In the past women have tended to be reliant on a man to support them and their family. Nowadays women are becoming more independent and less reliant on men.
If we think of this in terms of strategies then woman make a choice of whether to follow a strategy of being reliant on a man or a strategy of being independent.
A man also has a strategic choice to make. They only have limited resources: time, money, energy, etc. They can either put these into supporting their partner and children, or they can leave the woman once the child is conceived and put their resources into making themselves more attractive to a new partner. We will call these two strategies Home and Roam.
How do these strategies affect one another?
If a woman chooses to be independent, then a man will be free to Roam as he knows that the woman will be capable of bringing up his child alone. If he chooses to Roam then he will put more effort into staying as attractive as possible so he can find a new mate.
If the woman chooses Dependent, then a man’s best response will be to choose Home and put his efforts into supporting his wife and children. He knows that if he doesn’t do this then his child will not survive. This will leave him with less time, money and energy to put into staying attractive.
So, as women get more independent, men will get more attractive. But once a woman has chosen to be dependent on a man, the man’s effort will go into supporting his wife rather than making himself attractive.
Interestingly, this has been seen over the last few decades. The increase in women’s rights and levels of independence have coincided with an increase in the level of pressure on men to take care of their appearance. It has also coincided with an increase in the level of single mothers.
However, once a man has chosen to support his wife and family the incentive to remain attractive decreases. This is why your husband is fatter than when you married him!
Today’s takeaway: Your strategy may lead to unintended consequences. The women’s rights movement didn’t intend to create more single mothers.