prefer the jerks instead of the nice
guys. In most other countries however, the reverse is true, Foreign woman prefer the nice guys because foreign
woman come from healthier cultures where woman are simply more emotionally
stable and mature, and generally more well grounded than their American
counterparts. Foreign woman simply
recognize that “nice” guys make for a more healthy and stable relationship.
There seems to be a differential in “emotional maturity”. I have traveled the
world and my own personal observation is that foreign woman are FAR more
emotionally mature than most woman in
As a radio talk- show host/psychotherapist, I’ve got to tell you how remarkably true and sad it is that so many women struggle to hold on to some jerk, keep giving an abusive or Philandering man yet another chance, have unprotected sex with some guy while barely knowing his last name, agree to shack up and risk making babies with some opportunist or loser, all in a pathetic version of a pursuit for love, but will resent the hell out of treating a decent, hardworking, caring husband with the thoughtfulness, attention, respect, and affection he needs to be content. It boggles my mind. What further puts me in boggle overdrive is how seemingly oblivious and insensitive many women are to how destructive they are being to their men and consequently to their marriages. Women will call me to ask if its alright to go off on extended vacations “without him” when they want freedom or R&R, or if its ok to cut him off from sex because they’re annoyed about something or just too tired from their busy day, or if they really have to make him a dinner when he gets home from work because its just too tedious to plan meals. (Doctor Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg xiv)
See this yahoo news video that discusses this dysfunctional part of MANY American woman
Dr Laura talks about one of her callers that she says is typical of American woman these days:
“She discovered that she was becoming more naggy, hostile, and bitter, with a growing feeling that she was being cheated out of life. When her husband came home, she stopped going to the door with a hug and a kiss, stopped showing affection, stopped having sex, and even stopped the good-night kiss. Basically, she was blaming her husband for her unhappines, insiting that it was up to him to go out of his way to please her and pamper her to make up for how difficult her life was. Never mind how difficult his day was- which was only amplified by his wife’s angry discontent.” (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 121-122)
box below contains quotes by leading American experts describing how cycling
through numerous sexual/hook up type of relationships (as we do here in
According to many
experts such as Dr. Laura Schlessinger and Jean Twenge, this type of easy come
and easy go casual sex hook up pattern in the
See this brief YouTube video that talks about this “emotional baggage” issue.
U-TUBE video-------à http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Np4UQX-3jRk
to my radio program called in to complain about her “demanding” husband. She
works full time and is involved in all sorts of activities. It seems he was
unhappy in his new marriage because his wife, my caller, was not spending time
with him in or out of bed. She described an unbelievably hectic daily schedule,
remarking that she just had too much on her plate to have time or energy or
impulse to be intimate at all, much less physically intimate, with her new
husband. I immediately suggested that she take a cosmic spoon and dump stuff
off her plate to make room for her new marriage, for her husband, for their
relationship. She immediately came back with, “But shouldn’t he just be
understanding?” I almost flipped! He should be understanding about being ignored,
about being at the bottom of her priority list? I responded, “why should he
agree to be a boarder in his own home, with no effort at all from you for a
personal relationship? Why should he be sanguine about that? Why should he be
sympathetic to your choice to exclude him from your life?” Her answer, so telling, was “Ohhhh. I didn’t
see it that way at all.” I reiterated that she had to dump much of what she was
voluntarily allowing to hog up her plate and make room for him, or he was going
to dump her off his plate, and that I wouldn’t blame him much at all. These
calls are not aberrant. They
reflect typical attitudes of a preponderance of women in today’s
Dr. Laura has just made a very critical point that warrants repeating here. “These calls are not aberrant. They reflect typical attitudes of a preponderance of women in today’s America.” Hence, Dr. Laura is saying that these issues apply to not just a certain small segment of American women. It applies to the preponderance. According to Webster’s dictionary, Synonyms of preponderance include - predominance, majority, mass, bulk.
One of the most typical ways that a wife misuses power over her husband is by her angry disappointment. Michelle, a listener, expressed this so well: “My husband and I have been married for ten years. When we first married I started to watch soap operas. I expected my husband to treat me like the lovers of the soap opera stars were treated –without the cheating, of course. I blamed my husband for my unhappiness. If I was unhappy, I expected him to drop everything to make me happy. If he took me to dinner, I would feel neglected because he did not buy me flowers. My friends would readily agree with me that I was neglected and should not have to pick up his dirty socks off the floor. I was miserable and so was he.” (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 10)
The ugly part about the feminist movement is that it supports personal success, acquisition, accomplishment, power, and the feminist political agenda over love, marriage, and family.
(Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 10) (Relating to this quote - further below in this report under the divorce section we quote an expert report that states that woman who ascribe to feministic values have a higher rate of divorce than those who ascribe to more traditional values)
Dr. Laura’s vocally opposes both comprehensive sex education and abortion. Feminism, she argues, is endangering the sacred rite of motherhood, “brainwashing women that money replaces husbands, fathers and marriage.”
In Dr. Laura’s mind, feminism is not only responsible for the deterioration of the family, but also for the disintegration of intimacy between men and women.
In a column titled “How Low Can Women Go?” “The ultimate baseness and immorality of a culture depends on what women will themselves do and tolerate from their men," she wrote. "Since the 1960s, the so-called liberation of women has proven itself to be a liberation from just about everything that could possibly be of value for a women and for the society she influences by her choice in a man and her commitment to raising the next generation of citizens.”
The usual way the liberally biased media handles the issue of overextended women is to further condemn men for not picking up the slack at home – for letting their wives take on most of the burden of cleaning, cooking, and raising the children. First of all, it just isn’t true –men do and always have helped out. Yes, I know the very phrase “helped out” makes a lot of feminists furious, but that’s because they don’t see men and women as having different temperaments, needs, attitudes, physiology, or psychology; they see a unisex world. And yet that world exists only in their naïve imaginations. In the real world of humans, women have a unique urge toward bonding and nesting and nurturing. Men have a unique urge toward protecting, providing, and conquering. That doesn’t mean men can’t nurture children or that women can’t climb mountains, but it does mean that beneath individual variations in constitution and temperament, women and men are different. Compatibility and harmony are best served when that difference is respected and, yes, even enjoyed, instead of denied or degraded. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 27)
If there is one basic assumption I believe that most married women make, it is that their husbands are to serve them, and that any demands husbands make are insensitive and selfish. When I tell women callers that they are obligated to their husbands for such-and-such, I generally get two reactions: The first is surprise, the second is anger over perceived oppression. Think about it for even one minute: How many women’s magazines talk about women’s obligations to their men and children? Not many. The typical article is about deserving freedom. These days, so many young women are products of divorces or never created homes, were neglected by career mothers, were indoctrinated by the anti-family feminists throughout their schooling, and are surrounded by a culture that glorifies selfish gratification over sacrifice, it’s no wonder so many women are “surprised” to not only hear of their obligations to husbands and children, but are also amazed at the gratification derived from doing so. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 32)
The Universal complaint of men who emailed my web site with their opinions about “The proper care and feeding of husbands”” was that their wives criticize, complain, nag, rarely compliment or express appreciation, are difficult to satisfy, and basically are not as nice to them as they’d be to a stranger ringing their doorbell at 3AM! These are not men who hate their wives or who were divorced; on the contrary, they are guys who love their wives and are trying to do whatever they can to please them. However they are miserable and lonely. I’m convinced that too many wives don’t know what to do or how to communicate if they’re not complaining, nagging, or criticizing. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 38 & 41)
Far from being oppressed in marriages, most wives are the oppressors. (Note: Dr. Laura says “most”). I can hardly remember more than a handful of times while I was in private practice working with couples in troubled marriages that a wife would respond with openness, compassion, and sensitivity to her husband’s display of feelings. The typical response would be shock, anger, reproach, threats, and tears. That’s oppression folks. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 75)
Per Dr. Laura Schlessinger on American women:
“Shahina, a listener, wrote about her sad story of divorce after ten years of marriage. Her husband left her, complaining that they had so little time together (because she was over involved with her mommy and daddy) and he no longer found her attractive. It seems she had gained a tremendous amount of weight by eating too much and exercising too little. I can bet that the reaction of most woman upon reading that is to get their hackles up and proclaim her husband as shallow. Frankly, that hostile reaction itself demonstrates a shallow self centeredness. The impact on our bodies of natural aging, , illness, pregnancies, and so forth is a simple fact of life. The inability to accept these realities betrays immaturity or worse. At the same time, though, the unwillingness to accept responsibility for the upkeep of one's physical or emotional well-being should be met with consternation by a spouse because it is an assault on the marital covenant. And the disregard of the unique feelings and needs of one's spouse is a selfish insult.
"I would try to tell him that I would go on a diet and exercise to lose weight and become more attractive. I thought I would do these things for him so that he would find me attractive. I knew deep down that I did not want to do those things because I wanted him to love me and accept me just the way I was."
This is not an unusual sentiment for me to hear from woman, who express hostility that their husbands would like them to clean up, dress up, and tone up. They act like their husbands are selfish, sex crazed, superficial, insensitive barbarians, which isn't the case. The "if they loved me, they wouldn't make a fuss about such things" point of view is simply irresponsible and destructive. As I said in my chapter on communication, verbal exchange is but one means of communication. A lot is said by one spouse to another by the willingness to fulfill each other's needs. Men have the emotional need to see their wives as desiring them, and the way the wives take care of and present themselves expresses that love.” (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 123-126)
Dr. Laura Nails it on this one. Foreign woman generally DO NOT let themselves go.
A man wants to be affirmed in his authority as husband and father, not mothered like a child.
In my lifetime the popular image of the father has undergone a transformation from the dignified Robert Young in Fathers Knows Best to the bumbling fool Homer Simpson.
When you watch a
(For a excellent discussion on this topic - see http://www.happierabroad.com/forum/viewtopic.php?p=25094
A comical video on this subject
00:00 - 1:00 comments on how American media portrays men as foolish, stupid, and feeble minded. He
says no other country has this anti male orientation.
4:22- 4:38 American commercials portraying men as bumbling fools is insanity
Then we hear from actor Dirk Benedict of the famed Battlestar Galactica series of the 80’s
Here is what original star Dirk benedict had to say about the differences between the 1980's TV show and now: See http://www.enotes.com/topic/Dirk_Benedict .
He relates the change to what he perceives as a general anti-masculinity agenda, saying "One thing is certain. In the new un-imagined, re-imagined world of Battlestar Galactica everything is female driven. The male characters, from Adama on down, are confused, weak, and wracked with indecision while the female characters are decisive, bold, angry as hell, puffing cigars (gasp) and not about to take it anymore."
By and large, men tend to get a sense of approval from their success at work and from their wives’ happiness. So talking to a grown man, the father of your children and the major financial supporter of your family, in that “mother tone,” as though he were a very naughty or irresponsible child , is in direct opposition to his wanting to have a wife and family who are in awe of him for who he is and what he does for them. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 78)
When Dr. Twenge compared standardized testing of masculinity scores with testing done in the 50's compared to 2006 test scores, the 2006 test scores showed that,
"50% of the women in my sample scored as "masculine" on the test, meaning that they had endorsed significantly more of the stereotypical masculine traits (like assertive) than the feminine items. When the test was written in 1973, only about 20% of the women scored that way. (Generation Me, Pg 12)
She further states: "The average 1990's college women reported more "masculine" traits than 80% of Boomer college women in the early 1970's. The change was so large that by the early 1990's men and women's scores on the scale of so called masculine traits were indistinguishable. The generational change in masculinity had turned the very definition of the scale on its head: clearly these traits were no longer masculine, but simply human" (Generation Me, pg 12)
The 1960’s might have been the sexual revolution, but apparently it was just the beginning. For her masters thesis with me, Brooke Wells gathered data on sexual behavior and attitudes from research reports on 269,649 young people collected over four decades - the most comprehensive study ever done of change over time in sexual behavior. Both men and women’s sexual behavior shifted with time, but the changes for women were the most striking. Women now approach sex similarly to the way men do. Today’s young women are not afraid to pursue sexual pleasure and are very assertive in going after what they want (Generation Me, pg 162-164)
Research shows that girls who participate in sports are more likely to develop traits like independence and competitiveness (Generation Me, pg 193)
Studies have found that girls with working mothers are more likely to embrace traditionally masculine traits like ambition and independence.
NOTE- This does not make these particular American woman bad or less as human beings. Im simply pointing out the fact that generally speaking, woman in America have lost touch with their soft feminine side. Some men are fine with that and that is great if so. But many other men prefer more feminine, soft, sweet, and nurturing woman as partners.
It may be a surprise for many women to imagine that their husbands are in pain because of their behavior towards them. In all fairness, men do tend to be more stoic than women; they try to be strong and carry on no matter what. I do not fault that at all. That is a description of masculinity, one that has been under attack from a feminized culture that denies the importance of such inner strength and fortitude. Without those and other masculine characteristics, much of Western civilization would not have evolved. I do believe that it’s to no betterment of men and society that women temper and civilize these masculine characteristics; however, to deny the reality and value of masculine traits altogether is cruel towards boys and men, not to mention foolish, as it undermines the home and country (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 6) We all know that America is in decline. With feminism’s assault on the family unit, (as Dr. Laura was quoted as saying) when the family unit decays, morals and values go down the tubes as well. They are replaced with such negative characteristics like Narcissism. Dr.Jean Twenge identifies narcissism as being responsible for the financial crises and other negative trends we see around us today.
Dr. Laura relates a trip she made recently to a swimming pool. A mom and a dad were wading with their infant child. Mom held the child against her chest, cooed to him, and swooped him up and down. She passed the baby to dad. He turned the baby’s face outward and swooshed him forward and up into the air. “Mom equals protection and nurturance. Dad equals autonomy and adventure. It is the perfect balance that helps produce a functional, secure human being.” Too many women, though, act like Alice Kramdens, constantly belitting their husbands, shooting down their aspirations, treating them like children. Dr. Laura writes: “When a wife treats her man like he’s one of her children, when she puts him down or thwarts his need for autonomy, adventure, risk, competition, challenge, and conquest, she ends up with a sullen, uncooperative, unloving, hostile lump.”
Feminist educators and activists keep trying to squeeze men and women into niches that may simply not be a good match for their innate qualities as individuals as well as their unique masculine and feminine drives. It is more in the female nature to nest and nurture. It is more in the male to conquer and protect. Frankly, the more we ignore the true, inherent masculine and feminine qualities of people, the farther apart we pull them. Interestingly, a major study reported in April 2002 at an American Heart association forum concluded, after following patterns of heart disease and death among nearly four thousand participants for ten years, that men and women who defy traditional societal roles may suffer more health consequences, such as heart disease, than those who adhere to traditional roles. According to an ABC news report: ”The investigators did not find that high amounts of job stress, characterized as having high demands with little autonomy, was associated with an increased risk of heart disease. However, they did find that women who were in positions of high authority with high job demands suffered higher rates of heart disease than other women, although their male counterparts did not. Similarly, men who dubbed themselves primarily as house husbands – about 10% of the participants- had an 82% higher ten year death rate than men who worked outside the home.” Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 154)
What does it mean, in concrete terms, to treat one’s husband with respect? To start with, a man likes and needs to be treated like he is “the man.” That seems to be difficult for a lot of women to do, partly because they have been brought up with notions of “unisexuality,” the sadly mistaken and destructive belief that men and women have no differences - and whatever men want or do that women don’t appreciate is stupid, wasteful, and self-indulgent. Well, the fact is, men and women are different physically, psychologically, motivationally, and temperamentally. Anyone who has had exposure to babies and children can tell you that boys and girls respond differently to the world right from the start. Give both a doll and the girl will cuddle it, while the boy will more likely use it as a projectile or weapon. Give them two dolls and the girl will have the dolls talking to each other, while the boy will have them engage in combat. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 160-161)
One of the unfortunate consequences of the feminist movement is a lack of respect for the uniqueness and specialness of femininity and masculinity. (Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 103)
The notion of “fixed roles” is inflammatory and controversial. It shouldn’t be so. I’ve said it many times on my program that women have become denigrated by that part of the feminist movement that dismisses marriage, child rearing, and home-making as insignificant and insulting to women. As long as women disrespect what they have to offer as wives and mothers, they will continue to disrespect their men who serve as husbands and fathers. No one benefits. No one is happy
(Dr. Laura, Proper Care and Feeding of Husbands, pg 169-170)
is one of the most obvious examples of
people in the
College professors often comment that today’s students feel they deserve special treatment. In 2007, a Harvard professor noted that, 20 years ago, when students were sick and missed an exam….they used to be apologetic and just grateful that I would even offer a makeup. These days I have kids who think its no big deal to miss a test due to personal conflict, and then they think they should decide when I give the makeup. Others students expect to get good grades just for paying tuition, even telling faculty members, “You work for me.” A survey of college students published in 2008 confirmed these perceptions. Two thirds of students believed their professor should give them special consideration if they explained they were trying hard (apparently missing the point that grades are given for performance, not just for trying). One third believed they deserved at least a B just for attending class. And – perhaps most incredible- one third thought they should be able to reschedule their final exam if it interfered with their vacation plans.
(The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 231-232)
Gen Me’s brand of self-importance also shows up as materialism. Generation me is likely to remain unsatisfied unless they earn heaps of money One survey found that 1990’s high school students were twice as likely as their 1970’s counterparts to say that “having lots of money” was “very important”.
This may explain the materialism I feel I see so much of in the dating scene. Most ladies at Match.com post minimum income requirements, usually 40K -50K on up! Interestingly enough, American Foreign born ladies on American dating sites almost never list minimum incomes.
Obviously, money is important in many ways. The attraction of money is understandable in a time when the necessities of life cost so much more. For many couples, it takes two incomes to achieve t he financial stability that many of their parents achieved on one salary. What is less apparent is why this money is needed to buy material goods whose purpose is to tell the world – and even to prove to yourself - that you are important and successful. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 163)
In past decades, material standards were far below what they are now. Children then wanted a nice doll, not a $400 I pod. They were lucky if they got a birthday party at all, much less one with entertainment and lavish presents. Part of the difference then was the relative absence of advertising. There was no TV or radio constantly exposing us to the idea that everyone deserves a birthday party with presents better than salt and pepper shakers. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 170)
People whose primary motivations are financial are much more likely to be anxious and depressed than people who value strong relationships with others. (Generation Me, pg 132)
helps explain why
Materialism is the most obvious outcome of a straight forward, practical focus on the self: you want more things for yourself. You feel entitled to get the best in life; the best clothes, the best house, the best car. You're special, you deserve special things" (Generation Me, pg 100)
This perfectly describes what men face in the American dating scene today
Affluenza victims get stuck in the more mode, not knowing when or how to stop. Consuming becomes pathological because its importance grows larger and larger in direct proportion to our decreasing satisfaction. It’s the same in restaurants, fast food outlets, and movie theaters, where portions get bigger , and then get huge. Plates of food become platters, boxes of popcorn become buckets. Our stomachs expand to accommodate the larger portions, which we soon regard as normal. This is the plight of the affluenza addict: Even too much is not enough. (Affluenza, pg 111)
The way American culture glorifies weddings and getting married seems to ignore the self–sacrificing, committed relationships these celebrations should be showcasing. Instead they end up celebrating narcissism. As Rebecca Mead points out in “One perfect day”: the selling of the American Wedding, “the bridal magazines promote…..the idea that a bride deserves to be the center of attention for the entire period of her engagement…. For sixteen months, it is her privilege, her right-indeed, her obligation-to become preoccupied with herself, her appearance, her tastes, and her ability to showcase them to their best advantage.” The self-obsession of some brides has inspired a new word: Bridezilla. As Wikipedia put it in 2008, the term describes ”a difficult, unpleasant, perfectionist bride who leaves aggravated family, friends and bridal vendors in her wake. A bridezilla obsessed with her wedding as her perfect day and will disregard the feelings of the family, bridesmaids, and even her groom in her quest for the perfect wedding.” Slate.com’s Emily Yoffe asks , “When did getting married become an exercise in acquired situational narcissism?” (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 229)
The individualist ethos of
Even this expert confirms just how anxious, stressed, and unhappy Americans seem to be.
Ask anyone who has extensive international travel experience, they will all tell you that people of poor 3rd world countries seem to be quite happy, even more so than us Americans. Their lives seem so much more fulfilled with a sense of inner peace that most Americans simply do not have. This has been my general impression thus far.
consider this quote from Pierce Morgan of CNN who agrees with this fact.
“Yes, I think I've met more unhappy rich people than poor people
and the reason I say that, I went to
Individualism and serving yourself are dead ends. The only way that you’ll ever feel good about yourself is by helping other people. Strong relationships and community keep us true to who we are and help us see what our lives are meant to be. (Generation Me, pg 240) Foreigners tend to have a stronger sense of community and seem to have closer relationships with others that are more deep and real and authentic compared to many Americans. Its also well known even among many Americans that foreigners have closer family ties also.This is why they make better relationship and marriage partners, they are more connected to others .
American culture is obsessed with getting across the message that we are all different and all unique. Why not emphasize instead what makes us all similar as human beings? That message promotes the good side of individualism: Tolerance of all people, regardless of race, sex, sexual orientation, or background. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 105)
The value of
uniqueness is taught very early in American culture. Uniqueness is often
emphasized to children with phrases like, “There is no one in the world quite
like you.” A preschool in
individualism does corrode family commitments, we should first expect to see
that rising individualism correlates with family decline over the long run –which
Paradox, pg 182) This is so CRITICAL! The message is that choosing marriage partners who
do not come from individualistic cultures will serve you best in the long run.
Your odds of having a happy family are much higher with foreign woman. And of
course this is reflected in the 20% divorce rate with foreign woman compared to
the 50-60% divorce rate in
There is evidence that women with traditional sex role attitudes are indeed less likely to divorce than those with feminists attitudes (The American Paradox, pg 45-46)
The feminist attitude is anti male, and all about not needing men, so naturally American women are far easier to divorce than foreign women who still have traditional values and have been raised in a culture where they have a innate need for men. I’m not implying American women are innately bad, I just don't think the current generation of woman, in general, has produced good family partners. Of course there are exceptions, and they are treasured - mostly women from small towns, or real “christian girls” in my experience.
40-50% of marriages that do survive in
“ If individualism corrodes family commitments, we should also
expect to see greater individualism linked with weaker family bonds across
cultures – which we do. The
“Individualists also feel more frustration with their marriages: they criticize their partners more severely and express less marital happiness.” (The American Paradox, pg 184) Again, this explains why it is riskier to marry someone from an individualistic culture such as America, and explains what contributes to our abysmal divorce rate which leads to broken families where more kids grow up in 1 parent households which leads to harmful consequences for these kids that lasts a lifetime.Broken homes also leads to harmful consequences for society too. (crime, juvenile delinquency, poorer academic performance etc)
“Lower rates of divorce in previous decades might even suggest that they were better at relationships than we are. Maybe we love ourselves a little too much” (Generation Me, pg 90)
“There is an increasing demand for effective independent functioning without emotional reliance
on others. If these trends continue, (as it looks
like they are) the divorce rate in
In the two quotes directly below, both Dr Jean Twenge and Dr Laura Schlessinger talk about how woman in America today expect to be in love all the time and often divorce when they feel they are no longer getting that “lovin” feelin. As these experts both say, this idea of “having to be in love” all the time or “having to have that magical lovin feeling” to stay married is something most American woman have fallen victim too.
“TV and movie writers seem to be obsessed with the search for ‘magic’ relationships. Everyone wants a magic relationship that feels different and special. Ordinary relationships, apparently, are for undesirable people and previous eras. Unfortunately, in the real world, these magic relationships are about as stable as some atomic particles, disappearing faster than they can be measured.” (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 229)
Marriage is more about compatibility, and more importantly, about an obligation and a commitment to the institution of marriage, something which should be valued as greater than the self. This is an ideal that most foreign woman still value and most Americans, especially the woman, no longer believe in. Not to say that there aren’t situations where divorce is absolutely necessary, it’s just that in general, Americans take it far too lightly and usually make little to no effort to work on saving their marriages. Few Americans are willing to put in the hard work in an effort to make it work.When problems hit, Americans quit.
Conclusion: Marrying a woman who has not been brought up in a self focused individualistic cultural will naturally increase your odds of a successful and happier marriage.
Secret Behind Success Of Arranged Marriages –Americans can learn from this
“More people in
Eat, Pray, Love' author tackles marriage - CNN
http://www.city-data.com/forum/relationships/1364783-marriage-hits-all-time-low-united-29.html#ixzz1gurrRMM3 Love is a very fragile thing to base a long
term relationship on. I'll grant you that it's a necessary ingredient, but it's
never ever enough all by itself.
Elizabeth Gilbert, bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love, and most recently a book on marriage called Committed, mentioned what she discovered about stuying marriage in different cultures in a recent CNN interview:
If you look at the history of marriage, anytime you see a conservative culture of arranged marriage being replaced by a more liberal culture of romantic marriage ... you will see divorce rates start to rise immediately.
It turns out that love is a very fragile notion upon which to base a very important and complicated institution. I think most people throughout history would look at the way we choose our marriages today and just think, my God, these people took huge risks. They risk their future, financial stability, property and their heirs on something as fragile and delicate as romantic affection.
It's not that that necessarily means that I advocate a return to arranged marriage, it just helps put in perspective why contemporary western marital arrangements can become so chaotic.
It sounds obvious now, but I didn’t fully appreciate back then that what makes for a good marriage isn’t necessarily what makes for a good romantic relationship. Once you’re married, it’s not about whom you want to go on vacation with; it’s about whom you want to run a household with. Marriage isn’t a passion-fest; it’s more like a partnership formed to run a very small, mundane, and often boring nonprofit business. And I mean this in a good way.
Marriage ultimately isn’t about cosmic connection—it’s about how having a teammate, even if he’s not the love of your life, is better than not having one at all. (Lori Gottlieb) http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2008/03/marry-him/6651/
is one of the worst, if not the worst countries for social life, , dating, and
mental health. All the mental health studies out there conclude that Americans
have the highest rate of mental illness in the entire world. Going to a
therapist or psychologist is mostly a
It is a
raw, statistical fact that
The United States
holds claim to the highest rate of mental illness, the highest rate of obesity,
the highest rate of eating disorders (anorexia), the highest rate of childhood
murders and suicides, the highest rate of adolescent drug use of any
industrialized nation, , the highest
rate of incarceration (8 to 10
times that of Europe) as our capacity to
produce criminals has outstripped our capacity to house them, the highest rate
of adolescent pregnancy in the Western world, highest rate of divorce, fewer
and more unhappier marriages. Lastly, the
Lastly, many visitors to the US remark that Americans as a whole do not look happy at all, despite being the richest nation on Earth, but instead look very grumpy, irritable, and fat.
Never has a culture experienced such physical comfort combined with such psychological misery. Never have we felt so free, or had our prisons so overstuffed. These are the best of times materially, but not the best of times for the human spirit. (The American Paradox, pg 138)
Another price tag on individualism is the increased risk of depression which is highest in individualistic countries. Our epidemic of depression is a creature of today’s ‘maximal self’ which has brought with it a diminished sense of community and loss of higher purpose. These together provide rich soil for depression to grow in. Having forgone commitments to things larger than self (God, country, family) where can we now turn for identity, for purpose, and for hope? (The American Paradox, pg 182)
Just look at my Dating Profiles Comparisons. The foreign girl profiles continuously talk of faith, God, and a focus on family. They have far better values and a greater sense of purpose. Then look at American women profiles and it’s mostly nothing but a selfish list of demands that oozes a hard to please attitude. The American women profiles also have a focus on money, high minimum income requirements. Any mention of money or hidden key words about money is completely absent in foreign lady profiles.
Only 1% to
2% of Americans born before 1915 experienced a major depressive episode during
their lifetimes, even though they lived through the Great Depression and two
world wars. Today, the lifetime rate of major depression is ten times higher -
between 15% and 20%. Some studies put the figure closer to 50%. Depression is
very commonplace in
Gen Me has
so much more than previous generations- we are healthier. Advances in
healthcare and safety mean more kids live longer and better lives. We enjoy
countless modern conveniences, and are better educated. We have been remarkably
free of traumatic historical events. Except for a few recessions here and
there, economic prosperity has reigned. There have been no world wars. Gen Me
has never been drafted. Shouldn’t we be happier now? Generation Me often lacks
other basic human requirements: stable close relationships, and a sense of community.
growing tendency to put the self first leads to unparalleled freedom, but it
also creates an enormous amount of pressure on us to stand alone. This is the
downside of the focus on the self- when we are fiercely independent and
self-sufficient, our disappointments loom large because we have nothing else to
focus on. Our social
contacts are slight compared to those enjoyed by earlier generations. For example, my friend Peter moved into an
apartment on the North Side of
Twice as many 15 to 24 yr olds are in one person households now compared to 1970, as are almost three times more 25 to 34 year olds. More than 1 out of 3 people aged 25 to 29 lives alone or with roommates. (Generation Me, pg 114)
EVERYTHING I've experienced traveling abroad. Many Americans who have traveled
to Latin America and Asia comment on how happy and content the
people seem, even though they are poor and have very little, they are
happy. They have close family networks and do not live by this
"stand on your own" independent ethos that
A lot of
poor but close-knit Mexican families immigrate to individualistic
Seven large investigations, each following thousands of people over years of time, reveal that close relationships also contribute to health. People who are supported by close relationships with friends, family, or members of church, work, or other groups are less likely to die prematurely than those with few social ties. In other studies, leukemia patients preparing to undergo bone marrow transplants had a 54% survival rate after two years if they felt strong support from family or friends, and 20% survival if not. “Woe to the one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help” said the sage of Ecclesiastes. People who have people are not only the luckiest people alive , but also the happiest and healthiest. (The American Paradox, pg 193)
you see how much happier than Americans foreigners are, even if extremely poor.
They have a sense of community and connectedness that is missing in American
social life. America is in reality a very nonsocial and segregated culture
designed for business, not social connection or healthy
relationships. This is
evidenced by the fact that most lonely people in
There is a
kind of famine of warm interpersonal relations, of easy to reach neighbors, of
solid family life in
We’re psychologically malnourished from eating a junk food diet of instant messages, email, and phone calls rather than a healthy food of live, in person interaction. (Generation Me, pg 110)
Almost half of Gen Me have seen their parents divorce, or have never known their father at all. This has a clear link to the rise in depression. (Generation Me, pg 111)
One of the
strangest things about modern life in
Narcissism is linked to this quest for material goods and a “beat the Joneses” lifestyle. For narcissists, material goods such as a Rolex watch, a luxury car, and a huge kitchen with granite countertops are signals of status. It’s all too common for middle class people, convinced they must have 3,500 square foot home and granite counter tops, to use easy credit to achieve their material dreams. The standards for what material goods are deemed necessary for daily life seem to grow every year. Unfortunately, this type of materialism is eventually self-destructive; people who value being wealthy as an end in itself are less happy and more prone to depression. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 129-130)
Tim Kasser, author of “The High Price of Materialism”, has spent his career studying the consequences of valuing money and things. On average, materialistic people are less happy and more depressed. Even people who simply aspire to have more money suffer from poor mental health; they also report more physical health problems such as sore throats, back aches, and headaches and were more likely to abuse alcohol and use illegal drugs. Striving for financial success, apparently, makes people miserable. Part of the reason is that it is very hard to get ahead for more than a short while in the materialism game. The boost to narcissism that you Get from beating the Joneses lasts only until they get their own new BMW or home cinema. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 176)
An overemphasis on uniqueness has negative consequences for individuals as well. Studies have found that teenagers who have a “personal fable” of uniqueness believe that no one understands them. Teens with these beliefs are significantly more likely to be depressed and think about suicide. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 192)
In the book “Costs of Living”, Barry Schwartz describes a former student who said he thought twice about burdening friends with his life and his problems because he knew how consumed they were with their own, and what a sacrifice it would entail for them to spend the time required to listen to him and to help him out. I put a post it note on that page and wrote “this is a very familiar story” (Generation Me, pg 115)
The above paragraph supports Winston Wu’s Comparison Chart that says “An ever growing number of people don't bother to make time for their friends or relatives”
And here is more
proof of this lonliness and shallow friendships in American culture today
…… “We may "friend" more people on Facebook but we have Fewer real friends
–the kind who would help us out in tough times, listen sympathetically
no matter what, lend us money or give us a place to stay if we needed it, keep
a secret if we shared one. That's the conclusion made by Matthew Brashears, a
In 1952, Americans sat together with their neighbors, laughing at Red Skelton. But by 1995, each member of a family often watched his or her own TV, as isolation and passivity became a way of life. What began as a quest for the good life in the suburbs degenerated into private consumption splurges that separated one neighbor from another, and one family member from another. We began to feel lost in our own neighborhoods. Many sociologists are concerned about the health implications of our neighborhoods. Suburban designs often turns a cold shoulder on the neighborhood clan, with garage doors that resemble drawbridges, privacy fences that become castle walls, and private mini-manors that encourage exclusive lifestyles. Physical features such as these affect the social and even physical health of suburban residents. (Affluenza, pg 64)
The effects of easy credit for status seeking and luxurious living spills into society, affecting others beyond the narcissistic status seeker. Narcissism is a disease that causes other people to suffer. The government bailouts of 2008 are a prime example of this. Banks and home buyers took narcissistic risks. , and when the system imploded, the American taxpayer was left holding the bag. The narcissism epidemic pushed people to spend beyond their means on depreciating assets and created a culture that accepted and even encouraged turning a fast buck selling risky, speculative financial products. Societal narcissism is the missing ingredient in understanding the financial meltdown. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 133-134)
Narcissism works on the pleasure principle- it looks great and gets what it wants, but it hurts other people and even the self in the long run. Easier and easier credit allowed them to live out grandiose, materialistic fantasies- until the bill came due. And its still pretty easy to get a credit card- Keith’s daughters (both under age six) get credit card offers all the time. When babies can drool on their first credit cards, its time to worry.
“Illegal immigrants do jobs that Americans are unwilling to do. “ There is something really disturbing about this statement; it implies that certain jobs are beneath Americans, that Americans don’t want to get their hands dirty or their backs sore doing the work that keeps the country running. So they have to import people whom they consider beneath them to do it. Somehow many middle-and upper class Americans feel they are superior to people who do this kind of work. This is one of the twists of logic of the narcissism epidemic: apparently, being lazy and unwilling to work makes Americans better than the people who are willing to work. If this is true, it bodes very poorly for our nation. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 242-243)
Narcissism is a significant risk factor for aggressive and violent behavior. In our culture of self-admiration, it seems paradoxical that a narcissist – who, after all, admires himself quite a bit –would hurt someone else. Americans subscribe to the idea that if you like yourself, you will like other people and thus won’t be aggressive. However, narcissists are aggressive exactly because they love themselves so much and believe that their needs take precedence. They lack empathy for other people’s pain and often lash out when they feel they aren’t getting the respect they deserve-and they feel they deserve a lot, because they are, of course, better than everyone else. Consider the mass murderers in history, such as Hitler, Pol Pot, Saddam Hussein, or Stalin. Do they strike you as people with low self-esteem? No they were so confident in themselves and their beliefs that they killed millions of people. Their narcissism allowed them to disregard the most basic rights of others. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 196)
Narcissists are also aggressive when someone tries to restrict their freedom. “Who are you to tell me what I can or can’t do.” (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 196)
overall crime rates were beginning to sink in the mid 1990’s, a special type of
violent crime was becoming more and more common; school shootings. Virtually
unheard of prior to 1996, school shootings began occurring more and more
frequently. Take the Columbine school shooting for example. In videotapes made
before the April 1999 massacre at Columbine high school, shooters Eric Harris
and Dylan Klebold debated which famous director would film their story. Harris
makes several statements that are shockingly similar to items on the
narcissistic Personality Inventory. “Isn’t it fun to get the respect we’re
going to deserve?” he asks while picking up a gun and making a shooting noise,
similar to the NPI item “ I insist upon getting the respect that is due me.” He
also said , “I could convince them that I’m going to climb
(The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 192)
aggression-people being cruel to one another with words- also seems to be on
the upswing in the
is a polite, soft spoken teen who is close to her parents and active in her
church. But Jennifer’s My Space page paints a much different picture. “Suck it
slo, Ho!” reads the headline. In her bio, she warns “all you bitches” not to
bother her because she knows “a lot if big ass [guys], ya’ll! Another female
student, only 14, uses a picture of herself in a low-cut dress and several
The sexual aspects of My Space have drawn lots of attention, but the aggressive and anti social attitudes often expressed there are almost as shocking – and just as consistent with a culture of narcissism. Of course plenty of My Spacers talk about how much they love their friends, but the “Don’t screw with me” attitude is very common. One man’s username is “salute me bitch” and another is “$you just do you and imam do me$) One teen girl wrote , “If you don’t lyk me for me, then fuck you, your NOT worth my time.” (Two sentences later she adds, paradoxically, “I am easy to get along with.”) (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 115) This is so key. If you ask most American women if they think they are easy to get along with and most will tell you yes. But as we can see, these experts are telling us otherwise. And it’s obvious by just looking at their dating profiles, that most American women profiles consist of a list of demands full of financial code words about money and talk about how a man “must know how to treat a lady”.
A sample my space page typical of high school girls, “ I love 2 chill with my friends and parTAYYY ON THE WEEKEND!...I love whip cream LOL I love having fun and just being stupid and wild! He he I luv 2 SHoP so Maybe one of you guys can take me shopping sometime!” (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 114)
2008, Jean’s graduate student Leah Bonds analyzed 200 MySpace pages of
I’d like to meet”, one said “Someone who will take me to
This message is loud and clear in so many American women dating profiles. When will they understand that men enjoy women who treat them like a person, not a walking wallet!
The average teen now spends a full half hour a day listening to songs that describe degrading sex. i.e. “Any Bitch! Wait til you see my dick. Imma beat that pussy up” (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 225)
All these messages are consistent with a growing culture of narcissism, with its rampant materialism, aggression toward others, vanity, shallow sexuality, and rabid desire for attention and fame. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 114)
The Culture of Bullying: Loss of Civility at School, Work, Politics
In today’s America, incivility is on prominent display: in the schools, where bullying is pervasive; in the workplace, where an increasing number are more stressed out by coworkers than their jobs; on the roads, where road rage maims and kills; in politics, where strident intolerance takes the place of earnest dialogue; and on the web, where many check their inhibitions at the digital door,” says Pier M. Forni, author of “The Civility Solution: What to Do When People are Rude” and director of The Civility Initiative at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.
“How in the world can we stop bullying in schools, in the workplace, in politics, when it is so close to our national character right now?” asks Dr. Gary Namie, a psychologist and cofounder of the Workplace Bullying Institute, a Washington state–based nonprofit.
Facing the Consequences
Forni of Johns Hopkins’ Civility Initiative says the onslaught of rude, bullying and uncivil behavior—intensified by the 24/7 reach of the Internet and social-networking sites such as Facebook—adds to the stress people are already feeling and can translate into real and very tragic consequences.
According to Forni:
The enthusiastic claims of the self-esteem movement mostly range from fantasy to hogwash. The effects of self-esteem are small, limited, and not all good. Those with high self-esteem are more likely to be obnoxious, to interrupt, and to talk at people rather than with them (in contrast to the more shy, modest, self-effacing folks with low self-esteem). People with high self-esteem are also more likely to be bullies. Self-control is worth 10 times as much as self-esteem. (The American Paradox, pg 167)
This explains the bullying epidemic in
problem is getting progressively worse in
Looked at objectively, things really are harder now. It was once possible to support a family on one middle class or even working class income. No longer. These days, even the essentials are astronomically expensive: housing, health care, day care, and education costs have all far outstripped inflation. The rich have gotten richer and the poor – or actually the middle class- has gotten poorer. The income of men ages 25 to 34 with full time jobs dropped 17% from 1971 to 2002. Most families have been able to stay afloat mostly because both adults are in the workforce. The two income trap, coauthored by a Harvard economist, provides a summary of the balance sheet. Fixed costs like housing, health insurance, and child care have doubled for the average family since the early 1970’s, while discretionary income has gone down. (Generation Me, pg 128)
We were raised to believe in ourselves , and to have a wildly optimistic outlook. Yet we enter adulthood at a time when just getting by is increasingly difficult. Many of us will weather this collision of youthful expectation and harsh adult reality by becoming anxious or depressed. (Generation Me, pg 242)
In this world where essentials like housing are so astronomically expensive, what messages has Gen Me been fed? Save your money? Feel lucky to have a house even if its not a mansion? Of course not. In the world of individualism and consumer longing, we’ve been taught to expect more. Perhaps because of media exposure, we want to be millionaires, to be famous, to live in a large house and drive fancy cars. It’s all we’ve seen on TV and movies since we were babies. Sure enough, research shows that the more television you watch, the more materialistic you are.
In the 1999 movie fight club, the character Tyler Durden captures this perspective with searing accuracy. “Our generation has had no great depression, no great war” he says. “Our depression is our lives….We were raised on television to believe that we’d all be millionaires, movie gods, rock stars, but we wont. And we’re starting to figure that out. And we’re very very, pissed off! (Generation Me, pg 129)
Characters on TV shows and in the movies rarely have boring jobs working for corporations, building houses, or working a cash register. Yet these are the jobs most young people will grow up to have. In between the shows, advertising constantly asks us if we are good enough, thin enough, rich enough. (Generation Me, pg 130)
Even if we reach many of our goals, Gen Me’rs are likely to remain unsatisfied unless we earn heaps of money. In many ways, the higher expectations of Gen Me are rooted in our focus on the self. We focus so much on our individual wants, feeling empty inside, that depression is often the result. Gen me expects more at a time when its more difficult to attain the bare minimum. Movies are filled with people who have glamorous jobs, but its harder and harder just to get into a good college. TV shows are set in mansions, yet even a small house is outside the reach of most people. It’s like a cruel joke - we’ve been raised to expect riches, and can barely afford a condo and a crappy health care plan. (Generation Me, pg 134)
The vast majority of Americans cannot, and never will be able to, afford much of what they see in magazines and on TV. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 173)
Swelling expectations lead to a constant effort to keep up with the latest products, to compete in the consumption arena. That in turn, forces us to work more, so we can afford the stuff. With so many things to use, and the need to work harder to obtain them, our lives grow more harried and pressured. The pressure to keep up with the Joneses leads many families into their debt and simmering conflicts over money matters that frequently result in divorce. As one pundit put it, “If you win the rat race, you’re still a rat. And you may be a dead one!” (Affluenza, pg 27)
The more exposure kids get to American culture, the more likely they will rebel against the family first, group-oriented ethos of many cultures around the world (Generation Me, pg 8)
Foreigners often comment on how shocked they are to see how rebellious and spoiled American kids are, and how they don’t respect their parents or elders, and often talk back to the parents. American culture teaches kids to be this way. She further states,
"Generation me doesn’t just question authority - we disrespect it entirely." (Generation Me, pg 28)
In the early 2000’s, elementary schools around the country reported an alarming rise in the number of kindergarteners who swore at or physically fought with teachers. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 204)
This is one of the dysfunctionalities of American culture!!!
“The French method to the madness of parenting has to do with straight-shooting discipline. Parents are not afraid to say "no" with direct and clear-cut meaning. Delayed gratification is also implicit to French child-rearing. Kids don't get what they want just because they ask for it, and certainly not when it comes to snacks. Only one snack a day at the exact same time is a mainstay of the country's parenting culture, according to the author. That kind of unwavering structure may turn out "calmer and more resilient" children.
Some of the admirable aspects of French-raised children, according to Druckerman's research:
have to look very hard to find it. It is everywhere. The
They see bits and pieces - a celebrity here, a mass murder there - but not the entire structure. Vanity, self-promotion, materialism, and poor social behaviors are all linked. The increases in plastic surgery, credit card debt, video taped violence, crass materialism, and desire for fame are interconnected trends. (The Narcissism Epidemic pg 278)
American society actively promotes living beyond your means. You want to appear to be richer, cooler, or more successful than you are. There are no payments for the first 12 months! The result is a country full of people in tremendous debt for goods that decrease in value the moment they are bought. This consumption binge has been accelerated by the cultural emphasis on self-promotion. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 300)
Somewhere along the line, American culture’s core ideas and values were modified to include the idea of self-admiration. American culture’s focus on self-admiration has caused a flight from reality to the land of grandiose fantasy. We have phony rich people (with interest only mortgages and piles of debt), phony beauty (with plastic surgery and cosmetic procedures), phony athletes (with performance enhancing drugs), phony celebrities (via reality TV and U tube), phony genius students (with grade inflation), a phony national economy (with 11 trillion of government debt), phony feelings of being special among children (with parenting and education focused on self-esteem), and phony friends (with the social networking explosion). All this fantasy may feel good, but unfortunately, reality always wins. The mortgage meltdown and the resulting financial crisis are just one demonstration of how inflated desires eventually crash to earth. In data from 37,000 college students, narcissistic personality traits rose just as fast as obesity from the 1980’s to the present, with the shift especially pronounced for women. The rise in narcissism is accelerating, with scores rising faster in the 2000’s than in previous decades. By 2006, 1 out of 4 college students agreed with the majority of the items on a standard measure of narcissistic traits. Even these shocking numbers are the tip of the iceberg; lurking underneath is the narcissistic culture that has drawn in many more. The narcissistic epidemic has spread to the culture as a whole, affecting both narcissistic and less self-centered people. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 1-4)
The upswing in narcissism appears to be accelerating: the increase between 2000 and 2006 was especially steep. The changes were especially large for women (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 31)
Note the last two red underlined italicized statements in red just above. These statements say that the NARCISSISTIC changes were especially pronounced and large in women!
Americans are being persuaded that becoming more vain, materialistic, and self-centered is actually a good thing. This can happen even if you’re not particularly narcissistic but just get drawn into what everyone else is doing. (The Narcissism Epidemic pg 38) To use an analogy, if one passenger on an airplane reclines his seat all the way back, the passenger behind him is forced to do the same and so on until every seat in the plane is back. In America today, more and more of the plane seats are tilted back, and more and more people are tempted to do the same themselves (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 55)
“Tim Kasser, author of “The High Price of Materialism”, has spent his career studying the consequences of valuing money and things. On average, materialistic people are less happy and more depressed. Even people who simply aspire to have more money suffer from poor mental health; they also report more physical health problems such as sore throats, back aches, and headaches and were more likely to abuse alcohol and use illegal drugs. Striving for financial success, apparently, makes people miserable. Part of the reason is that it is very hard to get ahead for more than a short while in the materialism game. The boost to narcissism that you get from beating the Joneses lasts only until they get their own new BMW or home cinema.” (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 176) This helps explain an earlier discussed premise on how poorer people from non industrialized countries seem to be more cheerful and spiritually happier and fulfilled at a soulful level than most Westerners who come from more materially well off countries. As Jean Twenge previously stated, Americans, by comparison, come off as cranky, grumpy, stressed, and irritable and far less happy. Anyone who has traveled abroad and spent any time amongst the peoples of these other cultures (outside of the protected touristy areas) can readily recognize this difference.Of interesting note, according to studies, the country rated with the happiest people in the world is Nigeria, which is a poor country by materialistic standards.
In fact, narcissism causes almost all of the things that Americans hoped high self-esteem would prevent, including aggression, materialism, lack of caring for others, and shallow values. In trying to build a society that celebrates high self-esteem, self-expression, and loving yourself, Americans have in advertently created more narcissists - and a culture that brings out the narcissistic behavior in all of us. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 9)
culture has embraced the value of self-admiration with a big warm hug. In
And we Americans wonder why we are not very popular with the rest of the world??
Americans’ growing obsession with appearance is a clear symptom of a narcissistic culture in love with its own reflection. Narcissistic college students post sexier photos of themselves of Face book than humbler students. Narcissists are more likely to wear expensive, attention getting clothing. Female narcissists wear more makeup and show more cleavage Appearance enhancement is on the rise. Many more people are doing many more things in the name of looking hot. (i.e. tanning salons, botox, plastic surgery, boob jobs) Television shows have made plastic surgery cool. MTV’s I want a famous face features young people who get plastic surgery to resemble their favorite celebrity. Here, vanity meets the quest for fame and celebrity, with a dose of self-admiration thrown in. One of the dark sides of the cultural emphasis on physical appearance is the increase in eating disorders. The combination of self–admiration with the social pressure to look physically attractive - both of which are present in the current cultural climate – are a recipe for creating eating disorders. This is even more true of women. Men are not immune to new high standards for appearance. It’s now important for men to have a “cut” chest with “six-pack”. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 141-150)
Why the rise in the obsession with appearance? Much of today’s desire for physical beauty springs from the fountain of self–admiration. For narcissistic people, good looks are just another way of gaining attention, status, and popularity. Having perfectly white teeth, great hair, a new sports car, or an attractive girlfriend all serve the same psychological function, making others think you are cool, special, popular or important. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 153)
Fifty years ago, finding a mate often depended on family contacts. Now most people live in urban areas and meet new people almost every day; physical appearance is the first, and sometimes the only, thing they see. Finding a mate depends not on family contacts but on looks. This is even more true of hookups, the short term sexual encounters now the norm among young people and that have all but replaced dating and boyfriend-girlfriend relationships. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 155)
A Kohl’s department store ad features a band singing a song called “Because I’m awesome”. As the clothes on the band members change every second or so in the ad, the singer declares “I’m a leader… I’m a winner” and “I don’t need you… and I beat you… cuz I’m awesome.” The rest of the song includes lyrics such as “Gonna make lots of money… and bought a self-tan.” For those keeping score at home with the list of narcissistic traits: interest in leadership and power, check; competitiveness, check; saying one does not need other people, check; over-inflated view of self, check; materialism, check; and vanity, check. A psychologist couldn’t have written a more thoroughly narcissistic song. According to a YouTube poster who works at Kohl’s, “This song is played once every hour” in the store. Its fans have taken the song’s message to heart. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 98)
Today’s unfettered celebration of wealth and the things money can buy has created an in your face “I’m rich and you’re not” attitude that pigeonholes people as winners or losers, princes or paupers (Affluenza, pg 81)
GM is placing a big bet that the decade long trend toward larger and more aggressive looking sport utility vehicles will continue, according to the New York Times. “It’s like a tank with fashion” says one teenager quoted by the times. The kid says he loves the Hummer because “I like something where I can look down into another car and give that knowing smile that says ‘I’m bigger than you’. It makes me feel powerful” (Affluenza, pg 27)
Americans tend to
feel a need to flex their ego and confidence. Foreigners especially notice this
about many Americans and find it unpleasant and intimidating. It’s like an
immature power play. Ladislav,
Chief Advisor of Happier Abroad, put it best when he said, “In
In the MTV reality show “My Super Sweet 16”, which features rich teens planning their extravagant 16th birthday parties, each episode features almost every facet of narcissism: materialism, over competitiveness, appearance obsession, the quest for fame, manipulativeness. In one episode, the birthday girl says the following while her mother helps her with her dress:
“Everyone’s going to be jealous of me when I wear this dress because I look so good.” Her mother warns her, “You’re acting so conceited now.” The teen replies “I’ve got as reason, right?”
A hip hop song she has clearly heard then plays – a song that could be the theme song of narcissism: “I’m so outstanding… I don’t care if they can’t stand me. I’m conceited. I got a reason.” In the next scene she “auditions” young men to be her escort, asking each to “lift up your shirt so we can see your abs.” (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 99-100)
fraud was so rampant in the early 2000’s that congress took action by passing
the Sarbanes-Oxley law, requiring that company CEO’s certify the accuracy of
their revenue reporting. It isn’t just the big wigs who are cheating to get
ahead. In 2007, a six year old submitted an essay to a contest that began, “My
daddy dies this year in
is also rampant, and growing, among students. In 1969, only 34% of high school
students admitted to cheating. In 2002, that number reached 74%. A large 2008
survey of teens found that two-thirds admitted to cheating and nearly one-third
had stolen something from a store. Nevertheless, 93% said they were satisfied
with their personal ethics - a classically narcissistic disconnect between
reality and self-concept. The cheating continues into college; a 2002 survey
found that 80% of
Narcissists see nothing wrong with cheating. It’s all about them, so who cares if a few rules are broken? Unfortunately, this is an illusion: Forget the rationalization that cheating “doesn’t hurt anyone,” because it does. For every person who cheats on his income taxes, other Americans face cuts to government–funded services. Cheating students short change those who actually do the work, and short change themselves of learning in the long run. Shareholders lose their life savings when companies report imaginary earnings. Baseball players who play clean can’t keep up with those doped up on steroids, who got to break records and make millions, resulting in broken bodies for the cheaters and broken careers for those who followed the rules. Of course narcissists don’t think about this, because they don’t consider the effects of their actions on others.
Why are so many people cheating these days? Our hypercompetitive, individualistic, self-admiring culture is at least partially to blame. When a few people start doing it (often the narcissistic), it cascades until more and more people feel that if they don’t cheat there is no way they will ever win. People not otherwise prone to cheating come to do so because they don’t want to put themselves at a disadvantage. Like other types of narcissistic behavior, cheating raises the bar for everyone and draws more and more people into the vortex begun by just a few super-spreaders. In the early 2000’s, elementary schools around the country reported an alarming rise in the number of kindergartners who swore at or physically fought with teachers. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 204-207)
corrosion of close relationships and a substitution of fantasy for reality –
paint a bleak image of the world. It (
The social scars left by Affluenza are being replicated throughout the entire world, as more and more cultures copy the American lifestyle. Each day television exposes millions of people in the developing world to the Western consumer lifestyle (without showing them its warts), and they are eager to participate. By pushing consumer values in developing countries, we are spreading the affluenza virus. (Affluenza, pg 87)
This reminds me of sex, it feels good and seems sexy, up until you find that you’ve caught VD! As far as I’m concerned, by spreading affluenza, the disease of unbridled consumerism, we Americans are giving the rest of the world VD of the soul and spirit !
Like McDonalds and Coca Cola, American individualism is spreading to all corners of the globe. . If current trends continue in developing countries, “Generation me” boomlets might soon be arriving around the world. (Generation Me, pg 7)
is not promoted so feverishly in other countries, however, the world is
starting to follow
concept of self-esteem is so unrecognized in
most superficial part of American culture, narcissistic values are conveniently
carried around the world in pop music, movies, television, and, increasingly,
on the internet. These media sources smoothly glamorize the narcissistic ethos,
showing its shiny surface of prosperity and self–glorification without the
downsides of alienation and social break-down. When young people in
Through the Apostle Paul, God gave his early warning about the moral and spiritual crisis the world would face in the last days: “Remember that there will be difficult times in the last days. People will be selfish , greedy, boastful, and conceited; they will be insulting , disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, and irreligious; they will be unkind, merciless, slanderous, violent, and fierce; they will hate the good; they will be treacherous, reckless, and swollen with pride; they will love pleasure rather than God.” The Apostle Paul enumerated in his letter to Timothy that the would–be attitudes of the people in the last days would reflect their moral and spiritual decline, and instructed that such people must be avoided. (2 Timothy 3:1-5)
global media coverage and the internet, when the world’s citizens see
Economic growth has given the average American a standard of living that is the world’s envy, and a social recession that is no one’s envy. (The American Paradox, pg 158)
and intellectuals dislike or are critical of
Another foreigner put
it best as follows: ”Americans generally live mind-numbing lives in
mind-numbing environments (especially in suburban
How can we meet intrinsic community needs when sprawl creates distances between people? How can we feel a sense of beauty, security, and balance if beautiful open spaces in our communities are being smothered by new shopping malls and rows of identical houses? (Affluenza, pg 119)
Shopping malls have really become the centers of many communities. Children as well as adults see a shopping center as just the natural destination to fill a bored life (Affluenza, pg 14-19)
In this section, note what Jean Twenge says about the Asians compared to Americans.
Americans score the highest on Narcissim tests
cultures are more collective and discourage individualism and narcissism.
Overall, more traditional cultures - those that value family, duty, and
obligation – are less narcissistic than more modern cultures like that of the
This difference is why foreign woman make better relationship and marirage partners, hence the 20% divorce rate when you marry a foreign woman compared to the 50-60% rate when marrying an American woman. You cannot expect a high marriage success rate with a population infected with narcissism. Remember that Jean Twenge repeatedly comments on how the rise in Narcissism was mainly with the woman. This is not just an opinion,but true fact as stated by one of America’s leading social psychologists who has conducted field work and research into this epedemic.
In a recent study, 39% of American eighth graders were confident of their math skills, compared to only 6% of Korean eighth graders. The Koreans however, far exceeded the US students’ actual performance on math tests. We’re not number one, but we’re number one in thinking we are number one. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 47)
The disproportionate American ego and attitude are too obvious to deny, especially when you compare them to foreigners. Americans tend to feel a need to flex their ego and confidence. Foreigners especially notice this about many Americans and find it unpleasant and intimidating. In fact, it's one reason why Americans think they are superior to the rest of the world, and come off as so arrogant about it. When they are in abroad, they notice that their egos are larger than those of the foreigners, who by comparison are more modest and humble, and thus they subconsciously feel superior when amongst foreigners.
It’s like an immature power play.
Ladislav, Chief Advisor
of Happier Abroad, put it best when he said, “In
And we Americans wonder why we are not very popular with the rest of the world?? In fact, foreigners have a word that is specific to describing this fairly common American trait (aka: ego), and its called “The ugly American”. Wikipedia defines it as “a term used to refer to perceptions of arrogant behavior by Americans abroad”. Many Americans think they are superior to the rest of the world, and come off as arrogant about it.
interesting to note, Asians as a group still score relatively low on measures
of narcissism. Within the
Witness the remarkable academic and vocational success of children of Asian boat people – success attributed to close-knit, supportive, even demanding families and to the kids not yet being assimilated into American culture. (The American Paradox, pg 45-46)
In 1976, 16% of American high school seniors said that “having a lot of money” was “extremely important.” This ballooned to 26% in 2006. High school students name “getting a good paying job” as more important than being “ethical and honorable”. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 162-163)
45% of college freshman said that “becoming well off financially” was
important; by 2006, that number increased to 75% . The
An incredible 93% of teenage girls say that shopping is their favorite activity. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 162-163).
poll asked children in
Thomas Naylor taught corporate strategy courses at
Americans excel at making a living but often fail at making a life. (The American Paradox, pg 138)
society constantly perpetuates consumption and material desires with hype, our
general focus becomes on the outward rather than the inward. People are judged
based on what they have, which creates their status. As a result, we lose touch
with our inner selves, have no true self–confidence/self-esteem, and therefore
have fragile egos dependent on outer things and material possessions. In the
This YouTube interview by Bill Maher drives home this point
Unfortunately, our industrial life is dominated by the materialistic spirit of production [affluenza], giving little attention to the development of the human body, the human mind, or the spirit of life (Affluenza, pg 141)
The daily bombardment of advertising images leaves us forever dissatisfied with our own appearance and that of our real life partners. Advertising encourages us to meet nonmaterial needs through material ends. It tells us to buy their product because “we’ll be loved, we’ll be accepted”. And also it tells us that we are not lovable and acceptable without buying their product. To be lovable and acceptable is to have the right image. Authenticity be dammed. (Affluenza, pg 157)
Such heavy consumer advertising in many foreign countries is mild or non-existent and in such countries as these, you will generally find authentic and humble people, not to mention happier people. It’s much easier to be happier in countries where there isn’t constant bombardment of advertisements telling you that you are less because you have less.
When people feel sad or depressed, what do they do? They go to the mall and shop and it makes them feel better, but only for a short time. There’s an addictive quality in consumerism. But it simply doesn’t work. They’ve got all these things and they still find this emptiness, this hollowness. They’re surrounded by all kinds of fun toys but the meaning is gone. Americans now spend nearly seven times as much time shopping as they do playing with their kids. (Affluenza, pg 39, 41)
The pressure that materialism is bringing to bear on the American family today is woefully underestimated. (Affluenza, pg 51)
The more Americans fill their lives with things, the more they tell psychiatrists, pastors, friends, and family members that they feel empty inside. The more toys our kids have to play with, the more they complain of boredom. (Affluenza, pg 74)
What the bored person really craves is an authentic meaningful life. American advertising suggests that such a life comes in products or packaged commercial experiences. (Affluenza, pg 74)
mother Theresa came to the
This all reminds me of what the bible warns us about. Many of us are probably familiar with the verse “What profit would it bring a person were that person to gain the whole world, but lose his soul?” (Matthew 16:26)
See my dating profiles samples comparison section that shows how spiritual and soulful foreigners are. “GOD”, family, and soulfulness come first with foreign women. Filipina profiles are a perfect example. They almost always mention God in their profiles and messages. Words such as “God fearing, and God bless” and “God willing” are very common.
More than ever we have big houses and broken homes, high incomes and low morale, secured rights and diminished civility. We excel at making a living but often fail at making a life. We celebrate our prosperity but yearn for purpose. We cherish our freedom but long for connection. In the age of plenty, we feel a spiritual hunger. (Affluenza, pg 114)
many travelers who return from time spent with so called underdeveloped or
primitive cultures, Johnson had trouble returning to the fast-paced, possession
laden life in the United States. Culture shocked, he walked through a
supermarket aisle that was entirely filled with cake mixes and wondered, “Where’s
the affluence? Is this really progress?” Life in
But perhaps the strongest rebuke of affluenza came from Jesus himself. He continually warned of the dangers of wealth, declaring it a major impediment to entry to the kingdom of heaven. Jesus and his disciples preached that “the love of money is the root of all evil”.
Christian theologian Calvin DeWitt says our modern consumer philosophy turns scriptural teachings on their head: ”Consume more, then you’ll be happy. That’s the message we hear. But the Biblical teaching is to be content with what you have, honor God, and give your bread to the hungry. Then joy comes as a byproduct of service. If you take those teachings and just write their antithesis, you find yourself describing our current American consumer society. (Affluenza, pg 131-132)
article talking about the decline in
“If every American carries these values, then change would require a different people, a different country. In dialectical fashion, it is precisely those factors that made this nation materially great that are now working against us, and that thus need to be jettisoned.” (http://m.digg.com/newsbar/topnews/why_the_american_empire_was_destined_to_collapse)
Americans work 50% more
than Germans, French, and Italians. Many Americans are experiencing burnout due
to overwork and increased stress. Americans work, on average, considerably more
hours per week than in any other industrialized nation. Europeans tend to be
more concerned with enjoying and living life to the fullest, while Americans are busy following the “American Dream” and
traveling a road toward financial success. According to a new
study by Harvard and
Then there’s vacation
time. In the 15 nations of the European Union, by law all full-time employees
must be given a minimum
of four weeks’ paid vacation per year; the same is true for part-time employees
who have worked for at least 13 weeks. The notion of “accruing” vacation time
doesn’t apply; you are generally entitled to your four (or more) weeks of
vacation from the moment you’re hired. And these vacation days are in addition
to statutory holidays scattered throughout the year. There’s also an important
psychological difference: in the
See CNN's report on this Uniquely American problem http://edition.cnn.com/2011/TRAVEL/05/23/vacation.in.america/index.html
"There is simply no evidence that working people to death gives you a competitive advantage," the United States came in fourth in the World Economic Forum's 2010-2011 rankings of the most competitive economies, but Sweden -- a country that by law offers workers five weeks of paid vacation -- came in second.
That makes the
Days off per year – listed by country
to the international Labor Organization, in October 1999 the
EU productivity stands at 91% of ours, and several European economies are more
productive per worker than we are. Europeans have a lot less stuff than we do.
The Europeans traded a good part of their productivity gains for time instead
of money. So instead of working more than we do, they now work much less-nearly
nine weeks per year. As a result , they live longer and are healthier, despite
spending far less per capita on health care. In fact, the
The longer hours we work, the more stressful our home lives become, and the greater our tensions at home. (Affluenza, pg 50)
For a thousand years or more, the Spanish had enhanced their quality of life with a luxurious midday break that doesn’t cost a single peseta. Yet in the eyes of commerce, siestas are a complete waste of time. What the world needs is more production, more consumption, less relaxation, and more money. (Affluenza, pg 123)
the Second World War, Americans have been offered what economist Juliet Schor
calls “a remarkable choice”. As our productivity more than doubled, we could
have chosen to work half as much-or even less- and still produce the same
material lifestyle we found affluent in the 50’s. Instead, we put all our
apples into making and consuming more.
Our friends in
Beating the affluenza bug will also lead to less stress, more leisure time, better health, and longer lives. It will offer more time for family, friends, and community, and a more meaningful way of life. (Affluenza, pg 224, 228, 233).
causes of road rage are many and varied but some of the main factors which have
been identified are stress, fatigue and frustration. According to a
study by the American Automobile Association, this decade has already seen more
than 200 people killed and almost 13,000 injured as the result of a road rage
incident in the
In reality there are few
redeeming qualities to living in
See this NEWS Article about this very issue
“You know, the air is really “thin” in the
Here’s what the US lacks, which I
believe Mexico has: community, friendship, appreciation of beauty,
craftsmanship as opposed to obsessive technology, and—despite what you read in
the American newspapers—huge graciousness; a large, beating heart. I never
found very much of those things in the
The boom in easy credit, which began in the 1990’s, allows people to pretend they are better off than they actually are. The inflation in credit leads to inflation in self-image, helping the narcissism epidemic spread far and wide. Take a culture that promotes self-admiration and material goods, add the ability to realize this self-admiration through buying things you can’t really afford, and many people live the narcissistic illusion that they are wealthy , successful, and special. The availability of easy credit has allowed people to present an inflated picture of their own success to themselves and to the world. This of course, encouraged others to go into debt to simply keep up. Unfortunately, buying flashy consumer goods on credit in order to look and feel like a winner is similar to hitting the crack pipe in order to improve your mood. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 127)
Spending money on material goods provides a rush and can become an addiction. Psychologist Paul Rose found that narcissists are more likely to be compulsive shoppers, a behavior now recognized as an addiction. This shopping addiction was also linked to impulsivity, a trait that like narcissism, involves favors short term pleasures at the expense of long term gains. Like all other addictions, shopping addictions spill over to harm other people, burning not just personal resources but also family resources. A spouse with an addiction to buying stylish clothes or flashy electronics can bankrupt an entire family. The addict separates from others, because the pull of addiction is more important than having warm relationships. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 135)
Money vs. Spirituality - Matthew 6:24 "No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon."
has opened a free lunch stand. Voters get free money in the form of
artificially low taxes, social security benefits that pay more than they put
into the system, and a trough full of pork projects, and in turn, the people
vote the politicians into office again and again. It amounts to a giant repeal
of the reality principle, where we all get what we want. In theory, nobody pays
for it. The reality is that the
(The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 137)
Thomas Stanley and William Danko, authors of “The Millionaire Next Door”, initially believed millionaires would have expensive tastes and habits. But the millionaires they studied were, in a word, frugal. Many drove used cars, spent very little, and saved large sums of money. Of the seven key factors they identified in millionaires, at least two are directly at odds with narcissism. First, the authors found millionaires lived well below their means. Second, millionaires believe that financial independence is more important than displaying high social status. Americans see people with fancy cars and clothes and assume they must be rich. In reality, it is often safer to assume that they are in debt. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 137)
Generation me has the highest self-esteem (self-love) of any generation, but also the most depression. To borrow Alan Greenspan's phrase, our upbringing was irrationally exuberant. Irrational, because when we reach adulthood we often find ourselves lonely, rejected by graduate schools, stuck in a boring job, and/or unable to afford a house and basic living expenses (your job's a joke, you're broke, your love life's DOA), though many of us find no one is there for us either. Like the dot.com bubble of the 1990's, the bubble of high expectations bursts once Gen Me hits adulthood. Older generations have also faced these struggles, but Gen Me has been led to expect bounty in a time of famine. The gap between expectations and reality has widened to a yawning gulf of disappointment. This leads to a lot of anxiety, depression, and complaining. (Generation Me, pg 212)
Another cultural-level manifestation of the narcissism epidemic in relationships is the trend toward “hook ups,” aka “friends with benefits,” and other commitment free relationships. These types of sexual encounters are perfect for a narcissist who can get what he wants but then easily move on to the next partner, no strings attached. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 224)
Narcissists favor short-term relationships. That may help explain why hookups have become so popular. We cannot say for sure that one causes the other. All I can say is these are two trends that go along with each other. (Jean Twenge - Newsweek)
Overall, it is striking just how many symptoms of narcissism appear in the trend toward hookups, including lack of emotion in relationships, physical vanity, and antisocial attitudes and behavior. With hookups, it often plays out with broken hearts when one partner wants the hookup or “friends with benefits” arrangement to evolve into a real relationship, and the other doesn’t.
This section explains the dysfunctionality of many (of course not all!) American woman. Again, as I repeat, it’s not necessarily their fault and doesn’t make them bad people per se. I’m only talking about the effect these things have on their ability to have healthy relationships and marriages. Though Jean Twenge says some of these traits effect men too but to a far lesser degree. Most foreign woman do not suffer from these drawbacks as they are not bi products of feminism, individualism, and narcissism, ….all of which these experts haveoutlined about American culture which is leading the the world’s highest divorce rate. Dr Laura and Lori Gottlieb cover the disasterous effects of feminism while Dr Jean Twenge covers the disasterous effects of Narcissism and individualism.
“One pattern of relationship behaviors is the “fear of settling” or “fear of missing out on the magic.” In the old days this would have been considered simple immaturity. You would have been told to “take the good with the bad” or relationships are not all about you.” Today there is a different cultural message. Our individualistic culture narcissistically teaches people not to compromise ABC TV Bacherlorette Jen Schefft in her 2007 advice book, Better single than sorry: An no regrets guide to loving yourself and never settling, says ”If you’re a self-assured woman with lots to offer, there’s no excuse for it. Low self-esteem is… one of the forces of evil that drives women to settle.” In other words, you shouldn’t put up with any flaws in your partner-you’re too good for that. Schefft’s statements are squarely in the cultural mainstream. Many Gen X’ers feel entitled to a relationship that is always fun and easy. Many of them want to do their own thing and expect love and relationships to be on their schedule, on their terms, and to come without too much personal sacrifice.” (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 221)
There is a “what have you done for me lately?” attitude in relationships. (Many American women are notorious for having this attitude) And if the answer is “not enough”, then it’s on to the next partner –after all, goes our narcissistic culture patter, “you deserve better!” It’s difficult to focus on someone else when you’ve been taught your whole life to focus on yourself. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 221)
Entitlement causes real problems in relationships and leads to conflicts. Being accommodating leads to much less conflict in relationships. Bingo! Asian and Latin women are especially accommodating, but many Americans confuse this with submission. Many American women will claim that men who marry foreign women just want a submissive slave to do our bidding. What we really want is more accommodating relationship/marriage partners who are easier to please and get along with. We want a happy and successful marriage that doesn’t lead to conflict and divorce! The 20% international divorce rate vs. the American 50-60% divorce rate seems to prove that going overseas is indeed the better option unless you are a gambling man and wish to roll the dice.
The problem with entitlement in relationships is this kind of mentality: “You’re special, how dare anyone not show you respect?” Your spouse’s nasty comments or behavior are seen as fundamental challenges to your special stature in life, and thus you can’t just let them slide. The result is spiraling relationship conflict. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 233)
Self-admiration can make loving others and treating them well almost impossible, because too much self–admiration encourages people to put themselves before others. We need a new cultural belief such as: ”If you love yourself too much, you won’t have enough love left for anyone else.” (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 223)
Self-esteem isn’t always an asset for making friends. In one experiment, after high self-esteem people learned they did poorly on a test, they became defensive, arrogant, and rude. The person they just met didn’t like them very much. They put so much effort into maintaining their self-esteem that they acted like jerks. Narcissists are even worse, often lashing out with aggression when they are challenged. Their self-admiration helps them treat others badly, as they think they are better than everyone else. People with low self-esteem, however, were restrained and subdued when talking to a new person during the study, and came across as likeable and friendly. Humble, self-deprecating people aren’t unlikable - in fact, they can be very endearing. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 223)
This is a spot on description of most foreign women……HUMBLE!!! Particularly Asians. Most (not all of course) attractive looking American woman, especially if in bars/single scenes are just the opposite, PRIDEFUL and VANITY.
In many ways, humility is the opposite of narcissism. Some people misconstrue humility as bad, equating it with shame or self-hatred. Humility is not the same as humiliation. True humility is a strength - the ability to see or evaluate yourself accurately and without defensiveness (notice we said “accurately” not “negatively”). Overall, humble people are more connected to others. When you go overseas, you feel a sense of connection to others. You feel a part of the society and hence feelings of loneliness and isolation are non existent and a big reason why depression and mental health problems are almost non existent in non western countries.
When you don’t concentrate on pumping up the self, it is easier to relate to other people and the wider world. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 283)
Many people believe that self-admiration is good for relationships as long as it doesn’t balloon into narcissism - in other words, ”You have to love yourself to be able to love someone else. If you don’t love yourself, how can you expect others to want to love you?” or “If you didn’t love yourself, you wouldn’t know how to love anyone else”. This all sounds good but there is little evidence it’s true. These notions are nothing short of psycho babble perpetuated by our cultural pop psychology. People low in self-love or self-esteem choose partners just as well as everyone else and genuinely care about their partners. In the end, loving yourself isn’t all that important for loving others. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 222)
Another aphorism in our culture is, “I do not need another to make me happy.” But the truth is that human beings do need other people to be happy-that is just the way we are built. But say this at a cocktail party, and someone will probably say yes, sure, but it’s better not to need someone. That’s co-dependence, the resident psychotherapy expert will say, and will repeat the modern aphorism “You can’t expect someone else to make you happy. You have to make yourself happy.” Actually, you can expect this: having a stable marriage is one of the most robust predictors of happiness. We gain self-esteem from our relationships with others, not from focusing on ourselves. (Generation Me, pg 92)
an inherent conflict/contradiction between American cultural values and our
innate human nature. On the one hand, Americans like to be separate from
others, independent, not need others, and be in their own space and bubble. And
they are conditioned to derive a sense of pride and honor from being
independent and self-reliant and autonomous. But on the other, we have an
innate human need to connect/bond with others and belong to a social
group/collective. This need for separateness and independence contributes to
disunity and fragmentation in American families. It has been sociologically
documented that families in
Narcissism has corroded interpersonal relationships. There has been a switch from deep to shallow relationships, a destruction of social trust, and an increase in entitlement and selfishness. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 276)
And this is why dating or marrying a foreign woman (or a foreign born woman) is so adventagous compared to American. Our world leading divorce rate supports this notion. To a certain extent, you can reverse this statement and tell American women that they are better off marrying a foreign man and perhaps there would be some truth to it. But clearly, both researchers repeatedly point towards American women as the primary problem in American relationships because neither ever specifically talked about men as having significant issues other than Jean Twenge stating that narcissism has affected men to some (but far lesser) degree.
Anyone who is well traveled around the world has witnessed how content and happy foreigners seem to be compared to Americans who often appear to be rushed, irritable, and uncontent with their lives. Low quality fatty processed foods contributes to this general apathy that is so unique to Americans.
actually thousands more single young men than women in
This is a perfect example of one of the many truths that the American media never tells us.
The increase in narcissism in individuals is, we believe, just an outcome of a massive shift in culture toward a greater focus on self-admiration. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 37)
The cultural focus on self-admiration began with the shift toward focusing on the individual in the 1970’s. In the three decades since, narcissism has grown in ways these authors never could have imagined. Parenting has become more indulgent, celebrity worship has grown, and reality TV has become a showcase of narcissistic people. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 4)
“Americans abandoned the vision of themselves as part of a interconnected social system – a connection of parents to children and grandchildren and of community to community - and instead turned to the narcissistic pursuit of the self as a source of value, almost like a religious experience.” (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 64)
Since we were small children, we were taught to put ourselves first. We simply take it for granted that we should all feel good about ourselves. The focus on the needs of the individual self begins when children are young. One of the most popular nursery decorations right now is 12 inch tall letters spelling out the child’s name, an obvious bow to individualism… a hyper-individualized emphasis on how truly, exquisitely unique and precious our child is, like a hope diamond, more special than the others. Our parents have treated us as royalty since we were born (Generation Me, pg 75)
One program sponsored by the Canadian Mental Health Association teaches children, “I am me! There’s not another person in the whole world like me. I have my very own thumbprint. I am special.” Telling people how similar they are reduces aggression and egotism, yet this program emphasizes to teach kids how different they are from one another. The program claims it aims to “increase skills that promote personal development and successful relationships,” but it potentially encourages attitudes that could undermine relationships through narcissism and aggression. This is far from the only school program (or media message) that emphasizes how different we are from one another. A guide for child care providers on self-esteem emphasizes telling children, ”You are a very special person. There is only one you in the world.” A website called “Manifest Your Potential” asks, “Do you wonder what makes you different from everyone else? Are you looking for answers to ‘what makes me special and unique?’”
Not only does this go against the research on reducing aggression, but it defies centuries of history. Almost every war and every atrocity in the history of the world has been based on differences among people. Hitler singled out the Jews as different, and less than human and the common enemy to be killed. The Tutsi killed the Hutu, Shiites kill Sunnis, and Serbs killed Croatians. White people enslaved black people. Men prevented women from voting. Recognizing the common humanity in your enemy is often the first step to stopping a war or other conflict.
It’s not low self-esteem that causes kids to become bullies. It’s narcissism. Narcissistic kids fight when insulted, not the low self-esteem kids. Teaching kids how special they are makes things worse not better. Many people are incredulous when we suggest that all people are not special. The emotions involved in this are so strong that arguing against the importance of self-admiration is often a nonstarter. People argue that children have to like themselves or they will suffer dire consequences. These views are so ingrained in American culture they are hard to fight. It’s kind of like telling people they don’t really need to wear pants. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 286-288)
Parents need to abandon the notion that their child is the center of the universe. This is a tough pill for parents to swallow sometimes, because they have been told that being special is necessary for being loved. But that’s not really true. People who truly think they are special have trouble with connecting to “normal” people; likewise, “normal” people have problems connecting to “special” people. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 293)
In schools, the emphasis on self-esteem has to go. No more “I am special” songs. No more “everyone is a winner”. We are not saying that children need to be told they are not special or are losers –just drop the whole issue. It is relatively easy to succeed in life with low self-esteem, but very difficult to succeed without self-control, self-discipline, or emotional resilience in the face of setbacks. The ability to learn from failure is crucial in life, and is much, much easier in a culture that does not push “specialness”. Children’s sports programs should stop giving trophies to everyone who participates. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 296)
The enthusiastic claims of the self-esteem movement mostly range
from fantasy to hogwash. The effects of self-esteem are small, limited, and not
all good. Those with high self-esteem are more likely to be obnoxious, to
interrupt, and to talk at people rather than with them (in contrast to the more
shy, modest, self-effacing folks with low self-esteem). People with high
self-esteem are also more likely to be bullies. Self-control
is worth 10 times as much as self-esteem. (The American Paradox, pg 167) This explains the bullying epidemic in
Public service announcements vividly illustrate what Americans are now concerned with (ourselves) and what no longer gets much attention (Knowledge and the larger world). Jean Twenge is correct about this, and Winston Wu has discussed this fact at happier abroad. Fact is, most Americans know very little about the rest of the world compared to foreigners. But we sure think we do. If public service announcements are going to positively influence Americans, they need to start by focusing on things outside ourselves (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 291)
Generation me (those of us born after 1965) is straightforward and unapologetic about our self-focus. A careful study of news stories published or aired between 1980 and 1999 found a large increase in self-reference words (I, me, mine and myself) and a marked decrease in collective words (humanity, country, or crowd). So, why did children’s self-esteem increase so dramatically during the 1980’s and 1990’s? The short answer is that they we were taught it. (Generation Me, pg 53)
Many school districts across the country have specific programs designed to increase children’s self-esteem, most of which actually build self-importance and narcissism. These programs make self-importance mandatory, demanding of children that they love themselves and encourage children to feel good about themselves for no particular reason. (Generation Me, pg 55) In such programs, kids color posters that read “YOU ARE SPECIAL”, or wear badges saying “I AM GREAT”, and recite phrases and wear T shirts saying “I’m lovable and capable”. Parenting books and magazines stress the importance of self-esteem. The mission statements of many schools is to raise children’s self-esteem. Schools create exercises making self-importance mandatory, demanding of children that they love themselves for no particular reason. Teacher training courses often emphasize that a child’s self-esteem must be preserved above all else. Self-esteem should not be raised based on who they are but rather than how they perform or behave. TV and mainstream media have taught us that loving yourself is more important than anything else. (Generation Me, pg 57)
Shows for younger children actively encourage narcissism in a different but equally effective way. One PBS show proclaims, “You’re special just for being you!” Very young girls now watch TV shows like Hannah Montana and High school Musical. Although these shows are free of inappropriate sexuality and crass language, they are unfortunately not free of narcissistic attitudes. Shows like Hannah Montannah promote the seductive narcissistic dream of fame, riches, and vanity. Hanna Girls dress up like Hannah Montana in makeover parties like those at Club Libby Lu, a mall based chain that hosts makeovers for girls age . The company website suggests “Visit our VIP area for super spa party ideas.” (VIP stands for “Very Important Princess.” Sweet & Sassy, a Texas based salon for girls, offers a package in which the girl is picked up at her door by a pink limo. “We live in a culture of insta-celebrity,” said marketing executive Samantha Skey. “Our little girls now grow up thinking they need to be ready for their close-up, lest the paparazzi arrive.” (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 102)
wonder why so many American women grow up as they do… materialistic with a
golden princess attitude to boot. Apparently, in
We hope that writers and producers will get the message that excessive self–admiration is not praiseworthy but dangerous. You do not need to encourage children to feel special and proclaim that they are hot. You don’t need to convince teenage boys that they should be confident enough to hit on their friend’s mom. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 105)
What kind of young people does all this unconditional self-esteem building produce? Many teachers and social observers say it results in kids who can’t take criticism. In other words, employers, get ready for a group of easily hurt young workers. Research shows that when people with high self-esteem are criticized, they became unfriendly, rude, and uncooperative, even toward people who had nothing to do with the criticism. They feel they deserve recognition and attention from others, and their unique individual needs should be considered first and foremost. Gen Me takes for granted that the self comes first and we often believe exactly what we were sp carefully taught - that we’re special. (Generation Me, pg 65)
Surely kids who have high self-esteem go on to make better grades and achieve more in school. However, research shows that self-esteem does not cause high grades - instead, high grades cause higher self-esteem. Nor does high self-esteem protect against teen pregnancy, juvenile delinquency, alcoholism, drug abuse, or chronic welfare dependency. In fact, all the literature seems to conclude that high self-esteem doesn’t cause much of anything. Self-esteem based on nothing does not serve children well in the long run. In fact, people with high self-esteem are often more violent and more likely to cheat. It’s clearly better for children to value learning rather than simply feeling good about themselves for no reason. Self-esteem without basis encourages laziness rather than hard work. True self-confidence comes from honing your talents and learning things, not from being told you’re great just because you exist. (Generation Me, pg 67)
Young people who have high self-esteem built on shaky foundations might run into trouble when they encounter the harsh realities of the real world. Kids who are given meaningless A’s and promoted when they haven’t learned the material will later find out in college or the working world that they don’t know much at all. And what will that do to their self-esteem, or more importantly, their careers? Unlike your teachers, your boss isn’t going to care much about preserving your high self-esteem. The self-esteem emphasis leaves kids ill prepared for the inevitable criticism and occasional failure that is real life. Setting kids up like this is doing them a tremendous disservice.
The risk in these self-esteem programs is in inflating the self-concept of children who already think the world revolves around them. Building up the self-esteem and importance of kids who are already egocentric can bring trouble, as it can lead to NARCISSISM – and maybe it already has.
This focus on self-esteem often crosses over into entitlement: The idea that we deserve more. And why shouldn’t we? We’ve been told all our lives that we are special.
magazines should stop insisting that a parent’s most important duty is to raise
a child who likes “herself”. Most
kids like themselves just fine - and make the demands to prove it. If children
are always praised and always get what they want, they may find it difficult to
overcome challenges as adults. The risk of overindulgence is self-centeredness and self-absorption. Much of the self-esteem movement actually
encourages narcissism, or the belief that one is better and more important than
anyone else. Narcissism is a very negative personality trait linked to
aggression and poor relationships with others. We also need to stop talking in
unrealistic platitudes, and this goes for teachers, parents, and
Another aphorism and mindless psycho babble that should be chucked is “You must love yourself before you love others”. Narcissists - people who really love themselves - are horrible relationship partners. Self-centered people are rarely fun to be around. So why do we keep telling people to love themselves first before others? Beats me. An Aphorism that makes more sense is “No one is an island”. (Generation Me, pg 227)
your child as if he’s Christ, singing “I am special”, and wearing a shirt that
says “Too cool 4 you” instills narcissism, not basic self-worth.
Most Americans assume that self-esteem is strongly linked to doing well in life. Our culture tells us it pays to believe in yourself as long as you are not arrogant or narcissistic. However, this isn’t really true. A major review of research on self-esteem and achievement found that high self-esteem does not cause better grades, test scores, or job performance. (In fact, controlled experiments have proven that in certain academic situations, self-esteem boosting actually leads to failure, not success). Self-esteem comes “AFTER success”, not before, because self-esteem is based on success (academic or social). (The Narcissism Epidemic pg 46-47)
When parents and teachers protect children from failure to cushion their self-esteem, kids may end up doing worse because they aren’t learning from their mistakes. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 49)
In previous generations, children were expected to work hard. They weren’t told they were special and didn’t get the idea that they were better than others. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 170)
can also play a big role in raising less materialistic children. Of course,
parents want to make their children happy, and children want stuff. Thus
parents buy them stuff. And children are happy, but only for a short period of
time. Then they want even more stuff. If, in your mind, every time you thought
about buying your child stuff, you substituted the word “crack”, it would make
the reasoning much easier - I want my daughter to be happy. Crack makes my
daughter happy. Therefore, I will buy her crack. This will make her happy for a
short period of time and then she will only want more crack. We’re not saying
that stuff is as bad as crack, but its clear that kids in
(The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 178)
The trend towards more unique names says a lot about our culture. We now wish so fervently that our children will stand out from the crowd that we equip them with unique labels from birth. Unique names aren’t necessarily bad, and we don’t mean to pass judgment on them, but the individualistic focus on children being unique and different fits squarely into the narcissism epidemic. Scales of narcissism reliably correlate with standard assessments of the need for uniqueness, because narcissists like the idea of standing out and being different from other people. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 183-184)
Associated Press story on our study of the rise in narcissism mentioned the “I
think I am a special person” item from the NPI. The story ended with a quote
In our online survey, we asked, “Is it important to tell kids they are special?” Nicole, 29, gave a version of the most popular response: “Definitely. It builds self–esteem and confidence, and I believe it also helps them to respect others.” In some ways, these responses make our argument for us. We are a nation fixated on the idea of being the exception to the rule, standing out, and being better than others-in other words, on being special and narcissistic - and we’re so surrounded by this ethos that we find it shocking that anyone would question it. Fish don’t realize they’re in water. But feeling special is narcissism - not self-esteem, not self-confidence, and not something we should be building in our children. There’s a difference between narcissism and self-confidence. And it is unlikely to lead to respect for others, as Nicole theorized; people who believe they are special often want to be the exception to the rule, which is usually unfair to everyone else. Even though everyone cannot be special, everyone is unique. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 183-184)
Loving your children, and telling them so, is not the same as telling them that they are special. Love creates a secure base for a child and a connection that they can count on. In contrast, telling a child she is special sets her apart and creates disconnection – a recipe for narcissism. An overemphasis on uniqueness has negative consequences for individuals as well. Studies have found that teenagers who have a “personal fable” of uniqueness believe that no one understands them. Teens with these beliefs are significantly more likely to be depressed and think about suicide. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 192)
enthusiastic claims of the self-esteem movement mostly range from fantasy to
hogwash. The effects of self-esteem are small, limited, and not all good. Those
with high self-esteem are more likely to be obnoxious, to interrupt, and to
talk at people rather than with them (in contrast to the more shy, modest,
self-effacing folks with low self-esteem). People with high self-esteem are
also more likely to be bullies. Self-control is worth 10 times as much as self-esteem. (The
American Paradox, pg 167) This
explains the bullying epidemic in
On a recent trip to Babies R Us, Jean was distracted by the display of bibs at the checkout counter. In large white letters on pink and blue, they announced : “Chick Magnet”,” Super Model”, “Princess”, and “I’m the Boss”. This is just a glimpse into the new parenting culture that has fueled the narcissism epidemic. It says a lot about a culture that people think a six month old wearing a “Super Model” bib is cute. It is increasingly common to see parents relinquishing authority to young children, showering them with unearned praise, protecting them from their teachers’ criticisms, giving them expensive automobiles, and allowing them to have freedom but not the responsibility that goes with it. Not that long ago, kids knew who the boss was and it wasn’t them. It was mom and dad. And mom and dad weren’t your “friends”. They were your parents. Parents want their kids’ approval, a reversal of the past ideal of children striving for their parents’ approval. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 73)
Many of today’s parents seek to raise children high in self-admiration and self-esteem, partially because books and articles have touted its importance. Unfortunately, much of what parents think raises self-esteem – such as telling a kid he’s special and giving him what he wants – actually leads to narcissism. Modern behavioral theories argue that narcissism arises from inflated feedback - if you are told over and over that you are great, you’ll probably think you are great. Good intentions and parental pride have opened the door to cultural narcissism in parenting. A remarkable percentage of clothes for baby girls has “Princess” or “Little Princess” written on it. If your daughter is a princess, does this, mean that you are the queen or king? No – it means you are the loyal subject, and you must do what the princess says. Unless you’re Prince William or Harry, don’t dress your daughter in an outfit claiming she is a “Princess”. She’s not. Get over it.
This really is the era of the weak parent. Giving this much power to children teaches an entitled view of life, with all of the fun and choices but none of the responsibility. More than any time in history, the child’s needs come first. In studies on parenting and narcissism, this kind of lax parental monitoring was one of the strongest correlates of narcissism in teens. It’s also a good predictor of teen drug and alcohol abuse and crime. Parents who want to stick with the older model of child rearing that downplays materialism and emphasizes politeness and discipline are swimming against the cultural tide. If you don’t let your children do something, but every other message that your children hear – from the media, friends, the school, and other parents – tells them it’s OK, then your resistance will only last so long. When a man travels abroad, he will notice how humble, and disciplined foreign ladies are.
Many parents’ resolve crumbles in the face of permissive norms. Throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, the importance of obedience steadily declined until it reached an all time low in 2004, the last year for which data was available. The surveys shore up the feeling many Americans have about modern parenting: that we have become too indulgent, that we praise children too much, that we treat our children almost like royalty. When children are overindulged, it leads to outcomes resembling the seven deadly sins: pride, wrath, envy, sloth, gluttony, lust, and greed. The seven deadly sins are, of course, a succinct summary of the symptoms of narcissism. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 74-82)
At one time, strong social pressures kept people’s egos in check. (i.e. Mothers asked children “Who do you think you are?”) Now we are likely to say “What do you want for dinner princess?”
Unfortunatley, when pointing out many of the flaws of our American culture, many Americans become defensive instead of being open minded about recognizing these issues.
When mother Theresa
came to the
"This is the poorest place I've ever been in
my life," recounts Robert Seiple, the former director of World Vision, a
Christian charity organization. "She wasn't talking about economics",
he adds. "She was talking about poverty of the soul". (Affluenza, pg 74)
A quote I found on the internet regarding this quote above.....
"If you tell thid to the typical American, they'll freak out on you, hate on you, and tell you you're not good enough to be an American or some such. Most American's can't take ANY criticism, even if it's constructive, and will just tell you to get out of the country (love it or leave it), if you don't like something. I wonder if they told that to Mother Theresa, too!"
"A friend of mine who is a dean at one of the nation's major medical schools was very taken by my discussion of Joyce Appleby's work, in my book Dark Ages
If the narcissism epidemic continues, there will be even more entitlement, materialism, vanity, antisocial behaviors, and relationship troubles. Americans might not even notice it. Perhaps parents will routinely suggest plastic surgery to their kids to “boost self-confidence”. Young people will each have thousands of friends but will spend so much time tending those shallow relationships that they will spend much less time on deeper connections with others. Home mortgages will get longer and longer so homeowners will never get out of debt but can have the fine lifestyle that they feel they deserve. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 276)
course of the generation of Americans just now entering the workforce will be
especially interesting to watch. Their parents and teachers gave them inflated
feedback and much of what they saw on TV featured pleasures of the rich. They got trophies just for showing up as kids,
but as adults many of them might be struggling just to find a job. The culture of the last few decades has not
prepared this generation for the challenges they will face. Many will rise to
the occasion, buckling down to work harder. The rest will be angry and depressed at their lot in life, (I see this high stress agitated uptight attitude in many
Americans. This is mostly absent in most non-western cultures) so different from the comfort and ease they
were led to expect would be theirs. At base, the culture and the economy have
to be about something real. Much of
what is “real” is moving overseas. The sovereign wealth funds of
study by the National Science Foundation found that science and engineering
research output in US universities has slowed down just as it is growing in
The only question is how long it will be before our nation buckles under the strains of narcissism. Our social fabric will tear under the weight of this egotism and incivility. The Chinese will eat our lunch economically as narcissistic American consumers spend themselves into permanent debt and entitled employees demand more money for less work. Reality always wins in the end. (The Narcissism Epidemic, pg 303)
Below are Further Supportive Studies Outside of These Experts.
The one major change that has pushed up our divorce rates so dramatically is the lack of societal stigma. The fabric that help together unhappy marriages in the past was not legal hurdles or lack of women's rights, but rather a very negative opinion of divorce in the American community. Couples who were unhappy knew that a divorce would bring even more unhappiness, in the form of rejection and derision from families and peers. Even their children would suffer at the hands of classmates and teachers. The threat of being disgraced in the community was enough to keep them together for better or worse.
In western countries like the
One of the reasons the divorce rate is so high is that people have such a
shabby view of marriage. Consider how many people actually go to Las
Vegas to get married - with not even a thought of seeking God's blessing.
Given the low esteem of marriage that this represents, is it surprising that
so many of them get divorced?
I've once heard a woman say, "I don't want to divorce my husband, but if he
doesn't change, I will have no choice." IF HE DOESN'T CHANGE! All of this while
she was actively looking for someone else... while still married. But she is so
perfect, she is entitled to demand perfection of others. Until she realizes that
some of her ways need to change, men will always turn out to be dogs. All
of her relationships will end the same way. One of the reasons people get
divorced is that they demand and expect perfection of the other person.
Once someone expects perfection from another human being, they will never
fail to be disappointed. Then they will find themselves unhappy in their
marriage, supposedly because the other person is not making them happy.
There are some people who will never be happy, regardless of whom they marry.
This leads to another reason why people get divorced. People are inherently
selfish. I am not happy. I don't care about my spouse or my children, what
about ME? Sure you need to look out for yourself, but people today look
only after themselves. But that's human nature. The flesh is inherently
selfish. Modern relationships consist of two people trying to take from each
other as much as they could. When they realize that the other person could
no longer give them what they want, they opt out.
Because ultimately, marriage is not about getting something -- it's about giving it. Strangely, men understand this more than we woman do. The bottom line is that marriage is just a long-term opportunity to practice loving someone even when they don't deserve it. Because you have made up your mind to transform yourself into a person who is practicing being kind, deep, virtuous, truthful, giving, and most of all, accepting of your own dear self -- you will find that you will experience the very thing you wanted all along: Love.
I believe this is the major American reason for getting
Unfortunately, Americans base their views on what love is
primarily from what they see in the movies or on television, or read in a novel.
Love according to these sources is that special, heart-throbbing feeling that
you get from just seeing someone or hearing their voice. Almost every couple
will experience these feelings, especially when they are first dating. For many
I'm a lurker in various American cheating forums and pretty
much every reason I have read as to why a woman cheated was because the
"chemistry" went away and they felt as though they were being cheated out of the
soul mate experience .
Americans have an inability to work through difficulties. When the going gets tough, Americans tend to quit. Finances get tight sometimes. Unplanned children are born. Planned children put unexpected stress on a marriage. It is easier to just walk away than to work through the problems.
(The following can be explained by narcissism in our culture)
Sad, but not surprising, marriage is at a 40-year low, according to a recent report by the National Marriage Project. Some demographers are predicting that 85 percent of young Americans will never marry.
Why? Because they're afraid they won't be "happy." In fact, fewer people today are happy with marriage than just 30 years ago. In the early 1970s, 53 percent of people in their first marriages were "very happy." By 1996, only 37.8 percent were. (So of the 40% of Americans who do stay married, only 37.50% of that 40% are really happy)
Such is cause for concern. As Utah Gov. Michael O. Leavitt said at a recent meeting of marriage researchers: "If the institution of marriage ever falls from grace, our society will fall as well, because there is no institution that can take its place."
In response to these troubling figures, researchers are building seminars on conflict-resolution, intimacy, infidelity and children, while marriage advocates are urging Congress to eliminate marriage penalties in the tax codes.
Like most things of value, marital happiness is earned, mostly through hard work and self-sacrifice. The rule in marriage shouldn't be: I want to be happy in my marriage. Rather, the rule should be: I want to make my spouse happy in our marriage. What a concept.
There is value to giving more than you receive. There is value to placing the marriage -- the family, the common good, the higher goal -- above one's individual wants or wishes.
Given such lessons early in life, we might see not only fewer divorces and broken families, but also a more civil society. The rules for family and society are really the same. Whither goes the family, so goes the other.
This study shows that Domestic Violence, Infidelity, and Exploitation are NOT a Factor in divorce. The reasons are below
“More than half of all marriages today end in divorce. But, for the first time in history, the majority of those divorces are now being instigated by women.”
“Women in their 40’s and 50’s no longer feel stigmatized by the word "divorcée."”
Now a new survey reveals that women worry more about getting breast cancer, their children's futures, and even immigration and menopause, than they do about undergoing a husband-ectomy.”
Last updated at 7:55 AM on 14th September 2009
Us women are more egocentric and narcissistic than we ever used to be, according to extensive research by two leading psychologists.
More of us have huge expectations of ourselves, our lives and everyone in them. We think the universe resolves around us, with a deluded sense of our own fabulousness, and believe we are cleverer, more talented and more attractive than we actually are.
We have trouble accepting criticism and extending empathy because we are so preoccupied with ourselves.
Am I making you angry by telling you this? It figures. Narcissistic or egotistical women do have an overwhelming sense of entitlement and arrogance.
Of course, I joke, but researchers say there is growing evidence of an epidemic of ego-itis everywhere.
Once a traditionally male syndrome, narcissism generally begins at home and in schools, where children are praised excessively, often spoiled rotten and given the relentless message that they are 'special'.
Psychology professors Jean Twenge and Keith Campbell analysed studies on 37,000 college students in 2006.
In a survey, 30 per cent of them said they believed they should get good grades simply for turning up.
NET WORTH: Facebook is a boon for those with narcissistic traits, who use the networking site for self-promotion, says a recent study.
And it's not just about how intelligent they think they are. In the workplace, in friendships, even in motherhood, the pervading culture seems to have become one of competitiveness, superiority and one-upmanship.
But the sphere in which the signs of self-obsession are perhaps most obvious, and the consequences most immediately felt, is the dating one.
In a recent magazine article, four women in their late 20s and 30s shared their thoughts about why they were still single. A 39-year-old beauty director claimed to be too independent for a relationship.
A 38-year-old music agent attributed her single status to the fact she was an alpha female - independent, feisty, strong-minded, high-achieving and intimidating.
She pointed out that she owned a gorgeous flat with gorgeous things in it, had a nice car, was a member of a fancy gym and wore designer dresses. 'I do what I like, when I like,' she said.
She'd been told, and appears to believe, that she's too successful and too well-educated for most men.
The third woman, a 30-year- old arts writer and curator, has been having too much fun to settle down.
Another, a 29-year-old, said she was too picky. She was looking for a guy who is (just) tall enough. And (just about) good-looking enough (but not too good-looking so that she'd play second fiddle).
He needs to be successful, solvent and driven. He must also be long on genuinely good jokes, with a decent sideline in bad ones that only she finds funny.
He needs to 'speak good restaurant', to have no special dietary requirements and to always be discerning without ever being fussy.
He needs to be clever without ever making her feel stupid. He needs to 'get' but not 'know' fashion... and so the list went on.
She concluded that she would rather eat wasps than share her Sunday with anyone who fails to measure up to her idea of Mr. Perfect.
Of course, there is nothing wrong with having high expectations. But being delusional and having a totally unrealistic blueprint are an altogether different matter.
And they often go hand in hand with acute ego-itis. As Margot Medhurt knows only too well.
She is the founder of Yours Sincerely, an Edinburgh-based personal dating and introduction agency for professionals. She has almost 30 years' experience in the industry and has noticed a significant rise in this phenomenon in recent years.
'It used to be that most women who joined a dating agency had a pretty good idea of where they stood in the eligibility stakes,' she said. 'But in the past few years, I've noticed that there are a significant number of women who don't.
'They tend to be in their 30s, and there is a wide discrepancy between how they perceive themselves and how others see them.
'They are often very plain, but see themselves as being absolutely fabulous, exceptional people.
'They invariably reject every guy's profile I send them. But if a guy rejects their profile, there is all hell to pay. There is disbelief. They are really saying: "I'm so fabulous. How dare he turn me down?"
'In the past few years, I've noticed a real sense of entitlement among this small group of women. The idea that a guy might not find them as amazing as they find themselves doesn't enter their head.
'They often become indignant and angry towards me, demanding to know why a guy dared to turn them down. Most people simply accept the facts of the dating game: some people will find you attractive and others won't, in the same way that you'll be drawn to some but not others.
Women today think the universe revolves around them and have a deluded sense of their abilities
'These women, however, are unable to get their heads around the fact that the rest of the world might not share the distorted, inflated view they have of themselves.'
She said she had a eureka moment when she read a recent article about the rise in narcissism among women.
According to the American research, there has been a 67 per cent increase in it over the past two decades, mainly among women.
An estimated ten per cent of the population suffers from narcissism as a full-blown personality disorder.
The symptoms include: a grandiose sense of self-importance; the belief that he or she is special or unique and in some way better - either intellectually or physically - than others; a requirement for excessive admiration; a sense of entitlement, whether to fame, fortune, success and happiness or simply to special treatment; enviousness of others or a belief that others are envious of him or her; an inability to empathise; an inability to admit a mistake; and haughty behaviour or attitude.
What researchers have also identified, and are far more worried about, is what has been described as 'normal' narcissism - a cultural shift that has seen even non-narcissistic people seduced by the emphasis on material wealth, physical appearance and celebrity worship.
The researchers believe our culture brings out narcissistic behavior in almost all of us.
They blame the internet (where 'fame' is a click away), reality television (where the lure of fame without talent is most prevalent), easy credit (which enables people to buy far beyond their ability to pay), celebrity worship, our highly consumerist, competitive and individualistic society, and a generation of indulgent parents who have raised their children to think they're special, amazing and perfect.
According to Twenge, this focus on self-admiration has caused a cultural flight from reality to the land of grandiose fantasy.
We have phony rich people (who actually have massive mortgages and piles of debt), phony beauty (via plastic surgery), phony celebrities (via reality TV and YouTube), phony genius students (with grade inflation) and phony friends (with the social networking explosion).
TOP DOG: Narcissists are most likely
to end up in leadership roles despite the fact they often don't make good
leaders, according to a
'I had noticed this trend, but wasn't really sure what it was all about,' says Margaret Medhurt.
'However, when I read that article and thought about the unrealistic expectations and sense of entitlement among some of the women, it really struck a chord.
'One of the cases that brought it home to me involved a 38-year-old businesswoman.
'I knew there were going to be problems right away. As soon as someone joins the agency, we get things moving very quickly - but this wasn't quick enough for this woman.
'She wanted a date immediately. The first man I sent her profile to declined an introduction and she was extremely cross. She couldn't accept it and she couldn't even be polite about it.
'In three weeks, three men turned her down. I explained that it takes time to meet someone but she just got angrier and angrier. She was demanding to know why these guys did this. I was trying to get the balance right - between being honest with her and being tactful.
'I think, ultimately, she had a very flawed perception of herself. And she almost couldn't bear that it was being challenged. It was as if she couldn't deal with the fact that some guys didn't think she was amazing - and she left.'
Men, traditionally regarded as the more self-centred of the species and the rogues of the mating game, are left scratching their heads and pondering Freud's famous question: what do women want?
David Baxter (not his real name) is a 40-year-old management consultant. Previously married for nine years, he joined a dating agency in the summer.
He says he's not perfect, but is told he's an eligible and pleasant guy with a lot to offer.
'I've had three successive dates recently with ladies in the late 30s to early 40s age bracket that have left me dumbfounded,' he said.
'I've never come across such massive egos, such arrogance and lack of basic courtesy.
'It was as if these particular dates were a forum for them to tell me how exceptional they were. One told me repeatedly how many young guys at the gym asked her out; another was very artificial.
'You sensed that they absolutely worshipped themselves, though none of them was drop-dead gorgeous or had amazing personalities, jobs or anything else to set them apart and elevate themselves into some superior position.
'I also thought it was quite telling that none of them had ever been married, engaged or had recently - or perhaps ever - been in a long-term relationship.
'I got the feeling that these women were living in a Sex And The City-inspired fantasy world. I also sensed that nobody would ever be good enough for them.
'They seem to be looking for something that doesn't exist: Mr. Perfect, or perhaps some larger-than-life, dashingly handsome and unattainable character such as that portrayed by Mr. Big. Nothing else will do.'
Despite his recent experience, David still considers himself lucky.
'I'm still positive about the whole thing, but I have friends who are not so optimistic and it's evident that encounters with these sort of women seriously erode their self-confidence, (personal comment: Foreign men always complain about how American women destroy their self-confidence, see Happier Abroad’s section of emails from foreign men who complain about this) which is a real shame. There are a lot of genuine, decent guys out there who are getting a rough deal.'
Neil Hay is a
32-year-old former professional golfer-turned-financial consultant who lives on
the outskirts of
After taking some time out following the death of his mother, he joined a dating agency almost a year ago.
'It's made me terribly cynical, not just about the way women are, but also about what on earth it is that they are looking for in a guy,' he said.
'Of course, we all have standards and preferences. There's nothing wrong with that. But most of us are also realistic. We know that Cheryl Cole is out of our league.
'I had been hoping to meet someone who was quite nice-looking, with a good personality, someone to go for dinner and to the cinema and have a decent conversation with. But I'm left feeling that this isn't what women are looking for.
'It's as if they want to be swept off their feet right from the first date, as if they're waiting for someone like Brad Pitt or George Clooney. They're not interested in a regular, normal, decent guy. That's not good enough for them.
'I spent three hours on a date with one woman. I thought we got on brilliantly, but then she said she didn't want to meet again.
'This has happened a few times. It makes me think that if you don't live up to their perfect fantasy, then that's it. It's game over before you've even had any chance to begin to get to know each other.
'It does dent your confidence. I'm left thinking either that there's something wrong with me or that I'll just never be whatever it is that these women are looking for.
'I know there are a lot of single women who say things like they're too independent, too feisty, too confident or too successful for men. Or they claim that men are intimidated by strong, intelligent and independent women. 'But this is simply not the case. I think they just tell themselves this. It's a way of rationalising things. It's as if it's easier for them to believe their own myths than to face reality - that they are completely ordinary.'
… End of the Expert Opinion Section
A Post I Found at http://www.nomarriage.com that Sums Up the Differences:
Honestly I wish I could have found an American wife with all the qualities of my foreign wife. I could not, because they do not exist. Here is a partial list of her loveliness
and good with money.
2: Genuine commitment.
3: Very family oriented.
4: She enjoys cooking and housework – she feels it solidifies her role as caregiver.
5: Hard working.
6: She does not have to diet to look great
1: highest maintenance (I've never heard of a
foreign bride demanding her husband buy expensive house & cars)
2: fattest in the world (To be fair, the men are too)
3: highest rate of divorce (60% - US-US marriages; 20% - US-foreign marriages)
4: largest payout in divorce court (you'll be stripped of just about all you’ve worked for
plus most of what you will earn for years to come)
5: most likely to nag constantly (Dr Laura Schlessinger talks about the “nagging” problem with woman in
6: most likely to hate men (Occurs at a subconscious level so they don’t even realize they are this way)
7: worst at cooking and cleaning (Sad but true)
Some Comments I Found About “Sex in the City”:
In The City” is fantasy world for western women. It reinforces that they are in
control, that they can have endless supplies of money
for shoes and clothes, that they can be promiscuous without consequences, and
that they don't have to even be young or all that attractive to obtain all
“Sex In The City” is an offshoot of feminist orthodoxy. Women can do what they want, when they want, how they want, because, doggone it, they are women.
Three of those women are ugly, and one is just barely passable in my eye. My ex-Colombian wife would watch it, and wouldn’t understand the appeal. But it is an effective way to transmit trashy
A post I found that comes across as pretty crass but makes very valid points:
(In the post below, for those of you who may not know it,…. the term ‘bar girls’ is a common term given to Asian or Latina girls who work as prostitutes in bars in Southeast Asia or South America)
Jetman on August 25th, 2009 3:10 am
“While I agree with you that many of the
foreigners in 3rd word countries who are sporting young girls around wouldn’t
have a chance of doing so in developed countries, I would like to offer an
alternate prospective. Most girls in US and Europe (especially eastern Europe)
are no better than the bar girls here in the
My personal observations about the above post…..While it’s a bit crass and abrasive, he really does hit on some valid truths. Let me explain……
find it so amazingly ironic to hear American women often say “Be careful, many
of these foreign women are only after you for your money or a better life”. But
these same American women fail to comprehend that most of them do EXACTLY the same
thing but are actually far WORSE about it. I mean, talk about calling the
kettle black (rolling eyes). Puhlease!! For example, most American women I know
require a man to make a certain minimum income. Want proof? See American dating
profiles at dating sites that allow for women to publish minimum income
requirements such as at Match.com . You
will see that most profiles DO list minimum income requirements! After all, a
man must understand that she has certain material expectations that need to be
met. No matter your good character, how you treat others, good father, good
husband etc, without the $40K plus income and your WILLINGNESS to spend it on
her during the dating process, you’re pretty much toast! Most men in
Online Dating Insider
One of the facts of online dating is that there are more men than women online. For example, Match.com recently told ABC News that 59% of their subscribers are men and 41% are women. You can confirm the ratio yourself by doing searches for profiles.
The high male/female ratio of online dating is not the fault of the online dating services, but it reflects the unfortunate realities of the real world. Over a decade ago I recall reading a New York Times article that stated that there were approximately 6 single men in their twenties for every five single women.
How is this possible? Aren't there an approximately equal number of boy and girl babies born each year? The biggest contributor to the skewed ratio is serial polygamy. A man in his twenties marries a woman in her twenties, then in his thirties he divorces her and marries another woman in her twenties, then in his forties he marries another women in her twenties. This happens. I have a friend who's in his fifties and his current wife is in her twenties.
There is also parallel polygamy. A woman I know, when she was in her twenties, knew a guy who had two girlfriends at the same time (neither, of course, knew of the other one's existence). And at the same time, he was also hitting on her, trying to bring his harem up to three!
What's going on in the real world is reflected in the virtual world of online dating. In fact, it's skewed worse than in the real world, because online dating sites attract a much greater percentage of people who have trouble finding dates. So not only will there be more men, there will be more undesirable (for whatever reasons) members of both sexes.
Men who use online dating services will initially try to contact the few women they are interested in. But because the desirable women receive more emails than they can respond to, male subscribers eventually figure out that they have to send out massive numbers of emails because the response rate is so low. So we wind up in the situation we're in now. Female subscribers to online dating services receive more emails than they can respond to, and male subscribers send out large numbers of emails and rarely get a response.
(Personal note – I found many American woman profiles where woman said things very similar to this “Well i just joint with this website but i was suprise coz i got almost 400 message of guys from this website thats crazy !!!! but i cant read all thats messages thats too much for me. yes, i'm hot and sexy Asian woman”)
Women actually complain about this, but I think they are in a far better
situation than men. If you are a man, how do you fix the problem? The answer is
that you need to move to
There is some evidence that there may be a difference on how women online rate male attractiveness as opposed to how men rate female attractiveness. The distribution of ratings given by men of female attractiveness appears to look like a standard bell curve (normal distribution), while ratings of men given by women is highly skewed with 80% of the men rated as below average. This shows women are genuinely more picky than men when it comes to online dating. It could also potentially arise from women assessing other profile characteristics besides appearance, like their occupation for example.
Then I read to him excerpts of what his male countrymen who
had lived in the
One came from James Brown, 36, a
"American Women. You can only spend so long with one before you crack. They're out there, they're loud, they're bitter and they're kooky. After a while all the things that attracted you to them: confidence, conversation, nice teeth, begin to bug you. You think you've got Black Beauty and you end up with Mr. Ed."
And so Steve tells me that, well, yes, he had a bit of getting used to in the American dating scene.
It's not that he hasn't found love in the U.S. of A. It's been a little over a week since he really fell for Vicki Milby, 22, who is 100 percent American.
Anyway, Steve says that he had to
get used to knowing that American women reserve the
right to date a whole bunch of guys at the same time. It's not like that
And something else. That first date with an American girl, it's like it's supposed to be a big-time dinner, instead of just going to a pub with friends. So you end up dropping like $90 while she's doing her checklist.
I talk to Vicki, and she tells me she thinks American women can come across as a bit too much. "They want to be equal so much it can be overpowering”
Then there is Martin, 42, who grew
I read Martin what his countrymen say about American women, and he totally agrees. (He also has found that a British accent is a fantastic woman magnet here.)
But that American Woman! Mama, let me be!
One of the first questions is
car do I drive?" Martin says. "If I have the latest BMW or
drive a Chevy, does it make a difference? And they want to know what apartment you
live in. Do you live in
Here is a final comment in the Daily Mail from Oliver Bennett, 43, remembering a dinner-date with an American woman:
"It was like being with a nasty bank manager, rather than someone with whom you hope to sleep. ...”.
Nancy Anne Jeffrey
8 — Adam Rosen has a law degree from Villanova and trained in psychology
at Harvard. He’s also handsome and has a passion for social causes. But there’s
one thing the 37-year-old bachelor doesn’t have in his life: candidates to be
thought I’d be married by 30,” says the
divergence from what I imagined my life would be.”
a new biological clock out there — the one ticking inside
bachelors. After decades in which men statistically had the upper hand in the
dating world, the demographics have reversed: For a big chunk of the dating
pool — people ages 30 to 44 — the number of single men and women are now about
even, or in some cases, slightly tipped in women’s favor. The odds are
especially dismal for men looking for younger mates:
according to the
(Guys, this is why its all about LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION! 2 to 1, if you’re a single man in this age range in America you may as well pack it in.)
happening here is a subtle but significant change in the birth
rate. While the numbers of men and women born every year are roughly the same,
the overall birthrate dropped 40% from 1955 to 1973. Because more than half of
all men marry younger women, that means their pool of prospects shrinks a bit
every year. “The tables have turned,” says Sherry Cooper, an economist who has
written about demographic shifts. “Guys in that 35-year-old range are going to
have a harder time.”
and dating companies are already seeing the impact. Social
Circles, a New York singles group, has seen membership among 35-to 44-year old
men soar 25-fold since it started in 1997, while women in the same age group
grew at about half that rate. At It’s Just Lunch, which pairs professionals,
the percentage of female membership dropped 9% in the last three years. And
online firm Match.com is so anxious to recruit women, it started a new ad
campaign to find more. The pitch: Women no longer have to rely on “fate” or
“destiny” to find the right mate.
“We’re all chasing
after the same women,” says Jim Hague, a 33-year-old Web
some online services.
(Personal commentary: He is right. Just as Winston says in his Happier Abroad intro, most men are chasing after the top 25% of women… 75% of Americans are overweight so only 25% of the remaining women are thin. No guys I know are chasing after overweight women, but women will chase after overweight men because they are not as visual as men are, and because they are more attracted to money than a man’s physical appearance)
His female friends, however, got 200 e-mails a day. “They can easily delete you,”
commentary: Exactly! Women have the upper hand in
Mr. Hague says. Indeed, 40-year-old Suzanne Mulroy got so many e-mails from her service that she put it on hold. “I thought I’d get a response,” Ms. Mulroy says, “but I didn’t think I was going to get this deluge.”
All of which, of course, is a significant shift from the 1980s; at the
start of that decade, for example, there were about 1.3 women for every
eligible man from 35 to 44. The odds were even better for the narrower group of
men in their late 30s dating women in their early 30s: Almost two women for
every single man. Many people still remember the 1986 Newsweek article that
famously, if controversially, declared that a single, college-educated,
40-year-old woman had a better chance of being killed by a terrorist than of
ever tying the knot.
But in the years since, the odds have gotten worse for the
supermale. Far from an abundance of bachelorettes, today there’s a small
shortage — for every million thirty something women, there is a surplus of
80,000 men of the same age. Men looking for younger women will find even more
competition: Within nine years, there will be one woman 30 to 34 for every two men 35 to 44, according to one set of projections by the
How did this shift occur? For starters, with more women than men on the
dating scene, men played the field and postponed marriage — sometimes until
their 40s, much later than previous generations. The percentage of 35- to
44-year-old bachelors almost tripled from 1980 to 2000, according to the U.S. Census Bureau’s Current Population Surveys. Thinking they had tons of options, especially as divorce rates grew, some men got pickier, too, demanding not only good looks but also good jobs from their mates. That narrowed the field even
more: By one estimate, men in their early 30s making $75,000 or more outnumber
women of the same earning power two to one.
All the while, pop culture only
perpetuated the belief that men had the
advantage, with shows like “Sex and the City” and novels like “Bridget Jones’s Diary” harping on themes of the desperate, single women. And lots of people still believe it. “Men feel they have the upper hand,” says Lisa Doherty, a 40-year-old public-relations executive. When she’s gone on dates, Ms. Doherty
says men have told her they want a younger woman.
But slowly, evidence of the shift is cropping up. Take personal ads, the
quintessential dating device of the ’80s and ’90s. While the ratio of men to
women placing ads varies from city to city, many towns are seeing notable jumps
in male advertisers. At Chicago Magazine, for example, the percent of personals
placed by women skidded 38% in just two years. During the past three years, the
percentage of men placing personal ads in the Cleveland Plain Dealer jumped
14%, according to People2People Group, a firm that creates personals.
Other men are going where experts say they need to — older women. When
Match.com polled its members earlier this year, the company discovered that its average male client is now willing to date a woman three years his senior, up from two a few years ago. At “It’s Just Lunch”, men 35 to 43 are now asking to date women 36 to 40 — up about four years from a decade ago.
I've known about this phenomenon for a long time, but this is the first I knew that it had a name with capital letters.
There are 105 boy babies for every 100 girl babies (at least I assume this based on the male to female ratio of ages 0 to 5 in the US Census).
The ratio of single (defined as separated or not married) men to single women in lower age brackets becomes even larger because of serial polygamy, which is the tendency of some older men to divorce and marry a lot younger.
Using the 2000 U.S. Census data, and looking only at respondents who claimed to be white, in the age bracket of 18-29, there are 119 single men for every 100 single women.
It doesn't get much better for men in their thirties. For white people aged 30-39, there are 117 single men for every 100 single women.
As we see, dating life is much harder for under-40-year-old men than it is for women.
New York Times editorial page July 16, 1999
Marriage Loses in 'Divorce Culture'
To the Editor:
"... society's greater acceptance of divorce may
itself be contributing to the decline in marital happiness. A study
published in the Journal of Family Issues recently concluded that "by
adopting attitudes that provide greater freedom to leave unsatisfying
marriages, people may be increasing the likelihood that their marriages
will become unsatisfying in the long run."
seems that the divorce culture feeds on itself, creating a one-way
downward spiral of unhappiness and failure.
The writer is associate director of the Institute for American Values.
Robert J. Scholes, PhD with the assistance of
Anchalee Phataralaoha, MA
This research was funded under purchase order COW-8-P-0233 from the Immigration and Naturalization Service. The analyses and conclusions presented do not necessarily represent the official position or policy of the Immigration and Naturalization Service.
of the listings in recent issues of five popular catalogs featuring 1,400 Asian
women found that 70 percent were Filipino (despite the fact that Republic Act
No. 6955 makes such listings illegal), many of whom are
"in-service" as domestic workers in other countries, 16 percent
Indonesian, 8 percent Thai, 2 percent Malaysian and Japanese, and 1
percent Chinese and Korean. In terms of age, 20 percent are 16-20 years of age,
41 percent are 21-25, 24 percent are 26-30, 11 percent 31-35, and just 4
percent are over the age of 35. That is, for the Asian women, 61 percent are
under the age of 25. There is a large difference in ages between these Asian
women and their counterparts from the former
Why do foreign women want American husbands? Many sources suggest that these women are searching for a "better life" in terms of socio-economic factors--they do, for the most part, come from places in which jobs and educational opportunities for women are scarce and wages are low. However, when the women themselves are asked this question, the answer generally indicates an attraction to American men (they look like movie stars) and an aversion to native men. Americans, they say, make good husbands while Filipino (Thai/Indonesian/Russian/etc.) men do not. Americans are thought to be faithful to their wives, while the native men are cruel and run around with other women. True or not, this is the perception.
(Personal commentary: Despite this evidence, most Americans continue to believe the stereotypes that for these foreign women, it’s all about a green card or money.)
Success Rates for International Services
In a survey
done for this report we sent e-mails to 102 of the services and received
replies from 28. We asked what percentage of their female clients married
kept any records of engagements or marriages; some because they are too new for
their clients to have had time to marry, some because they have no interest in
following up on their listings. Of those that provided estimates of marriages,
the ones listing predominately women from
agency that provided firm statistics was Encounters International. This agency
has been in business since 1993 and presents 450 Russian women in its current
listing. They report 102 marriages to date between Russian women and
a report from the Commission on Filipinos Overseas (Paredes-Maceda, 1995)
mail-order brides constitute 10 percent of the marriages between Filipinos and
foreign nationals. Between 1989 and 1994, 95,000 Filipino men and women were
engaged to be married to foreigners, the great majority of whom met their
partners through work or personal introductions. Of the foreign men who married
Filipinos, 44 percent were
the women themselves (in written replies to a 1996 questionnaire from the
author), approximately 10 percent of these women are successful--they find and
marry a man through the service. There are, then, around 10,000 marriages a
year between women listed by these agencies and men who use the services. Of
these 10,000, around 4,000 involve
these data, we may estimate that 4 percent of the 100,000 to 150,000 women
This figure, 4,000 to 6,000, represents an increase from previous estimates (e.g., the estimate of 2,000 to 3,500 given by Kadohata, 1990) due, no doubt, to the recent increase in both e-mail correspondence services and the agencies specializing in Russian and Ukrainian women.
to data supplied by the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 2,395,000 marriages in
It is interesting to note that, based largely on data provided by the agencies themselves (along with the Commission on Filipinos Overseas report cited above), marriages arranged through these services would appear to have a lower divorce rate than the nation as a whole, fully 80 percent of these marriages having lasted over the years for which reports are available.
important thing to come away with in this Research Section of “why date abroad”
is to realize that
starters, feminism has made women masculine. As documented in
this project, the latest research shows that women are now equal
in masculinity with men. Secondly, as quoted by
Dr. Laura Schlessinger also states the following in her book: "The effects of feminism have certainly not contributed to the kind of positive disposition that women need in order to function healthily within a monogamous, heterosexual committed relationship". She further states, "Since the 1960’s, the so-called liberation of women has proven itself to be a liberation from just about everything that could possibly be of value for a women and for the society she influences." Dr. Schlessinger also believes that "Feminism is not only responsible for the deterioration of the family, but also for the disintegration of intimacy between men and women". (source - http://www.campusprogress.org/articles/dr._laura_schlessinger/) She is just one of many American experts who argues this point.
aside expert opinion, let’s look at common sense. If you will
notice, the countries most infected with feminist
ideals are also the countries with the world leading divorce rates, with the
addition, it is interesting to note that the research has proven that the
divorce rate is far higher in marriages where men marry women
who ascribe to feminist values than women who stand by traditional
values. In fact,
major conclusion this research has shown is that
Also, unlike most American women, most foreign women are humble, appreciative and have great family values. They truly "need" men and appreciate whatever you can do for them, however small it might be. And unlike with most American women, how much money you have or how much you are willing to spend on them is not a significant influential factor in their decision on whether to date you or not. Examples of this can be seen in their online dating profiles.
Foreign women profiles typically state, "I am looking for a man who will accept me for who I am" or "I am looking for someone to love me and care for me". And it’s not uncommon to receive a message from a foreign lady that says "Thank you for viewing my profile" or "Thank you for writing to me". I have never in my 20 years of internet dating received any messages like that from American women. I don’t know about most men, but I myself prefer humble appreciative women over unappreciative hard-to-please narcissistic women. And one wonders why the divorce rate is only 20% with foreign ladies vs. 60% with American women. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure this out.
Another interesting note is that being a basic "good guy” actually wins the day with foreign ladies as opposed to in America, where it’s often the “bad boy” player types who win the day because the average "good guy” is too boring for many American women. Then after the player types are done using them (as both Dr. Jean Twenge and Dr. Laura Schlessinger talk about in their research) they are left with emotional scars caused by being used, and cycling through so many relationships. This makes them more unstable in future relationships. What puts the mind in boggle overdrive is when these same women then have the gall to proclaim, "Where have all the good guys gone?"
Lastly, foreign women take marriage seriously and will go to incredible lengths to stay with their man, while on the other hand, as the American researchers have proven, many American women will leave their man at the drop of a hat, especially if the cash runs low. In fact, the research shows that American women initiate divorce 67% of the time and studies show that the reasons are not attributable to abuse, as feminists attempt to misportray. The reasons given by most of the women are along the lines of: "I want to spread my wings" or "I’ve outgrown him" or "I don’t need him anymore" or "I don’t love him anymore".
For marriage-minded men (especially those in their 30's and older), it is necessary to step outside your comfort zone and think outside the box and dip your toes into international dating waters and find how easy and rewarding it can be. I’ll be very frank in saying that just about all men I know who married a foreign woman are still extremely happy many years on. On the other hand, almost all the men I know who married an American woman are either divorced, or if still married, unhappily so. Very few American men I know are truly happy in their marriage and of course the research reflects this. This explains why the USCIS quotes a divorce rate of 20% between American men and foreign ladies compared to a 50-60% divorce rate between American men and American women.
So go abroad guys. You don’t have to sign up with an agency to do this. There are plenty of international dating sites on the net for meeting foreign ladies. Airfares are cheaper than you might think. As any man who has experienced dating foreign ladies will tell you, it’s the best thing they ever did for themselves. The difference is like night and day. Good luck fellas!
Happier Abroad Research Specialist
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