Men the world over, are increasingly discouraged from getting married. Why get married when the majority of marriages end in divorce? Why get married when so many women leave their husbands when least expected to? In response these questions I will attempt not only to explain to men why they should get married, but also how to choose a good wife. Fundamentally, marriage is about pair bonding and managing the consequences that it entails. The instinct to pair bond will not disappear and the consequences, while mitigated by technology, will not vanish. When we accept the nature upon which God created us, what is left for us is to try our best to live fulfilling lives with our spouses.
Getting married has become gruelling and cumbersome. Not only is it difficult for most couples to arrive at the decision to get married, but it is equally troublesome to agree on how the marriage will take place. Will we have a big wedding or a small one? Who do we invite? Which religious ceremony will we follow? These are all questions couples routinely battle with long before they actually get married. Once they are married, however, that’s when the real negotiations start. Two people living under the same roof, with sometimes vastly different habits, expectations, and emotional histories can be tiring and often difficult to navigate. We naively think that none of that matters because ‘love doth conquer all’ until we discover that what we really want is to always get our way. The first casualty in marriage is often our individuality. People are so used to being by themselves and doing whatever they want, that having to consider another person in making decisions seems like imprisonment. Sometimes people simply decide that it’s better not to be married.
The underlying problems we face in marriage actually stem from misunderstanding each other. Whereas in the world of yesterday, people of a village shared common values and held certain common assumptions on how things ought to work when married, today people live in a global village where nothing can be taken for granted. Hence, when people get married literally everything between them must be negotiated since nothing can be assumed. However, the level emotional maturity and intelligent that is required for these negotiations to take place is simply not found in most people. The baggage that is brought to a marriage often involve a string of emotional histories that are triggered with current events and can cause major fall outs. For example, a man may not like his wife to talk to other men because in a previous relation his fiancé had an affair with his friend. At the same time, his wife came from a previous relationship where her fiancé was insecure and controlling. When her husband demands that she not see a male friend because of his experience, she rebels against him because of her experience. In reality both parties are actually dealing with their previous relationship experiences within their new relationship. The misunderstanding could actually cost them their marriage in the long run because they lack the maturity to identify within themselves and within their partners what actually is going on. A similar misunderstanding would not occur if the two held the same value system common to one village. The sub context will provide them with an etiquette to follow within marriage that will eliminate the ‘misunderstanding.’ For example, in many cultures married women simply are not allowed to have male friends or are required to respect the wishes of their husbands regarding who they interact with.
Given the myriad of problems that can arise in our global village where marriages are often multicultural, one must come up with a convention for those men who still believe marriage is good. Since I am one of those men, let me clarify my position. Marriage gives me a sense of responsibility and purpose in my life. I am not just a man living for myself. Rather, I am a man living for the well being of my family. My success is the success of my family and my failure could result in my family suffering. I am driven, not just because I want to succeed as a man. I am driven, because I must succeed for my family. For that reason, I am ahead of my peers and I work harder than most men my age. I am a family man, and my family has given my life a greater sense of meaning and purpose. In turn, I have people I know I can trust and rely on. I am looked after in as much as I look after. I am valued in as much as I value. That is the wisdom of marriage. It is to acknowledge that we are interdependent. I am needed in as much as I need. I receive in as much as I give. Marriage is indeed beautiful thing.
Advising men on how to choose a wife goes with certain basic assumptions on the part of the men I herewith advise. I assume that this advice is for chaste men. Men who sleep around and have casual relationships are no good as husbands and should probably not get married. So too, women who sleep around are no good as wives and should just keep playing around with the above mentioned men. However, if they do decide to settle down they should settle down with each other. Given that they have similar backgrounds, they would understand each other better and know exactly how to deal with each other within a marriage. Men with a certain level of innocence should not defile themselves with vile promiscuous women. Naturally, incase you missed it, I am telling you not to marry a woman who has a history of sleeping around. She will not be able to find satisfaction in being married to you, and you will not find satisfaction in being married to her. There is no harm in marrying a previously married woman who hasn’t slept around and who was only with her ex-husband. In fact, a previously married woman might prove to be better since at least you know what she’s been up to.
Secondly, after you found a chaste woman, you need to determine what kind of relationship she has with her father. If she has a loving relationship with her father, and more importantly, she has a high regard for him, she will similarly hold you in high regard. If she doesn’t have much of a relationship with her father, or her father has not been present in her life, she will exhibit various emotional issues throughout your marriage. One major issue she’ll have is that she will not be able to handle too much affection. She is used to loving a man, her father, from a distance. She interprets aloofness as affection and does not know how to interpret the affection of a loving and warm husband. You will experience her constantly distancing herself from you, and you will not understand it. It is best to pass her over.
Thirdly, you need to establish good relationship with her father, and seek his blessing. This is an extremely important step because when you experience marriage problems in the future, as you will, then her father will try to help you and not work against you. Remember that her father is more beloved to her than you will ever be, and his opinion will matter more to her than yours. If that father gives his blessing she will likely feel more confident in her decision to be with you. Women are, more often than not, two minded about almost everything they need to make a decision about. They often require others to provide them with meaningful input. If establish a good relationship with her father, and her family in general, they will advise her in your interest. If they start advising her against you, your marriage will likely be doomed. Most marriages are broken up by close friends and relatives who offer bad advice to women.
Furthermore, choose a woman who has many siblings. A woman who grew up with many siblings will have superior social skills. She will also understand that sometimes she cannot have what she wants. It is common in larger families for kids to give up what they want in the interest of their other siblings. Also, if you would like children, mention that to her prior to marrying her. Since these days, a woman having children is no longer a forgone conclusion. If you’d like her to be a stay at home mom, make sure to agree to that ahead of time. Finally, if you are a traditional man, make her understand from day one that you are the captain of your ship. While you may consult the first mate, ultimately it is you who will make the decisions for the family.
In conclusion, marriage is a beautiful institution. Many people are no longer opting for marriage because these days it seems that marriages are not working. Despite that, I encourage believers and chaste people to pursue marriage because it is deeply fulfilling and adds to one’s self-development. A man who is married and responsible is often hard working and more driven than other men. If you are choosing the path of marriage, make sure you go about it in the right way. Choose women who are chaste, loyal, emotionally stable, respectful of her father and comes from a large family. Do not choose women who slept around, have daddy issues, do not respect or understand men, and come from broken families. This is not to say that those women should fall by the way side, they are free to sleep around with all those other boys who are playing around and who don’t have real lives.