Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Like many other people who wanted to get married, I made excuses for all of the pains of it because society told me to expect the good things: my wife won't be a jerk because our love will be special. My life won't be boring because we'll travel the world. I will have more sex than ever because that's what the statistics show. All lies, but I believed them anyway with rationalizations and excuses.

I'm going to discuss the different combinations of married couples in this essay, but to do that, I'm going to need to divide people into four groups. These groups will be based on two criteria: a person's actions (if they are proactive or reactionary), and a person's morality and character (if they are good/confident, or selfish/hate-filled).

For actions, an externally proactive person is not just someone who has actively improved their lives and/or the lives of others, but is also a person who tries to get to that point, like someone who goes to school in order to someday have that strength. A reactive person is someone who coasts through life, responding only to stimuli.

For character, an internally moral person is not just a person who thinks well of themselves and others, but also people who are negative, but keep those destructive feelings locked up. In other words, those who act positively while thinking negatively are moral, because they consider the well-being of others through their actions. A selfish person puts themselves first at the expense of others, and/or dumps their problems on other people for the purpose of scoring attention or causing trouble.

Putting the internal and external together, we arrive at four kinds of people:

- A Leader is a proactive and good person. They are the managers, creators, charity managers and doers of this world. They are trustworthy, hard-working, confident, friendly and helpful people.

- A Support is a reactive and good person. They are people who wish the best for others, but laziness or cowardice precludes them from doing things on their own to improve their lives or the lives of others. They are the world's best friends and silent partners.

- A Bully is a proactive and selfish person. They take action that hurts others to benefit themselves, and rarely limit their behavior. At best, these people are rude, vindictive or controlling, and at worst, thieves, rapists or murderers.

- An Anchor is a reactive and selfish person. They exist only to wallow in the mess that their lives have become, and refuse to do anything to help themselves improve their situation. They are the wet blankets and takers of the world. At best, these people are online game addicts or welfare leeches, and at worst, drug addicts or suicidal.

Before I continue, I want to make a few things clear:

First, this isn't a black and white view of the world; people are not this easy to group and pin down, so whichever group fits most often will suffice. That is to say, if someone is usually a happy and outgoing person, but a couple of times a year they blow their top over something stupid (then apologize later), they're a Leader.

Second, these personality types are based on a person's actions, not on their thoughts. The former is the true definition of a human being.

Third, these types of people are defined by their actions when specific situations that test them arise. Put simply, if a person is kind to their lover almost every day, but if the two of them ever disagree on something, this person becomes a power-tripping, threatening jerk until they get their way, then they are a Bully. The other situations, where things were unfolding as both partners wished, did not test this person on their domineering, selfish nature, and so it would be incorrect to call them a Leader.

Finally, some might wonder why I keep harping on strength in this blog, whether it be confidence, chasing dreams or the like. Obviously, this is a personal thing, because it is the most important thing that I lost as a married man. I can answer that with a question: why aren't you more focused on strength? It is through strength that we achieve our dreams in life, and without it, we have no ability to improve ourselves. If you find yourself using canards like "power corrupts," then you're just rationalizing and excusing your static, complacent existence, your laziness and your fear in favor of that comfortable malaise.

With the explanations done, on to the meat of this essay. These are the combinations of marriage:

Marriage - Anchor/Anchor
Theme - Ruin
Analogy - Two people living in a broken down trailer in an axe-murderer trailer park.

This marriage is defined by a tenuous bond between two very sick people, and a life that's equal parts unchanging and destructive. I don't think I need to explain why this kind of marriage is not ideal, but it doesn't hurt to try.

Neither person in this relationship will ever be happy. They both lack the character to be good people or to control their chaotic thoughts that become chaotic action, and neither one has the strength to proactively change any potential problems with their marriage. Anchor/Anchor marriages are destined for pain, and no Anchor should be seeking out a relationship in the first place, much less with another sick person, much less a contractually obligated one that lasts an entire lifetime. How can they take care of another human being when they cannot even care for themselves?

Truthfully, I've never experienced, or seen, this relationship firsthand, but it's to be expected: Anchors, by nature, tend towards being shut-ins. To see an Anchor outside is hard enough, but to intimately know two married to one another is even tougher.

Marriage - Bully/Anchor
Theme - Abuse
Analogy - Two people in a car, one steering from the driver's side rear seat, and the other cowering in the rear seat next to them.

One partner is an active, but lousy, human being, who drives the relationship to debt-ridden, destructive, selfish ends, while the other doesn't dare say anything for fear of being shouted at or struck.

This marriage is an obvious one to avoid. In the Anchor's position, they will be demeaned, abused, stolen from and pushed around, and their life will get even worse over time. The Bully will get what they want through threats, but will eventually self destruct.

I experienced this with my mother's screaming at my whipped fathers, and everyone else around her, during my teenage years. To imagine being married to a woman like that, especially in a vulnerable position like I was in during my depressed days, makes me feel bad for a few of my fathers, and further makes me want to vomit.

Marriage - Support/Anchor
Theme - Impotence
Analogy - Two people in a parked car, one in the passenger seat, and the other stewing directly behind them in the passenger side rear seat.

This marriage involves two powerless people, much like the Anchor/Anchor relationship above, but in this case, one of the two partners actually knows how to fix their lives, and their relationship. It's just that neither one of the two spouses has the courage or confidence to do anything productive.

Imagine the Anchor/Anchor relationship, only the Support gives the Anchor advice that neither partner ever follows through on, and you have a good idea of why this marriage is to be avoided. This relationship is a godawful cycle of boredom and drama, where the Support dreads every moment that the Anchor pops, and the Anchor, selfish twit that they are, continues to manufacture problems and cause trouble where none existed before, in an attempt to punish their partner, and themselves, in their psychopathy.

I had this kind of marriage with my wife when she was in a horrendous mood with easily solvable problems, but she never listened to the easy solutions I had to offer her. She kept making excuses for why she didn't need to fix herself, and I got more and more frustrated that she kept causing drama where none should exist in the first place. After three or four years of this, I just stopped caring when she tried to stir things up. It's a terrible situation for either party to be in.

Marriage - Leader/Anchor
Theme - Parasitism
Analogy - Two people in a car, one driving in the driver's seat, and the other moping in the passenger side rear seat.

The Leader is the breadwinner, the upbeat one, the planner, the thinker and the doer. It is through their supreme effort that the marriage putters along, no thanks to the dead weight Anchor strapped around their waist. The Leader gives, and the Anchor takes.

This is the Support/Anchor marriage, only in this case, the Leader is not only sure of how to fix their mate's problems, but is willing to work hard to uplift them. This, of course, does not move the Anchor in the slightest. Being selfish, hopeless and unwilling to make any effort to improve, the Anchor employs a simple methodology when the Leader attempts to help: excuses and escape when the Leader is forceful, rage and lies when the Leader is nice.

I have this kind of marriage every time my wife gets in one of her whiny moods about something trivial, and I have to take on the role of the stern father figure, giving her piece after piece of advice that she consistently explains away or ignores. She never accepts any of the good help I offer, I feel unappreciated for all I give and all that she takes, and my efforts never stop her from attempting to drag me down with her. It's like shouting to someone in a dark room, who keeps tripping all over furniture and hurting themselves, to reach up exactly four feet and flip on the light, but they keep screaming at you that it would never work. It's a ridiculous, stupid relationship to be in, to have someone hold you back in life so completely.

Marriage - Bully/Bully
Theme - Drama
Analogy - Two people in a car, both sitting in the back seat, fighting over the steering wheel.

If you think living with one controlling, abusive, selfish know-it-all is bad, imagine a marriage where both are domineering idiots.

There isn't a moment's peace in this household. Neither of the two Bullies will ever be on the same page, and because neither one of them has the character necessary to care about the other's well-being (and due to the permanent nature of marriage, where compromise and sacrifice are the name of the godawful game), there will be nothing but shouting and strife between the two as they jockey for a better position over the other in the marriage.

My mom has always been a Bully, and I had ringside seats to the Bully/Bully marriage between her and fathers 1 and 4. After the inevitable screaming fits between them, both of them would invariably turn their frustrations on their kids, because although fighting other Bullies in an attempt to erode their will excites them, Bullies love nothing more than attacking people who don't or can't fight back.

Marriage - Support/Bully
Theme - Chaos
Analogy - Two people in a car, one sitting in the passenger seat, and the other driving from the driver's side rear seat.

This marriage involves a well meaning, but powerless, spouse, who tries in vain to rein in the destructive or selfish tendencies of their chaotic partner.

The Support is little more than an ignored drudge, who spends their time making sure the marriage is kept in order, while the Bully makes attempts to unravel it through their ignorance, selfishness or overall desire to see things crash down around them. The Support, being the weakling that they are, can only make half-hearted attempts to get the Bully back in line, but the Bully's lack of character, or overall pigheadedness, keeps them from settling down.

I lived this marriage for years. I was the Support, internally moral from years of constant personal development, and externally reactive after becoming disempowered by marriage. My wife is a Bully, the kind of Bully that only snaps when her will is questioned, but otherwise is a hybrid of Support and Anchor that does little more than use the computer or nap. Take a look throughout this blog under the "Problems" tab to get more than enough information to dissuade you from ever living this merry-go-round of cyclical nonsense.

Marriage - Leader/Bully
Theme - Harassment
Analogy - Two people in a car, one driving in the driver's seat, and the other fighting for control from the driver's side rear seat.

In this marriage, we have two people who have the confidence and strength to affect change in themselves and others, but only one has the character to wield that strength wisely.

While the Leader will continue to pull and direct the marriage in a healthy, fun way, the Bully will attempt to steer them off course with their destructive behavior. Unlike the Leader/Anchor relationship, the Bully will not flee from good advice, or shut themselves down from hearing how wrong they are. Instead, they'll push even harder to ride the marriage off the rails and into debt, drama and pain.

I had this marriage with my wife for a few years, from just after the Christmas fight in 2009 to the first part of the airport fight in the beginning of 2011, as detailed in my Fights post. Before the Christmas fight, my wife had never popped about stupid things, and so wasn't a Bully. After the first part of the airport fight, her constant stupidity eroded my will to fight back, and I just gave up and became a Support. As a Leader, this relationship is a draining cycle of constantly fighting a fool for control. As a Bully, it's a selfish attempt to avail themselves of their partner's willingness to pick up the pieces after they inevitably send the marriage into ruin.

Marriage - Support/Support
Theme - Monotony
Analogy - Two people living in a trailer park.

So this is the first of the marriage types that people might consider a success. Here we have two Supports, both well-meaning and both impotent, living together in a daily routine. Why do people sign up for this stale monotony of a relationship? Generally, it's because people become one or more of the following, and refuse to fix or mitigate the problem:

- Bald
- Fat
- Old
- Ugly
- Boring

And they don't fix the problem(s), because they are one or more of the following:

- Lazy
- Cowardly
- Weak

Rather than do something like shave and put on muscle (or wear a hat), diet, do young things or cultivate a personality that shines past the rough exterior, it's so much easier for a Support to just give up and find a fellow failure to cling to, then wait for the arrival of death. Support/Support marriages are about giving up every chance and all potential in a vast and amazing world because the Supports are both losers, too far gone to improve themselves. Think I'm being harsh? Read "Marriage is for Losers" by Dr. Kelly Flanagan, a lauded call to enjoy a marriage like this, and read between the lines.

It's. Also. So. Incredibly. BORING. When my wife isn't flipping out about something, this is the basic relationship we have: wake up, family time, go to work, go home, do chores, go to sleep, repeat. It's not even close to what my life was like when I was single.

Marriage - Leader/Support
Theme - Instability
Analogy - Two people in a car, one driving in the driver's seat, and the other navigating from the passenger seat.

This is the second of three marriages that people might consider a success. It sure sounds appealing, too: one partner is active and directs the marriage for the betterment of both partners, the other partner guides, and the two support one another while the Leader leads them on to fun and fulfillment.

Unfortunately, marriage doesn't work out this way. As I said in my Leverage post, marriage involves the transfer of leverage from a man to a woman because of two reasons: the legal system in many countries, and the cultural expectations of men and women in nearly all of them. Because of this, it's important to show the Leader/Support marriage with either gender in either position.

When the Leader is a woman, and the Support is a man, it's only a matter of time until the marriage falls to pieces. When it comes to a relationship, women primarily desire strength from their husbands. This could mean handsomeness, money, confidence, muscles, tough talking, status, fame, or any other way that a man shows himself to be a force to be reckoned with. I don't even disagree with this. I'm oftentimes married to an Anchor, and I know why women want to avoid relationships with whiners, dead weights, and manipulative Nice Guys. Anchors throw a wet blanket over everything and make simple tasks Herculean.

The problem is that when a Leader woman, for some reason, marries a Support man, her eye will begin to wander for someone who can proactively protect, enrich or otherwise work with her better than her Support husband; he will become an Anchor in her eyes. It's in her genetics. Because there is seldom any kind of punishment or shaming for a woman to divorce for any reason, and she is usually rewarded for doing so, she is likely to end up making that decision.

When the Leader is a man, and the Support is a woman, as my relationship with my wife was before she got pregnant, it feels great. I was in charge of our fun and activities, and all she had to do was show up and have a good time. When she had a different idea that was better than mine, I happily followed her line of thinking.

But when the ring came on, and I moved in with my wife, she degraded from Support to Bully in just a year, because she knew she had me trapped. I tried to combat her stupidity, I tried to uplift her back into the Support that I once knew, everything. But she had no incentive to improve, so she got fat and became an even worse Bully, and I finally gave up.

In short, Female Leader/Male Support marriages are on a crash course for divorce court, while Male Leader/Female Support marriages have a shelf life that lasts as long as it takes for the wife to realize the amount of power she has acquired. Why would you want to sign up for either one, especially if you're a man, with this kind of risk in mind?

Marriage - Leader/Leader
Theme - Complication
Analogy - Two people on two motorcycles, driving down the road in the same direction.

If I were born again into another life, and when I was an adult, if somebody put a gun to my head and said that I had to get married or they would pull the trigger, I would tell them to blow my brains out. I'm not joking.

But if I absolutely had to choose a kind of marriage, this would be it. When two Leaders come together, everything works. You have two people, proactive and full of character, who don't need to support one another because they're both strong enough to look out for themselves. It's a great life, shared.

At first.

This marriage degrades or falls apart when one or the other spouse changes. Perhaps both partners agreed that they wouldn't have children, but then someone changed their mind. Perhaps both partners wanted to have a huge ranch out in the middle of nowhere and live there for the rest of their lives, but then wanderlust overtook one of them.

Whatever the case, when one of the Leaders is still moving in the same direction, but the other wants to go somewhere else, then it's either time for the marriage to end, or for one of the Leaders to give up and become a Support. And I can say from personal experience, for a Leader like I was who had worked so hard to get to that point, and to chuck every dream and hope into the gutter for the rest of his life, made me feel infantilized, then cheated.

This has all been made especially grating, of course, from all of the additional and unnecessary problems that I have had to take on as a result of marriage. In other words, not only was I degraded from Leader to Support, but I then had to take care of five times the debt, chores and fights as my single life, and be rewarded with less than 10% of the sex and take-home pay.

I only ever had a Leader/Leader relationship with my first girlfriend, and it was great. We met up when we wanted, went out for movies and dancing, stayed in for TV and sex, and were always on the same page. Then we moved in together and the relationship turned into a boring Support/Support situation, then eventually into an empty Bully/Support relationship with me in the occasional Bully position, for which I still feel ashamed.

In order, this was how my relationship with my wife went, between me/her:

- Late 2007 to September 2008 - Leader/Support. My girlfriend, who later became my pregnant wife, acted nice to me because she knew how great a guy I was. She kept up this act for another year, because she thought I was going to take off before she gave birth, and she wanted to secure my presence with her.

- September 2008 to December 2009 - Support/Support. After we officially moved in together, our married life followed an extremely predictable, and boring, routine.

- December 2009 to February 2011 - Leader/Bully. My wife, realizing I wasn't going anywhere, let loose all of the selfish, domineering, rage-filled horsecrap that she had held in check, and I ineffectively attempted to defend myself by using logic against her drama-stirring foolishness. When I did, I got about the same amount of respect and understanding as if I were using the same logic on our seldom angry infant son.

- February 2011 to October 2012 - Support/Bully. Since fighting my wife's mercurial nature wasn't working, I attempted to concede in every fight, in the hopes that appeasement would make her stop barking at me, and help her understand how much I did for her as her husband. Unsurprisingly, it didn't work, and only made things worse.

- October 2012 to today - Leader/Support. After my wife had the abortion, I had been pushed far and long enough. Her stupid drama gets only two responses from me: calm and logical, but direct, reprimands for her childish behavior, then absolute apathy and withdrawal. Depending on the fight, I sometimes use both, or sometimes skip straight to the latter, but both responses work extremely well. I've taken back control of this relationship and turned it from a volatile powder keg, back into a boring routine where I call the shots, and quietly remember my old life.

If you think this is hardly a way to live, you're right. If your relationship with your significant other is going great, why complicate it by getting married? Marriage upsets the power dynamic, limits freedom, and guarantees nothing, especially for a man. Even if you're marriage number ten (both Leaders), you shouldn't even need that contractual obligation to keep the two of you together. One of the big reasons of marriage is to "prove" some kind of trust exists between two people, but there lies the contradiction:

- If you don't trust your partner, then you shouldn't be getting married.
- If you DO trust your partner, then you don't need to.

So these are the kinds of marriages:

- Chaos.
- One spouse taking care of dead weight and the other spouse putting an undue amount of pressure on the first.
- Mind numbing, endless monotony.
- Getting involved in a permanent relationship with another human being, who by nature is prone to change.

Don't do it. If you want kids, have a surrogate parent help, or adopt. Kids are extremely easy and fun to raise if you are a strong person, and worth every minute. But don't get married. And if you decide to ignore these warnings, do yourself a favor and don't have kids with your spouse; give yourself the option to leave when the marriage inevitably becomes abusive, boring or unfulfilling, and you realize that I was right.


  1. John Q.,
    I have just come across your blog by following someone else's blogroll. Just skimming around here, I see that you are a deep thinker on this subject of marriage. (I'm married 6 years now.) I truly appreciate your rundown of how NOT to leave comments on your blog, and your explanations of false reasoning, straw men, and the like. A very good explanation of logic and reasoning in and of itself. Some of your analysis of relationships (such as the bully/anchor, etc.) also has a wider application. I have a stepson who is a bully and his mother is supportive and I alternately intervene and sometimes just stand back and let it go on, depending on what degree my wife is willing to consider my advice to get out from under his harassment of her.

    I had been single a very long time. For me marriage has brought me many contacts and opportunities through my wife and because of her, I was able to leave a soul-killing job. I mean, I could have left it anyway and gotten a similiar job, perhaps for employers who were not ogres, but I am talking about a complete change of industry. The only really great negative to this marriage has been a rather character disturbed stepson that came as part of the package, who is likely to destroy our marriage. Other than that I think I have a pretty good way of dealing with all the usual stuff my wife does, when she is in that mode.

    1. Thanks a lot for your kind words; if marriage has given me anything, it's long periods of time where I have nothing of importance or interest to do, so I figured I might as well ponder how to break down marriage as best I could to share my experiences with others.

      Regarding comments and logic, this one was a definite work in progress. I've watched countless Youtube videos where people are debating such and such topic, read comments on articles all over the web and spent more than enough time around illogical people in real life to notice the same six fallacies coming up again and again. Though, I think pointing out these fallacies hasn't been as effective a shield against my writing as I thought it would; people still left comments violating the six rules, even comments where I provided an example that the person used word for word. Oh well.

      Glad to hear that you've found good in your marriage. The irony seems to be that I have a wife who's quite a money-sucking anchor and who used to have horrendous mood shifts, but my son was the only good part. On the other hand, you seem to be in the opposite position.

      I hope some of my writing is able to provide some advice for your situation, though I understand if it doesn't apply. My wife used to be an enabler of her mother's bad behavior and that's why she ran roughshod over everybody else, but when I took the lead of our marriage again, my wife took her mother to task and we found peace again.

      I don't know if your wife disciplines her son when she must (and please forgive any false assumptions, I'm not trying to be condescending or insulting), but if she doesn't, I would encourage both of you to set boundaries for him and threaten punishment if he doesn't follow. My brother used to act this way and my parents never said anything to him, and the behavior only got better when he moved out to join the military.