December 2, 2016

"Mattis is also informally known as a 'warrior monk'..."

"... a nod to his intellect and expertise as well as his marital status: 66-year-old Mattis has never wed."

Why do you think that happened? 2 explanations spring to my mind. A third as well, but it seems much less likely. Or okay, there are 4 things, and now they all seem equally likely.

126 comments:

Paddy O said...

Clearly there are seven things and I'm not sure why you don't want to mention the three other possibilities.

tcrosse said...

It's fun to imagine what he would say if you asked.

Kylos said...

I can only think of of three things and like paddy o wonder why you're not mentioning them. Your four are probably far too abstruse to be the actual reason.

Freeman Hunt said...

Moving often and being gone often. I have a friend in his forties, also military, who has experienced the same.

Bob said...

Maybe we can fix him up with Condi Rice.

My name goes here. said...

Because he seeks the grail?

Or was that your number 4?

mccullough said...

Gay, celibate, didn't want children, love of life died at early age, didn't care about career advancement, didn't want to put spouse through numerous moves, higher discretionary income, never found the right person

mccullough said...

Impotent

mccullough said...

High risk of death

Marty said...

I suppose I could come up with quite a few reasons, including Freeman's observation (I remember a couple of my own military assignments way back in teh Vitenam years, including a tour at a remote radar site on the Alaskan coast where we didn't even SEE a woman for a year) - but I find myself thinking more about why anyone would care? Is such a question posed primarily to prompt salacious speculation?

Tarrou said...

He's a soldier with an IQ over 45.

Military wives are horrendous skanks. Eight years of service was what it took to convince me to never marry. Once you get a look at the never-ending shitshow that is military marriage, you never want any part of it.

Women are whores. Joes are fucking stupid.

Bob Loblaw said...

They say there are lovers and fighters. This guy is so far to the "fighter" side of the spectrum maybe there's nothing left.

traditionalguy said...

With men from broken family backgrounds the Corps is their family. And it lets them know they are needed as much as they need the Corps.

They are lifers...the Old Breed...They function as examples for the raw young Recruits in their first combat.

sinz52 said...

The simplest, Occam's Razor answer is that he never found the right woman.

Mark said...

Why do you think that happened?

We live in an increasingly never-married culture, even though these people wanted to marry. I know quite a few people in their 40s and 50s -- intelligent, accomplished, fun, attractive, good, nice people -- who have wanted marriage, but it just didn't happen. It is a sign of a deeply wounded society.

Once written, twice... said...

Let's uncloset him.

Mark said...

It doesn't help that a significant proportion of the culture has worked very hard to destroy marriage and family, emptying them of any meaning.

clint said...

1. Married to the Corps -- by far the most likely answer. He's a workaholic, moves around a lot, and doesn't meet many civilians.
2. No interest in starting a family.
3. Gay -- don't tell.
4. Has three wives in Idaho -- don't tell.
5. Never met the right woman.
6. Met the right woman and she married someone else.
7. Met the right woman and loved her too much to make her a soldier's widow.

And a distant 8th: He's actually a woman.

mockturtle said...

Already married. To the Marines.

Oso Negro said...

Great achievement always comes at a great price.

Bob said...

I bet now that he is in the public eye, he'll be getting a lot of proposals.

Rob said...

Too busy reading.

Bob Ellison said...

We men tend to assume that love is the primary motive for marriage. That may be true, but maybe not.

Mark said...

Children of divorce often experience difficulty in forming healthy interpersonal relationships. Then we have the whole "marriage is just a piece of paper" idea given us by the left. Add to that something about fish and bicycles. Of course, we cannot forget the latest reinvention of the entire truth and concept of marriage, again from the left.

Irrational hard-line ideology aside, there is the increased tendency of one side or the other having unrealistic standards, insisting on Mr. Right or Ms. Right, with a "why should I settle?" mentality. Then at some point, people just get set in their ways, or they become resigned to the reality that marriage ain't going to happen.

tcrosse said...

1. None of your damn business.
2. None of your damn business.
3. None of your damn business.
4. None of your damn business.
5. None of your damn business.
6. None of your damn business.
7. None of your damn business.

Larry J said...

Military service is hard on marriages, especially when you factor in deployments. Back in 1990, I was sent on an unaccompanied tour to the is island of Shemya near the very end of Alaska's Aleutian chain. Of all my friends there, I was the only one still married two years later. Several guys' wives divorced them while during the assignment and the rest not long after they returned home. This was in peacetime. The stresses on a military marriage in wartime are much greater. Some professional military men just don't want the hassle.

traditionalguy said...

At last interview, Mattis reportedly said, "it ain't me babe... it ain't me your looking for babe"

viator said...

I'll go with married to the Marines as above.

SteveR said...

Of course there probably isn't a simple and single answer. Obviously a dedicated Marine so a potential wife would have had to as time moved on - with his lifestyle and movable status becoming paramount (these guys like to be promoted) -- finding the right women became very hard.

madAsHell said...

Like Samson's hair!! If he took a wife, then he would lose his strength.

MadisonMan said...

What tcrosse said.

The dark circles under his eyes make me wonder about a death soon from a Heart Attack.

buwaya puti said...

Look for mistresses.

Alex said...

Of course this is our business, the personal lives of cabinet secretaries.

Gahrie said...

Mad Dog is clearly a repressed, self-loathing homosexual who gets his psychopathic kicks from killing our brown and yellow brothers and sisters.

He's probably a sub too.

/sarc

Bob Loblaw said...

Maybe he had trouble finding a woman who could intelligently discuss Marcus Aurelius and the tradeoffs inherent in reverse slope defense.

Seeing Red said...

Ask Condi.

Seeing Red said...

And I agree, who cares?

I had a manicurist who never married. She lost her love in WWII and said she never found anyone she liked more.

tim maguire said...

I can think of two without much effort. Four would take some reflection.

wildswan said...

We'll never know. But his nickname might be a hint about part of the reason. Anyhow I predict that Melania will introduce him to a incredibly beautiful woman with a brain, a woman who will let Mattis be Mattis and they'll get married in the White House.

SukieTawdry said...

I suppose he never met anyone he cared to marry. Marriage isn't for everyone after all. Or perhaps he's a late bloomer like Jerry Brown or Gloria Steinem.

fivewheels said...

So he's only "informally" known that way? He was never awarded that formal title?

Good writing.

fivewheels said...

And I assume the answer is: Plenty of free milk.

khesanh0802 said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Sally327 said...

I believe I read somewhere that he was engaged at one point, early in his career, and for a reason I don't know about, they didn't go through with the marriage. I've also read elsewhere that he has had other relationships with women over the years but don't know how serious. FWIW

I wouldn't be surprised if he just decided at some point or another that he didn't need or want to be married.

It will be interesting to see if anyone takes the approach Barbara Boxer did with Condi Rice, when he has his confirmation hearings, how he can't understand the personal price of losing a child in war because he's single and childless. Yeah, I'd like to see someone try that.

khesanh0802 said...

It's very simple; There's an old Marine Corps saying that if the Corps wanted you to have a wife it would have issued you one. Mattis was never issued one.

After that I am also with tcrosse!

Eric the Fruit Bat said...

Trending news staff writer?

FullMoon said...

Bob said... [hush]​[hide comment]

I bet now that he is in the public eye, he'll be getting a lot of proposals.

When he does, he better remember what happened to Petraeus

exhelodrvr1 said...

It's better for the country that he never married.

Michael K said...

Is such a question posed primarily to prompt salacious speculation?

Of course it is and will be the highlight of his confirmation hearings. The Democrats are not interested in any other aspect of military matters.

There is an old saying about warriors not marrying. "They get to rape the losers' women. That's how they pass on their genes."

Maybe that won't come up in the hearings, though.

Hari said...

(8) He did not have the same range of options as a civilian, because adultery is a crime under military law.

Sally327 said...

"I bet now that he is in the public eye, he'll be getting a lot of proposals.
When he does, he better remember what happened to Petraeus,"

I don't know this as a scientific fact but I'd be willing to bet a largish sum of money that no US Marine anywhere ever lacked for opportunity to enjoy the company of women, outside of an active war zone I suppose. Mattis wouldn't need to be Sec Def to see what might be on offer.

And Mattis is no Petraeus. That's just laughable.

The Vault Dweller said...

I don't know for certain obviously, but as long as we are speculating, I think it is because he knew he wouldn't be able to give enough time to a wife to be fair to her.

Lots of the stories I've read about Mattis, show a man who deeply cares for the people he serves with. Someone who wants to make sure everyone he serves under gets what they need and he is willing to sacrifice himself and his time for that. I suspect he views marriage in the same way. He probably came to the conclusion that for him to fair to either the Marines, or a wife, he could only chose one. And since he first chose the Marines, he danced with the person who brought him.

The Vault Dweller said...

oops, should be everyone who serves under him not everyone he serves under

mockturtle said...

Should he decide to marry, Condi would make a good choice. Neither of them would be likely to be needy or clingy and would likely give each other ample space. And she is fluent in Russian, which would come in handy.

Bad Lieutenant said...

Get. Stanley McChrystal, of Rolling Stone fame, took his wife, for their 10th anniversary IIRC,

TO MCDONALD'S.

Perhaps Gen. Mattis has a little more of something, or a little less, or a little different, than Gen. McChrystal, which did not allow him to marry a woman whom he would then take to McDonald's for their anniversary.

Bob Loblaw said...

mockturtle, Rice is also a professional-quality pianist, which would be a fine attribute in someone you live with.

Sally327 said...

Am I missing something on the Condi Rice - James Mattis speculation? They've both been at Stanford for the last few years and if it hasn't happened already it's probably not going to.

tcrosse said...

This discussion shows that it's not only liberals who subscribe to the coarsening of our culture.

surfed said...

Because he's fucking smart.

Lydia said...

Interesting article on him in the San Diego Union Tribune from 2013 -- this bit makes him sound pretty monk-like, I think, the "beer and ladies" comment notwithstanding:

"Mattis has never owned a television. As a diligent scholar of his profession, he interviewed active and retired commanders who had grappled with similar missions. He studied everyone from the Spartans to the samurai and Comanche, drawing from his personal library that once included more than 7,000 volumes before he gave many to libraries and comrades. He is a lifelong bachelor with no children, but wouldn’t move into a monastery unless it was stocked with 'beer and ladies'.”

Swede said...

Guy was in the service.

Probably sticking more tail than a Pin-The-Donkey game.

Why get married?

LYNNDH said...

Hey Tarrou, don't paint all military wives like that. My Mom and Dad married 40 yrs, he a Navy Chief, my brother and his wife married 50 something yrs, he a Navy Chief.
Your experience not the same for all. AND I RELLY DO NOT LIKE WHAT YOU CALLED MY MOTHER!

MaxedOutMama said...

Not everyone wants to marry or is suited to it.

If this comment were made about a single woman with a similar career, it would be taken by many as sexism. Just sayin'.

Douglas said...

what tcrosse said.

traditionalguy said...

I say we call me Jim Mattis. That sounds friendlier. Then when he comes out of the phone booth with his cape on we can call him Mad Dog.

galivantor said...

TRULY A DUMB SPECULATION NO MATTER WHAT 100 ANSWERS ONE MIGHT SUGGEST.

Guildofcannonballs said...

42.

William R. Hamblen said...

If the Marine Corps wanted you to have a wife they would have issued you one.

William said...

I read the article that was linked to. The article details how Mattis personally enjoys killing his enemies in combat zones and that he never married. The article is not openly a hit piece, but it does plant questions in your mind. I think this was deliberate......The press has successfully ruined the careers of MacChrystal and Petraeus. They're sharpening their pencils in anticipation of future pieces on Mattis.

Jay Vogt said...

He wants to deny women his Purity of Essence.

Jay Vogt said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Limited blogger said...

Maybe he married his rifle?

Billy Oblivion said...

FIgured out that sex is cheaper and more available if ordered Ala Carte.

coupe said...

In the French Foreign Legion, the prostitutes are deployed along with the soldiers. It is important to keep the men healthy, as they are apt to go native, and then you have all sorts of diseases to contend with.

The Marines aren't as brazen as that, but they do watch out after the men, and usually a list of restricted establishments is posted, in which the men are not to carouse in.

Did you know that the "Merry-go-round" is called a carouse-l?

Comanche Voter said...

Mattis is just the sort of guy that (A) will get the progressives and Pajama Boy types all wee wee'd up --although Pajama Boy might have a slightly different reason to get all het up; and (B) will be loved by the Deplorables. If the Dems are smart(and that assumes a fact not in evidence) they will let Mad Dog slide through. Blocking him will cost five Demcocrat Senate seats in 2018.

buwaya puti said...

Not just the French Foreign Legion.
The French Army had official mobile field brothels assigned as an auxilary unit to all forces in the field, with their own proper French military acronym - Bordels Mobiles de Campagne - BMC
These seem to have been staffed by a particular North African Berber tribe with traditions in that direction. Thats multicultural synergy right there.
Bernard Fall, as we were discussing below, has a good description of these in "Street Without Joy".

Mac McConnell said...

I read somewhere that Mattis uses his vacations to visit every family of fallen Marines under under his command.

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
coupe said...

There are three reasons men over 30 aren't married:

1. Commitment phoebes. They are single for a reason and that's not going to change soon. These men can be charming but they are after quick sex or "Friends With Benefits" arrangement at most.

2. Guys that have been rejected all their lives. There is usually a reason why. And as much as you can empathize, you can't date them out of pity. Most women are turned off by the very thing every other women before them were.

3. Guys that are hung like a horse. No one wants that thing laying next to them in bed every morning. It's like big tits. Totally useless.

walter said...

Well now..he being "single" gives you license to peculate whether it's because __, or he's __..or moreover ___.
i.e. none of anyone's business..

walter said...

"Comment deleted This comment has been removed by the author."
EXACTLY!

coupe said...

Mac McConnell said...I read somewhere that Mattis uses his vacations to visit every family of fallen Marines under under his command.

Probably not true, but the truth is pretty awesome. He never used a form letter, or auto-pen (like Obama) to write letters of condolences.

walter said...

Yah coupe..ask him which of your three rules he conforms to..

coupe said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Earnest Prole said...

don't ask don't tell

do kill

holdfast said...

@Tarrou - I have a brilliant plan for strengthening military marriages: Stop. Marrying. Strippers!

Army To Lower Divorce Rates By Training Soldiers Not To Marry Strippers

THE PENTAGON — Army Chief of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley today announced the results of an exhaustive study conducted by the RAND Corporation aimed at understanding and lowering the divorce rates of soldiers.

“Going in, our assumption was that long and frequent deployments were the root cause of the higher than average divorce rates of our soldiers,” Milley said. “It turns out, instead, there’s a very high correlation between the frequency of a spouse removing their clothes in exchange for money and the divorce rate.”

Milley continued, “We also saw a spike in divorces when the spouse regularly uses methamphetamine and stays away from home for days at a time. We are still looking into this other phenomena.”

Read more: http://www.duffelblog.com/2015/11/army-divorce-stripper-marriages/#ixzz4RlTT4sd1

mike in houston said...

Isn't this blog post a little too "Buzzfeed like" for you Althouse?

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Tarrou said...

@ holdfast

Yeah, we tried that when I was in. You'd be shocked, but telling semi-retarded testosterone-crazed eighteen year olds not to marry the naked chick doesn't work 100% of the time. It was part of my standard safety brief. "Don't buy a car, don't get a tattoo, don't get married". Had one boot on his very first 3-day manage all three by monday. Bought a brand new Mustang, crashed it, married a stripper and got her name tattooed on him.

Curious George said...

coupe said...
There are three reasons men over 30 aren't married:

...It's like big tits. Totally useless."

There are 2 two things that spring to my mind. A third as well, but it seems much less likely. Or okay, there are 4 things, and now they all seem equally likely.

Rusty said...

If he needed a wife the corps would have issued him one.

James Hofbauer said...

This post says so much of who you are not who Mattis is. Think deeply about that one.

Bob R said...

8. Gets a discount at the best bordellos on the planet.

MadisonMan said...

This post says so much of who you are not who Mattis is. Think deeply about that one.

You are so insightful. I sit here in this coffee shop with my jaw dropped in awe.

Seriously!!

Michael K said...

Democrats will no doubt search out every woman he has ever known looking for a case of abuse or something.

Clarence Thomas style.

Of course, they are the minority and Joe Biden is out so there's that.

Sally327 said...

"Democrats will no doubt search out every woman he has ever known looking for a case of abuse or something."

Mattis was at Central Command when the whole Jill Kelly / Petraeus / Paula Broadwell / John Allen thing broke. I imagine they'll troll through that whole mess looking to see if there's any way to dirty him up over that.

They will also paint him as a crazed war-monger who can't wait to bomb Tehran. And of course to make a big deal of civilian control of the military, which is a big deal, yes, but it's not like Mattis as Secretary of Defense is one step away from an armed overthrow of the government. Although I guess if there was one man in America who could rally the troops to do that it might be Mattis.

Michael said...

Let us hope that he is our first gay warrior SoD who has read more books on more topics than any and all members of the slobbering press and who will tell you or anyone else who has a problem with that to go and fuck yourself.

Freder Frederson said...

The press has successfully ruined the careers of MacChrystal and Petraeus.

McChrystal forgot about the chain of command and publicly criticized his bosses. Patraeus ruined his own career by committing adultery (which is a crime under the UCMJ) and mishandling classified material by giving it to his mistress (who as a former intelligence officer should have known better).

will be loved by the Deplorables.

Really, he is not a fan of torture.

AllenS said...

“Be polite, be professional, but have a plan to kill everybody you meet.” -- Gen Mattis

"Don't need no stinking waterboarding when the enemy is dead." -- AllenS

lemondog said...

A complex warrior monk

A General Mattis Christmas Story

blahg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gabriel said...

Re: if we were nominating a single woman, it would be sexism. There was plenty of salacious speculation about Janet Reno and Condoleeza Rice.

JML said...

Duffleblog is a parody site. But it would be a good program if implemented. When I was a C-130 navigator at Little Rock AFB back in the early 80s, we had a new kid who started dating a stripper. The Chief Nav told him he needed to knock it off -- it would not work out. The kid got engaged and the Squadron gave him a Flight Evaluation Board and took his wings. We had another nav, a SOB Major who was possibly the best nav I ever met who married a Tech Sergeant who was in the medical field. The Wing Commander had a meeting with him and told him "he would hate to see talent like that get slighted, so perhaps one of them should consider separating from the AF." So he turned his papers in -- the Wing CC told him he had it wrong, that his Sgt wife was supposed to get out, and the SOB told him he was right -- his wife had a lot of talent and he had no intention of sabotaging her effort to make Chief M/Sgt. Those are choices you make -- family first of military first. I'd have followed Mad Dog anywhere he went if I served under him. The SOB major? Well, he was good, he loved his wife, he stuck it to the man and I appreciate that, but I wonder just a bit about his commitment when the shit hit the fan. I flew with the young kid just before they called his FEB -- we were on an augmented crew with an extra experienced pilot and flight engineer and we even had a flight mechanic - we must have done something important but I don't remember what it was. We were flying back home at night over the Rocky Mts and developed a missive fuel leak and lost two engines. I told the kid to keep his head in the radar and make sure that Fu@ker ATC didn't vector us into a mountain. Five minutes later ATC tried to do just that, he didn't let them, and he did a good job keeping us from going into cumulus granite. I never met the stripper -- I hope it turned out well for them in the long run.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Geez.....Why do we have to speculate about the sexuality of General Mattis. I don't care why he didn't marry. It isn't any of my business.

Is he gay? Who cares.

Is he celibate? Who cares.

Does he do his job well. Is he competent and principled? I do care about those things..

Do his comrades in arms and contemporaries think well of him? We all should care.

I don't want to think about the sexuality, gender, proclivities, personal habits of ANYONE. It just is not my business (unless of course those involve little children or animals).

We have bigger fish to fry and better things to think about. Move on people. This is just a sidetracking tactic ...oooooh loook squirrel..... that the Left likes to throw out to divert our attention from the real issues.

Rusty said...

Like James said.

Mark said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Mark said...

I imagine they'll troll through that whole mess looking to see if there's any way to dirty him up over that.

If there is nothing there, they will take something innocuous and blow it up -- He once gave a woman a "look." What? What look? You know what look - that look. Huh? -- or they will invent something.

Of course, they are doing that to everyone, several times a day. And not even them, but nice little old ladies who voted Trump are now neo-Nazi white supremists. People are now used to the slime jobs, and they are ignoring them.

MaxedOutMama said...

Gabriel: True, and the responses to that by many were along the lines of "WTF - is this your business" and "Is it not sexist to assume that a woman must be married?"

My gut reaction to this post is very similar. First, I really do not care about the sex lives of public figures so long as those lives do not involve illegalities/blackmail material. Second, I think people have a right to be public figures but still have areas of privacy in their lives. I am worried about what type of personalities we will get in public careers if that right is not preserved.

I take it for granted that persons who have held positions such as Mattis' have had high security clearances, which do involve background investigations, so I assume that Mattis' sexual life is not something that would present a security/legal problem. Therefore, I do not feel that it is something that should be publicly discussed.

I think reality TV shows have coarsened our national culture and eroded our respect for personal privacy.

MaxedOutMama said...

Tarrou - laughed so hard it hurt.

But that's reality for young servicemen. The loneliness and testosterone and limited social opportunities create some interesting and alarming situations.

Robert Cook said...

"It doesn't help that a significant proportion of the culture has worked very hard to destroy marriage and family, emptying them of any meaning."

Really? How so? The marriage business still seems to be thriving, and new families are being created every day. As for the "meaning" of marriage? That's unique to every marriage. There is no overarching meaning to it, or to anything. Meaning derives from the mind of Man, and does not exist externally to us.

Robert Cook said...

"The press has successfully ruined the careers of MacChrystal and Petraeus."

As Freder points out, they did it to themselves. Petraeus provided state secrets to his biographer/lover. Shouldn't he be in prison for for this? Others have suffered more than he for less.

EDH said...

"... a nod to his intellect and expertise as well as his marital status: 66-year-old Mattis has never wed."

Because getting married and then later divorcing is such a sign of stability and normalcy, even if you see it coming before the nuptials?

Unknown said...

Married to the Corps, lost the only one he loved to someone else. It happens. And...as my grandmother would say "And why do you think it's any of your business?"

cf said...

I refuse to conjecture on this matter.

I am your age, Ann, and remember distinctive, principled Men and Women in my small town who never married -- for instance, the librarian of our library and my mother's friend, Virginia Nurse, and my fifth grade teacher Mr. Hayes who would live with his mother all her life.

Working at a great newspaper, one of our Key Corner Office editors for life was a man who never married, indeed married to his work, we all understood and respected that.

Is this Model outdated now?

Perhaps a revival is due.

Birkel said...

I can only think of one reason why Mattis never married:

Mattis weighed the costs and benefits of the action, as perceived by him (the best person for judging the costs and benefits), and determined the costs to outweigh the benefits. That I do not and perhaps cannot know which costs he perceived to be greatest or most important changes nothing. It is his decision and he owes me nothing.

Althouse can be especially snide.

Gahrie said...

Petraeus provided state secrets to his biographer/lover. Shouldn't he be in prison for for this?

Probably, but at least he faced some form of punishment.

Others have suffered more than he for less.

And others (cough) Hillary(cough) have suffered far less than he for more.

Bill said...

Maybe some bottom-feeder at BuzzFeed will figure it out.

Birches said...

What fivewheels said.

He was smart, like Derek Jeter, and wasn't going to limit himself while he was in his prime. I wonder if he gave out gift baskets too?

rcocean said...

"A confirmed bachelor."

When I was a kid I thought that just meant someone like Professor Henry Higgins - who just didn't like girls and stuff.

But of course, now I know what it really means.

coupe said...

Curly never got married, but he was in love all his life to one woman.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X4CvFWCULuI

richard mcenroe said...

Ain't it neat how so many tolerant progressives can grow a raging case of homophobia as soon as it suits them politically?

Lost My Cookies said...

My brother never married, both of my brother's actually, and generally it's because they couldn't find anyone, man or woman, who would put up with their shit.

Lost My Cookies said...

My brother never married, both of my brother's actually, and generally it's because they couldn't find anyone, man or woman, who would put up with their shit.

kentuckyliz said...

Sneering speculation...so matrimonormative.

Roughcoat said...

Does he have a "flamboyant entourage"? That's the real tell.

JML said...

http://www.duffelblog.com/2016/12/military-frantically-googling-defense-secretary-presidential-order-succession/

He has a plan...