Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Don't Be Like Me

There was a time I was unmarried, child-free, and living a darn good life. [This entry is bumped up from October 2016 as it is still relevant.]

To be sure, I was working a lot. I had a full-time job, a part-time job, and I freelanced. But the part-time job and the freelancing were mostly about having fun and interacting with my friends. Since I had budgeted my living expenses based on just my full-time job, everything else I earned went directly into savings.

And saving I was. And investing. I was on track to be able to retire very comfortably.

I was renting. Sure, it wasn't owning, but it also meant that no problem with the property was my problem - it was the landlord's, and I had the easy option of moving if I needed to. As it was, I was living a short drive from my full-time job.

I was hanging with my friends and spending time ALONE (which I very much enjoyed) in my free time and otherwise doing what I wanted to do.

As long as I showed up to work, filed my taxes, paid my rent, paid my utilities, and paid my credit cards, which I easily paid off every month, I was meeting my obligations - and I had no trouble doing any of that. I had no mortgage, no property taxes, no homeowner's insurance, no car payments, no school payments, no medical bills beyond insurance and a small co-pay for doctor visits, no student loan payments.  I didn't even need exercise equipment or a gym membership because one of my jobs kept me in shape.

I was fully able to shop for and prepare my own food, take care of my laundry, and keep my place clean.

Basically, my biggest problem was scheduling. If I wanted to do something that was going to take place when I normally worked, I needed to ask for the time off well in advance. Or have a good enough track record to take a sick day.

I had also gotten the hang of dealing with women so as to avoid spending any more time, money, energy, or emotion than necessary. There were women who were all wrong for me, who tried to get their hooks into me, and I limited interaction to what I wanted. I went on dates, and didn't sacrifice my wallet or myself in doing so.

It was a carefree life.

I decided I was open to marriage and fatherhood, if I found the right woman with whom I could do these things. (Before that, I was under the assumption that I should seek to marry and raise children.)

My mistake was believing that such a woman could possibly exist.

I wish I knew about Biblical Manhood and MGTOW back then. I wish I'd seen and heeded the proclamations of marriage advocates who say that there is no such thing as a full match.

The woman who became my wife appeared to be my match. That is the way she presented herself. She knew what I was looking for in a wife, and she claimed to be that, and she knew what I didn't want in a wife, and she claimed to not be those things. And, strictly by count, she mostly was a match. But the "few" things where she wasn't (and isn't) are crucial. They have an impact on just about everything. There are reasons why they were deal breakers for me. Being mostly a match on this checklist is like being mostly pregnant. Either you are, or you aren't.

She was not honest about these things until well after we had our children. This has caused all sorts of problems and will probably cause problems for the rest of our lives. And who knows if there are still things I don't know? There have been things I've specifically questioned her about that she insists are not an issue, but that's what she said about other things that have turned out to actually be issues. At least I have more of an understanding of what I'm dealing with now, unlike when I was caught off guard.

I'm not saying I'm blameless. Oh no, not at all. I should have repeatedly explained to her that based on what I knew about myself, including my faults, my needs, and my overall personality, what my limitations would be and what was going to be necessary on the part of my wife, and painted a picture of what the possible repercussions could be if we were not a match but married and had children. I should have insisted on more extensive discussions with her professionals, such as her doctors, as well as being able to review all of her records.

We wouldn't have married.

Either she would have agreed to let her doctors fill me in and give me her records and I would have determined she wasn't being honest with me (and perhaps herself), or she would have refused. Either way, it would have ended things.

Now, my life is radically different from those carefree days.

I do work less now, though I spend a lot more time commuting (and it is getting worse). I have little flexibility in considering employment opportunities that would be better for me.

I spend almost no time with friends, and most of the time I do "spend with" friends is online. Scheduling in-person time with my friends, with or without my wife, isn't usually an option.

I have almost nothing in liquid savings. I don't believe I'm saving enough for the future, considering the expenses I'll  have not only for me, but for my wife and our children, but I can't save any more and pay our bills.

We're in a house, but we do have a mortgage and since we live in a part of the country where housing prices are high, it has decades left to go and is not a small payment. Of course along with "owning" the home comes all of the expenses and hassles. If it was just myself, I could have bought a much smaller house in a nicer area, or just a smaller house in the same or similar area for a lot less money.

I'm responsible for my own breakfast, lunch, and usually dinner, and quite often dinner for the wife and kids, too.

When I'm not working or commuting in bumper-to-bumper stop-and-go traffic, I'm doing chores and errands usually (primarily) for something the wife or kids need/want, doing medical and therapy appointments and related paperwork (I never needed therapy before marrying and having kids), and dealing with fighting, whiny, crying, defiant children, who have most likely inherited some awful mental illnesses from their mother. [Update: At least one has.]

If I want time to myself, I need to give up already-too-scarce sleeping time and lock myself in the bathroom, such as in the bath.

Dates? I go on fewer dates now than when I was unmarried, and they're all with my wife, of course, who is usually friendly enough, but, we have little to talk about now other than the kids and related tasks, and arranging to get my wife out on a date is difficult and she usually shoots it down.

I'm stressed out, worn out, out of shape, and it wouldn't shock my family or friends if I died of a heart attack. My goal at this point is to live long enough to get the kids out of the house so that they're not stuck with my wife and her family without me to protect them. My dreams are behind me or they are dead. And it didn't have to be this way. I could have stayed unmarried and child-free. Sure, eventually I'd get old regardless and have my own medical troubles, but I'd be well insured to deal with whatever would come my way.

On the plus side:

1) Since I'm not a young, unattached man, I no longer get suspicious looks at church, although one of my kids causes trouble sometimes, so I'm probably considered some horrible father. In fact I know there are people there who think that of me, but at least I know one guy who has seen me interact with my kid and felt compelled to compliment me. [Update: We haven't been going because of issues relating to my diagnosed child.]

2) I'm not fornicating! And isn't that what is really important? Not fornicating? Oh yes, I'm in "holy matrimony", where I get mercy sex once every two or three weeks, as opposed to 4+ sessions of enthusiastic sex per week during my wayward youth, when I was such a bad, bad boy. No, I'm not fornicating. Probably just thinking about it way too much, though. And I probably haven't made "enough" kids, either. But that's not going to change. I've condemned enough children to this family, thank you very much. [Update: Sex even less often now.]

People like Dennis Prager say marrying and having children turns guys into men, but I lived more responsibly when I was unmarried. I saved and invested more, I gave more to charity because I was better off financially. My professional performance was better. I was a better friend. I took care of my own health better. And I didn't upset or yell at any woman or children due to losing my cool.

Don't be like me. Guys, you may think you're the exception, but chances are, you're not. That's literal. When you combine the marriages that end in divorce with the ones that are miserable but don't officially end in divorce, that is MOST marriages; most are not lasting and happy. Signing that legal contract with the state is NOT to your advantage. If you have your act together, living with a woman, whether she is your wife or not, is not to your advantage. Yes, children can be great, but the best way to raise children is within a GOOD marriage, but the current legal and social aspects of marriage and the state of Western women make it more likely you'll be raising kid in a broken or miserable home. If you won't heed my warnings or the warnings of others, please please please get a prenup, one as iron-clad as possible, but know that no matter how well you go about doing that, it can be tossed out.

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous5:42 PM

    Your story sounds similar to mine (of course there are differences, but the gist is there). If I knew then what I know now, I'd be single, wealthy, and content. I wasn't getting sex when I was single as I didn't really date much if at all, so being sexless the past seven years (since age 43 around the time we had been married six years; now 13) isn't a change from my single days.

    All I'll say is I fully agree - I had it made when I was 33 and single. Now I'm 50 and miserable except for the two cute boys we have (adopted of course). My wife is lazy, immature, and asexual.


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