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Never. No way. 16%
Why not? It's only the rest of my life. 38%
Been there. Done that. Never again. 11%
Been there. Doing that. 22%
Been there. Done that. Maybe again. 0%
After my shoulder heals. 11%

Votes: 18

 What Sucks About Marriage

 Author:  Topic:  Posted:
Jan 21, 2002
I've finally put my finger on it. Be warned -- if you are considering marriage, you need to read this.

More diaries by donkpunch
I am not tolerant
Libertarian geeks - patting their own pale backs
Credit Card Companies
My Stupid Shoulder (a multi-part saga)
My Stupid Shoulder (Part Two)
My Stupid Shoulder (Part Three)
Is this sexual harrassment?
Terrorism and root causes
Terrorism and root causes - clarification
It's all about the Benjamins.
Evolution of a Software Engineer in One Day
Random Taliban Musings
Sometimes, people refer to the "freedom" of unmarried life. This is often mistaken as the freedom to have impulsive, unattached sexual escapades. In fact, most of us know that such behavior is irresponsible and dangerous.

More practically, unmarried frequent sexual freedom is generally unachievable for most people. It really only exists in television and adult movies. In fact, the sexual freedom of singledom is mostly the freedom to spend evenings calling 1-900 numbers, watching porn, and coming up with clever new nicknames for adult chat rooms ("Hello, Welhung Johnson").

Really, post-nuptial sexual freedom is a pretty minimal issue. The real freedom lost is a much larger and more serious concern.

It is the freedom to get through a day without having to debate, discuss, and defend every damn little decision you make.

I am quite serious about this. Unmarried people cannot possibly imagine what it is like.

Consider a typical unmarried person's day: On the way home from work, he/she decides to stop off at the grocery store and pick up something to eat. Perhaps instead of the grocery store, the unmarried person decides to stop in at a restaraunt and spend a few bucks for a convenient, tasty, prepared meal. Either way, the decision is made quickly and with no accountability to anyone else.

This is simply not possible for a married person. A married person making the same decision must call the spouse, ask if he/she needs anything from the store, wait for a list, answer the question what time he/she will be home, listen to any complaints or problems that popped up during the day, etc.

And woe to the married person who doesn't call first. Decide to blow off the grocery store and just grab a burger and there will be hell to pay -- "Why didn't you ask if I wanted to go? Why didn't you tell me you would be late?"

Realize this: Once you get married, you will never be able to make a decision for yourself without explaining it and/or defending it. Anything you do can and will be called into question. You are now 100% accountable to somebody else for your every thought and action.

And it's not just evening meal choices -- oh no. Your weekend plans, the television channels you watch, even your friends are now all fair game. You will have to defend personal choices that you never imagined would be questioned. You will have to defend personal choices that are, frankly, nobody else's damn business. And you had better defend your choices well or they will be changed to your spouse's choices.

I'm not advising against marriage. I am simply providing the information I wish someone had given me. No matter how happy the marriage appears, there will always be a battle of wills raging beneath the surface.

To the married people reading this: I'm sorry to shatter the illusion.

To the unmarried people reading this: You have been warned.


Marriage is hard work (none / 0) (#1)
by Adam Rightmann on Mon Jan 21st, 2002 at 11:02:42 AM PST
A shame that so many people are brainwashed into thinking they are best suited for marriages, when a vocation spent in a monestary, nunnery or hermitage may be even more fulfilling than a marriage. But, the secular humanist media makes little advertising money off nunneries or monasteries, and they are a bulwhark against their anit-God agendas, so they are uncool.

If you wish a happier marriage, you need to take a little more control I suggest>this .

PS. Would one of the adequacy editors more knowledegeable of these things correct the above link to make it an affiliate link?

A. Rightmann

Blame (5.00 / 1) (#2)
by Right Hand Man on Mon Jan 21st, 2002 at 11:23:36 AM PST
You shouldn't be blaming the institution of marriage for those problems, for hundreds of years husbands went about their business without worrying about the reactions of their wives. Wives certainly did not ask many of the probing question you describe.

Given that, why is it that many husbands feel the way you do? I'll tell you why, its the fault of the damnable feminist movement.

Feminists have done everything in their power to subvert the natural inclinations of women and steer them toward things that were formerly the domain of men only. They assured them that they could do anything that a man could do. They convinced them that they should have equal weight in making the decisions in a marriage. Hell, they even told them that they could get along just fine without a man. Absolutely ridiculous and without a doubt a major contributor to divorce rates have gone through the roof.

Before the feminists, women would not even think of giving their husbands the third degree. Those of us who remain true to God's word, and marry women of similar mind, are right now enjoying wonderful marriages free of the questioning, guilt, and tension that characterize many others. Show your wife the bible. Show her that she is supposed to be subservient to your will, not yammering on about her feelings or criticizing your actions. Her role is very well defined and so is yours. Take charge of your household and save your wife's soul in the process. You can break her free of the mental grasp of the feminists while proving to her the you are not some weak willed New Man. Its a win-win situation.

"Keep your bible open and your powder dry."

You can blame feminism all you want, really. (none / 0) (#5)
by chloedancer on Mon Jan 21st, 2002 at 05:38:05 PM PST
They're even the cause of my particular favorite grudge group in the marriage game: Sensitive New Age Guys (SNAGs).

If it weren't for feminists, there wouldn't be SNAGs (guys dedicating their best efforts to nonsense like talking about their feelings and sharing equal responsibility in the joint decision-making process, ad nauseaum. Just try being married to a SNAG -- I guarantee you that you'll get over your ethical qualms re: wanting someone dead before your first anniversary. Not to mention the sad day when you realize that you're actually more of a man in the things that count than he is -- it's enough to make you seriously consider switching tribes altogether.

Me, I've sworn off marriage. I've simply accepted the fact that I alone will be responsible for my financial well-being and my quality of life for the remainder of my days. (Admittedly, also deciding to be a non-breeder made it even easier to choose this path, but I know a score of single mothers who wouldn't have it any other way and are quite capable when it comes to raising their children on their own and making the finances work.) I've decided that simply enjoying others' romantic affections for as long as it lasts is infinitely more fun and generally more consistently satisfying, all things considered.

Playing the game as a woman by the commonly-ascribed bachelor "male" rules is the only thing that makes sense to me, really. When it comes to marriage, let's just say that bachelors are the only real winners and the time is high for the bachelorettes to realize that they, too, can enjoy the same benefits.

ob (none / 0) (#6)
by nathan on Mon Jan 21st, 2002 at 05:53:21 PM PST
Why do you hate God?[1]

[1] "Into the breach once more," said Zorba the Human Cannonball.

Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

I don't hate God, really. (none / 0) (#7)
by chloedancer on Mon Jan 21st, 2002 at 10:58:20 PM PST
I just hate most of what people choose to do in His/Her name. So what's your point?

this is my point, really. (none / 0) (#11)
by nathan on Tue Jan 22nd, 2002 at 09:04:57 AM PST
I've simply accepted the fact that I alone will be responsible for my financial well-being and my quality of life for the remainder of my days.

Trying to be responsible for your own existence is illogical and impossible (as the Marxist atheist Sartre demonstrated.) In my opinion it's also an offense against the idea of the absolute.

Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Euphemisms (none / 0) (#12)
by chloedancer on Tue Jan 22nd, 2002 at 09:32:08 AM PST
RE: I've simply accepted the fact that I alone will be responsible for my financial well-being and my quality of life for the remainder of my days.

Translation: I've made the conscious decision to avoid living by the cultural myth trap of waiting for some handsome guy in armor on a glorious stallion to suddenly materialize in my life for the sole purpose of doing these things for me.

Not only do I find this "knight in shining armor" scenario repugnant (it smacks of the backwards notion that, left to my devices, I'm somehow just plain incapable), it also begs the question of "Why should I expect someone else to do what I'm unwilling to do for myself?" The sooner the bachlorettes realize that knights in shining armor don't exist anymore and there's no one coming to rescue them, the better off we'll all be.

If you want to save someone, marriage isn't the most stellar technique (spoken from experience, by the way -- c'est la vie). To limit the damage you contribute to the world at large, start by saving yourself.

fine... (none / 0) (#13)
by nathan on Tue Jan 22nd, 2002 at 10:29:27 AM PST
I've made the conscious decision to avoid living by the cultural myth trap of waiting for some handsome guy in armor on a glorious stallion...

So other women have this problem? And it's not their faults, it's a cultural myth trap? And turning your back on marriage is the best way to deal with it?

begs the question

I believe you mean "invites the question." (Take this is a friendly amendment; given the recent furor over Ockeghem's Razor, we'd all better keep our noses clean as far as go niceities of logic...)

Li'l Sis: Yo, that's a real grey area. Even by my lax standards.

Response (none / 0) (#18)
by chloedancer on Tue Jan 22nd, 2002 at 03:49:58 PM PST
So other women have this problem?

In my opinion, yes, many do -- particularly my compatriot XX'ers in their mid-30s. It can also be described as the "Someday my prince will come and my life will suddenly be so much better..." syndrome. What's the harm in just sidestepping the whole marriage boondoggle and deciding instead to live a life that you find fulfilling and substantial that doesn't predicate success on a state of wedded bliss? If I ever decide I'm wrong, I can always change my mind, after all (and it won't require appearing in court and declaring that my marriage is irretrievably broken -- an ugly phrase, that).

What's even worse is this: I've noticed that if a woman gets over the cultural notion that there's something wrong with her if she's unmarried, or that she doesn't need to have a spousal unit to enjoy her life as she makes it, then her well-meaning family members and friends will (acting out of concern, of course) attempt to convince her that she's wrong, seeing it as being their responsibility to enlighten her as to the error of her ways. (You get to hear things like "Oh, you'll be so lonely when you're old..." and "Who will take care of you?" and "You need a man in your life to fix things around the house, fix your car and such!" I don't know if men get questions like that when defending their bachelor status; usually it's just the "Oh, you've just not met the right woman yet!" standard refrain from what I know to be true personally. What's so wrong about advocating for an alternative (official recognition of "bachelorette status" as a valid choice)?

And its not their faults, it's the cultural myth trap...

An idea is not "responsible" for its believers/followers; instead, we are each responsible for our own actions. Accordingly, I don't blame the myth and I accept responsibility for the choice I've made with regard to deciding not to buy into it. What other women choose to do is up to them; I'm just advocating for an alternative to a scenario based on what should be instead of recognizing and celebrating the life they are are living right now.

And turning your back on marriage is the best way to deal with it?

Before stepping on this landmine you've so artfully placed in front of me, let me ask you this in response: What does marriage provide that I can't attend to by some other means?

I've not sworn off of sharing a residence with a member of the opposite sex; nor have I stated that I wouldn't consider entering into certain legal agreements with a significant other (a "Power of Attorney re: Healthcare" agreement comes to mind, for instance). In my opinion, the important question isn't "Why doesn't chloedancer believe in marriage?", but instead, "Why should one marry, anyway?"

I don't believe that I need to convince you to change your mind; after all, it's unlikely that you'll ever be a bachelorette in this lifetime, Nathan ;) I'd rather know if you've been married and, most particularly, if you have been and aren't currently, why do you still believe in marriage? That would be more interesting (at least for me, personally) than any debate based on hypothetical scenarios.

I believe you mean 'invites the question'...

Right you are; thanks. I should know better than to attempt to address something in terms of formal logic before I've had my daily cuppa joe, really.

Knights (5.00 / 1) (#14)
by donkpunch on Tue Jan 22nd, 2002 at 10:31:54 AM PST
If a stereotypical knight in shining armor did exist, I assure you most modern women would:

1. Wonder why he is wearing armor. Is he a paranoid militia member or something?

2. Insist that he not bring his sword with him when they go out. Real men don't need swords.

3. Keep a close eye on how he treats his horse and keep the number of the local ASPCA handy just in case.

Yes, I'm being facetious but there is valid point in there worth noting.

You know... (none / 0) (#16)
by elenchos on Tue Jan 22nd, 2002 at 12:43:07 PM PST
One of the cardinal rules of the original Romances of the middle ages was that the women were wholly in charge of all love relationships. This in spite of the fact that they obviously lacked much political power or money, and couldn't participate in the fighting that usually resolved the plots. This meant that some real neat gymnastics had to go on to work out how to have a story about love where the one in charge doesn't have any "real" power. They have to run the show by other means.

Because of that tension, you can actually learn something about relationships from these early stories, unlike the simplified later versions of Scott or Tolkien.

I do, I do, I do
--Bikini Kill

How odd. (none / 0) (#3)
by RobotSlave on Mon Jan 21st, 2002 at 01:03:45 PM PST
I would have thought that anyone aware of the practice to which the appellation "donkpunch" alludes would have found a way to deal with the problem by now.

© 2002, RobotSlave. You may not reproduce this material, in whole or in part, without written permission of the owner.

Thoughts (none / 0) (#8)
by hauntedattics on Tue Jan 22nd, 2002 at 05:39:43 AM PST
I'm sort of amused that some of the post-ers here have automatically assumed that it's the wife who is doing all the demanding on the decisionmaking front. Donkpunch's commentary does not specify gender in his (?) entry. But he (?) is right. The price you pay for marriage is the permanent linkage of your life to someone else's. But the rewards and benefits can be very rewarding and beneficial, indeed...

Gender (none / 0) (#10)
by donkpunch on Tue Jan 22nd, 2002 at 08:44:51 AM PST
For purposes of this diary entry, I deliberately left the gender neutral because I think the issue affects both sexes.

I've been with Adequacy for a while now and my previous diary entries make it pretty clear I am male. For that reason, I can't really blame anyone for assuming I was indulging in an "anti-wife" rant.

But I did not intend it as an anti-wife rant. Far from it. My goal was to warn those considering matrimony to give consideration to how much control over their own lives they will surrender.

This particular warning does hit men harder than women because men aren't expecting it. Speaking generally, women already get these warnings. Our culture implicitly warns women at every turn against the controlling, possibly even abusive, husband.

What are men warned about? "You can't have sex with anyone else." Indeed, most of the male's pre-nuptial rituals are dedicated to this point.

But, as I said, the "monogamy issue" is a very minor one compared to the "control issue".

Maybe this is naive, (none / 0) (#9)
by derek3000 on Tue Jan 22nd, 2002 at 07:28:45 AM PST
but can't a couple be married and live separately?

I had a friend whose parents got divorced, and his mother remarried but the couple chose to live in separate homes. I've never seen two people happier to be together.

"Feel me when I bring it!" --Gay Jamie

AMEN (none / 0) (#15)
by Trollaxor on Tue Jan 22nd, 2002 at 11:32:26 AM PST
Having just lived with my SO for six months, I can attest to the accuracy of your diary.

It is so much more efficient to live alone. Even if you're dating, so long as they don't live with you, you have almost total freedom to do what you want when you want.

Hmm... (none / 0) (#17)
by hauntedattics on Tue Jan 22nd, 2002 at 01:12:41 PM PST
Efficient, maybe. Enjoyable and interesting? Maybe not. There is only so much you can talk to your cat or your TV.

i write (none / 0) (#19)
by Trollaxor on Thu Jan 31st, 2002 at 10:19:12 AM PST
i don't have a tv or radio. just my ibook's dvd player. i sit, chain smoke, write, make plans for the weekend, and play bills.

"enjoyable" and "interesting" are up to me and have nothing to do with who's living with me or what electronics i may or may not have in my place. claiming the environment as cause of boaredom is a copout 75% of the time.

i do not cop out.


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