(originally published 1.17.2008)
Earlier this week, I got a call from a 36-year-old woman who has been "shacking up" with her boyfriend for four years. She wants to have children, but senses his ambivalence. The answer I gave her applies to all the otherwise intelligent women who do this.
You should move out and say "I've decided I've made a horrible mistake and the next time I'm living under the same roof as a man, I'm going to be his wife!" You don't demand anything. You don't threaten anything. You act like a dignified woman, instead of an unpaid whore. It's as simple as that. A man who loves and respects a woman wouldn't treat you like that.
When I asked this caller "What would you tell your son?" at first, she didn't understand that I was raising a hypothetical question about how she would explain this behavior to her "future" child. She started to say, "Well, if you're both happy, and you're both-" and I immediately cut in and said she should not make babies. If you're going to do that to your kid, don't have any. If you're going to tell your daughter "...as long as you're happy and you're screwing your brains out every night with a guy who doesn't want to commit his life to you, it's all okay!" - we don't need any more parents like that.
That's why we have such chaos in our whole society - because you think "happy" at any one moment is the highest value. I think honor, sacrifice, and commitment are a higher honor than taking your daily "happiness" temperature, because a man staying true to his wife, who has terminal colon cancer, instead of dating is not happy. Is he happy? Then that can't be the highest quotient!
If you want the world to deal on "happiness," then you have to understand that your man will leave you any day you don't make him happy, and will not honor you or any vow, because he doesn't have to! You've already taught him that if you're "happy," that's the only thing that matters.
I don't think firemen are happy to run into burning buildings. I don't think they're "happy" doing that. I don't think police are "happy" to surround a building where somebody says he's going to shoot everybody. I don't think they lay awake in the morning and go "Gee, that makes me happy!" They have honor and sacrifice and duty and commitment to something higher than "feeling good" in and of themselves. Don't have children if you're going to teach them about "happiness." We have enough chaos in our society because people are doing what they "feel" like when it has no meaning and no projection into the future.
If you teach your sons to screw girls if it makes them happy, and as long as she's smiling and you don't have to make any commitment, don't make babies. We just don't need any more parents like you. We just don't.