Jordan Peterson on Marriage and the family

Thankfully, Jordan Peterson has now recovered from the shock of nearly losing his wife of many years and his subsequent illness and is now in good voice again.  Below is his advice for young men seeking marriage and a family.  And I have no doubt that anyone following that advice will have a happy life.  It is very conservative advice, pointing out how important and desirable marriage and children are. But there is also no doubt that it goes against the grain of modern times.

For a start, he overlooks the divorce problem.  Feminist inspired divorce laws have destroyed marriage for a large slice of the population. The divorce laws so heavily favour women now that the possibility of divorce scares off any well-informed man.  They don't enter marrige because they know that marriages do end and that such an end will leave them financially ruined.  

I know a tradesman who was well-paid in his lifetime who should now be retired in comfort but who is now in his 70s almost completely "skint".  Two divorces took the lot and he is too old to start again

Another thing that Peterson overlooks to some extent is the power of sexual appeal.  The sex drive is often strong in women and will lead them into relationships that are unwise.  And the more good-looking men in particular can fall victim to that.  They might find that they have a very satisfying sexual partner and start living with her, only to find that she is a "bitch".  The lady gets into bed very readily but the two of you are so  ill-matched in other ways that after a while you end up making one another unhappy.

And because their sex drive is so strong, women will find a range of different things sexy in men, with a large wallet being the traditional example of that.  So even men without traditional good looks can end up in bad relationships after the initial glow wears off.  So divorce or breakups can be needed if a relationship ends up as being unwise and painful.

So Jordan's advice that a married couple should at some stage tell one-another all their secrets is undoubtedly wise in general but has been known to destroy relationships.  And what can seem toxic to one woman may be relatively untroublesome to a more worldly woman.  It's a risk.  It could destroy an otherwise successful marriage.

I have found in my own life that total openness about myself and my varied past works wonders.  Women really love a man who is honest with them. And the converse of that is that they hate men who lie to them.  I have had four marriages and four divorces with minimal financial or other damage because I am habitually honest. It is quite amazing what women with put up with if the man they like is always honest with them. Honesty is powerful stuff. 

So Peterson is right.  Having no secrets is highly desirable and constructive.  But it does depend on the secrets.  Some things are probably best left to lie undisturbed in a man who has made mistakes but has learned from them.  It is amazingly liberating if you have no secrets, however, as I have found.

I could go on but this essay is developing into a treatise rather than than a commentary on Peterson


  1. Let's face it, it is wonderful when people make sense and the other way around not so much. I would keep secret what my wife would not understand until she would be able to understand, but this statement by itself raises red flags because all sorts of filth could without effort be filed in this category.

    Is it important to keep a clean conscience? Is the effect of honest living a clean conscience?

    Can a marriage reach its full potential without the husband and wife being able to have to bestow good will upon the other and be able to forgive each other? What happens if they are unable to forgive as they try to learn and grow in their union?

    Good will for the other person in the marriage is basically will that is free from the curtailment of personal likes and dislikes. To like is often mistaken for good will but it is limited compared to indubitable good will. To like is limited to enjoying and getting pleasure from someone or something. Good will goes well with either like or dislike since they are able to exist simultaneously. Good will and ill will do not go well together, in fact one nulls the other the same way true forgiveness (which is for the sake of others) nulls ill will.

    “The object of life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
    ― Marcus Aurelius

    1. *being able to bestow good will

      Bad editing, TO HAVE TO is not how I would put it, I do not thik good will is not to be forced.


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