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Marriage does not work as expected, because image we are sold of marriage is out of date.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.