T Nation

Benefits of Getting Married?

There have been a lot of threads lately in which people have expressed the real difficulties and hardships of marriage. Some of the single guys, myself included, have made quotes like “I’m never going to get married,” etc.

I’m only 24, and while I like to call myself Creskin on the weekends, I don’t actually know the future… mine or anyone else’s. Suffice it to say, however, that a lot of what I’ve learned about marriage over the past 5 or 6 years has really turned me off to the possibility. Fights, infidelities, sexless marriages, kids taking over your life, money problems, being married to someone who isn’t really “in love” with you, the list goes on.

What I’d really like now is to hear the BENEFITS of marriage from some of you T-men and women. But here’s the twist: I want real stuff, not idealistic, standard paeans to romantic love fulfilled in conjugal bliss. On the other hand, if love really does fade into a comfortable familiarity, passionless and sterile, tell us that, too. I don’t want to be lied to. But hopefully, we’ll hear mostly good things in this thread.

And if there are zero replies, then I’ll have learned a valuable lesson…

I can’t speak for every married guy out there, but I can give you some of the high points of married life for me.

  1. I married my best friend. When something happens, good or bad, I know I have someone I can tell, and that she’ll give a shit.

  2. She makes me feel special. laugh if you want, but it’s true. She does little things like making me a shake because she knows it’s time for one. Not corny shit like flowers and and cards, but just those little things that makes me think, ‘that was nice of her’.

  3. No more trying to score chicks at the bar. Maybe there are guys out there that into the hunting thing, but I hated it. I get to spend every night with the same hot chick, and she don’t even care if I spend half the evening scratching my nuts.

  4. She digs a nice aged bourbon and porn. Sometimes at the same time.

  5. We share the same tastes, and goals in life. Well…most of the same tastes. There seems to be some differences in what practicality means when decorating a bedroom. But she uses our gym as much as I do, and she was the one who suggested we get another set of Oly weights because we didn’t have enough iron (I actually got a little misty-eyed that day).

Don’t get me wrong - there are plenty of down-sides as well. But I wouldn’t swap what I have now for a winning powerball number.

FYI - never come home drunk from the topless bar and throw a make-up stained dress shirt that smells like whore under the bed, hoping your wife won’t find it. She will.

Damn!

rainjack has got it made. His marriage sounds perfect compared to mine. The only similarities between mine and his are:

[quote]rainjack wrote:

  1. She makes me feel special. laugh if you want, but it’s true. She does little things like making me a shake because she knows it’s time for one. Not corny shit like flowers and and cards, but just those little things that makes me think, ‘that was nice of her’.

  2. No more trying to score chicks at the bar. Maybe there are guys out there that into the hunting thing, but I hated it. I get to spend every night with the same hot chick, and she don’t even care if I spend half the evening scratching my nuts. [/quote]

Marriage is a neverending series of negotiations and compromises when your goals are no longer the same. Looking back at all the good times & bad times where she’s stood by me makes it worthwhile.

Rainjack described the perks pretty well.

Except maybe for the bourbon and pr0n together part. That’s just gross.

(I can’t believe this is happening – the liberal guy telling the conservative guy bourbon and pr0n is gross. The Apocalypse must really be comming soon!)

Now seriously, it’s basically all about the intimacy and companionship you can only have with a long term, committed relationship. It’s about a feeling of belonging together, about living with somebody that completes you, that makes you a better person – and that you complete and also make a better person.

Nothing can beat that.

I’m a huge social mutant. I hate people, and my sense of humor is a very dry, West Texas version.

My wife gets me. No matter how big a dork I am, she gets it. I’m totally free to be myself around her. It’s the greatest feeling in the world.

When you tack on the feeling of being a full-time parent, seeing your kid smile at you every night and every morning, it’s priceless. I’m too drunk to go on now, but I could type for days on just how lucky I am.

I really congratulate you Rainjack - seems like the perfect marriage. And don’t let some (other) liberal tell you that bourbon and porn together are wrong… :wink:

And I agree that a long-term, honest, loving and understanding relationship is a great thing to have. I had that for 9 years (before it tanked) - without being married in the process. Everything you described can also be had in a loving and warm non-married relationship. … damn, even in a gay relationship (but let’s not get into that).

Don’t misunderstand me - I am not against marriage or want to criticise you, but nothing you described requires being married. It requires people honestly loving and caring for each other - something I honestly congratulate you for.

As for the initial question - I sat and thought about it; besides some legal, financial and social benefits, I don’t see a big difference. Marriage does not guarantee a healthy relationship, but honesty, caring, empathy and being able to make true compromises help.

Makkun

(Excellent question, Nephorm.)

As for the thread:

Asshole. Cold as ice. Sociopath. Weird. Fucked-up. Heartless.

These are the stones I will get thrown, maybe more, but feel free to take from the above list if you feel like it when replying but…

There’s nothing I have read above that cannot be gotten without marriage.

Call it oversimplification, but when two people who WANT to be together will get through it, marriage or not. It’s a question of maturity and being ready for it on both sides. Marriage is icing on the cake, but is not, and never will be a sine qua none condition. Marriage does not have the monopoly on Committment.

I am not representative of the population. I know. But, as with the ‘different strokes for different folks’ saying, I say “Take what works for you and your S.O. – if it’s win-win and both of you are happy and ready for it, so be it. I wish you well.”

Hey…

Questions and some observations:

  1. I’ve had more than one set of married friends talk about the need to become (or to have started out as being) VERY good (if not best) friends…

Does this seem to be a major key to a successful marraige?

  1. Someone once said that you know you are TRULY married when you no longer worry about “morning breath” or how your feet smell…and when you take your first dump in front of you spouse!

LOL!

How true is THAT???

Mufasa

Well, a lot of what you get is deeply personal and spiritual, so it’s near impossible not to flirt with some of the cheesy stuff.

But here’s perhaps the biggest one for me, I think.

You get the ultimate compliment that someone thought you special enough to secure a permanent union with you.

Someone believed in you enough to cement that devotion in a formal, committed relationship for the world to see and recognize. Marriage is a choice, and for someone to have made the choice to choose you is an honor.

It is perhaps the ultimate compliment - and it gives you an amazing sense of pride and humility, since you, in turn, did the same thing by paying your other the same compliment.

Any duty I have to my wife is not an obligation, it is a privilege.

In a world of doublespeak and cynicism, such a refuge of love, trust, and loyalty is a rare gift that you enjoy robustly, guard jealously, and appreciate humbly.

That, and the tax breaks (wink).

thunderbolt:

Outstanding insights, my friend…

Another “deep” issue I’d love your (and others) comments on…this idea of the Love becoming “deeper” with time?

(Friends often talk about going from that “floating on clouds”/doing everything perfect/never- wanting-to be-out-of- their site/jealous/Love" feeling of Newlyweds to "something deeper?)

(Wow…this is sounding like “Married Eye for the Single Guy”!)

Thanks!

Mufasa

Mufasa,

I’ve never understood why people consider that a ‘deeper’ love. I think it’s more like rationalizing your choice. The '‘floating on clouds’ feeling is just like being on drugs and the ‘deeper’ love is like the after-effects.
My 2 cents,
Patrick

I just like being married. A lot of guys prefer to be single. It’s a matter of personal preference.

Marriage is for some people and it isn’t for others. Statistics don’t mean anything to me because I am an individual and so is my wife. I don’t care what everyone else is doing, only what my wife and I are doing and things are going great for us.

I married my best friend and I prefer coming home to the same woman every night instead of a different woman every night or week or month or whatever.

I know I am unusal in that I prefer one woman instead of many, but this is what works for me.

I hear alot of the “You can get it all without being married”

It sometimes happens that these girls that have all these wonderful features sometimes want to actually get married, and on occasion its nice to reciprocate. If you’re indiffrent and she wants a rock, and you still want her around. Why not just suck it up?

On the topic of bourbon and porn. Anything and porn is awesome. Even better is the girl with the larger porn collection than you do… And who gives the excuse “A girls got needs”

Rainjack pretty much hit the nail on the head. Doogie as well.

As for the “children taking over your life” part- That IS true. And let me tell you, NOTHING fixes a bad day at the office more than your childs face lighting up when you walk in the door, the child screaming “DADDY!”, and tackling you.

Your children take over your life because your priorities change. The rewards far outweigh the sacrifices. Sure, there are moments when you think back about the “good ol’ days” when “life was exciting”. But in reality, they were never any more exciting than watching your children grow and learn, knowing that YOU played the biggest role in them “turning that corner”. (you parents out there know what I’m talking about)

[quote]Garrett W. wrote:
On the topic of bourbon and porn. Anything and porn is awesome. Even better is the girl with the larger porn collection than you do… And who gives the excuse “A girls got needs”[/quote]

Wow. I’ll archive this one in the same category as the cool cat girl who said “I’ll try anything at least once!”. Of course, the wink she did at the same time told everybody that she wasn’t dumb either. Memorable.

This is interesting stuff. So what do you guys think of the “Steves” of the world who feel trapped, etc.? Is it all in their heads, are they just wrong for marriage, or is it perhaps just a stage most married guys go through?

Nephorm,

[quote]nephorm wrote:
This is interesting stuff. So what do you guys think of the “Steves” of the world who feel trapped, etc.? Is it all in their heads, are they just wrong for marriage, or is it perhaps just a stage most married guys go through? [/quote]

I think for the “Steves” it is not a problem of being married or not - they would find ways to maneuver themselves into unhappiness by false compromises and bad decisions anyway. I think it is not generally right or wrong to marry - the question only is if it is right or wrong for you to marry this person, for these reasons. Lots of traps on both pathways - and it is always your job to make sure not to get get caught by too many of them. It’s great to have someone watching out for you - and vice versa; but essentially it’s you who decides if you become a “Steve” or not.

Makkun

Who the hell is Steve? Did I miss something? I feel like I’ve missed something.

Rainjack,

[quote]rainjack wrote:
Who the hell is Steve? Did I miss something? I feel like I’ve missed something.[/quote]

There was an article by TC, about regular guys like “Steve” who made all the wrong choices in life and ended up with a wife that controlled them and made them unhappy a few weeks back. You should be able to find it in the archives somewhere.

Makkun

I remember the Steve article now.

I would think that if you were to talk to Steve’s wife, she would be just as miserable and hopeless as Steve.

There was no communication in that ‘marraige’. I know folks like that, and the central problem stems from no communication. Oh sure there’s yelling and screaming, but there is little in the way of conveying wants and needs.

Steve is Steve because he’s comfortable there.