Why Men Need Marriage More Than Women

Marriage inserts us into the machine. And if it benefits women substantially less than men, then it’s no surprise that so many of our marriage promotion messages are aimed squarely at them.

Women learn and are conditioned to be a good wife, mother and caretaker. Men are taught to be themselves and marriage seems to just show up for them. I have never heard a straight, thirty year old man cry out to me how he cannot find ‘the one.’ Women seem to be an item a straight man can obtain, whenever he ‘feels ready to settle down,’ whether that be at twenty, thirty or sixty; the game is stacked in their favour.

Women in the workplace, women in higher education and women making more money than (some) men is changing the game, big time. Women are continually creating a greater, stronger and more predominant role for themselves within the world (and we must not stop progressing).

There are a lot of ‘help me, I have to get married’ jokes out there, where men lament that marriage is some form of a cruel punishment they have to do.

I hate these jokes; if you do not want to get or be married, ‘be a man’ and do not do it or leave, but leave the jokes to comedians. The women are no longer laughing because you are not suffering in the game of marriage.

Why is that? How the hell does that equal out? We all have the same twenty-four hours, but for some reason women are the only one’s expected to be working eighteen of them.

I was married once, and after working two jobs, during the daytime as a teacher and during the evening as a college administrator, I came home to a meal prepared by my husband. I was told how lucky I was that he prepared my meal for me. Really!? I just worked a twelve hour day and I should be thanking him? Thanks, but no thanks; I decided marriage really did not please my palate all that much.

Women have more rights and opportunities than they have had in decades and yet they are less happy than ever in both absolute terms and relative to men. Marriage is part of why.

Women are stereotypically seen as the ones who want to get married. The ones who will drag the man to alter, if they have to, kicking and screaming. This stereotype is decaying by the day; many women do not want to get married and do not see the value of it, for themselves.

They have built a world for themselves, which is not worth the risk of a man. They have a high paying job, a decent nest egg in the bank or in investments, a strong group of friends, a thriving personal and professional world and a great family, so what more do they need?

Nothing actually, not even a man (gasp). Hence, modern women may be have had more reason than men to reevaluate what they might gain from marriage.

You have to change your name! That might sound silly, but that is a really big deal. You have to sacrifice a lot of your identity and if you allow it, your partner will completely transform your identity to suit their needs.

There is a clear gender difference in attitudes towards marriage. Whereas 37 percent of men feel that a man can have a fully satisfying life without marriage, 59 percent of women feel that a woman can have a fully satisfying life without marriage. Women are starting to stand up for the single woman, and we should.

Single, successful women know what’s up, they are living their best lives and not picking up dirty underwear (unless its their own) off of the floor while doing it.

Women do not need marriage anymore to be protected, taken care of or hell, even to have a baby. We can do it all on our own, so if we are going to shack up, in a heterosexual relationship, that man better add up big time.

While women benefit from marriage, the gains are not as great and the sacrifices may be more, including expectations to engage in tasks traditionally associated with wives. What are you willing to sacrifice to be part of a partnership? The sacrifices should not ever outweigh the gains. Why willingly choose to live a harder life with someone than without? That choice seems easy to me, but I understand that it is not.

Research has shown that the “marriage benefits” — the increases in health, wealth, and happiness that are often associated with the status — go disproportionately to men. Married men are better off than single men. Married women, on the other hand, are not better off than unmarried women.

We cannot forget where marriage comes from and how it was (and is) meant to bind women down. The sexist jokes women have all been subjected to are still going strong. Women are still called ‘nags’ and ‘balls and chains’ by their partners and there is a lot of truths in the jokes we share within society.

Heterosexual marriage is an unequal institution. Women on average do more of the unpaid and undervalued work of households, they work more each day, and they are more aware of this inequality than their husbands. They are more likely to sacrifice their individual leisure and career goals for marriage.

I am not your chef, cleaning lady, personal shopper, sex kitten or any other assumption society has placed on me because of my assumed gender. I am a person in a partnership, period. Gender roles do not exist in my house, nor are they ever welcome.

If I bake you a cake, it is not me trying to be ‘wifey-material,’ it is because I was craving cake and by proximity, you get to appreciate said cake.

Do not allow what society bombards us with to make you risk your own happiness. The greater the pressure you feel to do something, because everyone else is doing it, the greater you should challenge said pressure.

I write about issues that are near and dear to my heart, with the hope that my stories, experiences, and struggles may empower others: amanlitt.ca

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store