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

By BayArea   2012 Dec 28, 2:55am   3 links   115,084 views   661 comments   watch (4)   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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62   Oxygen     2012 Dec 28, 3:35pm  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

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   3/3 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 28, 3:55pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

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   311/311 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 28, 3:57pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Please elaborate on the affair definition recommendation.

65   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 28, 3:58pm  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

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   569/569 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 12:13am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

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   311/311 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 12:19am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Gene pool legacy... Chuckle

68   lostand confused   210/210 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 3:21am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

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.

That or you are broke and unemployed-then you are fine!!!

69   BRP001     2012 Dec 29, 5:00am  ↑ like (5)   ↓ dislike   quote    

I was married and was very happy being so. She made it clear to me often that she was too. A dozen years later, she told me she had never cared about me at all, that she was only ever interested in the financial investments and wanted to be with someone else. Unfortunately for her, all of my investments were locked up tight and untouchable. She got nada. Boy was she pissed. You could almost see the daggers popping out of her eyes and the steam shooting out of her ears. We're talking crazy, spitting, red faced, cursing, arms flying angry. Because she had a job and we had no kids, I had no alimony or child support payments either. The thing I'll never get over is how she was able to cooly manipulate me through the years. She seemed so sincere, sweet, innocent and loving. It was as if someone stole the person I knew one day and replaced it with a monsterous psychopath the next. I was literally dumbfounded by the fact that I had no clue whatsoever who she really was. Years later, I still have nightmares.

70   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 5:15am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

BRP001 says

The thing I'll never get over is how she was able to cooly manipulate me through the years.

Perhaps she was manipulated by some other person? Someone could have convinced her that she never had feelings even though she did. A weak mind is quite easy to brainwash.

A quality manipulative person will follow through with the act and will never tell you that it has been fake. It is not a book and it does not have to be told for the benefit of the readers.

71   BayArea   311/311 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 5:19am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

^^^

I would love to hear her side of the story. Sounds like she really resented you for some reason. By saying she never cared for you, it's just an untrue way to hurt you because of how she feels about you now if I had to guess. If that was her intent from the beginning, it's not likely that she would have waited 12yrs.

In any case, thanks for sharing. It sounds like an awful experience

72   Quigley   480/485 = 98% civil   2012 Dec 29, 5:34am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

BRP: I'd say there are two options to explain this story.
1) she was a sociopath, lying from the start to get what she wanted. If so, there would have been other signs. The biggest sign is that they want you to feel sorry for them all the time.
2) you neglected her. She found a new man who paid her the romantic attention she craved. She "fell in love" with the new guy and wanted nothing more to do with you, except for your money. At this point, with new and wonderful feelings for the next guy, all she remembers from your relationship are the downsides. So she figures, a dozen years with a dud entitles her to something! She got all invested in that idea, maybe even took out loans in anticipation of a big payout, then you crushed her dreams of wealth. So she wa spitting mad.

Which one makes the most sense?

73   BRP001     2012 Dec 29, 5:38am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Did a lot of research after the divorce. I Googled "never loved him", "never loved her", divorce, affair and other similar search terms combined together. I found stories from both men and women that were similar to mine. The conclusion I came to is that it was financially beneficial for her to stay with me, until someone came along that she really fell for. In her mind, divorce had no down side. It is not at all uncommon for people to marry for money. I've even heard people say that was their reason beforehand. The legal protections I had on my assets were to prevent losses through law suits. It just so happens that they also protect assets in divorce.

74   mell   63/63 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 6:08am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Quigley says

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

That's good info, maybe you want to read that book referenced. It definitely is extremely hard and it is a mistake to stay together by any means even if you're not happy. However whatever you decide, support each other as parents for your child(ren) and don't ever put them in the middle. A good exercise would be to do a mental breakup exercise - or, if you have the time and cojones - really break up with the possibility of dating or sex (with others) in between and see if you can actually stay friends. If you cannot stay friends, don't do it because your divorce will be a bitch.

75   mell   63/63 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 6:14am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

zzyzzx says

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.

Or (can be in addition to your kid(s)) you can adopt someone totally out of yours or your spouses heritage, that will do wonders for your gene pool. Maybe you always wanted to have a presence in Asia ;)

76   mell   63/63 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 6:15am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Oxygen says

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.

True dat.

77   mell   63/63 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 6:22am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

zzyzzx says

Quigley says

Once kids come along, expect less sex.

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

Yeah, I partied so hard before to be ready to slow down, but as long as you keep yourself reasonably healthy your desire for sex will always be more than the amount you will have after kids. Plus, in a relationship it is often used as a control mechanism, esp. during fights, mostly by women but occasionally it can be the opposite. This is one of the worst things to do and yet it is the supported norm today. It's somehow ok for the woman to say "if you are not the partner I want you to be I am less attracted and therefor will have less or no sex with you", but then getting mad and running for divorce court when the guy gets it elsewhere.

78   lostand confused   210/210 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 6:33am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Well, Anna Nicole Smith , Tiger Wood's ex etc all married for the money. You think if either of those were poor, then those chicks would have married them??

The thing is back then if you divorced you got diddly sqat. Which the feminists changed the laws on. Back then I agree-women like many minoirites were legally or socially prevented from working. But they fought for that freedom and so those laws need to go.For the time you were married, you got food, shelter, clothes-be grateful and now get a job. End of that.

It is like Hulk Hogan's wife. Just imagine how much effort, physical stress etc he had to go through to earn his fortune-she got 70% of it and now is shacked up with a 20 yr old kid. Why stay, when you can dump him , get half and get a boytoy to boot????? Probably what BRP's ex thought?

Our laws are horrible-almost like a Taliban for men. Now that many men are getting wiser and refusing to tie the knot, the feminists are changing laws to grab cash for merely cohabiting together. If you live together, you gotta pay-it is being changed to a legal whorehouse. The pimps/govt thugs enforce payments.

The only way you can avoid paying is to be poor. Like that guy in TN with 33 kids who works in a burger joint. He pays about $1.33 a month per child in child support!

79   Bap33     2012 Dec 29, 6:41am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Women are sitting on a gold mine. Some know it, some don't. A Man's mission is to find the ones that don't know it.

80   BayArea   311/311 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 6:46am  ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Bap33 says

Women are sitting on a gold mine. Some know it, some don't. A Man's mission is to find the ones that don't know it.

The problem is the smart ones know it.

And from and evolutionary standpoint, men want smart women (read, long term purposes)

81   lostand confused   210/210 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 6:52am  ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike   quote    

BayArea says

Bap33 says



Women are sitting on a gold mine. Some know it, some don't. A Man's mission is to find the ones that don't know it.


The problem is the smart ones know it.

If they don't know, then the scum of the earth-lawyers- will make sure they do and bill it by the hour to the man!

There is already a lawyer seeking to sue CT 100 million dollars on behalf of one of the survivors.

82   New Renter     2012 Dec 29, 8:53am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

I once ran into a guy I had not seen for a few years. He told me the story of where he had been and what had happened to him:

A few years prior he finally succumbed to the incessant ticking of the clock and started looking for Ms. Right. After a bit he found someone - funny, smart and good enough so after a few weeks of dating he proposed and soon after they were married. He sold his house, moved from SoCal to New Mexico.

Then she stopped taking her meds.

She became withdrawn, barely speaking to anyone. She would work all week, come home on Friday and shut herself up in her own room all weekend and not emerge until Monday morning when she would return to work. Any contact turned into a fight. This went on for months until he finally wised up and filed for divorce. I don't remember the terms of the divorce but there were as one would expect no kids to worry about.

Unfortunately for him the SoCAl RE market had exploded in the time since he had sold his home there. He was no longer able to buy into the market so he was damned to renting.

83   BRP001     2012 Dec 29, 9:13am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Love with ALL of your heart, but never, EVER trust. You don’t know someone or how much someone might hurt you until they’ve been presented with considerable temptation (the kind that’s worthy of betrayal). Trust only to the extent that you can survive betrayal’s cost. Never leave any critical aspect of your life at the whim of deceit. The most common form of life altering heartbreak frequently originates from the ones we trusted, respected, cared for and loved. When the reward is high enough, many will turn on you for self-gain. To whatever extent possible, remove the reward of betrayal from all of your relationships. Without reward, betrayal has no motivation. Guard your heart. Many will use you to better themselves and then devalue and discard you without a second thought. Some will say, “But you have to trust someone!” While that’s true, let me add this: “Only trust to the extent that you can survive and thrive beyond betrayal’s cost!” As humans, we are all capable of considerable deceit and betrayal, including me and you. Few walk through this life without having hurt another in considerable ways.

84   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 9:20am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

BRP001 says

Love with ALL of your heart, but never, EVER trust.

Or... Trust but verify.

85   lostand confused   210/210 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 9:33am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

BRP001 says

Few walk through this life without having hurt another in considerable ways.

Betrayals and other such are part and parcel of life. But the laws however have trapped men and they need to be changed to reflect current realties. In today's world we are equal beings responsible for our own welfare and so if the marraige does not work out -then move on and forge your own path. A little transitory support is fine-with the goal being transitory-but no more.

One of my colleagues was from India and had an "arranged " marraige. His parents set up the marraige-what he didn't know was the girl was already in love with someone-but never told anyone. Nowadays apparantely the women have a lot of choices, because they work and are not forced into it. But he was a good catch- a US citizen and pretty decent income by any standards. She agreed, came over here and had a child with him. He paid fully for her post graduate degree, all expenses etc. Meanwhile she kept on the relationship with her boyfriend who also came over on a H1B visa. Then after 7 yrs- she was a citizen too by now- she got a divorce and moved in with the kid to her lover and married him.

Now CA is a no fault state and worse a community property state-so everything during the marraige was split 50/50 and she got a free post graduate college degree and child support till the kid turns 18. The guy was so heartbroken-I guess he was still "traditional" he moved back to India and last I heard became a drunk.

86   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 9:51am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

It is all screwed up. The party requesting a divorce should get nothing.

Any woman who agrees to be impregnated deserves no child support whatsoever.

That said, I fully support the right to abortion. It is their bodies, and they should have the absolute right to have any medical procedure performed.

87   BRP001     2012 Dec 29, 10:18am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Everyone hopes that their race or gender will come out on top. Why? The benefits silly. If your race or gender isn’t on top, then you’ll be singing your tale of woe and furthering your group’s rise to the top. What happens when you find yourself on top? You hold on to your power for dear life (or fall while basking in the light of your own benevolence). It’s been happening all throughout history, across every gender, race, and religion. If men want to change the laws, then they’re going to have to go to the mat. In case you haven’t noticed, women are pretty shrewd with regard to negotiating rewards on their own behalf. They’re far, far more sophisticated than men in this regard. The saying, “…men think with their little heads…” holds much truth. Women know this, and they use that knowledge with great skill. If I were a woman, I might be doing the same.

88   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 10:26am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

BRP001 says

They’re far, far more sophisticated than men in this regard.

This is absolutely right. Men have too much ego, and they value their so-called intelligence far too much. If you look at someone and you cannot tell his/her weaknesses in 5 minutes you are in a great disadvantage. You need to find all the buttons quickly.

This means you must also project false weaknesses and decoy buttons. When they start attacking, you will have an advanced warning.

89   BRP001     2012 Dec 29, 10:38am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

As I’m sure you’re aware, on battlefields, both sides lay out false targets for that very purpose. Cheap bait used to first expose and then identify the enemy. Get 'em to hit the obvious targets and waste ammunition while you target the real assets and counter attack. As you pointed out, a brilliant strategy that can be applied to so many aspects of life.

90   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 10:43am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

BRP001 says

As you pointed out, a brilliant strategy that can be applied to so many aspects of life.

But since many people know this now, you may have to

1) make your decoys feel real, or
2) make your real things look like obvious decoys

In any case, being able to read someone is very important. Every bit of body language cannot be missed.

91   BRP001     2012 Dec 29, 10:50am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Much time, effort and money has been expended on making the real thing look fake and the fake thing look real. That’s why, as you said earlier, “Trust…but verify.” Improper identification of threats can lead to enormous embarrassment. Been there…done that.

92   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 11:01am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

BRP001 says

Improper identification of threats can lead to enormous embarrassment. Been there…done that.

After 2 layers of deception it will be impossible to be certain. Then it is all down to risk management.

93   BRP001     2012 Dec 29, 11:14am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Correct. Risk identification is one thing. Initial handling of any risk is plan A. Alternate mitigation strategies follow. If my power goes out, I have battery backup. If that fails, the diesel generator kicks in. If either of those fails, rows of power supply trucks come driving up (because my stuff is that important).

Life works in much the same fashion as power failures. I actually have a battery backup on my sump pump!

94   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 11:20am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Looks like your asset protection plan stood up in court. That was quite a feat.

Emotional damages are hard to fix. It is sometimes difficult to make a decision. Which one would you prefer:

1) hedging your feelings for a lifetime
2) be true to yourself and recover gracefully when things go wrong

Modernity brings much headaches.

95   TechGromit     2012 Dec 29, 11:22am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Well I'll have to admit, Marriage is tough sometimes. There were times in the past, where if my wife was just my girlfriend I would have just walked. But I would have to say overall it's been a positive experience, things could have been or could be better. Like in a better financial position, I've always prided myself being debt free (except mortgage), but after I got married, debt seems to be attracted to me now. I have a almost 60k in debt not including my mortgage (which is almost 5 times higher now then when I was single). If I looked at marriage as strictly an financial investment, I say I got sold a lousy stock. But there are other rewards and not just sex, If I hired a prostitute every time I wanted sex (instead of getting married), it be a hell a lot cheaper in the long run.

96   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 11:33am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Marriage is partly about the synergy of cashflow. It is not bad financially.

TechGromit says

But there are other rewards and not just sex, If I hired a prostitute every time I wanted sex (instead of getting married), it be a hell a lot cheaper in the long run.

Serial monogamy is another option. If you hire a different prostitute every time the cost in terms of STD risks (even with protection) can be quite high.

97   BRP001     2012 Dec 29, 11:35am  ↑ like (4)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Peter P says

Looks like your asset protection plan stood up in court. That was quite a feat.

Emotional damages are hard to fix. It is sometimes difficult to make a decision. Which one would you prefer:

1) hedging your feelings for a lifetime

2) be true to yourself and recover gracefully when things go wrong

Modernity brings much headaches.

In this world, all relationships end. Eventually, we have to let go of all we love. I never realized why one spouse died shortly after the other after a lifetime of marriage. Now I understand. Someday, I would have had to say goodbye anyway. My choice is to grow into a better person as a result of indescribable loss. This is the fate of us all. Might as well accept it and try to grow from it. The alternative is to give up, and I’m not a quitter. The emotional damage of life is par for the course. We all must deal with it in one form or another. Although we sometimes might think so, no one is exempt from these things.

98   TechGromit     2012 Dec 29, 11:38am  ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote    

lostand confused says

Betrayals and other such are part and parcel of life.

Yes there are a lot of horror stories out there. I have a friend, he married a woman with a child. She very over weight. Anyway, for the last two years, since he moved closer to his work, she refused to relocate with him. (a move of maybe 30 miles). She rents her own place and he rents another place. And now she's unemployed. So if he divorces her, he's stuck paying alimony and child support, even though the child isn't his biological child. He claims he's still getting sex from her, but I don't believe him. And she's no looker, a fat blob to put it bluntly if you ask me. At least if you going to get screwed over by a girl, at least do it with a good looking one.

99   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 11:40am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

TechGromit says

I have a friend, he married a woman with a child. She very over weight. Anyway, for the last two years, since he moved closer to his work, she refused to relocate with him.

Now why would he do that?

100   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 11:45am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

TechGromit says

At least if you going to get screwed over by a girl, at least do it with a good looking one.

Make sure she looks good sans make-up too!

101   turtledove     2012 Dec 29, 11:50am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Peter P says

Any woman who agrees to be impregnated deserves no child support whatsoever.

Perhaps you were only joking...

First of all, child support belongs to the child. As co-creator, you have a financial responsibility to help meet the needs of your child.

Having spent several years working on child support reform in Georgia, I know all too well how much the system is abused. Alimony is often flown under the flag of "child support" for tax and other purposes. Men have all choice taken from them, as custodial parents are NEVER required to account for their spending of c/s. Custodial parents often claim all kinds of special expenditures as a way of padding the award and never have to show proof that the money is used for the purposes claimed in their sworn testimony. Without a doubt, the system is very flawed.

But that doesn't change the fact that each parent is responsible for meeting the needs of his and her own children in an equal capacity commensurate with each person's ability to pay... (Based on education level and previous work experience... not one's belief that she is entitled to be a stay-at-home mom for the rest of her life.)

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