I Wasn't a Debt-Free Virgin Before Marriage - Here's What I Learned the Hard Way

If you were playing the field in your twenties, the ONLY way you have any chance to marry a high quality, high status man now, is to humble yourself in the presence of any man you might like to marry, and answer any and all questions he has for you. At any point, he may decide that is too much baggage and walk away. And you deserve it.

This article from our archives was first published on RI in November 2018

Editor's Note: Mychael Klajic is a devout Orthodox Christian, a faithful member of the Serbian Orthodox Church, and the loving mother of five beautiful children. She is a registered nurse, and she is married to a highly successful psychologist. After seeing the storm of internet controversy that resulted from the viral article, "Men Prefer Debt-Free Virgins Without Tattoos", Mychael wanted to offer the perspective of an Orthodox Christian woman. We are honored to publish her article here.

The Klajic Family

I am not sure I would say I have been dreading this moment. But I have not looked forward to it, and I suppose I knew it would come up eventually.

Lori Alexander has written a blog post that everyone knows contains some basic, immutable Truth. And as always when such a thing happens, the vitriol is fierce. And every time the subject comes up, I squirm a little because I am a traditionalist red-pill wife who did not meet these criteria at the time when I married my husband. 

The attacks on us that appear on other blogs and in our comments section (which Scott never lets through) have been severe. The names I get called (and the making fun of Scott) is relentless. We are called hypocrites. Or that Scott married a former carousel rider. And on and on. There are times when I want to quit writing about how our marriage has been saved by God's grace. Not in a spiteful way—I am sure no one would really miss us—but because it would just be easier to live our lives quietly on our little hobby farm and enjoy each other's company until we die. Why does anyone need to hear about us at all?

After the Lori Alexander post was published, our personal Facebook pages blew up with friends debating viciously about the content. Many of them were "trad-Orthodox" Christians fighting with each other over it. I was asked by one of the administrators of the Russian Faith website to write my thoughts about what it means that "men prefer debt-free virgins without tattoos". And that's when the dread started. Do I really want to open this topic up again?

On the one hand it would be so easy to join the chorus of malcontents. Lori's detractors are basically a one note chorus. "I know a woman with tattoos who has a heart of gold, therefore your point is invalid." Or "my best friend was not a virgin when she married and has been in a loving relationship for 35 years!"

I could just as easily say, "Scott hit all the right targets in his first marriage. She was a debt-free virgin with no tattoos from a devout Christian family, and she blew up their marriage after 6 years. He never abused her, never yelled at her, was faithful and a good man. She cheated and ruined his life. I on the other hand had a very common secular American girl past, and we have four kids and are still madly in love with each other after 12 years!"

If I wrote that, EVERYONE would pat me on the back and say, "Yeah! Mychael is right! Virginity and all that other stuff has nothing to do with her heart, you judgmental jerks!" I would feel good about myself and learn nothing. My life’s story, and the individual ones I happen to be aware of, do not present themselves as universally true.

So let's get into this, again. I only write these things to help parents decide how they want to raise their kids in this area and to help young girls who want to get married someday make some better decisions than they are about to make. I don't assume that Russian Faith readers have seen our farm blog, or Scott's "American Dad" one. Therefore, I will explain to readers what is going on here. I have the most loving, devoted, even tempered, protective, uber-masculine, high earning, non-abusive, not addicted to anything, hard working husband, father to our four children, that any woman could ever dream of. He is good looking, tall, physically fit and strong, charming, funny, and just little bit dark and scary sometimes. And I landed him without being a virgin. I had an out-of-wedlock child, a tattoo, and student loan debt. I managed to pull off what manosphere blogger Dalrock calls "sticking the landing." Want to know how I did it? Read on.

Scott & Mychael

Here's the first, hard truth. Scott was not red-pilled when we met, and if he was, he probably would have "nexted" me at the first sight of my online dating profile because I was a single mom. Hurts, right? It should. The aggregate risk of marrying a woman with a child (if she is not a widow) is huge. It speaks volumes about your decision making processes and it says they are very impulsive and faulty. The data is clear that a woman with seven or more sexual partners before marriage is almost statistically certain to divorce later. Scott and I have passed the danger zone in years on that one, but it is still quite high.

Next, I had a tattoo on my toe and he asked me about it. I had to tell him that it was done on a whim and that my son's dad has a matching one. Every time Scott looks at it, I wonder what he thinks about that.

I had a fairly large amount of student loan debt, and frankly so did he. But since he was on a path to making about four to five times the national average, he didn't need to worry about his. He needed to worry about mine.

I am going to tell writers something that almost no one in our "God loves me and forgives me no matter what" age wants to hear. If you are a typical 30-something girl who had been playing the field in your twenties, the ONLY way you have any chance to marry a high quality, high status man is to humble yourself in the presence of any man you might like to marry, and answer any and all questions he has for you. At any point, he may decide that is too much baggage and walk away. And you deserve it.

Even though Scott was not a red-pill guy at the time, he is not stupid. And he grilled me for weeks before he really committed to dating exclusively. And let's face it, our relationship was consummated well before the wedding date. This is what Scott calls the "standard American mate selection process" and neither of us felt weird about it at all. It's all part of the romantic story you are supposed to tell your friends when they ask how you met. Its the "meet cute" in every romantic comedy. And it's wrong. It's wrong when other people do it, and it was wrong when we did it. Will you write to our blog and say "you trapped him with sex?" (Already heard that one). How can that be? He had several girlfriends between his first wife and me, and all followed the same relationship trajectory.

The reason so many people got upset at reading the Lori Alexander piece is because upwards of 90 percent of all American singles fail to meet her simple, tried and true standard for maximizing marital success. Rather than take a little humble pill, they are defiant against God and his simple-to-follow rules. They want to equivocate, obfuscate and make themselves the exception to the rules. It's totally understandable. We all have that desire.

I am going to stop here and reiterate this one point. THE MAIN REASON SCOTT AND I ARE HAVING A SUCCESSFUL MARRIAGE IS BECAUSE OF FULL DISCLOSURE AND TRUE REMORSE ON MY PART. Not because I am such a great catch or he is such an awesome guy. Both of us let other people have something that rightly belonged to our future spouse and that HAS TO BE reconciled first or the marriage is doomed. And even if you get that far, you better have a plan to explain to this man how you have changed. You also better have scorching chemistry with him, for reasons I’ve discussed elsewhere.

In fact, even if you do all that, you will still have the second and third order effects of that life FOREVER. You can never get the pictures of your spouse with someone else out of your mind. You can NEVER really stop wondering if you are being compared. You can mentally control it, and minimize it. But it’s always there. Then there are the children. Someday, they will start asking questions about their step brother's origin. It breaks my heart to think of that conversation. And it should break my heart. I told Scott this just yesterday as we discussed how I should proceed with this article—if I could, I would make so that all five of my kids are biologically Scott's, not just the last four. I would make it so we were each other's one and only. I realize that would take a bit of time travel or magic (or both) and it has painful implications for all the parties involved. You cannot grow or learn anything without pain. But I do not walk around with the aura and stench of the modern catch phrase “no regrets.” Only a haughty fool makes bad life decisions and never regrets them.

Scott and I cling to each other like there is no other person in the world. But it is not perfect. The passage of time and bad decisions beforehand made that impossible.

All of that is the tale of warning. The bad news, if you will.

But what if you could simply avoid it?

You can, of course.

If you are a 19 year old girl and you have not given away for free what you expect your future husband to earn someday, I beg you to stop and think. If you are going into debt for a degree you cannot use, and expect your future husband to pick up the tab, I urge you to reconsider. (In my case I am an RN, so at least I brought a skill that Scott says is extremely valuable for our future on a remote farm.) If you really want a tattoo, wait until you are married and talk it over with your husband.

The only thing that kept me from going totally off the deep end as a teenager and twenty-something was the presence of my grandfather, who was a well-known and respected LA Superior Court judge in Long Beach. My father was not in my life. But my Grandpa (who Scott reminds me of) was an imposing figure who filled that void and would not have allowed me to make a fool of him with my behavior in the community. And today, I have transferred those feelings of healthy fear squarely onto Scott. I cannot allow his name to be dishonored, or his children to be disgraced, and it is a name I share now too. It would break my heart and I am sure my Grandpa would look down at me in disapproval and shame.

It matters to your future husband what you did before you met him. Do not pretend that he should just take you with all that baggage because you are sooo awesome. You created most of it yourself. The previous two or three generations of men were conditioned by their baby boomer parents to believe that it doesn't matter. But the ones under forty have been warned. The party's over, girls. And Lori's three markers are a really good way to screen for that stuff. Are you the exception? Who knows? Why should you burden your future husband with the task of figuring it out?

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