One of the oldest social traditions that continue to survive to this day is marriage. It can even be argued that an average person enjoys two families in life; one he/she is born into and one he/she gains through the institution of marriage. Many among us may know at least one person who claims he is not ready for marriage yet. Their concerns are not always without merit because marital life can be quite different from a single life. A married man doesn’t just gain a new status but also gains a new role as well as responsibilities.
A married man is not only answerable for himself but also for his wife and eventually children. Thus, his new lifestyle and all important decisions are not shaped by his own preferences and needs only but also take into account the impact on his wife and children. He finally starts asking himself “how does this impact all of us” instead of “how does this impact me”. Before marriage, a man makes decisions that maximize his personal happiness and interests but after marriage he makes decisions that maximize everyone’s interests even if it means sacrificing some of his personal happiness and interests.
A married man focuses more on the long term than the short term and knows future events with relatively more certainty than a single man. A married man can predict the potential future expenses such as college costs of his children, thus, starts saving for it among other things. It is quite a contrast to a single man whose future is less certain and who can afford to be relaxed because he is only responsible for himself.
A married man also plays many more roles than a single man. A married man has to be a model husband to a wife and a model father to his children; roles that do not exist for a single man. A married man, thus, has to watch his actions more carefully because the scope of their influence is much wider as compared to actions of single men. This doesn’t mean he loses all kind of freedom and interest he had enjoyed as a single man but it does mean that having time for self becomes a luxury rather than a commodity.
Time is a fixed quantity and whether one is married or single, they only have 24 hours in a day and 7 days a week. A married man gains new relationships such as wife and children who also demand time commitment. Since the amount of time at his disposal remains same, commitment to new relationships means some other relationships have to be sacrificed to a certain extent. This is indeed the case as many married men start spending less and less time with friends with whom they used to hang out every other day if not daily. Thus, relationship preferences change to a great extent after a man is married.
While the general impression is that married men are less happy than single men but the opposite may be true in many instances. First of all, a married man may have a partner that is more loyal due to the high stakes involved. A married man may also be less likely to suffer from relationship-related stress since non-marital relationships are easier to break and, thus, breakups in such relationships are more frequent. A married man is also more likely to have children than a single man and children can be source of happiness and joy to parents.
A married man may also develop positive skills and characteristics that a single man may lack or don’t care about. A married man may become more fiscally responsible because he is responsible for other lives as well. A married man may also develop stronger work ethics since stable relationship means fewer distractions as well as greater motivation to work and get ahead in career. A married man may also develop better communication skills because the importance of communication is directly related to the amount of stakes involved in a relationship. A married man may also become more responsible member of the society as compared to a single man because a married man knows that an improved society is good for his children and future generations.
It is clear that a married man has quite a different life than a single man because he is suddenly responsible for other lives. In addition, a married man gains new roles that a single man doesn’t have to worry about. But this doesn’t mean marital life is boring because marriage does bring certain benefits such as improved wellbeing due to a caring partner and more stable relationship. In addition children also fill the house with laughter and joy.