Since marriage has been the biggest mistake of my life, I don't want any other men pressured into it. You don't need a wife, guys. Most of you shouldn't be husbands or fathers. Most of you really don't want a wife; you might not even want a girlfriend.
In past years, I have posted a reminder about the holidays and almost all of it still holds up. The one change is that I no longer think couples who have children or are expecting should be encouraged to marry. Our culture, especially our oh-so-holy Supreme Court, has declared that marriage isn't about children. It's solely about the feelings of adults at any given moment. As such, nobody should feel any obligation whatsoever to marry no matter what the circumstances. (Sorry, folks, if two men can get "married" then marriage can't be about children. If you thought removing gender integration from marriage wouldn't have any negative consequences, well, you were wrong. You can't demand other people live as though it hasn't changed.)
From what I can see, 90% of holiday stress is dealing with a spouse and in-laws or your own family giving you trouble about them or not having them. For unmarried, child-free men, some the remaining 10% is from co-workers and bosses pressuring you to work (or work more) because you "can" since you're not dealing with a spouse or children like they are.
As with things like marital counseling, we see that much stress can be avoided if you refuse to marry (or even be in a relationship), and refuse to impregnate a woman. Tom Leykis advises, and I agree, that if you're in a relationship (which he advises against in the first place) or a woman is getting too clingy or demanding, that NOW is the time to ditch her. You don't have to call her up and tell her you're ditching her. Just refuse to take her calls and don't respond to most of her texts. Make it sound like you are very, very busy. You don't want to go with her to parties or meet her family. So you want to avoid her from now until February 15. That way, you avoid spending time and money on her for Thanksgiving, Christmas, New Year's Eve, and Valentine's Day, and you avoid giving her the impression that you're looking to make a lifelong commitment to her.
You can also refuse to let your family hound you about your status as unmarried and child-free. You can either avoid them entirely or handle their hounding in a way that will get them to back off from you, at least for a while.
- If you avoid your family entirely,
attend or host an "orphans'" Thanksgiving for your friends who won't be
going home. Or join the throngs helping out at homeless centers. Really,
though, there is absolutely nothing wrong with hanging out at home and
catching up on rest or hobbies.
- If you ARE going to deal with your family, this page of this blog might be of some help. It really should make people think again about what they're asking you to do to yourself when they pressure you to get married.
- If you want to appear to be a responsible, family-minded man (which might keep inheritance heading your way), you can say that you're simply not in a place yet to be a good provider to a wife and children, and you don't want to waste a woman's time, so you're not going to get serious until you're able to be a good husband and father.
- If you really want to be nasty, you hold up a mirror to their own relationships and describe all of the trouble and expense they've brought upon themselves because they married, or moved someone in, or some other relationship mess. If they point to a family patriarch who has been, or was, married for a long time, point out that he lived in a different era. If they tell you you'll be better off if you marry and try to throw statistics at you, be prepared.
Also helpful pages:
The Challenge to Provide Just One Good Reason to a Man to Get Married
Take the Quiz: Should You Get Married?