For all of us hardworking moms with kids and career - having it all while having a life!
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Do Men Really Want To Get Married?
"If you take religion and societal expectations out of the equation, no man would ever want to get married." This is a direct quote from my husband as we are sitting in the car on this past weekend's road trip. He feels that if every man were given the choice, he would prefer to just live with the woman he loves and be perfectly happy having a family as partners, rather than as husband and wife. I actually find this kind of funny, considering that last week he told me that people in his office don't really know my name because he constantly refers to me when speaking as "my wife" - he sure uses the term a lot for someone who says he would be perfectly fine just living together! He is also not shy to say how happy he is in his personal life - to anyone and everyone who will listen. Regardless, I thought this was an interesting statement and since I am not a man, I wasn't sure if I could agree or disagree with it. It made me think and I decided to dig a little deeper, because my gut says that it's simply not true.
I have included links to a few articles I found on the subject down below - the majority talk about why men want or don't want to get married. The consensus seems to be that timing is a critical factor in a man's decision and that although most men do want to get married, they want to get married later (and probably later than most women would). Here is a quote from the Netscape article below that I think sums it up:
"Young men want to get married. They really do. They want a wife, children and the house with the picket fence. They just don't want it right now. Instead, men ages 25 to 33 prefer to have fun, unencumbered by commitment and responsibility.
That's the word from a new study called "The State of Our Unions" that concludes that young, educated, professional men don't want to commit to marriage, reports Ladies Home Journal. They place great value in the institution of marriage, but the single life beckons. Since today's men--unlike their fathers and grandfathers--don't have pressure from church, employers or society to get married, they aren't."
I actually think that the majority of men are more afraid of ending up alone than women are. We seem to be able to take care of ourselves better than men. I do believe there is a lot more fear in men to commit initially, but that at the end of the day, they want it as much, or more, than women do. But I guess that's not the question my husband posed... it's whether he wants to be MARRIED - not alone vs in a committed relationship. If given the choice and a man could have everything a married man has - loving partner, kids, house, tax breaks, etc. but not be married, which would he choose?
And I guess that leads to the next question - what is it about that piece of paper that holds such importance? If it's just about having a family or societal pressure, then why are gay activists fighting so hard to be allowed to marry? There are a lot of gay men who want the right to marry. These men definitely do not have to marry based on societal expectations, it's the opposite - society traditionally has been against gay marriage! And it can't all be about the tax breaks! They must want to marry for other underlying reasons - like love, a show of commitment, a desire to share their lives together, etc.
What do you think? I'm very curious to hear from some men out there. Do you agree with my husband? Call me a hopeless romantic, but I believe in the institution of marriage AND the fact that men do too.