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:
- Make sure she also wants to start a family (its not just about what you want or think she should want)
- 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.
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 email@example.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.