By NICOLE BURROWS
MORE than 20 years ago, I became fascinated by the reasons why men and women get married, especially when they were seen or known to be ill-suited or unhappily married.
I started asking this question of friends and relatives, and over the years I’ve been clued into some things which I think need to be shared.
I thought it necessary to focus my inquiry on why men get married, because 1) men are expected to propose marriage, and 2) men’s reasons for marrying always seem to be more varied, direct and honest than women’s reasons, which, in actuality, amount to the same one reason over and over again.
But men aren’t telling women these real reasons, probably because, on the one hand, doing so prevents them from getting what they want, and, on the other, women can’t handle the truth.
So, ladies, listen up. After many a confessional conversation with single, engaged, married and divorced men, here are 20 reasons why a man will marry you .
1 Marriage promises and provides an acceptable expectation of ‘legitimate’ or ‘safe’, regular sex
This is usually the case in a society of very western religious beliefs. Humans need sex. Men are programmed, whether instinctively or socially, to need sex even more than women. And in the western world we are taught that sex is only something to enjoy inside marriage; most parents teach this to their daughters, who will thereafter use marriage as the key to unlock the possibility of sex. So, of course, as designated pursuers, men are going to seek to get married in order to legitimise their sexual attractions or the sexual relationships they want to have, if it gets them the sex they want.
2 You insist or give him an ultimatum: get married or get out
Society has done such a magnificent job of mandating marriage that women, especially, believe if a relationship does not culminate in marriage, or if it’s not at least heading in that direction, then it cannot be fulfilling. As a result, women decide that if they’re not getting a wedding ring, a wedding dress and a wedding party out of their relationship, they should do something to make it happen sooner if it’s going to happen at all.
3 He thinks marriage is the next logical step in your relationship
It’s the next likely thing to do. The “good man” is instructed to get an education, get a job, so he can get married and take care of a wife and children, because that is what he is told is his primary purpose in life: to create and maintain a family. If the order of things in his mind makes marriage the next step for him, no matter who the female is, he’ll take that step. Rather than go in reverse or stand still with friction, he will move forward with whatever/ whomever is in front of him.
4 You’re dating or in a relationship and he gets you pregnant, for the first time or again
And he says “well, we were going to get married, anyway, so why not now?” And you like the sound of that because you always wanted to be married, plus you’re probably in love. Women want children and, in combination with living the fairytale, that’s usually the motivation for wanting to be married.
5 His family and/or friends pressure him (directly or indirectly) to do it and he does it to make them happy or to be like his friends.
Someone told him to make an honest woman of you. Possibly, family and friends are trying to steer him away from someone else of whom they do not approve. Maybe parents are desperate for grandchildren, and they can have them sooner if the marriage – which in their eyes must come first – takes place sooner. There’s also the possibility that a man’s friends are all married or getting married and he feels left out, so he grabs the current girlfriend and makes her a wife.
6 He owes you: a ring, a wedding, a happy ending … it’s the least he can do
You helped him in his career, helped him get a job, helped him start a business, helped him pay for college and maybe you even helped him to deal with his crazy family problems. And now he feels obligated to the woman who has done this for him. And he thinks obligation is tantamount to love. Marriage is the foremost answer to the question of emotional obligation in a man-woman relationship. And if obligation is regarded as the equivalent of love, those who regard it as such will partake of marriage with obligation – deemed love – as the principal reason for it. Though he may not be in love, he is in obligation and as a “thank you” for your support, he will marry you.
7 You are in love with him
You gush over him. Everything you do or say, for or with him, makes him feel completely adored. He may not even love or be in love with you, but he will choose to marry you knowing you will love and adore him no matter what, because he knows what’s to come. Women marry primarily because they’re in love. Men marry for many other reasons which may or may not have something to do with being in love, and they marry who is most in love with them, more often than who they are most in love with.
8 Marriage is the only way he can commit to a relationship for the long-term
He’s bored or the relationship is no longer exciting or new and he thinks marriage will change/cure that. For a man, commitment is stronger than love. If he makes a commitment to himself, he takes it seriously (more seriously than committing to you, by the way). And the only way he can commit to a long-term relationship is to force himself into taking wedding vows.
9 Marriage validates him, particularly if he’s a player, secretly gay, or viewed as unmarriageable
If his “manhood” is often challenged, getting married is one way to resolve that, at least temporarily. If he’s known to be a “player” and he’s trying to prove he’s not, he will get married to silence the naysayers. If he is gay or thinks he is gay or is believed to be gay and does not want to be known as gay, he will marry a woman to put rumours about his sexuality to rest. Marriage is his smokescreen.
10 He needs to demonstrate his virility and propagate himself
It’s the man’s version of the woman’s biological clock. There is pressure (self-imposed or external) to display his fertility. And if you’re there, you’re next up to bat, so why not marry and reproduce with you? Women do it, too. If the only way he can get babies is to marry you, he will marry you.
11 He is very religious
His religion says he must find a wife because that’s what makes for good faith, happiness, and decency. Any dating must lead to serious dating and serious dating must lead to love and end in marriage. To be religious, and go out of order, is unheard of, rebuked or scorned.
12 He’ll get good or a lot of mileage both professionally and socially with your connections, which naturally become his connections, through marriage
This is even more likely if he never had a “real” family or social network until he met you. If he’s ambitious, he’s on a mission to go places in his life and you are his ticket to getting there. This is a distinct possibility when you have close ties with or are a regular part of a prominent, wealthy or well-connected family. He sees it as a perfect opportunity to advance his career or his social standing, so he aligns himself with you in matrimony.
13 He can benefit from your money, especially if he knows you’re well off, and generous
You are financially sound. You don’t have to stress about your finances, which also means you won’t stress his finances and you might even be willing to share yours. As long as the world can’t confirm that he’s more a kept man than not, he’ll marry you for your money.
14 He can fulfil extreme sexual fantasies with you unlike anyone else he’s ever met – so far
Or, at least, he thinks he can. You may be sexually adventurous, unorthodox, bisexual, fiendish or tending towards unusual mating games which most other women would not be, and he sees that as an added bonus in marrying you to fulfil his lingering (perhaps boyish) sexual fantasies.
15 He’s accomplished all his professional goals or played the field enough and must now do something else he hasn’t yet done
There’s nothing else significant enough for him to conquer in life, so why not get married now? He has consistent income, probably a decent home, investments and savings, so he can afford a wife … the only thing he has not yet acquired.
16 He wants a woman around to keep his company and pamper him
This is especially the case if he’s accustomed to being taken care of by his mother. He is really looking for a backup mother, a woman who will look after him and possess him like his own mother does/once did.
17 He has to impress someone/everyone, and maintain his image of being the successful man with the perfect life, job, wife, and kids included
Other people’s opinions matter to him; they may even motivate him. He needs to be popular, visible and is in constant competition (at least in his mind) with other men. All the better if he has a trophy bride - a woman who is (also) beautiful, smart and successful, because that makes for the perfect couple.
18 He loves you, truly and genuinely
Note, this is different from 7. Being in love is mostly transitory, whereas a genuine love comes with a reliable friendship. There are serious challenges presented when a man marries more for friendship than for passion, but, for a “good man”, genuine friendship and love earns a resulting marriage.
19 He needs a certain immigration, legal, or political status or opportunity
Marriage is a convenient vehicle for this, if he finds a woman who is either willing or unsuspecting. This is not uncommon and love is not a factor; the arrangement is usually business-like, done for a work permit, permanent residency, citizenship, voting rights for political office or economic aspirations. It is, essentially, one or two people trying to achieve some things in life made easier by being matrimonially bound.
20 He sees you mother your own children and thinks you’ll be good for mothering his
This applies to his existing children or the children he wants to have, as given in 10. He might be a single father, even a widower, and he might want a woman in his life who can help to nurture his children. Even though he may be a good father, he can never be a mother, so, whomever he dates, he will search for motherly qualities with the intention to marry her and officially make her the mother of his children.
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