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For the Married Guys (And the Guys Who Have Been Married)


By BayArea   Follow   Fri, 28 Dec 2012, 10:55am   20,558 views   590 comments
In Oakland CA 94618   Watch (4)   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

Hi guys,

As the old adage states, "Can't live with them, can't live without them."

For the guys that are married now or have been married, I'm wondering what your experience has been and if you could give a newly engaged man (hypothetical to me since I am not engaged) any piece of advise or wisdom, what would it be?

I love my GF, but for a few minutes I'm going to zoom out and look at things from a more technical, statistical, and less emotional point of view.

To be honest, I am a bit discouraged at just how many people I know who don't seem to be too happy in their marriages. It always seems to be the same story. Things started off great. There was excitement, adventure, strong physical and emotional chemistry. Then 2-3yrs into it, those feels started to fade. Some couples moved on to the next phase of their lives and had some glue, er I mean kids which kept things fresh and exciting.

I saw a plot in the newspaper several years back that showed divorce statistics as a function of time. There is a spike early on in the marriage (first couple of years), then one at 7 years (7-year itch), and one at about year 18-20 (when the glue is all grown up). If you make it past that, you are fairly safe (not necessarily happy, but likelihood of divorce is low). Some of that is influenced by the fact that you don't have the same options at 45 or 50 as you do at 25 or 30. Sucks, but that's the truth.

I recall reading a book by psycologist Scott Peck that studied the term "Love." He argues that 100% of relationships fall out of love, usually pretty early on in the first few years. The feeling of love is not true love then. The conscious decision to love someone once you lose the "in love" feeling is what real love is all about.

Regarding statistics, 50% of couples who get married in this country wind up in divorce (To be fair, some of those aren't 1st marriages so that 50% number isn't quite as bad as it seems - The reason is that 2nd marriages have a higher divorce rate than 1st marriages and 3rd marriages have a higher divorce rate than 2nd marriages). Moving on, if 50% of couples get divorced, then 50% of couples don't get divorced. Surely those 50% that remain together aren't all happy marriages? So then let's say that half of the marriages that stay together are happy. That means that 25% of couples getting married in the first place remain happy, lol. I really don't like the odds here!

But anytime you get into this debate, you have to get into the alternative, being alone into older age. As much as I see my folks fight and bicker, I tend to think it's better than the alternative (at least for the level they fight and bicker).

A while back Patrick argued that the average person remains in their purchased home for no more than 6-7 years. He said, you might think you are different, but statistically you are not. Same thing goes for divorce. Nobody goes into marriage thinking they will get a divorce. But statistically, 1 in 2 people do in the USA.

What do you guys think?

As a side note, I am really curious about the following. What is the divorce rate assuming the following:

Both Members are devout Catholic ?
Both Members are devout Christian ?
Both Members are devout Muslim ?
Both Members are Atheist ?
Members don't share religious beliefs ?

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  1. Reality


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    551   2:23pm Sun 10 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Gents, haven't you thought that, perhaps the tilted divorce laws are there to prevent a glut of available mature established gentlemen on the dating scene so that the young men have a chance at all?

    It was not until after divorce at the end of a decade-long marriage that I realized why the hot chicks in their early to mid-20's were so hard to find when I had been that age.

    Consider divorce as a balloon payment or disposition fee on a leased car that you couldn't possibly afford buying when you are young, so you are now free to get a new sporty model. Knowing the "expensive" divorce at the end now, would I have married back then? Absolutely! The first half decade were very happy years, worth every penny. Where else would you be getting off? Renting on a daily basis would have been far more expensive than the long-term lease, not to mention risking blackmail if doing anything in violation of the letter of the law. The kids are much more fun to play with than dogs and cats, and live much longer; just let them know which side of their bread gets buttered.

    For the original poster: it's actually not a bad idea to treat her like a lease property that you can not possibly afford buying. Regardless what's said at the altar, the reality is that you do not own her, so do not make investments in her according to ownership of her and thereby having specific expectations on her bending her ways to your liking. At any time she may decide to leave you, and you should consider that as a blessing too as you will be opened to a vast green pasture. That live-and-let-live attitude actually might let the marriage last longer, hopefully your whole life time ;-)

  2. curious2


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    552   3:38pm Sun 10 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Thanks Reality, your glass-half-full comment broke the stereotypical pattern that had been forming: male commenters prioritize theory, while female commenters prioritize hard cases (even though hard cases make bad law). Speculation suggests an easy evolutionary explanation: women are on a clock, and must reproduce on or close to schedule, which means our existence depended on our female ancestors making the best of whatever situation life handed them while the men of the world could literally kill each other over theoretical questions like how many angels could dance on the head of a pin. Computer programmers need to think in terms of rules, and tend to be male, which might not be entirely coincidental. Iwog objects rightly that in theory the law discriminates against males, but the famale commenters point out accurately that in practice the women are usually bearing at least as much burden.

    All of that leads me to a related policy concern. Educated middle class women are the least likely to have children, in fact a college degree confers a more than 20% risk of dying childless. If any other product were associated with a 20% risk of infertility, it would carry mandatory warning labels and might even be banned, but college degrees are subsidized with student loans. Being a product of my time, I'm all for equality of course, but I worry that Bubbles Ben and others have created a "greater fool" policy environment. As Bacah observed in a different thread, SF Bay's perennial bubbles create a population of ever greater fools. The "howmuchamonth" crowd buy as much as they can borrow (inflated by QE & ZIRP) then end up in Iwog's office seeking bankruptcy relief from commitments they never thought through. Meanwhile, future-minded workers and savers are not reproducing even at replacement rate. I worry that this is unhealthy, what Senator Pat Moynihan called 'speciation', like the 1920's observation that the rich get richer and the poor get children. I worry that Bubbles Ben and endless deficits are creating a context where the thoughtful middle class are getting slowly exterminated, death by demographics, to be replaced by unlucky descendants of the short-sighted bottom quintile serving lucky descendants of the top 1%. And, considering that many of the top 1% are getting and holding that position by fraud and theft, neither group is particularly likely to pass along heritable advantages that would be considered desirable or even advantageous in a different policy environment.

  3. New Renter


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    553   4:38pm Sun 10 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    iwog says

    I reject this statistic. "Coerced into sex" especially. Women do not get to share the same freedoms as men and then pretend they are innocent delicate little flowers who succumb to the wiles of men when they accidentally make a poor choice of sex partners. There are only two categories and zero grey areas: Forcible rape and consensual sex. Anything else is an attempt to divert responsibility of bad decision making to a man.

    Go ahead but averting your eyes won't make it go away.

  4. lostand confused


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    554   4:42pm Sun 10 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    New Renter says

    Go ahead but averting your eyes won't make it go away

    So you are saying consenting sex is rape, just because the woman changes her mind the next day and calls it rape??

  5. New Renter


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    555   4:43pm Sun 10 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)  

    iwog says

    As for women who are physically abused, I don't know of many nations on earth that would allow a man convicted of physical violence to escape unpunished.

    Yes, convicted being the key here:

  6. New Renter


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    556   4:47pm Sun 10 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    lostand confused says

    New Renter says

    Go ahead but averting your eyes won't make it go away

    So you are saying consenting sex is rape, just because the woman changes her mind the next day and calls it rape??

    You misunderstood my statement. Iwog's denial does not make the problem of non-consensual sex-by-coercion go away.

  7. lostand confused


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    557   4:49pm Sun 10 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    And here is a poor young man freed from prison after his "victim" confessed it wasn't rape. He spent six years in prison and lord knows how many times he was raped there. Of course his victim and her mother sued and got 1.5 million dollars.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/05/ex-football-player-breaks-down-after-rape-charge-dismissed.html

    Even after this, they didn't have to return the money and do not face criminal charges either. How many such men are there?

  8. New Renter


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    558   4:52pm Sun 10 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (2)  

    iwog says

    Furthermore they can cook, clean, and take care of the children while these skills are practically banned in the USA.

    LOL!

    If you feel so strongly about this try cutting your rents to a point where your tennants can AFFORD to have a spouse stay home.

  9. New Renter


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    559   4:59pm Sun 10 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    lostand confused says

    And here is a poor young man freed from prison after his "victim" confessed it wasn't rape. He spent six years in prison and lord knows how many times he was raped there. Of course his victim and her mother sued and got 1.5 million dollars.

    http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2012/05/ex-football-player-breaks-down-after-rape-charge-dismissed.html

    Even after this, they didn't have to return the money and do not face criminal charges either. How many such men are there?

    After the alleged rape, no male DNA had been detected on Gibson’s underwear, court papers said. Also, the classmate Gibson first told about the alleged attack -- via the note -- said Gibson later admitted to making up the story so her mom wouldn’t find out she was sexually active, attorneys said.

    I am not advocating such travesties, and YES this is a clear travesty. My point has to do with women who are trafficked into a life of prostitution by professionals. The coercion there is mainly economic and psychological. This is the reality I am concerned Iwog is trying to deny exists.

  10. iwog


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    560   5:07pm Sun 10 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike   Protected  

    New Renter says

    You misunderstood my statement. Iwog's denial does not make the problem of non-consensual sex-by-coercion go away.

    Non-consensual-sex-by-coercion is utter bullshit. You have pretty much stated that women are incapable of making informed decisions about sexual politics and therefore cannot be trusted with power over their own bodies.

    Welcome to the 19th century.

  11. New Renter


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    561   5:08pm Sun 10 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (2)  

    iwog says

    New Renter says

    You misunderstood my statement. Iwog's denial does not make the problem of non-consensual sex-by-coercion go away.

    Non-consensual-sex-by-coercion is utter bullshit. You have pretty much stated that women are incapable of making informed decisions about sexual politics and therefore cannot be trusted with power over their own bodies.

    Welcome to the 19th century.

    And where have I "pretty much stated that women are incapable of making informed decisions about sexual politics and therefore cannot be trusted with power over their own bodies. "?

  12. iwog


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    562   9:41pm Sun 10 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike (1)   Protected  

    New Renter says

    And where have I "pretty much stated that women are incapable of making informed decisions about sexual politics and therefore cannot be trusted with power over their own bodies. "?

    It's implied obviously. What is sex by coercion if it's not a woman saying "yes" when she really means "no"? Can women be trusted to make their own decisions or can't they?

    You can't have it both ways. There are only two kinds of sex between a man and a woman:

    1. Forcible rape
    2. Consensual sex

    Period. The grey area is a fucked up and vile construct of the feminist movement which has sought and largely succeeded in making the criminality of sex dependent on how the woman feels after the fact.

    "Was she too drunk to give consent?"
    "Gee, I don't know. Why don't we ask her when she wakes up with a hangover."

  13. B.A.C.A.H.


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    563   9:58pm Sun 10 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike (4)  

    Well Patrick that's what your website has morphed into. If I am interested in such raunch I would find it elsewhere.

    It's been fun.

  14. New Renter


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    564   12:14am Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    iwog says

    New Renter says

    And where have I "pretty much stated that women are incapable of making informed decisions about sexual politics and therefore cannot be trusted with power over their own bodies. "?

    It's implied obviously. What is sex by coercion if it's not a woman saying "yes" when she really means "no"? Can women be trusted to make their own decisions or can't they?

    You can't have it both ways. There are only two kinds of sex between a man and a woman:

    1. Forcible rape

    2. Consensual sex

    Period. The grey area is a fucked up and vile construct of the feminist movement which has sought and largely succeeded in making the criminality of sex dependent on how the woman feels after the fact.

    "Was she too drunk to give consent?"

    "Gee, I don't know. Why don't we ask her when she wakes up with a hangover."

    How binding is a legal contract when signed by a person man OR woman who is known to be intoxicated, especially when the other party made a point of getting them drunk to entice the signing?

  15. iwog


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    565   6:21am Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike   Protected  

    New Renter says

    How binding is a legal contract when signed by a person man OR woman who is known to be intoxicated, especially when the other party made a point of getting them drunk to entice the signing?

    Depends on the contract. You can certainly be held liable for gambling debts incurred while drunk. Do you really think you're entitled to get your money back from the casino because your judgement was impaired?

    Besides it doesn't matter. It's not a criminal act to entice a drunk person to sign a contract. You don't completely ruin a man's life because he takes you to the pub before selling you a car.

    Of course if someone is unconscious it's another story and consent obviously can't be given therefore it is clearly rape. If there are witnesses the man can and should be convicted.

  16. zzyzzx


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    566   7:59am Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    iwog says

    Depends on the contract. You can certainly be held liable for gambling debts incurred while drunk. Do you really think you're entitled to get your money back from the casino because your judgement was impaired?

    There is a reason why the alcoholic beverages are complimentary at the casino.

  17. New Renter


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    567   9:56am Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    iwog says

    Depends on the contract. You can certainly be held liable for gambling debts incurred while drunk. Do you really think you're entitled to get your money back from the casino because your judgement was impaired?

    Don't know, haven't tried it. Could set an interesting precedent if it worked though.
    iwog says

    Besides it doesn't matter. It's not a criminal act to entice a drunk person to sign a contract. You don't completely ruin a man's life because he takes you to the pub before selling you a car.

    Perhaps not provided the person selling the car did not take advantage of the buyers inebriation in order to fail to disclose serious issues with the car.

    If a man decides say to fail to put on a condom but pretends to do so to "close the deal" with a person he has purposefully inebriated and that person ends up pregnant or infected because of the man's callousness you don't believe the man should be prosecuted for that?

    Anyway it is becoming clear to me that we are arguing apples and oranges here. I don't think you support human trafficking or spousal abuse nor do I believe that a person should be able to take advantage of the law to improve their situation at the ruination of another.

  18. iwog


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    568   10:58am Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike   Protected  

    New Renter says

    If a man decides say to fail to put on a condom but pretends to do so to "close the deal" with a person he has purposefully inebriated and that person ends up pregnant or infected because of the man's callousness you don't believe the man should be prosecuted for that?

    Are you saying that a woman can't be bothered with the responsibility to make sure her lover is wearing a condom, and that lying about it should change the encounter to rape with a 10-year prison sentence?

    There are only two types of intercourse:

    1. Forcible rape
    2. Consensual sex

    The quicker we make women responsible for their own decisions, (or inattention to detail) the healthier our society will become.

  19. zzyzzx


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    569   11:21am Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

  20. zzyzzx


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    570   11:23am Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Valentines Day law firm special - free divorce contest:
    http://www.wbentleylaw.com/freedivorcecontest.html

  21. dublin hillz


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    571   11:27am Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    While we can improve on dynamics of man/woman relationships in america, I think that the countries where the man is solely measured by his paycheck and the woman is solely expected to be an obedient homemaker is the ultimate form of bastardly degradation.

  22. New Renter


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    572   12:50pm Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    iwog says

    New Renter says

    If a man decides say to fail to put on a condom but pretends to do so to "close the deal" with a person he has purposefully inebriated and that person ends up pregnant or infected because of the man's callousness you don't believe the man should be prosecuted for that?

    Are you saying that a woman can't be bothered with the responsibility to make sure her lover is wearing a condom, and that lying about it should change the encounter to rape with a 10-year prison sentence?

    There are only two types of intercourse:

    1. Forcible rape

    2. Consensual sex

    The quicker we make women responsible for their own decisions, (or inattention to detail) the healthier our society will become.

    Perhaps each encounter should be required by law to be videotaped by an independent witness to ensure no misunderstandings or shenanigans occur. Would THAT satisfy you?

  23. New Renter


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    573   12:51pm Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    iwog says

    There is a waiting list for adoptions and this issue is fake and disingenuous. The problem is NEVER finding suitable parents and support for a new baby.

    How long is the waiting list for non-white children? Or how about special needs kids?

  24. curious2


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    574   1:19pm Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    New Renter says

    each encounter should be required by law to be videotaped by an independent witness

    There's an app for that!

    It's also reportedly a hidden feature of many hotels.

  25. New Renter


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    575   1:21pm Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    curious2 says

    New Renter says

    each encounter should be required by law to be videotaped by an independent witness

    There's an app for that!

    It's also reportedly a hidden feature of many hotels.

    Well whadda know!

  26. iwog


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    576   1:29pm Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike   Protected  

    New Renter says

    Perhaps each encounter should be required by law to be videotaped by an independent witness to ensure no misunderstandings or shenanigans occur. Would THAT satisfy you?

    I'm not the one who needs to be satisfied, you are. I actually think women should take responsibility for their own actions including sexual behavior. I think men accused of rape are innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt which MUST include more evidence than the testimony of the alleged victim.

    If a woman isn't confident enough of her ability to thwart sexual advances, then by all means she should take precautions including videotaping her encounters.

    New Renter says

    How long is the waiting list for non-white children? Or how about special needs kids?

    I don't care. Any women at any time can abort, adopt out, or abandon a non-white or special needs child. This is a matter of equal protection under the law and men are being discriminated against.

  27. Oxygen


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    577   5:58pm Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  
  28. BRP001


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    578   8:37pm Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Oxygen says

    Free divorce for Valentine's Day

    Here’s my analysis of the link you posted: Don’t be a rung on someone else’s climb on the social ladder. Guard your heart carefully. Don’t trust beyond your ability to survive betrayals cost. Most will use you to better themselves and discard you when temptation surpasses their ability to control their own greed.

  29. BRP001


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    579   9:58pm Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Here's one that requires deep, deep metaphorical analysis by all who dare to read further (don't read this). On the surface, it sounds so very simple, but in the end (no pun intended), can be most cleansing:

    “He who eats too many prunes will sit on toilet for many moons.”

    After reading the above quote, one must ask, “What is my prune and where is my toilet?”

    The next quote is near and dear to my heart. This one I especially love. It drives me to be a better individual:

    “That which we hate most is within us.”

  30. BRP001


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    580   11:43pm Mon 11 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    This is a link to two things I most hold dear in life. It is these things that I find make life most worth living.

  31. zzyzzx


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    581   6:15am Thu 14 Feb 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

  32. Oxygen


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    582   4:58pm Sat 19 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Maintenance Often Costs More Than Purchase
    Avoid horses, boats, airplanes, wives, kids, co-ops, time-shares, and country clubs.

    http://www.esquire.com/features/finances/the-20-immutable-laws-of-personal-finance-1-10#slide-15

  33. Mark D


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    583   7:22pm Sat 19 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Confucius once said "for a man, love is 95% horniness and 5% weakness" so that's enough said about love.

    divorce rates in California are higher than the nation average. and yes there is a 75% of unhappiness if you choose to get married.

    marrying a mail-order bride has only 20% divorce rate.

    if you must marry American, choose one that makes at least as much money as you do because chances are you will get used, abused, cheated on, divorced but at least you won't lose any money.

  34. Mark D


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    584   7:39pm Sat 19 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    Buster says

    Religion % have been divorced

    Jews 30%

    Born-again Christians 27%

    Other Christians 24%

    Atheists, Agnostics 21%

    this makes perfect sense. you can only give so much "love" so the more you love "God" then the less you love your spouse.

  35. Vicente


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    585   9:05pm Sat 19 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Oxygen says

    Maintenance Often Costs More Than Purchase

    Avoid horses, boats, airplanes, wives, kids, co-ops, time-shares, and country clubs.

    Too long-winded.

    IF IT FLOATS, FLIES, OR FUCKS IT'S CHEAPER TO RENT!

    Happily married since 2005. She's careful with money like me, so a good match. Maybe you end up with a bad one, maybe a good one. As my 5 year old says "you'll never know, until you go!". People too afraid to give commitment a shot are losers IMO.

  36. everything


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    586   7:43am Sun 20 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

    Vincente:

    Married people like yourself, who view singles as losers are pathetic, and I can tell .. your snide comment is directed .. mostly at men. You a feminist fer sure now.

  37. New Renter


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    587   10:31am Sun 20 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (2)   Dislike  

    Vicente says

    People too afraid to give commitment a shot are losers IMO.

    So go buy another house already!

    Or are you a commitment shy loser?

  38. Oxygen


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    588   1:24pm Sun 20 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike  

  39. Vicente


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    589   11:43am Mon 21 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike  

    everything says

    Married people like yourself, who view singles as losers are pathetic, and I can tell .. your snide comment is directed .. mostly at men. You a feminist fer sure now.

    I have a bevy of friends who FEAR commitment of any sort however, endlessly trying out new mates and finding each of them wanting and discarding them. At a certain point it's the Princess and the Pea story. I recently demoted some of my pre-marriage friends this last year. The aging Lothario trying to chat up the 20-year old waitress is eventually just unpleasant to watch.

    I have nothing against single people at all. If you are happy that way fine. However some of them aren't actually happy, they are constantly searching for something after all, if they are dating. At some point you should dive in.

  40. iwog


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    590   12:01pm Mon 21 Oct 2013   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike   Protected  

    I think an American man who marries an American woman is making a huge mistake.

    Men who live in this country really are trapped in the matrix. They cannot comprehend what they are sacrificing in the name of keeping up appearances. I have seen far too many men in my office practically cry when they describe the massive weight that was removed from their chest when they finally sought love overseas.

    Are there some good women in this country? I'm sure there are however the odds are horrible. Divorce is a soul sucking, destructive, and life-ruining event for men. Your chances when you climb that altar are 50%. 1 in 2. Even those who remain married often have to deal with infidelity, money irresponsibility, months without sex, and emotional blackmail.

    Do not do it! I'm married to an American woman who was raised by a World War II veteran and she has depression era morals and sensibilities. My success isn't typical. My son is going to turn 18 next year and I will be sending him overseas the moment he graduates. His odds in the USA, YOUR odds in the USA are going to be dismal.

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