When she was a little girl, DW dreamed about marrying a good earner, having a couple of kids, and being a wife and mother. Shortly after her twenty second birthday, she decided to open a Tinder account. Her chances at being taken seriously, by the men in the marriage market, went downhill immediately. Now in her early 30s, she is only useful to the brothers as a stop gap. The young men hit those holes to build confidence, all-the-while interviewing high-quality women, who are worthy of their commitment.
Being disciplined is a prerequisite for both men and women who seek after the family life, and a few years on the carousel is enough to convince prospective mates that you simply don’t have what it takes to meet the requirements of a spouse.
I talk about whatever interests me here, but the target audience of this blog is young men, ages 18-24. I generally try to give such men the advice that nobody ever gave me. One of the general truths I tell men is not to even consider marriage, until a few different conditions are met.
Before any man considers marriage, he ought to be totally committed to keeping his promises. This means educating oneself about all the relevant risks and responsibilities that he’s accepting, when he vows before his community, and signs on the dotted line. With the help of Caldwell’s Book of Common Prayer from 1789, we’ll take a quick gander at what a man is giving up, when he enters into this contract.
Wilt thou have this woman to thy wedded wife, to live together after God’s ordinance in the holy estate of matrimony? Wilt thou love her, comfort her, honor, and keep her in sickness and in health; and, forsaking all others, keep thee only to her, so long as ye both shall live?
The first thing a man agrees to, in a standard marriage, is having his wife live with him. It can be very difficult sharing space with someone. In the first place, you’ll have to afford to get a place to share. In the second, you’ll have to put up with her. She’ll chew loudly at dinner. She’ll want to watch television while you want to sleep. She’ll stink the bedroom up with farts. Living together is voluntarily giving up all the ideas of privacy and security you are probably used to. The first requirement of this agreement is easy to define, and thus we’re able to maximize the possibility of successful compliance, by looking at some factors which maximize a man’s income. The more money a man makes, the easier it will be for that man to afford to keep the “live together” part of his promise.
Men make more money at 26 than they do at 20.
This makes intuitive sense. As a man becomes more established in one particular occupation, he gains mastery in his trade, and his earning potential goes up.
Men also make more money based upon their level of education.
This is also intuitively accessible. A man with an advanced degree has proven that he is at least of average intelligence. He has also proven that he can complete fairly complicated tasks, and that he can work well with others. It may be that the high-school dropout can do such things equally well; but, an employer finds a college degree to be a quick marker for such things, and the dropout lacks that marker.
The second promise a man makes is to “love… comfort… and keep” his wife. That means that you have to provide her with food and clothing, and you have to do this with a cheerful and pleasant attitude. You also have to listen to her complain, and you have to pretend like you care about her opinion. Your grandfather made this look easy. It’s not. Women are often moody and unpredictable. To steal a line from Rollo, you have to be the rock against which your wife’s emotional waves crash.
The next promise you make is to refrain from fucking other women. In my experience, a great many married people — both men and women — are unable to comply completely. Failure aside, it is part of the agreement, and even if you occasionally slip, you ought to go through life zealously pursuing the ideal.
In this long constellation of promises a man makes, this is the one that gives me pause. I would probably do a passable job as a provider, and I can probably listen to a woman yak about how sad or angry she is; but, I know myself well enough to predict a likely outcome to the “forsaking all others” part of the deal. Women love to steal each other’s men, and whoever I married would likely have a hot friend. My attempt at married life would likely end with a seat in the docks of the divorce courts. It’s just better all around that I don’t jump into this institution.
So, in order to be a successful husband, a man has to make money, he has to be emotionally stable, and he has to be sexually disciplined. What’s in it for him?
A popular misconception is that marriage only benefits women. As near as I can tell, this was first popularized by Tom Leykis, who became famous telling young brothers that “marriage has no benefits for a man.” This is an untrue proposition. Marriage benefits a man, inasmuch as a man’s ego expands to include his children. Studies suggest that legitimate children raised in a traditional environment are less likely to suffer from legal problems, and more likely to enter adulthood as respectful and responsible citizens (Fomby and Cherlin). If you want to have children, then selecting a suitable wife to marry is your first priority.
Of course, when we talk about marriage, we are talking about a successful marriage. The great risk in marrying is dissolution. There are a number of factors in divorce; but it is often caused by financial problems, emotional instability, and sexual infidelity. (If these factors don’t sound familiar, start over from the beginning and review the marriage vows.) A man’s chances of a successful marriage increase dramatically, when he waits until his mid-20s to sign the contract.
By 25, a man has gained financial resources, has learned to control his carnal urges, and has disciplined himself emotionally. Moreover, at 25, a man has a much larger pool of potential mates to choose from, than he had at 20. This is due to the fact that it is socially acceptable for a man to marry a younger woman. This has always been the case, and it will never change. There is another social convention to think of. If a man marries a woman much older than he is, he is seen as substandard, and rumors arise about granny fetishes.
At age 20, a young man may theoretically select a wife between the ages of 18-80. Women below the age of 18 may theoretically be able to marry, with a parent’s permission, but it is doubtful that a marriage to a teenage girl will be a recipe for long-term happiness. Moreover, female fertility declines drastically in a woman’s late 20s.
A 20-year old man who wants children, and doesn’t want to be seen as a weirdo, will almost surely choose a wife between 18-21.
At age 25, the same man now has a choice pool of all the unmarried women between 18-26. This naturally means a dramatic increase in quantity, and it also entails an increase in quality. As the number of women available rises, you have more selective power, and thus a better chance to choose a superior woman to bear and raise your children.
I’ll conclude this article by reminding my young brothers that as a man gets older, life gets better all around. It can be rough at 19, being rejected by the hot girls you want. Most of us were there once, and we sympathize. The women who seem to take pleasure in humiliating you now will magically become interested in you, once you’re done with your law or business degree. By that time, they’ll have become like our skanky friend DW — banged out and used up.
You may not be able to afford a wife now, and that’s OK. In a few years, you’ll be in a much better position: financially, emotionally and psychologically. At that time, if marriage is your thing, you’ll meet a woman among the wimminz, and you’ll spend the rest of your life growing old with her. You’ll realize that despite the dejection of your youth, things worked out the way they should, because when you were 19, your wife was 16, and neither of you were yet ready for what lies ahead.