What advice would a group of married men give a young man considering proposing to a woman for marriage? Their insight is priceless, but only if the young man heads it. I remember announcing my marriage plans to those on my job and people around me. The men began telling me things that, in some cases, I insisted did not apply to me.
However, years after the wedding day, I realized that much of what those men told me was dead on. I would have been more prepared to deal with marital issues if I had taken seriously what those guys said to me. I probably would have avoided many frustrations if I had heeded their experience and wisdom.
I will highlight those things that I think men contemplating marriage should be aware of before making the life-changing decision to propose to a woman. The insights herein come from my personal marriage experiences, observing the marriages of others, and my studies for over thirty-five years.
This article is not intended to bash women. It is meant to help men better prepare for the challenges of marriage that will most likely occur. I’m sure a similar article could be written from a woman’s perspective, but I’m not a woman and don’t have that perspective. This article is written from a man’s perspective to help other men. However, women can use the insights in this article to help them understand the man’s perspective in marriage and take appropriate actions.
She Will Change After the Wedding Day
Many men don’t realize that the woman they become married to is not the same person that they married. There are several reasons for that, which depend on how long they have known their wives before marriage.
I met my wife in college, and we began dating for five or so years before I proposed. I didn’t realize it then, but I proposed to the student version of my wife. I hadn’t seen her in an environment not requiring the discipline needed to succeed at Drexel University. However, I did notice small and consistent changes after about three years of dating. I remember questioning the relationship because of what I observed.
My wife didn’t change; I just saw a different side of her that I hadn’t seen in college. She was free from the stresses and responsibilities of school and, therefore, free to be herself. Not that those changes were necessarily negative. However, they revealed her perspective of things and habits I was unaware of.
So, men considering proposals should realize their wives will not be the same person after the wedding day. The more you observe her up close and personally, the more you will think she has changed. She isn’t necessarily changing (of course, we all change). Instead, more of herself is revealed in front of you.
She Will Abandon You For the Children
A major reality that men deal with is their wives abandon them after the first child is born. Of course, some of her time will be diverted to the child, which means less time dedicated to her husband. That should be expected, given the amount of attention a newborn requires. However, men will find that their wives won’t prioritize them as much as she does the child. She will find time to help them with homework, prepare their meals, etc., but that same sense of dedication towards her husband will wane, if it existed at all.
I remember noticing this abandonment when we were trying to have a child. We had gone through in-vitro fertilization, and I found that I was invisible to the medical staff. The doctors and nurses would look at my wife when they discussed things, even when I would ask questions. I can’t describe how frustrating and annoying that was.
Men desiring to spend the rest of their lives with their wives must come to grips with the reality that they will spend the rest of their lives with their children’s mother.
You Will Become a Second-Class Citizen
One thing guys tell young men about to be married is they will become second-class citizens when a child is born. They will become invisible to family and friends as the attention focuses on the wife and the newborn. That is most likely inevitable. You will become invisible.
Regardless of men’s struggles, they know that there will be no one to comfort them in most cases. Men are on their own. Men provide protection, provision, and oversight of their families but will not be recognized for it. Most people will run to the mother to see how she is doing while the husband stands on the sideline, coping as best he can.
Men are expected to deal with many issues and control their emotions and well-being. I would dare say that men are the overlooked heroes of the family and society.
Sex And Romance Will Probably Dwindle
The Pairfam Dataset shows that marriage is not a determinant of sexual satisfaction. Married couples do not necessarily have better sex than other relationship groups simply because they are married. It shows that married people are the least sexually satisfied. Based on the input of men in various online forums, the sex life of married men tends to be unsatisfying.
Many men have experienced a significant decline in sex with their wives. There may be many reasons, but overall, the sex they thought they would have with their wives becomes insignificant or absent. That is critical for men because sex is how men bond with their wives. That means that without sex, the bond between husband and wife becomes weaker, negatively affecting the marriage.
Young men especially should consider that the sex life they hope to have with their wives will probably become a fantasy instead of a reality. It will be a dream that will probably never come true.
You Will Probably Become Roommates
Forget about the movies where a man and woman live happier ever after. They have intimate times together, and they enjoy each other. They hold hands, kiss in public, and have sex often (actually, husbands portrayed on TV don’t get much sex). Anyway, the idea is that young men should be aware they will probably become mere roommates with their spouses.
The bills will be paid, the children taken care of, the house maintained, etc. However, quality time together will be rare. Intimacy will become a thing of the past. Men and their wives will become employees of Household, Inc. instead of intimate partners in life.
She is More Likely To Divorce You and Take Your Stuff
What I mean by “she is more likely to divorce you” is that women are more likely to divorce their husbands than husbands of their wives. Statistically, about 40 – 50% of marriages in the US end in divorce, 60 – 67% for second-time marriages, and even more for third-time marriages. About 80% of divorces filed are initiated by women. Sometimes, men have no warning of their wives’ motives or actions. They are suddenly served divorce papers.
Modern women have a reputation for being feminists, manipulative, and self-serving. They marry not to spend their lives with their husbands but to use him for her ulterior motives. That is not to say that some men don’t have ulterior motives.
The bottom line is men are more likely to be divorced by their wives and lose much of their possessions, including their children. The “justice” system seems to be biased towards women. The recent Johnny Depp case was a wake-up call to the world that women are not the innocent victims they claimed and perceived to be. Sometimes, women use men for their own gain, leaving those men in ruin. Fortunately, Johhny Depp was vindicated of the accusations of Amber Heard. Many men are in prison and suffering financial loss because of the lies of their wives, who were presumed guilty without any evidence.
Therefore, many men today are forgoing marriage or waiting much later to get married than men did in the past. Men should do what is necessary to protect themselves against evil women who want to use them for gain, not to spend and live life together.
Logic And Reason Will Probably Not Work
There will be issues, disagreements, and even arguments between husband and wife sometimes. However, how wives handle criticism and issues from their husbands may shock unsuspecting men. Men tend to approach problems with a mindset to solve the problem. In contrast, women tend to have a different approach.
Most guys will tell young men contemplating marriage that women are emotional creatures. I found that not to be totally accurate. Both men and women are emotional. However, women tend to be more in tune with their emotions than men. They tend to be much better at the willingness to express themselves emotionally than men.
Therefore, when issues arise in a marriage, the man will attempt to resolve them with logic and reason. However, his wife will most likely react emotionally to what he said, leaving the issue presented by her husband unresolved.
One could say that men and women think differently. Perhaps that is true, but I believe we can choose how we respond to things and how we choose to think. We can be emotional or reasonable. Men will say that women choose to be more emotional than rational. The problem with emotional thinking is you cannot reason with it. It’s like two people speaking a different language, neither understanding what the other is saying, leaving the issue at hand unresolved.
She May Let Herself Go
Men and women tend to put their best foot forward while dating. We are more conscientious about grooming ourselves and looking our best to win the guy or gal. Given that to men, a woman’s value is closely tied to her looks, winning him requires she look her best. She will tend to be more conscious of her body and grooming. She knows that men are visual creatures, and she needs to be visually appealing.
However, that same commitment to her looks may not carry over to post-wedding days. She may stop going to the gym, especially after the children are born. She may not make as much effort to look her best while at home with her husband. For example, she may wear ragged, dirty, and baggy clothes around the house and to bed, whereas before marriage, she always looked appealing and desirable.
She may gain weight, especially after giving birth, and not try to get back into shape. Now let me make the point that letting oneself go is not exclusively a woman thing. Men also let themselves go. Again, I am writing from a man’s perspective.
As I said previously, young men contemplating marriage should realize that their wife will be a different person than the one they married. A woman with a glorious and desirable body will transform into someone else who is less physically attractive.
I should also point out that a good relationship counters the notion that a wife needs to have a gorgeous body all her life. Unless she is a fitness buff or aware of her health, she may gain several pounds and not have the curves her husband grew to enjoy when they were dating and at the beginning of the marriage. Their relationship can get to a point where looks are not as important as when they first met.
However, men do not like to be seen with an overweight, unhealthy woman no more than a woman wants to be seen with a fat guy. We should all take care of ourselves.
You May Have to be the Bad Guy
My father told me he had to be the bad guy and didn’t want to be the bad guy. However, his priority was to raise and protect his sons as best he could, and not being the bad guy would jeopardize that. That meant he had to discipline his sons and do things we wouldn’t like.
I have noticed parents in my generation tend to appease their children. Women who appease their sons, even if the father is around, are of particular interest. Their concern seems to be to make their sons comfortable and carefree. They get them what they want and make their lives a luxury. They don’t realize they are destroying their sons. Their sons grow up thinking the world will grant their desires with little to no work.
I believe it was Roy Masters who said that the greatest threat to a man-child is his mother. Men can teach boys to be men, but wives undermine that by appeasing their sons and undermining their father’s instruction. That means that a responsible father has to become the bad guy, risking being hated by his children for his harsh discipline.
Shouldn’t fathers discipline their children anyway? Yes. However, the mother and father should discipline the children. When the mother appeases, i.e., spoils the children, and the father becomes the disciplinarian, the children will have a negative perspective of the father and a favorable one for the mother, making dad the bad guy.
Therefore, young men should realize that they may need to become the bad guys to their children to protect their lives and give them the opportunity to become responsible adults. It will also provide the platform for their sons to learn to be men.
Marriage has many challenges, and it helps to be prepared to deal with them as much as possible. In this article, I presented things men contemplating marriage should be aware of relating to their wives. It is the same advice married men would give a young man who announces he wants to propose to a woman. The insights are not meant to discourage getting married but to help men be prepared for what will come from their wives.
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