I cannot ask him that question. He died not too long ago, still at a relatively early age. At his core, my father was a stand-up man. He went out of his way to help others and he made it clear he would sacrifice himself for his children. There were times growing up that he worked two jobs to support a middle class lifestyle for his children. That's who he was as a father.
But what about the relationship dynamics of his marriage?
While me and my siblings were younger (up until maybe middle school?) things were great; the stereotypical family. But for him, things started to degrade.
He had a health scare a few years later (in his mid 40's), and since then the idea of dying made him wake up a bit. He started realizing that my mom "wore the pants" in their relationship. He didn't want to say no to her, and ended up making poor financial choices (significant choices such as buying a house they couldn't afford) because it's what she wanted, and giving in to whatever she wanted to do. He felt like his opinion was not valued, that she did not care about what he wanted, and yet before he woke up, he never said no to her.
At some point, he told me that you have to draw a line in the sand and stop trying to negotiate. You have to stand up for yourself once you realize the other person is not going to change.
I've read the statistics that a majority of divorces (70% maybe?) are initiated by women - but he was in the 30%. He told her that his own happiness was at stake. That he wasn't feeling fulfilled and that his opinions and happiness weren't valued. And unless she was willing to drastically change, that they should get divorced.
They eventually got divorced, and I truly believe it was for the best. He was somewhat hurt financially, since he ended up taking on a disproprotaion amount of their combined debt on top of having to pay alimony and also child support despite the fact that none of us were young anymore.
But for him it was worth it rather than staying married and having her spend money on things he didn't want.
There was obviously a rough transition period after the divorce, but his attitude, outlook on life, and overall happiness drastically improved over the subsequent years. He moved where he wanted, spent money on things he desired, and spent his time as he wanted. Unfortunately he died only a few short years later, but I think that his last years were better lived than the previous few years.
This waking up period in his life very much mirrored the father in American Beauty.
At the time of the divorce, I could not fathom it, and told my parents not to get divorced because it would shatter my blue-pill view of marriage and love.
But now that I think back, I think my father would have felt quite close to the men's rights beliefs. He felt betrayed and frustrated by the dynamics of his marriage. He would never have wanted to be single and not raise a family, but in his words he did not appreciate being treated as a second class citizen in his marriage. I think he would have found much in common with many of The Red Pill ideals.
I want to conclude by laying claim to the fact that there are two sides to every story. I have no ill will towards my mom. He and her eventually reconciled and became somewhat of friends (as much as could be, given the circumstances). She has her own views and opinions of their marriage, some of which she has shared with me. So at the end of the day, while I do not agree with her views nor how she acted as a wife, I fully support how she acted as a mother and how she raised me.