Why Do Men Marry?
I was thinking of labeling this submission “Why do men marry a 2nd time (or 3rd, 4th, etc.)?” but thought why not start at the beginning since some of the reasons for the first time could be the same as for the second or third time around. Since I have been married one time (and have no intentions to have a bride # 2) I thought I could put in my reasons for marriage also.
I read the following sentence in a relationship article some time ago. “Men think their woman will not change after marriage, while women think their man will change after marriage”. Despite seeing so many marriages fail around him, the man thinks his will be an exception. Younger, never married men could be excused for thinking that way, and the intention for both parties is for everlasting happiness. The grass looks greener on the other side. Biology also plays its part. We hope to live happily ever after…
Among the three important reasons I believe why men marry, not in order of importance, is family and children, society and sex. Other reasons could be wanting or expecting the wife to do the chores, cooking, raising kids, working to supplement income and taking care of him when he is old/sick.
Sex and children : Earlier (probably before the 1960s), men married so they could have regular sex (in most cases). Pre-marital sex was shunned. Then for a couple of decades following, the man married to have children and a family. Nowadays, it is quite common to have children outside of marriage. I know a rich, handsome, successful young man who takes care of both his children he had with the same woman. All four of them live like a family, but he refuses to marry. Maybe he is thinking about the huge settlement in the event of a divorce. Today, marriage has become unnecessary for many, and the number is growing.
That being said, why did I marry? I thought marriage was the solution for loneliness, I would have a life long companion. We would have a child or two and be a happy family. I was ambitious and assumed the wife would be supportive of my ambitions and move with me to the other side of the world if my career required it. I would take care of all financial needs of the family. Sex would be available when I wanted it most of the times. These were all assumptions and expectations, most of them proved wrong as time went along. I was immature, naïve, overly optimistic and a very inexperienced young man. My wife used to say I was selfish, among other complaints. Maybe she was correct in certain instances. But her mouth opened only after marriage, never before. My experience with women was very limited at the time of marriage. I did not date a woman if I did not think she was marriage material. Big mistake!
Why do men marry a second (or third, fourth…) time? I can understand if the 2nd marriage is due to the death of the wife. But in other cases, as I read somewhere, “a second marriage is a triumph of hope over experience”. An exception may be if the divorce is a mutually agreed amicable separation with no grudges or prejudice and there are no children involved. They realized they were just not made for each other and decided to go their own ways. But in cases where there have been continuous discord and fights with a lack of any semblance of harmony, I don’t understand why a man would want to marry again. He can choose to be in a committed relationship sans marriage. She may insist that it is ‘marriage or else…’ I think he should exercise the ‘or else…’ option. I would. Control is an important aspect from many women’s point of view. She will try to gain control of the relationship, explicitly or implicitly, subtly or openly, steadily, step by step. It took me many years to realize that it was control she was after (in addition to looking at me as a sperm donor and provider). She used sex as a weapon, and I fell prey to that for the first few years. With the proliferation of the internet and so many social networking websites, it is not difficult at all to find a woman for a relationship, emotional or physical or both. And off course, there is SE Asia and all its options.
My first relationship after marriage was great to begin with, but I noticed and recognized the small steps to gain control. Once I started saying ‘No’ a little too often, it was over pretty soon. I am currently in another relationship, but the rules are clear, no marriage and no children. I do things I like to do and I will not make changes because she does not like or approve of them. We are going strong for 3 years now. I treat her with love and care. It is a two way street, I respect her for what she is and vice versa. By the way, both relationships were via social networking sites and I am in my fifties. My girlfriend is 40, never married, no children, and in good shape.
Do I regret marrying? No, but the experience tells me that I should not do it again. I have determined that I am not marriage material. When I was young and single I thought it would be better to be married. When married, I thought it was better to be single. Now I know which is better. Then why would I try to go on the other side once again?? But if I did not marry the first time, it would have always felt that I missed out on something and felt incomplete in my life.
In conclusion, if I were to narrow down to 4 reasons why men marry, they would be :
* His marriage would be a happy and successful one, despite the statistics.
* Sex would be willingly available (and not just as a favor to the husband)
* Assuming she will not change after marriage (emotionally, mentally or physically)
* Pressure from the girlfriend (and maybe society) for marriage (Man up!! Do the right thing!)
Among my friends, relatives and acquaintances, my guess is that about 20% are happily married, based on conversations and observation. Some of them to whom I am close have told me that despite being overall compatible, a lot of effort has to be put into
keeping the marriage successful year after year. There is a lot of give and take and compromise. Given all that, a failed first marriage should tell the man whether he is marriage material or not. And also
try his best to determine that his wife-to-be is the same. I would rather play it safe.
I think a lot of readers on this site will agree with what you say. A lot. And it is very hard to argue against anything you say. Heaps of good points made.