Getting divorced from a dated perspective

Where it comes to dating the divorced, I'm afraid I'm a bit out of my league, as well as out of touch with today's world. However, I nonetheless enjoyed Dr. Helen's PJM post on the subject, especially because double standards never fail to intrigue me. And boy, do the double standards ever abound!

...a divorced man has baggage and is a challenge. Dating a divorced woman is a special concern and leads to a fulfilling and wonderful relationship. Even the books mentioned are different. For divorced women, a book is cited with a nice title that is gender neutral; for divorced men, the title is more hostile and is geared towards what women can do to make sure this damaged man is right for her. Everything is about what women want in a relationship. The man just has to play along and conform to what women need.
There's a lot more, and it's enough makes my head spin. Moreover, in light of today's news from California, the ranks of the divorced will soon include same-sex divorcees, so maybe we should get ready for triple standards, even quadruple standards.

It's all too much for me, and I have nothing to offer by way of advice for anyone. On this issue, I'm a babe in the woods.

However, a super bloggerhelper did email me something today which might be helpful; not for people dating the divorced, but to people -- especially male people -- who just want to feel dated, period. (In the nostalgic sense.)

It's from the American Psychological Association and it's called the "Marital Rating Scale--Wife's Chart":

...a test developed in the late 1930s by George W. Crane, MD, PhD, (1901-95) of Northwestern University, who ran a counseling practice, wrote a syndicated national newspaper column called "The Worry Clinic" and started his own matchmaking service.

The test was designed to give couples feedback on their marriages. Either husbands or wives could take the test, which rated wives in a variety of areas. For instance, if your wife "uses slang or profanity," she would get a score of five demerits. On the other hand, if she "reacts with pleasure and delight to marital congress," she would receive 10 merits. The test taker would add up the total number of merits and demerits to receive a raw score, which would categorize the wife on a scale from "very poor" to "very superior."

The APA notes that while most people would laugh at the test today, it was intended to be scientific at the time.

Hmmm..... Some of these questions are really great! (And how forward-thinking they were to include "jolly and gay" on the "merit" side!)


Contrast the above with the modern rule that "if you're a woman, never give too much and don't try too hard to be understanding." In light of all the progress that's been made, it's hard to imagine that there ever was a time when men might have used such a guide in evaluating their wives.

However, I'm thinking that such a "dated" perspective might offer hope to at least some of the "damaged men" who have gone through divorces. Why, maybe they could even be allowed to get together in support groups, and retroactively evaluate their spouses as they share a warm nostalgic feeling of being dated.

(Don't expect me to say that being dated beats dating, though. As I say, I'm an out-of-my-league babe-in-the-woods....)

posted by Eric on 05.15.08 at 04:23 PM


As a woman, I find the above table stupid at best. Not all women would agree with it and not all men would be gullible enough to believe and follow it either.

nunyaa   ·  May 18, 2008 8:18 AM

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