What is marriage?
The general population might say that marriage is a legal/religious union of two people in love wanting to share their lives with each other, promising to be together forever, for better or worse until death do them part. (Insert pretty music, floating hearts, and little cherubs shooting arrows in your ass while you are at it.)
Ask a divorce attorney and he or she might say that marriage is essentially a lifelong binding contract between two people that is guaranteed to blow up 50% of the time, with no escape clause or built in penalties for either member if one should become unstable, unreliable, or otherwise stop providing essential services to the other party short of dividing up the assets and more typically than not forcing the male member to financially support the female until she is able to find another male to marry her. Children aside. (Insert… Insert nothing, that paints a scary enough visual all by itself.)
Just recently I overheard two women in conversation about the same topic, saying:
“I don’t understand why he won’t ask me to marry him. We are perfect for each other. We enjoy the same things, we have fun together. If he does not ask me out by my birthday in May, I am going to leave him. I don’t know what’s missing but I can’t wait forever.”
Men do not get married for a variety of reasons but here are the big five as I see them.
1.Because he could care less about the beautiful wedding, the pretty dress, all of the wedding drama on that special day, or the romanticized version of your life together forever. He sees the hard cold reality of the legal mine field surrounding marriage if it somehow falls apart.
2.Because he can get all of the benefits he sees in marriage without being legally tied down and forced to walk the marriage mine field in the first place, while the female has built in incentive to stay sweet, attentive and sexy.
3.If he does enter into marriage, there are no guarantees she will uphold her end of the bargain as he visualizes it, but by then he will be stuck with no recourse short of his facing steep penalties, including alimony, for what he may see as her failure. (Men have limited vision in this area typically, many naively believe they are taking a perfect dating relationship and cementing those behaviors in place for a lifetime with marriage.)
4.He likes you enough to want to be around you every day, but he does not love you enough to feel compelled to make it permanent or take the added risks associated with marriage. A small part of him somewhere just might consider you a place holder until “The One” shows up. (Added competition from another guy can help get him off the fence with no guarantees on which side he might land, though.)
5.In a dating relationship, he has more leverage. In a marriage a woman typically has more leverage, having the ability to make his life hell by being continually bitchy, unhappy and/or celibate.
There has to be a whole lot of upside to a woman to outweigh the potential negatives of a life long contract chock full of financial penalties with no guarantees that she will fulfill any of her obligations as a partner.
Today, we are all collectively concerned about Me, Me, Me. That attitude flies in a marriage just about as well as a boat anchor. In marriage it should be We, You, Me, in that order, for both partners. That should be the model, but real life shows that it plays out more like “There will be a WE, only when YOU submit to ME,” and ending in divorce 50% of the time.
Why would he want to give up this…?
Dating or living together, in a position where he can end a relationship without penalty. She is a skinny little sex kitten that makes him feel better just by being in her presence.
For fear of ending up with this…
Married, with financial, emotional and mental penalties in place, she can turn off the sex tap, get a little to a lot larger, bitchier, and make him feel miserable just for being a man by continually finding and emphasizing his faults, making him want to stay at the office longer and longer instead of having to face the woman he is chained to for life.
The answer for many men is because he thinks she is worth the risk, he is ready for a family or he has had enough of the single lifestyle.
I am speaking in generalities here; I acknowledge up front that there are wide varieties of men and women, some good some bad, which will not necessarily be covered by my blanket statements. I accept the fact that there are women out there facing the same situation.
If you happen to find this article searching for an answer to “Why he will not commit,” here are a few tips that might get you some answers.
1.Ask him. Skip all of the coy hints and just ask the question. I qualify that by saying make sure you do not use a bitchy attitude when asking or he go defensive on you and shut you down. With a calm, non-accusatory tone, just flat out ask the question. “Do you feel this is a relationship leading to marriage?”
2.Cut him off. If he is getting everything he wants without have to marry you, then why marry you. When cutting him off, do not do it in a mean way. Do not be a b*tch about it, be nice about it and let him know it is time to make a decision. Just be sure you can handle the consequences of your actions. You could be single again in a matter of minutes.
3.Attract some additional suitors. Competition is good the economy and it is good for forcing a man to make a decision. Again, if you play this card, you have to be ready to be put in the discard pile.
4.Skip the mind games. I read one article that said “You want him to admit to himself and to you that this is as good as it gets.” I say bullsh*it. Call it exactly like you see it. If you are just curious, say so. If it is a matter of life and death and you cannot possibly go another day without an answer, say so. Guys are not good at guessing your thoughts, and they do not want to get good at it typically. Men do not deal with each other in hints and suggestions to get our point across; we whack each other over the head with the main point of contention then negotiate the rest, and go for a beer when we are done.
5.Leave. When all else fails, stop moaning and start moving. You will only be hot and sexy for so many years, use it while you’ve got it.