Tuesday, 12 May 2009
Now that I'm married, I often hear my female friends (i.e. my wife's friends) bashing men who:
1) cheat on their wives,
2) cheat on their pregnant wives, or
3) cheat on their pregnant wives, and then leave them.
I completely agree - it's disgusting behavior.
However (and I hesitate to even say this)... but I understand it. I don't condone it by any means... but I understand where they are coming from.
The women who talk about these cheatin' leavin' men are completely astounded that any man would ever opt out of marriage and fatherhood. I never say anything... my wife's friends would instantly crucify me. But here's what I would say to them, in an alternate universe where my words would have no repercussions.
The average guy thinks that marriage will be more or less like dating: a fun time where you really got to know each other, with a healthy dose of regular sex and great conversation.
The thing is, marriage is nothing like dating. It's a lot of work! But some guys just have no idea that it's not all puppies and ice cream.
Here are some of the complaints I hear from my less happy married brethren:
* CLEANLINESS: Now that you are living together, you learn you have to dramatically up your standard of cleanliness. The dishes need to be washed the same day, the trash needs to be taken out on a schedule, the sheets have to be washed every 2-6 weeks, depending on the season (sheets have to be washed?!).
* NESTING: Once you move in together, you'll probably notice that most of the stuff you've bought over the years is put into storage or thrown away. Your weekends are quickly booked with trips to Home Depot, The Container Store, and Bed Bath and Beyond. Your attendance is required, since someone has to carry the heavy stuff.
* CHECKING IN: You learn to check in with your wife on a regular basis, over email, IM or text. Spontaneous dinner or drinks with friends fade away - these things now have to be scheduled.
These changes aren't noticable at first... they phase in over time. It takes a year or two before the average guy realizes: whoa, my life has really changed.
Then you get the news: my wife is pregnant. It's the ultimate realization that marriage is a life sentence. Criminals call their life sentences LWOP ("EL-WOP")... short for Life With Out Parole.
This is really the point at which you have to decide if you're a man or a boy.
A boy sees the LWOP, and can't handle it. He starts going out at night more, hanging out with his single friends. He starts off as the wingman... and ends up hooking up. Before you know it, he's segued into a full blown affair and is thinking about leaving his pregnant wife.
A man sees the same situation, and realizes that this is what he wanted: to start a family, and to be a good father and husband. He steps up and commits to the marriage, and prepares to shift into the next phase of his life.
The thing is: it's a lot more fun to be a boy. But it's a lot more rewarding to be a man. I am looking forward to that next phase of life.
But not everyone is ready for that. And for those guys, I see them freaking out when their wives get pregnant. It's so predictable: the bar-hopping, the drinking, the cheating, the emotional affair, and the divorce. A wife loses her husband, and a child loses their father.
I don't condone it... but I understand it. It's a decision that each man has to make on his own. Personally, I can't imagine making any decision other than doing the right thing.
Do you know anyone who has:
1) cheated on their wives,
2) cheated on their pregnant wives, or
3) cheated on their pregnant wives, and then left them?
This is a guest blog submitted by a Mancouch reader.
About this Entry
- From: mancouch
- Posted: 5/12/2009 2:40 PM
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