Is Marriage Worth It?

Recently on the MMSL forum, someone posed a variation on the question everyone seems to be asking in Men’s circles these days:

“Is marriage worth the all the hard work and risk?”

Right now, marriage isn’t even remotely what it used to be, especially in the eyes of the Law.  Marriage isn’t forever, it is until one of you decides they can’t hack it.  And in all probability the person who worked the hardest to provide for the family, which is most often the husband, will find not just half of their possessions gone, half of everything they will have, too, for years to come.

In order to have a happy marriage, you need to constantly woo your wife now.  She has no duty to cooperate with you, respect you, or have sex with you.  You have to have Game or accept constant struggle and sexlessness.

A lot of men are deciding it definitely isn’t worth it.  The MGTOW movement here in North America is gaining steam, and men are talking about the very real possibility of a generational marriage strike.  The Soshuku Danshi in Japan are so deadly serious their government is beginning to panic.

I wanted to share here the thoughts I wrote there in a slightly modified form.

Despite all the risks, I still believe in Marriage.  My marriage has had a lot of ups and downs, like any, the highs have been high and the lows horrible.  I am not going to sugar coat it:  for men there are MASSIVE risks getting married, once you understand them you see that the costs of getting married to a Man are so steep it is understandable many are giving it a pass.

The Price of Admission:

You can never relax:  you have to push yourself to keep growing towards becoming a better man ever day.  You have to struggle to be sexier, fitter, smarter, funnier, cockier, calmer, cooler, and stronger.  If you stop growing in your marriage, it will immediately begin dying.  The constant effort can be exhausting.

Marriage does not work as expected, because image we are sold of marriage is out of date.  A husband can no longer expect his wife to be his best friend or confidante.  Without the old marriage framework that we have lost women have changed how they respond to Men’s pain:  A husband’s pain used to be special treasure he showed only to her, and his wife accepted it as a gift as she healed his wounds.  Today a Man crying, afraid, or in need of reassurance is repulsive.

A Man needs to be his own confidant, his own best friend.  H needs a network of male friends to listen to him.  And he needs to create that for himself, as the old male spaces, like gentleman’s clubs, the military, sports teams, and initiatory societies are either being colonized by women, or simply fading away.

At the same time, young men are not taught how to build these networks safely and effectively.  It is no wonder that they fall into the trap of presenting his wife with his needs.

Materially, divorce poses a terrifying threat.  There is a massive industry that sells it, controls it, and makes it a more arcane process every year.  For no better reason than dissatisfaction, a marriage can crumble, and a man can be left giving up half of what he has now, and far more than half of everything he earns in the future. This leaves him alone, impoverished, and less likely to find another wife or girlfriend in the future.

Marriage is a risk and a challenge.

But being challenged is how we grow.  Because I have decided to create the marriage I want, I have learned to be a better leader, and to be assertive, I have become more resilient, driven, and wise.  Marriage has paid in growth and maturity.  I learned to let go of sorrow, to live in the moment, and to ask for or create the things I want, instead of hoping for them to come to me.

  • The rewards for marriage do  not come automatically, you have to work for them, and they are often intangibles:
  • My wife is my Muse, she inspires me to create.
  • My wife is my playmate, she reminds me to see the world through joyous eyes.
  • My wife is my favourite companion, she keeps me company when I feel lonely.
  • She takes pride in my triumphs: sharing them with her makes them better.
  • When my wife is sad or depressed, I can forget my own troubles and uplift her.
  • My wife constantly teaches me about what it is to be Human as I watch her own victories and defeats.
  • My wife keeps me grounded in the real world; it would be easy for me to live in an ivory tower.

My marriage gives me a reason to go out there and make a mark on the world.  Because a Man has to create the Marriage he wants by working on himself, Men are forced to go out there and contribute:  we need work that allows us to be providers, that will leave us with the energy to care for our families, and that will allow us to continue to create romantic experiences.

For me, that has meant taking my compassion for men and making it into a life Mission.  If it weren’t for my desire to provide in my marriage, and make myself a more attractive man to my wife, I may have never taken my work in this direction.

I have often said the greatest problem facing men today is that they feel unwanted and unloved most of the time.  And that doesn’t cease to be true when you are married… but in a good marriage, a wife can make that pain vanish with a word or a touch.

One of the biggest concerns men have with marriage today is the fact that a vibrant sex life is not guaranteed.  They find the idea of having to constantly have Game exhausting.  The idea of always being on the hunt and chasing their wife… always trying to look and feel your best… always trying to be a better man than you are without rest seems wearying.  I found it to be so at first, too, but in time striving to be a better man than you were becomes second nature.  I no longer struggle… I simply enjoy the challenge, and the rewards for living up to it.

I suspect marriage is becoming a crucible that creates extraordinary men.

So is marriage a worthwhile pursuit for Men?  It depends on the individual Man.  As it stands today, Marriage is not for everyone, and some Men will be a lot happier without. It takes a desire to become that extraordinary man, courage, creativity, and self-possession to be a husband in today’s Marriage.

Or as I put it on the forum:

Marriage is for men with Chaos in their hearts, Fire in their bellies, and Steel in their balls…  or the willingness to have those installed.

10 thoughts on “Is Marriage Worth It?

  1. I go back and forth on whether we should be transparent with each other or if we should just find other ways to solve our emotional needs. It’s a really good question to ask. I prefer when my husband is transparent with me and we really need that extra honesty right now to help us rebuild trust after some difficult circumstances. Even if it doesn’t make me sexually excited about him being all “beta”, I reward him anyway because I appreciate it so much.

    1. I find that there is a careful balance to be struck. In both cases, there are problems that need a friend of the same gender to hear in order to resolve them. And some problems are best handled on one’s own after a time meditating and practising non-attachment. We cannot afford to cut our spouses out however.

      I believe in the case of a husband, he needs a Man Cave of some sort, literal or figurative where he can retreat and process the day’s events. And he needs a circle of friends that he can trust. When he is troubled, he should have a clearly defined signal to his wife to let her know that he needs time and space to process: I tell my wife “I am in the Cave”, to do this. He should go to his other supports, inner and outer, for a bit first.

      Once he has got the help and space he needs to frame his problem,it can be very enriching to his marriage to share what is troubling him with his wife… but to do so and still remain in a position of leadership in his marriage, he needs to tell her not just what troubles him and what he felt and feels, but how he will resolve the problem, how she can help, and to express hope to overcome it.

      For a wife, there is a different set of problems at stake… her biggest problem can be hurt feelings if her husband doesn’t communicate in a way that is sensitive to them. Men don’t engage or value feelings in the same way, and if he handles them poorly, it can create an emotional rift that can be very destructive to a wife’s attraction and confidence in her husband.

      Asking for support from her husband is best prefaced with something like “I am troubled and I need to process, will you just listen to me and hold me while I tell you my problems. I don’t need advice, or for you to feel these feelings, too. I only need a shoulder to cry on”, until his way of responding to you has been trained to work like that all of the time.

      When Men learn how to comfort their wives, I find it actually helps them learn to cherish them all the more. But the way of communicating so she feels loved is not a Man’s typical mode, and he can slip into his (externally) unemotional male problem-solving and advice-giving mode very easily. Which can cause hurt. For big and highly sensitive problems, going to another woman for help first may be wise.

      When Men do learn to listen to their wives, it strengthens their bond, because he learns to cherish her, and she feels the strong emotional bond she needs to feel loved. I would recommend wives learn to ask for support the way they needed it as I described above, and be patient when he slips and starts problem-solving. This can only strengthen the marriage in a way a husband going to his wife cannot.

      Also, if a wife has a problem where she is not feeling as emotionally on edge, and already has at least a little support in place, sometimes it can be very good for the marriage to ask a husband for advice. To ask him to use his stern problem-solving brain to tackle the problem. Asking for advice from you husband is one of the quickest ways to make him feel respected (men only ask for advice from men they respect and whose lead they would follow). And feeling respected is as – maybe even more – important than feeling loved.

      1. Am I imagining thgins, or does every single book on marriage written by women neglect to state that men are not marrying because of the preposterously unfair legal structure leveled against men?Venker & Schlafly’s “The Flipside of Feminism.” Carolyn Graglia’s “Domestic Tranquility.” Countless others.Left wing or right wing, no woman wants to acknowledge what every MRA web site has on its banner: presumptive paternity and no-fault divorce are deal-breakers.Why is this so hard for women to grasp? Or is it just that no woman wants to set into motion the demise of their financial golden parachute when she decides to jump out of the plane?I have always had a hard time swallowing the “Gov’t-sponsored, feminist-driven financial redistribution scheme” concept that many men claim marriage really is, but the more I have been looking into the matter, the more marriage just looks like a way to keep her floating at his expense.Sorry for the bleak cynicism, but the statistics on marriage kinda bear me out.

  2. This. Yes. Reading this just undid several weeks of hurt and confusion for me. I’ve been trying to he stringer, not letting my emotiins show, all in the name of attracting (my apparently already attracted) husband. The belief I came to was “inly let him see you happy.” I’m back in therapy now because of many things, but this was one key… I’ve been trying to eliminate the expectatiin that I should be able to express my other feelings to my husband. So, I was expressing none of them, and now I am all bottled up, and feeling like I’m failing my husband as I push him away because he “shouldn’t” see me struggle.

    Wow. This just opened up a new world for me. Thank you.

    Not everyone’s problems can be fixed with MMSL.

    1. This response has been a big inspiration to me over the last few days, and I am developing a response to this comment, and a few above as a fresh post. I wanted to let you know how much I appreciated hearing this.

      I believe that the best way to thrive in a relationship is to be genuine and honest, but also to be wise. That means knowing when you have to go elsewhere for support, having a life outside of the marriage, and treating your spouse as something very different from a friend. It isn’t that you can’t talk to a husband, so much as it is that you have to remember he is something much more than a friend, and different rules have to apply to your time together.

      I find that once we accept that our spouses are a total mystery to us, that they see the world in a totally different way, we can become curious about them. We can find something very rewarding in finding a way to bridge the gap. We stop trying to put thoughts into their head, or imagine what they are thinking. We stop trying to make husbands into girlfriends or wives into bros. Then a whole different world opens up to us.

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