Marriage is a risky proposition for you as a man. The legal environment in most countries is really stacked against a man so make a bad decision and you risk squandering your prime years and financial future. No one goes into a marriage thinking about worst case scenarios but statistics tell us more than 50% of marriages will end in divorce. Of the marriages that last how many of the men are happy? How many married men would prefer to end their marriage if they were not afraid of the financial and family related considerations?
What are you hoping to get out of marriage? Most guys never bother to ask themselves that questions and end up making a potentially long term decision without understanding what they want out of it. Without understanding what you want it is impossible to know if you are making a good decision. Here are my observations based on experience and observation of the ten biggest marriage mistakes men make.
10 Marriage mistakes men make
- Getting married period – Men are logical creatures and we like to decide things based on benefits vs. costs. Most of us throw logic out the window when it comes to marriage. But why? Logic serves us well in other aspects in life so it makes no sense to abandon it for one of the biggest decisions of your life. Compare your options of short term dating, long term relationships, and marriage and decide on the best outcome for you. Most things you can get out of a marriage you can also get out of a well chosen long term relationship with lower risk.
- Getting married because a child is involved (or because you want kids) – This one hits directly on the home front and I know it does for a lot of other guys too. Considering the high divorce rate and change in societal norms it is unwise to marry because a child is involved. You can be a good father outside of marriage so this should not be an overwhelming factor in deciding into marriage. If you would not consider marriage otherwise do your self a big favor and don’t use a baby as the springboard.
- Getting pressured into marriage – If a woman has had her fun quotient filled and comes to the realization that her peak marrying years have been squandered there is widespread panic. Another common scenario is the woman has it in her mind that after X amount of years of dating she is entitled to a wedding and will put on a full court press to the altar. Do not get caught up in her desires and insecurities. As a man you are better off making a logical decision based on what you want vs. being pressured into anything.
- Ignoring warning flags prior to marriage – A few men I know who are now divorced have no idea how they ended up married. My view is it was a super-sized combo of #3 and #4. They got some satisfaction out of the relationship and did not want it to end but also did not desire a marriage but ended up in one anyway. They even mention marriage red flags such as financial irresponsibility, nagging, and mediocre sex but went through with the marriage anyway. Do not marry and ignore problem areas they will later be the reasons cited for your divorce if you initiate it or a source of bitterness if she does.
- Not understanding your partner’s financial situation prior to marriage – Understand your potential partner’s financial situation before becoming too serious with them. Refuse to bail out irresponsible behavior and poor financial judgement should be seen as a major red flag. If you see negative signs take the necessary steps to protect yourself financially. This could include a long term relationship vs. marriage and having no joint accounts or shared credit. Don’t let someone’s irresponsibility become your problem.
- Ignoring warning flags during a marriage – Once you are married it is tempting to ignore warning signs that your marriage is in trouble and keep with the happy status quo. This is a big mistake always deal with problem areas such as finances, potential infidelity, lack of sex or other potential issues like Alexander the Great would, fast and ruthlessly. The longer you let problems go the bigger they build and the more respect you lose in your partner’s eyes (even if they would not dare admit it)
- Losing your alpha during marriage – Men are designed to lead. Do not abdicate big areas in your relationship and become passively indecisive. Make bold decisions and set final direction (after consulting with your wife to make her feel included). You are the ultimate authority and if you do not act like it she will lose respect for you. This should also be extended to making it known that other women find you attractive so do not discourage random flirting from beautiful women in your wife’s presence.
- Assuming the marriage will last forever – If you have done some of the hard pre work screening and made a wise decision perhaps your marriage will last forever but perhaps not. Remember it only takes one person to want out for a marriage to be 100% over. Do not make the marriage your only reason for being or have all your eggs in that basket. Statistics say women initiate over 2/3 of all divorces and many of the divorced men are surprised when served the news.
- Making the marriage the sole purpose of your life – A man who has a mission and aggressively seeks to accomplish it is attractive to women. Romance novels may sell women on the ideal that a man should live for them but in the real world most women would find a guy like this a boring pathetic excuse for a man. Women are attracted to men that are high value and part of that value is displayed by pursuing your life plan. Marriage can be part of that plan but you have more to it than that right?
- Rushing into a remarriage – I am constantly amazed at the number of men who rush back into marriage after a failed marriage. What is the hurry? As a man who is now complete with the divorce process perhaps I have a naive view on this but I hope my outlook does not change. Marriage has pros and cons associated with it but I will not be in a hurry to dive back into that murky pond any time soon. Better to assess my options, have some fun, and pursue my life mission.