Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Why Get Married?

Can you explain to your brother, son, nephew, male coworker, or man on the street why he should get married?

Notice, I'm not asking why someone should have a relationship. People can spend time together, have sex, shack up, make babies... and many other things without being married. Legally and in most social and professional circles these days, it's a-ok.

Why should he sign on the dotted line on a state document?

I know why I got married.

It wasn't a matter of developing a relationship, and then deciding to get married because I knocked her up, or because she nagged me to, or because it seemed like the next logical step. Rather, I decided before I met my wife that if (and only if) I found the right woman – and I knew what that meant - I would marry her, because I wanted to be a husband and a father.

In the most stripped down nitty-gritty of it all, I got married to have guilt-free sex and to raise children. As such, I would never have married someone who didn't want to raise children, and I would never have married a woman I thought wasn't in to sex. (Yes, ladies... while those of you who read my blog tend to be kind that really enjoy sex, there are many women out there who merely tolerate it – if that.)

That might not sound romantic. "You mean you wouldn't have married your wife if you didn't want kids?" I’d have to say no. I wouldn't have even met her. And she wouldn't have married me if we had met. Neither one of us had kids out of love for each other. We both knew before we met that we wanted to be parents. So it was more like... we loved each other, in part, because both of us wanted kids.

There are three basic things that strongly influenced me to look for a wife to be the mother of my children. Without the second and third things, I probably would have gotten a vasectomy and enjoyed all of the casual sex women are offering these days.
1) I like the female body a lot and I like sex a lot. (I like the way a woman looks, moves, feels, tastes.)
2) I'm convinced Jesus Christ is my Lord and Savior and part of that package is that sex is for marriage.
3) I wanted to raise children, and believe they are best raised within marriage.

Take away #2 and #3, and I wouldn't have gotten married. Some guys have 2 and 3, but not number 1 – at least not enough to outweigh what they see as the risks or drawbacks to "marriage 2.0" – so they don't get married. It used to be that if a guy wanted sex, it wasn't so easy to find unless he got married or was willing to visit and pay a prostitute. But these days, it is very easy to find, and it often finds the men even if they aren't looking for it.

And, of course, there are guys who want children but don't see a need or marriage.

And there are guys who claim to be followers of Christ but do not believe that sex is for marriage, or at least not strongly enough to let it bother them. There was a time when I no longer felt guilty about fornicating, so I know it is possible for a guy, even if he once believed that sex was ideally for marriage, to get to that point. I could have stayed that way. But getting to that point and remaining in that state was not without emotional and spiritual cost – even if I avoided physical costs.

I got married for the sake of the children I wanted to have.

I got married because there's a difference between lovemaking and fornication, and I believed that, along with the other factors, the trade off of giving up the freedom and variety of fornication for married lovemaking would be worth it.

I got married because I knew the kind of woman I wanted to share my life and childrearing with would want a husband, and would want to be a wife. I could have had women who would have had sex with me, made me dinner, done my laundry, and done many of the things my wife does – without getting married. But I didn't want those women to share my life.

But that's me.

So, again I ask – especially of the ladies but also of the men: Can you explain to your brother, son, nephew, male coworker, or man on the street why he should get married? If you can, can it be done without appealing to God, religion, Scripture, or religious authority?

Husband or ex-husbands, why did you get married? If you're engaged now, why do you plan on getting married?

I'd like to know.


  1. Anonymous4:47 PM

    Husband or ex-husbands, why did you get married?

    Because I didn't have guys like Anakin and MarkyMark to warn me.

  2. curiepoint8:56 PM

    I got married...and engaged years after my divorce...because I bought into the same notions that you mention in your article. The problem is, this is only valid when you both believe in it.

    In both cases, I was assured that the woman involved also valued marriage and family. They were lying. It took many years to finally see that they were scammers.

    The temptation is to say that I simply picked the wrong women. I resent it when people tell me that. In fact, I could not see how deceived I was. When women have an agenda other than what they tell you, they are indistinguishable from those who are Godly and honest.

    I cannot in good faith tell my sons to get married. I cannot justify it other than to say that if they want children of their own, then by all means do it. But, be aware that you are more than likely to be nothing but a wage slave, and a sperm donor for her needs. You will get precisely 90% of nothing out of the marriage. And while you may think you are taking headship of the family, you will not be immune. The law is on her side...not yours. I would prefer that you not martyr yourselves, but the decision ultimately rests with you.

  3. curiepoint, unfortunately, your experience is all too common these days. I don't think people are wrong when they tell you that you picked the wrong woman, though they may be needlessly indelicate in how they say it... but in some cases, perhaps including yours, it is like telling someone who got hit and severely injured by a drunk driver that they picked the wrong street to drive down. It is true, but really, how was the victim supposed to know?

    In a lot of cases, there ARE red flags waving between the man and woman. In other cases, it is nearly impossible to discern anything amiss ahead of time. Sometimes, it is a matter of a woman not really being solidly grounded in her values and goals. And thus, she ends up changing her mind (isn't that a woman's prerogative - at least, according to the common saying?). The lure of divorce can be a strong one in certain cases... there's a financial payoff, autonomy, friends and family urging her to do it... and once the lawyers take over... well, you know the story.

    I know that although my wife says she is so happy and has the life she's always wanted, five years down the line it could be a different matter. I can't lay awake at night worrying about it. All I can do is strive to be a good husband and pray that is enough.

  4. curiepoint2:22 PM

    To my mind, when things break apart because of mental cruelty or infidelity, and the person doing these things has no conscience, then it is readily obvious that I had picked the wrong woman. The reality of it is painfully apparent. Being told by someone else what is already obvious is like crawling on broken glass and old razor blades, and someone telling you "you going to bleed".

    No sh*t, Sherlock. But thanks for closing that barn door after the last horse has bolted.

    The very real problem is, that in order for love to exist, there has to be trust. I cannot say whether love blinds you to trust issues being raised, or if one simply does not believe what they are seeing, the very bottom line is that one cannot love fully and not trust.

    I agree that my situation is not unique. Women endure this as well from nefarious and under-handed men, so it's spread pretty evenly across the board. When trust is betrayed, I think it has more to do with the fact that one is being lied to, and living with an academy award worthy performance.

    With regards to similar values, that is quite easily faked. Some say that I should look at her parents and see how they relate to each other. This is an unreliable indicator of how she will be. The last woman I was involved with had lovely parents, who apart from some minor bickering that comes with advanced age, really and truly loved one another. Their daughter made a good show of being the same way, but in the end she just wanted to rebel against all that.

    One can try and mentally prepare, but in the final analysis, you can still be played, and you will not see it coming.

  5. There ARE cases when someone is blindsided through no fault of their own - the same as when it comes to crime. In those cases, saying "You shouldn't have been there" or "you should have seen it coming" is hurtful and wrong.


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