Introverts and marriage


The Need for Monogamous Marriage

Reading through the reams of literature out there about the dangers and downsides of marriage, one is tempted to come to the conclusion that in the modern world, there is no such thing as a good reason to get married. Horror stories abound about how more than half of marriages in the West end in divorce; about how horribly skewed the incentives of divorce are towards the interests of women at the expense of men; and about how easy it is for an otherwise sane and rational man to commit himself to what he thinks is a lifetime of happy commitment to The One, only to wake up in front of a family court judge several years later, about to have his life, his wealth, his wife, and his children ripped away from him before his eyes. When presented with the sheer weight of evidence showing what a raw deal modern marriage really is, it is hardly surprising that most red-pill men turn completely away from the idea and refuse to have anything to do with it.

I am not one of them.

My view of marriage is simple: a monogamous, committed marriage between one man and one woman is the absolute bedrock of society and therefore of civilisation. The moment you abandon monogamous marriage, you abandon everything that makes your civilisation worthy of strength and virility. And if you want to raise children right, to be strong and independent and free-thinking, then the only way that seems to work is the one that has been tried and tested for over 10,000 years of civilised history- monogamous, committed marriage.

In some ways I differ from much of the M(A)ndrosphere crowd in that I come from a very happy, very stable home with two loving parents who have been together for literally a lifetime. I have personally seen what a strong and stable marriage can do for a deep introvert. In most respects I am very much my father's son (though he is more naturally charming than I am- both of his parents actually liked other people, he's actually the odd bird in his family in that respect), and I tell you now that if you get it right, and if you marry the right woman, life can actually be quite good. Here I respectfully part ways with deep introverts like Halfbreed and Blackdragon, both of whom argue strongly against marriage and its trappings.

They have very good reasons for doing so, and I happen to agree with almost all of their arguments- I'll get to that in a bit- but I do happen to think that a man who is self-aware stands a pretty good chance in marriage.

And there is a small but vocal and influential group of bloggers within this movement, if you can even call it that, who are all firm believers in both the necessity and the utility of monogamous marriage. They are, as far as I can tell, a minority- but to a man, they are intellectual heavyweights in the 'Sphere. Vox, Rollo, Athol, Keoni Galt, and Dalrock are the best of them, but there are far more. And to a man, they are experts at game- but they all know that the type of game that works for singles in the dating scene is very different from, yet no less important than, the kind of game that is required to keep a marriage fresh and interesting

Relationship game is critical to making a modern marriage work; without it, you might as well sign your divorce papers along with your marriage certificate.

How (and Why) You Should Not Get Married

The objections to marriage in the 'Sphere are pretty comprehensive, and as I said above, I agree with almost all of them. Blackdragon has done a particularly splendid job of putting the entire concept of monogamy feet-first through a wood-chipper. Modern women, it should be clear, are brought up with ridiculously unrealistic expectations of marriage- they are being raised to expect that lavish weddings and Disney-style fairytale endings are the norm. (Read through a few of Halfbreed's posts and lay reports and you'll realise that it is a depressingly common epidemic.) They think that they will eventually meet their Prince Charming, who will sweep them off their feet, make them swoon with love and passion, and live happily ever after. They think that all of the hard work of marriage- learning to adapt to their spouses, learning to think in terms of we and not me, learning that the whole is more than the sum of its parts- just sort of happens in the background aether.

Meanwhile, the modern, liberated woman is taught that it is possible to have it all- that it is entirely acceptable to spend her time from her late teens to her late twenties partying and riding the carousel, before finding some poor sap to settle down with after she's had her fun and is ready for children and responsibility. (The best phrase I have ever heard to describe the latter phenomenon is "baby rabies"). Such women have been raised almost from birth to believe that it is entirely right and justified for a man to waste an absurd amount of money buying a chunk of compressed carbon to stick on her finger as a symbol of his undying commitment and love (read: complete betatude), and that there is no contradiction whatsoever between forcing a man to commit vast amounts of his current and future wealth to her at the moment of proposing, since it makes her haaaappy, and forcing him to give up most of his current and future wealth and happiness to satisfy her financial needs when she divorces him because she was unhaaaappy.

And if you propose in that fashion to a girl like the ones I've described above, you deserve whatever you get.

(Also, if you end up proposing to a girl and she turns into a bit of a Bridezilla- or a Kardashian, which is basically the same thing- just end it, man. Do yourself a huge favour and avoid becoming a sad-sack case like this guy.)

However, if you walk into marriage with your eyes wide open, if you know your future spouse and- most importantly- know yourself, then you can save yourself an enormous amount of pain and grief in the future. This is crucial to understand. If you are the average man marrying the average woman in today's society (or anywhere within 1.5 standard deviations of average, I would argue), then your odds of ending up divorced, broke, and angry are anywhere between 40% and 90%.

If you are self-aware, however, you greatly skew the odds in your favour.

The Questions You Have to Ask

This is especially important for us introverts. Perhaps the finest description of introverted marriage that I have ever seen comes from Tempest, who stated quite aptly that the secret to a happy marriage is to find another introvert to sit around and be quiet with. This is certainly true of my parents; it is assuredly true of most of their married friends. For introverts, the single worst mistake I think any of us could ever make is to get married to an extrovert. This is not to say that this sort of pairing doesn't work. It does, it's just extremely rare.

More importantly, you have to recognise that there is no such thing as a fairytale marriage. My parents sure as hell don't have one. As I grew up, and my relationship with my mum moved from uneasy to very close, she and I would have long discussions about many things, including the nature of marriage; one thing she kept driving home, time and again, was the importance of understanding that marriage is work. Both of my parents have quirks and rough edges that grate upon each other endlessly and that have persisted after well over three decades of marriage. Yet somehow, they have managed to figure it out, because both of them understood, the day that they agreed to marry, that their commitment was for life. They were lucky in the sense that there was no pressing economic or social motive for their marriage; it was very much a case of two rational adults who honestly believed that they were better off together than they were alone. Their marriage works because they work to make it that way.

Before you even think about getting married, you have to ask yourself, and her, a number of difficult questions:
  • What is your financial situation like? More importantly, what is her financial situation like? If you propose to a woman who is up to her ears in debt, you're making a huge mistake- one way or another, that debt will become yours to manage.
  • Do you want kids? Rather more importantly, does she want kids? If you don't want to deal with little rugrats, and you then fail to account for her inexplicable attacks of baby rabies, you're in a world of trouble. And if you want kids and she doesn't, it's even worse; last time I checked, men are not capable of parthenogenesis, so you're S.O.L. if your woman refuses to go off her birth control so that you can have a shot at being the World's Greatest Dad, and then you're stuck.
  • What kind of lifestyle are you aiming for? This is particularly important if the answer to the previous question is "yes" for both parties. Children are absurdly expensive. You'll be spending money on your little tykes faster than you can make it, for years.
  • What is her N-count? She will almost surely lie about this. It is an observable fact of life that (relatively) chaste women make far better long-term marriage prospects than promiscuous ones. And it's pretty obvious as to why.
  • Is physical passion important to you? If yes, then consider following Athol Kay's advice to the letter. Sex in a non-red-pill marriage is sort of like a unicorn- you hear a lot about it, rarely if ever do you actually see it.
  • Most importantly, are you planning to marry her, or are you trying to save her from herself? If the latter, you're an idiot. Women cannot be saved from themselves any more than men can, and it is a great fool indeed who invests his time, energy, and wealth in saving a damaged woman. (You know, the kind that cuts her long beautiful hair short, serially cheats, has an eating disorder, has "personality issues"- that sort of thing.)
Understand also that when you get married and have kids, you're essentially signing away a large part of your life. For instance, plenty of guys get married thinking that they'll look the same in ten years as they did when they got married; and then they let themselves go, thinking that they have no one to look good for anymore, and fifteen years later, they're fat, balding, wooden caricatures of the men they used to be. Don't let this be you. There is no getting away from this- if you think that you can propose to a girl, settle down, and expect that life will continue as normal, you're smoking something a damn sight stronger than what those jerks in the mosh pit were at my last concert. And if you're not prepared for it, the stress that comes with running headfirst into that reality will destroy you. You have to be willing to work on both yourself and your wife.

And this is where game becomes so very important. The reason that men like Vox and Rollo argue strongly in favour of marriage is because they understand the fundamental importance of gaming your wife. She will test you. She will attempt to usurp or undermine your dominance from time to time. She will be irrational and difficult. She will throw tantrums. She will sulk. She will be a terrible cook (at first, hopefully that improves over time; if not, get used to ordering Chinese take-out). She will probably get fat. She will certainly change from being the sweet, feminine, sexy thing that you fell in love with to the dumpy harridan that you can't wait to get away from.

I should say that at this point I am literally describing one of my relatives (by marriage, not by blood, thank God). All of these things can be mitigated or even eliminated with a healthy dose of game, but if you don't have it in the first place (like this particular woman's husband does not), then you have exactly zero business getting married.

The Frame of a Successful Marriage

The point of married game is to maintain the frame of masculine strength that (hopefully) attracted her to you i the first place. This means:
  • You stay in shape. Get thy fat ass to the gym and do squats and deadlifts, and/or take up a martial art. Oh, and think about adding some kettle bell exercises to your regime. Your woman will thank you for it. When she's not on her back thanking the good Lord, that is. (Yeah. I'm going to hell. Save me a seat and a martini.) You must maintain or improve your sex rank these days. In my parents' time it wasn't very important because divorce just wasn't done. Today that's gone out the window, which means that you have to work to keep her attracted to you- by playing on her insecurities, even if you are 100% faithful and never even so much as look at another woman for the rest of your life.
  • One leads, one follows. In every marriage that I have ever seen that actually works (i.e. the people involved stay together because they want to, not because they have to), the man is unquestionably the head of the household. There is no debate on this one. If you force a woman to adopt a role that she is biologically and temperamentally unsuited for, then do not be surprised when she fails to adapt and you end up paying the price. The only exceptions I have ever seen are households with serious beta males who, for all of their masculine failings, dearly loved their wives and had the additional (and very considerable) safety net of living in a society in which divorce was the absolute worst thing that could happen to a woman short of widowhood. The latter stricture does NOT apply to Western society.
  • Marriage is a two-way relationship, but the principles of leadership are the same whether in the bedroom or the boardroom. I've yet to hear of a successful leader who ignored the advice of his counsellors and went about things blindly, or who refused to take a stand and make a decision.
  • Keeping your marriage interesting means staying unpredictable. This can be a big problem for introverts. We like routine. We like stability. And we especially like solitude. Unfortunately, these things are all marriage-killers if not handled correctly.
  • Solitude is non-negotiable, but so is time spent together. Carve out your own time, your own space, for doing your own thing, away from your wife, but always be there for the important things. If you observe my family when we're all at home, you'll be puzzled by what you see. We all spend the entire day in completely different parts of the house and we hardly seem to spend time together- with some very important exceptions. It doesn't matter how busy we are during the day- mealtimes are sacred in our household, especially when my dad is eating. Everyone drops whatever he or she is doing and sits down together for a meal. It's not difficult, it doesn't take long, and it's quite enjoyable. Afterwards, everyone goes back to doing his own thing again. That tradition has persisted for more than thirty years and is a fundamental reason why we are so close as a family.
  • When it comes to kids, don't ever drag your kids into your private disagreements with your wife. If she does it to you, punish it, immediately. A very large part of the reason why my parents are still together is because their fights and disagreements took place very much in private. As children, we were hardly ever aware of it (except for one very memorable incident which I remember as vividly as if it happened yesterday- because such a thing was so rare). If they had dragged us into their fights, I seriously doubt that their marriage would be as happy.
In conclusion, you should never get married just to satisfy some idiotic expectation that your relatives have. You should never get married just because of social pressures (i.e. "all of my friends are married with kids now, maybe it's time for me too"). You should never get married just because you think it "might be the right time". You should absolutely never get married because you think you can't do any better than your current woman- in reality, you probably can, especially as you get to somewhere between thirty and forty years of age.

You should get married because you are fundamentally deeply compatible, because her very presence calms you down and gives you strength, because you agree on the really important things (kids, money, values, that sort of thing), and because you like, or at least can tolerate, her family (and vice versa).

There are no guarantees for a happy marriage. It is hard work. As far as I can see, if you choose well and wisely, then that work brings great and wonderful rewards. Never forget, though, that the work comes before the rewards, every time.

Comments

  1. Hey Didact, thanks for the linkage.

    What are your thoughts on plural marriage?

    You know, sister wives?

    ReplyDelete

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