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

By BayArea (10/10 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 2:55am   ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   2 links   98,174 views   668 comments   watch (4)   share   quote  

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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29   Oxygen   2012 Dec 28, 4:52am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

30   Oxygen   2012 Dec 28, 4:59am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

I think marriage statistics is extremely biased (no shit). you have to use a more representative sample. for example, let's use my demographic

Asian (collectivism over individualism)
NY (higher avg age of marriage relative to every state)
115k income (financially stable)
no children (no baggage)
age 28
graduate degree (higher correlation with successful marriage)

even then, i still don't think marriage is a good bet. lol

it all comes down to values. Statistics is backwards looking and not representative of the future. In a western culture that celebrates the hook-up culture, marriage is a failing bet even for people like me.

31   Tenpoundbass (44/44 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 5:13am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (2)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Oxygen says

In a western culture that celebrates the hook-up culture, marriage is a failing bet even for people like me.

In Asian cultures Children are an investment for care when the parents are elderly. There is a phenomena right now that many of the children are choosing a gay life style. These are cultures that have in recent times decided on a once child limit. Their future is in jeopardy, as well the gene pool of their ancestral blood line, of being cut off for the ages.

32   New Renter   2012 Dec 28, 5:15am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

BayArea says

What happens when you say "I do - for better or worse" and she puts on 50lbs after 3 years of marriage.

That is IMHO one of the main reasons women GET married. They see it coming, hear the baby clock ticking and do whatever it takes to land a man while they still can.

Of course that is true for some men as well.

33   New Renter   2012 Dec 28, 5:16am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

CaptainShuddup says

There is a phenomena right now that many of the children are choosing a gay life style.

Not a surprise when the culture also actively selects for male kids over female.

34   Oxygen   2012 Dec 28, 5:21am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

New Renter says

CaptainShuddup says

There is a phenomena right now that many of the children are choosing a gay life style.

Not a surprise when the culture also actively selects for male kids over female.

lol never even thought about that connection

35   BayArea (10/10 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 5:23am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

New Renter says

That is IMHO one of the main reasons women GET married. They see it coming, hear the baby clock ticking and do whatever it takes to land a man while they still can.

Of course that is true for some men as well.

We all have some amount of responsibility to remain healthy and take care of ourselves. That's particularly true when married, especially if kids are involved.

Typically when I hear of one or both members of a marriage all of a sudden putting on a significant amount of weight, I immediately start thinking unhappiness, emotional distress, marital problems, a traumatic experience, etc as the source...

I'm 5'11 190lbs. Not coincidentally, the largest I've been in my life (220lbs) was also when I've been the least happy due to unforeseen circumstances. Not coincidentally, the most fit I've been in my life was when I was single, lol.

36   BayArea (10/10 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 5:23am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

New Renter says

Not a surprise when the culture also actively selects for male kids over female.

Spot on.

37   Tenpoundbass (44/44 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 5:32am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (3)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

BayArea says

Typically when I hear of one or both members of a marriage all of a sudden putting on a significant amount of weight, I immediately start thinking unhappiness, emotional distress, marital problems, a traumatic experience, etc as the source...

Some people get inactive due to chronic ailment or injuries.
Herniate or rupture a disk in your lower back, and it will be guaranteed that you'll be 30lb heavier with in 12 months. Unless you have the metabolism of a humming bird.

I'm not heavy, but I do know plenty of people that are. But I don't know one single person that is overweight because they are an uncontrollable glutton. I used to work with this guy that was about 5 feet from shoulder to shoulder. Yet! he could squeeze between the 6 to 7 inch space between a fence post and the wall of the building it was adjacent to. Now mind you, he was not wide because he was built muscular, he was one of those fat people that grows wide, instead of thick. I spent a lot of time with him, he ate like everyone else. No more and no less. He just couldn't lose any weight.

38   New Renter   2012 Dec 28, 5:44am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

BayArea says

We all have some amount of responsibility to remain healthy and take care of ourselves. That's particularly true when married, especially if kids are involved.

Typically when I hear of one or both members of a marriage all of a sudden putting on a significant amount of weight, I immediately start thinking unhappiness, emotional distress, marital problems, a traumatic experience, etc as the source...

There's that. There's also working a demanding full time job, BA commutes, needy kids, laundry, home maintenance, portfolio management, etc. Not much time or energy left over for the gym in there much less sex.

Sure you can say make it a priority but something has to give.

Oops, forgot posting on PatNet...

39   lostand confused (8/8 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 5:45am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Well the thing with males in Asian culture was that it was the male kid's "job" to take care of you in your old age. You had a daughter , you "gave" her away during marraige and she became a part of someone else's family. The male kid and his wife took care of you-that was the societal expectation.

Of course things are changing there and society is becoming more western. People also have less kids and like here kids are becoming a liability instead of an asset. You raise them, take them from activity to activity, then they grow up, go away and you end up in an old age home anyways -with a few visits a year.

Families and marraiges were permanent , but with the skyrocketing divorce rates there-it is slowly starting to resemble western culture. Though the divorce rates are nowehere near here. I think the only place where any sort of tradition is being maintained is the middle east!!

40   Quigley (8/8 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 6:00am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Once kids come along, expect less sex. It doesn't have to dry up, but it's much harder to have time and energy for it all the time. Also kids are like throwing a hand grenade into your loving relationship. I'd recommend reading "Babyproofing your marriage" which is a book for people who want to stay married through having kids. It's just so hard, nobody would do it if they knew, and nobody who is a parent would ever want to go back and unmake their children. Well, almost nobody. Some parents are awful and some children are hellions.

Here's a good joke:
Q: What's the most fattening food?
A: wedding cake

41   Kevin   2012 Dec 28, 6:04am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

If you want to avoid ever fighting about money, maintain three checking accounts.

One for household expenses. Housing, utilities, food, etc.

Each spouse has their own account. Put a few hundred bucks per month in it. Spend it on whatever you like.

Don't fall into the stay at home parent model if you live in the suburbs. Actually, avoid living in the suburbs period.

Don't have kids until you're both settled career wise.

Don't have more than two kids. Being outnumbered sucks.

Live near family for free babysitting.

Travel a lot.

Don't

42   Tenpoundbass (44/44 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 6:23am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

One bank account, stay at home Mom live in the suburbs, and had kids while I was young and poor so the Liberals would pay for it. Although the wife's family does live close, they were never our baby sitters. Even though they would gladly do it. The kids went where ever we went. We'd go out at night, if the daughters spent the night at a friends house or their cousins.
sleep overs = free baby sitters
Both my daughters are straight A students.

43   Quigley (8/8 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 6:39am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Oh yah, one more thing (thx Cap'n for reminding me).
Date nights are absolutely essential when you have kids! Do them at least once every other week. Even if you have to hire a babysitter, do it. We have a regular sitter and she's worth her weight in solid formula. Use groupons to get cheap dinners and try new stuff while you're out. Avoid the movie theater unless you absolutely have to see a new movie. It's a waste of a date night, and she won't ultimately appreciate the date.

44   Peter P   2012 Dec 28, 7:04am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

I am old school, an I believe in marriage.

People get into trouble for assuming that there are no other options and/or failing to communicate.

In addition to marriage, one can also consider serial monogamy.

Instead of divorce, one may consider opening up the marriage (mutual acceptance of extramarital affairs). [Talk to a lawyer first and confirm the legality in your place of residence]

But in any case, communication is the most important thing in any kind of relationship.

45   121212   2012 Dec 28, 7:19am  ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

You goto feel for a polygamist! Are these men crazy?

More than one wife would be insane? Imagine not having sex with 4 woman and keeping 30 kids under 4 roofs! LMFAO.

46   lostand confused (8/8 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 7:36am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

121212 says

You goto feel for a polygamist! Are these men crazy?


More than one wife would be insane? Imagine not having sex with 4 woman and keeping 30 kids under 4 roofs! LMFAO.

It depends on the culture. In many polygamous societies, the man is,"The Man"and children are put to work and earn their keep from very young ages. A 5 yr old is already working and contributing to the family, not throwing tantrums.

Our cultural prism is different, so one can't judge them by our culture-which really isn't American culture, but the wreckage that pseudofeminism has done . I mean, if you want to work and be an equal- great-laws should reflect that. Not have your cake and eat it too-where you get to work, but if you stay at home and do nothing, the law gives you half of everything after a few years. Tiger Wood's ex got what-100 million for 4 years of marraige. You want to marry the world's biggest sports stars and yet want him to be a homebody and not cheat? Then marry the toll collector or the garbage dump truck driver-this is just preposterous.

47   turtledove   2012 Dec 28, 8:00am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Peter P says

I am old school, an I believe in marriage.

Peter P says

Instead of divorce, one may consider opening up the marriage (mutual acceptance of extramarital affairs).

Which old school did you attend?

48   zzyzzx (7/7 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 8:16am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Goran_K says

've NEVER met anyone who said "the sex sustained them" over the long haul.

Maybe you never met anyone who was horny enough?

49   121212   2012 Dec 28, 8:26am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

lostand confused says

A 5 yr old is already working and contributing to the family, not throwing tantrums.

I don't agree with child abuse or child slavery, thats awful.

50   zzyzzx (7/7 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 8:34am  ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Quigley says

Once kids come along, expect less sex.

This one in pretty high on my long list of reasons not to have kids.

51   lostand confused (8/8 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 8:35am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

121212 says

lostand confused says



A 5 yr old is already working and contributing to the family, not throwing tantrums.


I don't agree with child abuse or child slavery, thats awful.

Based on what? It is either that or they starve. It is just their culture. America used to be that way when farms were the norm.

52   zzyzzx (7/7 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 8:37am  ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

121212 says

I don't agree with child abuse or child slavery, thats awful.

I agree, and for some strange reason it's OK to import goods made with child labor and sell them in the US. That's just as wrong.

53   zzyzzx (7/7 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 9:19am  ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

http://tv.yahoo.com/news/italys-berlusconi-told-pay-nearly-50-million-per-050000727.html

Italy's Berlusconi Told to Pay Nearly $50 Million Per Year in Alimony

Just days after the 76-year-old Berlusconi, Italy’s billionaire media tycoon and three-time prime minister, announced he got engaged to Pasquale, 27, terms of divorce from Berlusconi’s second wife, Veronica Lario, were revealed.

He will pay her €36 million ($47.2 million) per year in alimony payments. That works out to be nearly €100,000 ($131,000) per day.

Obligatory:
Prostitutes would have been cheaper.

54   Rin (5/5 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 9:32am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

zzyzzx says

Italy's Berlusconi Told to Pay Nearly $50 Million Per Year in Alimony

Just days after the 76-year-old Berlusconi, Italy’s billionaire media tycoon and three-time prime minister, announced he got engaged to Pasquale, 27, terms of divorce from Berlusconi’s second wife, Veronica Lario, were revealed.


He will pay her €36 million ($47.2 million) per year in alimony payments. That works out to be nearly €100,000 ($131,000) per day.

Obligatory:

Prostitutes would have been cheaper.

If you're a billionaire then most definitely, you should have a global harem, with a full time sugar baby stationed at each of your favorite global ports: London, Barcelona, Singapore, Tokyo, Sydney, Rio, etc.

The contract stuff is for the middle class folks, who need a sense of stability in a world. The rich only need marriage for inheritance reasons but I suspect that a billionaire could also work with a surrogate mother as well. Successful soccer player, Cristiano Ronaldo, did just that ...

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1292094/Cristiano-Ronaldo-father-paying-surrogate-baby.html

55   lostand confused (8/8 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 9:43am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

zzyzzx says

Obligatory:
Prostitutes would have been cheaper

And more honest.

56   turtledove   2012 Dec 28, 11:36am  ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

I know I'm not a guy, however, I play one on TV.

Kidding.

Actually, I played a role in the drafting and passing of the Georgia child support reform bill (hb 221 in 2005)... so I figure that grants me honorary "guy" status.

You don't have a crystal ball, so there is no way you can know for sure that the marriage will or will not work out. Assuming you both see eye-to-eye on most things then you have as good a shot as any. Unfortunately, people can and do change. In some cases, those changes are good. And in others, they are not. The only way to truly protect yourself is to avoid marriage altogether. Though some might see that as a reasonable option, I think it's a rather lonely choice.

Getting out of a bad marriage is simpler when no kids are involved. IMHO, use the first couple of years of your marriage to be sure that you are both ready for children. Use those years to make sure that you are indeed happy in the marriage. Dissolution of a marriage is much more complicated (and expensive) once kids are involved. Please don't have kids to keep your marriage together. Better to have a divorce without kids than be shackled to a bad marriage because of kids.

Once kids are involved, THE DECK IS STACKED AGAINST YOU. Courts, in general, believe that the calves belong with the cows. You can try fighting for custody, but unless you can prove she's an axe-wielding crack whore, you're gunna have trouble.

The pendulum has swung dramatically in favor of women on these issues. You will be lucky to see your kids every-other-weekend plus a weekday. You will be marginalized to the position of "wallet." Child support awards have nothing to do with the needs of the children. You will pay, pay, and pay some more based on tables (or percentages) that are so far removed from reality you will forget you are in the USA.

You might be thinking, surely the court would recognize that my educated and capable wife should also contribute to the financial well being of our children? Yeah... you'd think that, but it isn't the case in many situations. I have seen cases (Cobb County, GA) where the man has 50/50 custody, makes the same income as his ex-wife, and still has to pay c/s to the ex-wife.

Anyway... I guess what I'm trying to say is that a marriage without kids has somewhat of a do-over factor... You can get out relatively unscathed. Once you have kids, however, there is no clean slate. Visitation, child support, and alimony will shackle you to your ex-wife for the better part of your productive years.

57   Quigley (8/8 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 12:32pm  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

So, true story, a friend of mine was cleaning pools in HB harbor and saw the house across the street. Every day he was there a different hot chick would come out, jump in an expensive car, and motor off. He asked the neighbor whose house that was and the neighbor was like, "that's Neil Diamond's pad!"
So what I'm thinking the dude does is buy a hot chick a car, probably on a lease. Then every month she comes over to make her "payment."
30 cars would about do the trick, right?

58   taxee   2012 Dec 28, 1:45pm  ↑ like (5)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

You can be the greatest guy on earth but 'she can change her mind'. And unless you make boatloads of money, when you get divorced and/or have kids, under California's laws your life is toast.

59   Peter P   2012 Dec 28, 1:56pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Another advice, read The Prince.

60   Oxygen   2012 Dec 28, 3:28pm  ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

marriage is the quickest and most efficient way to legally combined assets. the rewards are slim, and the risks are unfair to the breadwinner (usually the male). ppl conflate long term commitment with the legal concept of marriage; that is how many men suffer badly during the divorce fallout. a marriage is all good until it isnt, and that fallout will induce life-changing stress the more invested you are in the marriage.

Divorce takes health toll that remarriage can't heal
http://articles.cnn.com/2009-07-28/health/divorce.marriage.health_1_chronic-conditions-divorced-people-health-care?_s=PM:HEALTH

on a side note, i expect to see cohabitation increase in highly educated ppl in the coming decade. legal marriage will be pushed further into the 30's age bracket.

61   Oxygen   2012 Dec 28, 3:33pm  ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

taxee says

You can be the greatest guy on earth but 'she can change her mind'. And unless you make boatloads of money, when you get divorced and/or have kids, under California's laws your life is toast.

exactly. it is her prerogative to change her mind. then she opts for the "cash and prizes" option.

62   Oxygen   2012 Dec 28, 3:35pm  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

CaptainShuddup says

Oxygen says

In a western culture that celebrates the hook-up culture, marriage is a failing bet even for people like me.

In Asian cultures Children are an investment for care when the parents are elderly. There is a phenomena right now that many of the children are choosing a gay life style. These are cultures that have in recent times decided on a once child limit. Their future is in jeopardy, as well the gene pool of their ancestral blood line, of being cut off for the ages.

gene pool is not cut off if your siblings have kids

personally, i think the legacy thing is a crock of shit.

63   rufita11   2012 Dec 28, 3:55pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

BayArea says

121212 says

BayArea says

Sex certainly won't sustain a relationship in the long run, but if there isn't sexual chemistry, it will end one quickly.

Marriage has nothing to do with SEX!

By getting married I am committing to abstaining from sex with other women. Therefore, the topic of marriage and sex are as linked to me as marriage and kids, marriage and finances, etc. Marriage without the sex is a 1-way ticket to you know where.

I'm a married woman and going to chime in here. Before you get married, have a clear understanding of what each other's definition of an affair is. Be ready to give concrete examples.

64   BayArea (10/10 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 28, 3:57pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Please elaborate on the affair definition recommendation.

65   Peter P   2012 Dec 28, 3:58pm  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

rufita11 says

Before you get married, have a clear understanding of what each other's definition of an affair is.

And also what is is.

66   zzyzzx (7/7 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 29, 12:13am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Oxygen says

gene pool is not cut off if your siblings have kids

personally, i think the legacy thing is a crock of shit.

It's also not cut off if your cousins have kids. Or if your second cousins have kids, etc. That whole last name thing is a bunch of shit too. Even with my extremely rare last name, I am reasonably sure that in Eastern Europe there are plenty.

67   BayArea (10/10 = 100% civil)   2012 Dec 29, 12:19am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

Gene pool legacy... Chuckle

68   The Professor   2012 Dec 29, 3:13am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote   top   bottom   home   share  

I had to post an answer to the original before I read the rest of the comments.

Rules to a Happy Marriage:

Grow up. It is not about age, it's maturity. Have a life and career. Know what you want.

Find someone who agrees with what you want from a relationship.

Don't marry someone you don't trust, or expect to change.

"Keep your eyes wide open before marriage," Ben Franklin quoted, "and half shut afterwards."

Be the person you want to be and the right person will come along.

DO NOT COMPROMISE YOUR PRINCIPLES!

Expect less and get more.
**********************

As the years go on my marriage is getting better. I was lucky to find a smart, educated, talented, hard working, frugal, and beautiful woman. I trust her implicitly. We were both mature adults looking for a long term relationship. Our wild oats were sown.

We do not agree on everything but we respectfully debate each others opinion.

A good partner is one in a million. With 6 billion people in the world there are at least 3 thousand that are perfect for you.

Be perfect for them.

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