Why are you getting married?

Thinking about taking the plunge and getting married? It might be the right decision for you but have you stopped and thought about exactly why it is that you want to get married? I have already posted about how marriage is a risky proposition for a man so before you say I do make sure you know why you want to make that choice. Don’t believe me that a lot of man have no idea why they are getting married? Ask a few engaged or already married friends the question and see what they come back with. The answers will probably be one of the following:

  • It seemed like the next logical step
  • I owe it to her to get married because we had been together so long
  • A child was involved already
  • I want to start a family
  • I am getting older and it is time to settle down
  • I am tired of chasing women and want to settle down and be comfortable
  • Religious reasons
  • Unlimited supply of sex
  • I want to be taken care of like my father and grandfather are
  • She’s filthy rich and I want to live the life of an international man of mystery
  • She wants to get married and is applying full court pressure
  • Can’t answer the question
  • I didn’t want to get married (but did it anyway)
  • She was in a dangerous situation at x and I had to help

If you look at some of the sample answers above a lot of them are tied to social pressure, fear, or false assumptions. These are the things society conditions into men to maintain the status quo and convince them that they should support the social institution of marriage.

I am a naturally optimistic person but when it comes to the risks of marriage I prefer to take the pragmatic approach and get out of wishful thinking land. Here are my responses to each one of the stated reasons above:

It seemed like the next logical step

MK: This line is total brainwashing from society and sounds like you do not have a real choice in the matter. Most likely this truly means you are getting a lot of pressure from the girl you are dating to take things to the next level. Remember there are few benefits a marriage provides that can not be obtained in a long term committed relationship so why isn’t that the next logical step?

I owe it to her to get married because we had been together so long

MK: This type of statement makes me absolutely cringe. I am convinced this type of statement is recipe for absolute disaster for the man who thinks this way. If you are receiving this type of pressure ask yourself the pragmatic counterpoint will she owe it to you to stick through rough patches of your marriage and cheerfully endure? Remember 2/3 of all divorces are brought about by women often times for no legitimate reason.

A child was involved already

MK: This reason is near and dear to my heart since this was the reason I ended up getting married. I had noble intentions and did not want my child to be raised in a poor environment so used this as my reason to get married. The marriage did not work out but my kids are in a good environment and protected now so even though I do not recommend this approach I can not personally complain. The biggest lesson I will be teaching my children in the future is to not put themselves in this position and practice safe sex all the time.

I want to start a family

MK: I think this is probably the #1 reason a man should consider getting married if he is convinced the women will make an excellent mother.Two things to keep in mind:

  1. Make sure she also wants to start a family (its not just about what you want or think she should want)
  2. Remember long term committed relationships can also be used to accomplish this objective

I am getting older and it is time to settle down

MK: This could be a valid reason for getting married but this should not be used as justification to rushing into a marriage prematurely or with other doubts. Marriage is a huge risk and just because you view marriage as forever does not mean your partner will. I hate to keep repeating depressing facts but I will anyway, WOMEN initiate 2/3 of all divorces.

I am tired of chasing women and want to settle down and be comfortable

MK: So, you have lost the desire to continue on the hunt and think settling down with get you a comfortable life like a 50’s sitcom? I wish you luck but my only advice here is choose wisely and do not let yourself go. Being married does not mean you are now excluded from the sexual marketplace. You must continue to stay in shape and maintain your edge or your wife will begin to think your value has declined. When that happens look out.

Religious reasons

MK: I am not here to get into a deep religious discussion but just wanted to note it as a frequent reason for marriage. My only comment here is make sure your religious system is as anti divorce and they are pro marriage or else there is a lack of balance in the force.

Unlimited supply of sex

MK: Often an unrealistic expectation but my advice is to build this expectation in upfront and hold fast to it. It is important to make sure the two of you have equivalent sex drives if one person is much different it could spell big trouble for this desire. Another important fact is to keep yourself physically fit and desirable to your partner and others.

I want to be taken care of like my father and grandfather are

MK: Don’t we all. Times have changed related to this expectation so you better do some realistic soul searching to make sure you found a woman who can meet this criteria. Perhaps they still exist somewhere in the Midwest or the jungles of Brazil.

She’s filthy rich and I want to live the life of an international man of mystery

MK: Does she have a sister? Email me at mtk@manfortheages.com

She wants to get married and is applying full court pressure

MK: I have noticed with friends that when a biological clock starts rapidly ticking or a woman thinks she deserves to get married this is the likely outcome. Exercise extreme caution and propose a live in situation first if you have not yet taken that step. Do not use this as the only reason for getting married or if you do spare your buddies the endless complaining when they are just trying to enjoy a drink at happy hour.

Can’t answer the question

MK: I know of a few people with this response and it amazes me. It is probably more related to social pressure or other answers mentioned above but the respondent did not want to man up to it. Either way marriage is a big enough step that you should know why YOU want to do it.

I didn’t want to get married (but did it anyway)

MK: I admire the honesty in this statement. Some men succumb to marriage not out of a desire to be married but out of a desire to please others. If you have not yet gotten married and this is your response do yourself a favor and delay.

She was in a dangerous situation at x and I had to help

MK: The ultimate form of white knighting comes when a man marries out of the desire to protect a women. I know a guy who specializes in this and his life is pure misery. It doesn’t matter if it is an abusive father, husband etc.. do yourself a favor and DON’T

I am sure some people will see this post and say I am anti marriage. That is not the case. I am a big fan of traditional marriage, but marriage is in such a state of decay right now that sadly it is unrealistic to naively think it will last forever. Marriage is risky business emotionally and financially so a man needs to know why he wants to get married and then evaluate if that is the right reason to choose to marry vs. having some other arrangement.

 

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8 Responses to Why are you getting married?

  1. Mark Slater says:

    Dear Man for the Ages,
    You asked me the question why I should want to get married. Thought I’d do so over at your place, and cross reference with your posted reasons. The following most apply to me, and perhaps other men as well.

    “I want to start a family”

    Statistics show consistently that a married man and woman raise happier and healthier children than any other kind of arrangement. The man and woman, too, fare much better in marriage than in a LTR. In fact, the divorce rate for marriages is *higher* if the couple shacked-up beforehand.

    ” Religious reasons

    MK: I am not here to get into a deep religious discussion but just wanted to note it as a frequent reason for marriage. My only comment here is make sure your religious system is as anti divorce and they are pro marriage or else there is a lack of balance in the force.”

    I am a servant of the Lord Jesus Christ and a Baptist. Is that a traditional enough religious system?

    A few of the other reasons apply to a certain degree, also. As for what criteria I have, of course I want someone I’m deeply attracted to. I would also expect the future Mrs. Slater to have the same commitment to building a stable, secure, loving house as I do.

    “Love is the key word for a happy home. I’m not talking about puppy love, little sugar dripping, do-dinky love. I’m talking about sure ‘nuf love.” — Jerry Clower (1926-1998)

  2. MTK says:

    Mark,
    Thanks for responding. Not all professing Christians will hold to the biblical standards of marriage and divorce so I hope you find one that does.

    I wish you well in your hunt for a worthy wife.

    MK

  3. Neecy says:

    hey Mark!

    Well I feel you bring up some good points, but doesn’t it all boil down to understanding first the person you are marrying? Too many people today jump into marriage as if it is not some long terms commitment to be worked on and worked through for the rest of their lives. That is the vow – till death do you part.

    But so many people check out of marriage b/c they do not believe it takes work past the infatuation stages. THAT is why marriages fail.

    Regarding the laws. They are there for a reason. If the gov’t men or women as a whole felt the laws were not applicable, they would not have made them or would have changed them. The fact is marriage is a risk as is anything in life. If a man goes s into a marriage more worried about losing his assets in a later divorce, he need not be marrying anyone at all! The fact is the laws are the way they are b/c women and children are most vulnerable in society. When a man walks out on his wife and kids, unless the wife has money and resources herself, she AND HER CHILDREN will bear the brunt of the loss not the husband.

    It’s not always about money and material resources for some men. Some men clearly understand that entering into a marriage means he is sharing his wealth, resources with his wife and future offspring. When you decide to enter a marriage, the resources and everything you brought to the table beforehand is NO LONGER YOURS. This is a basic principle that MANY men who marry understand and are willing to accept. Those who don’t like that, simply will never marry and that is their right and free will and choice.

    Women may not be bringing material resources and money to a marriage. But her trade off can never be won back as can financial resources lost in a divorce. Her tradeoff is she has solely given her womanhood and youth and body to ONE man who professed to take care of her and support her as his wife and as a father to their children. She, if a stay at home mother, will have more to lose in a divorce b/c of her lack of work history and experience, her age, her loss of SMV. So while men may lose money and resources, women lose something far more valuable in which they can never recover – their womanhood, youth and time spent bearing children for one man. How many men are going to come and swoop up and marry a woman with kids already?

    Men who complain about the marriage laws should stay far away from marriage. But you also need to understand that no young quality woman of child bearing ages who wants to start a family is going to sign on to being in a LTR and being a baby momma playing wifey to a guy who doesn’t want to seal the deal and marry her. Good luck finding those young fertile women to go along with that.

  4. Mark Slater says:

    Hi, Neecy. Gee, just seeing your posts seems like a breath of fresh air.

    “Well I feel you bring up some good points, but doesn’t it all boil down to understanding first the person you are marrying?”

    Absolutely. In fact, it is threefold for any man [or woman]: First, knowing what it is to live with another person peaceably. Second is to understand the particularities of womanhood. Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly is to understand *your* woman.

    “When a man walks out on his wife and kids, unless the wife has money and resources herself, she AND HER CHILDREN will bear the brunt of the loss not the husband.”

    I’m afraid you are indulging in 1955-type thinking, where the poor woman and her kids become abandoned by some heartless rake. As we both know, the other possibility holds true as well: the merely bored or dissatisfied women leaves her husband holding the sack. This is devastating and has turned many a good man into a woman-hating internet grumbler.

    ON THE OTHER HAND, a young woman who *has* dedicated herself, heart, body, and soul to the man whom she thought was hers for life, and later he decides to pursue greener pastures; is a pain I cannot even imagine. Her youth, her body, and her soul spent on a frog whom she thought, perhaps for many years, was her prince.

    Bottom line? Divorce is a horrible thing. That which I read in various places on the net’ that one side cleans up while the other is ruined, I cannot believe. Rather I believe that *nobody* wins.

    We live in the modern age
    Where love is fast like a turning page
    In a magazine, we’ve hardly seen
    The friends we used to know
    They disappear, they come and go
    Like the times we’ve had
    It’s kind of sad

    Whatever happened to old fashioned love
    The kind that would see you through
    The kind of love my Mama and Daddy knew
    Yeah, whatever happened to old fashioned love
    The kind that would last through the years
    Through the trials
    Through the smiles
    Through the tears
    “Whatever Happened to Old Fashioned Love” — B.J. Thomas

    Maybe you and I should go live in 1955, Neecy!

    • MTK says:

      Absolutely. In fact, it is threefold for any man [or woman]: First, knowing what it is to live with another person peaceably.

      How will you know your chosen partner has this skill?

      Second is to understand the particularities of womanhood.

      Such as?

      Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly is to understand *your* woman.

      Many divorcing guys probably thought they did (won’t claim to be one of them)

      As we both know, the other possibility holds true as well: the merely bored or dissatisfied women leaves her husband holding the sack. This is devastating and has turned many a good man into a woman-hating internet grumbler.

      This is becoming the new norm although hate is probably overused maybe more like in tuned with the new reality.

      ON THE OTHER HAND, a young woman who *has* dedicated herself, heart, body, and soul to the man whom she thought was hers for life, and later he decides to pursue greener pastures; is a pain I cannot even imagine. Her youth, her body, and her soul spent on a frog whom she thought, perhaps for many years, was her prince.

      True standard has to apply both ways but this is becoming less common from surveying my social circles

      Bottom line? Divorce is a horrible thing.

      Agreed

      Maybe you and I should go live in 1955, Neecy!

      I’d happily go too between the improved social values and knowledge of the future I should clean up (I’m up for renaming Facebook, Markbook”

  5. Mark Slater says:

    How will you know your chosen partner has this skill?
    Such as?
    Many divorcing guys probably thought they did (won’t claim to be one of them)

    Well, my friend, I’m not going to pretend that I have extraordinary knowledge beyond that of other men. All I can do is my best, to take what I have learned and that which has been taught me by wiser men. If I love a woman, maybe happiness awaits; or possibly manifold heartache.

    I will not allow the dangers (very real, I won’t deny) to cause me to abandon the pursuit. I could, I suppose, do the serial LTR thing as so many have suggested, and not without justifiable cause.

    Or, I will choose the danger and seek a wife, the mother of my children. This is what I have chosen to do. “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favor of the LORD” — Proverbs 18:22

    Markbook! Hey, that’s not half-bad.

    • MTK says:

      I have noticed personally that I only wanted to be friends with some of the girls that would have been better long term matches for me (and probably offer stability in marriage). Not sure how to work through that since it was typically an attraction issue but at least I am aware of it.

      Since you quote scripture a lot I will offer the opinion that in general I’d much rather have a wife that believes in the reality of hell and the seriousness of sin vs. the everything is easily forgiven mentality. The former in my opinion will be much less likely for mortal sin type transgressions vs. their more easily forgiven counterparts.

  6. Pingback: Questions a man must ask himself before considering marriage

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