Saturday, December 31, 2016

Marriage is my life's best and worst decision

For people on mobile phones, here are the labels to speed you around the blog:

Marriage Problems
Marriage Solutions
Single Life Then and Marriage Now

This blog is a warning to those contemplating marriage from a man who has been married since early 2008.

It all started in the beginning of January, 2008, after four months of dating my then-girlfriend-now-wife. I had just returned from a Christmas trip overseas, and a few days went by before she told me her period was late. Being ever the optimist, I just wrote it off as something that women go through every once in a while and dismissed her concerns, telling her it was natural and it sometimes just happened. We were using protection. How could she possibly be pregnant?

Then a few more days went by. A week. Two weeks. Still, no period. I think at that time, I knew I was absolutely screwed, but I still held out the hope that this was just something her body was going through, and that it wasn't the end of everything I had worked so hard to achieve. I'll never forget the day when I heard the news: January 24th, 2008. She wanted definitive confirmation of whether or not she was pregnant, and had taken a birth control test from a local store.

Positive. Then, in a panic, she tried another: positive. She hurriedly called me, frantic that she was going to have a baby with someone she had only known for a few months. I reassured her that it couldn't be true, and even if it was, that I would take care of her. I meant what I said, and my actions since then have certainly proven my honesty. But at the time, I still held out the hope that this was all a mistake, a dream, something, anything but a baby. She told me that that night, she would go to the hospital to make absolutely sure if she was pregnant or not.

I went to work, taught my students, and was on my way home at around 9:00 that night. I was walking my usual way home, when I felt my cellphone begin to buzz in my pocket, indicating an incoming text message.

Everything slowly went dark. Vibrant shops and bustling people turned into colorless blobs and were reduced into obstacles I didn't want to walk into. All of my dreams fled my mind in an instant, and were replaced with defeat and pessimism. A sudden weight bore down upon my shoulders, a feeling which has not left me to this day. How did I know she was pregnant? If she weren't, I reasoned, she would have called me, not texted me. Already knowing the answer, I opened my phone, and read the confirmation of the end of my life.

Being in shock, I don't remember quite what I said to her when I called her back. It was probably something comforting, letting her know I would take care of her and the baby no matter what. I vaguely remember that after I hung up, I wandered home in a daze, showered, then went to bed, hoping that when I woke up, it would all have been a dream.

It wasn't. I woke up the next day feeling as helpless and defeated as I did the night before. Not long after the news came, she pressured me into marrying quickly, because people over here "tend to talk" when a pregnant girl is not married with the man who fathered her child. I obliged, and we were married a month later.

During the time we had gotten the news, but were still living apart, I was trying to live up my life as best I could before I officially lost everything. When she wasn't over at my place, I traveled as much as possible, hung with my friends, spent as much time alone as I could, did everything I knew I wouldn't be able to once we moved in together. But all the while, the stress of everything I had just lost was weighing down on my shoulders, and soon enough, my job contract was up, we moved in together, and my son was born not long after.

I'm going to get into the things I've lost and how miserable my life is in future blog posts. This introductory post shall serve simply to explain my overall situation.

Marriage is the best decision I have ever made for everyone around me. Coming from a family of at least three generations of abandonment, abuse and neglect, I was one of the first to break the cycle and stick around to raise his kids right. Every person in my life has been enriched by my decision:

- My wife has a husband and son, when she thought she would never have either, and I paid off her unpaid back taxes and college debts. I also gave her her own place to live and got her out of her mom's house. She has frequently told me that she is more emotionally mature than before, and much, much happier with her life.
- My mother-in-law has a grandson to dote on, I personally paid off her massive bank debt, and I'm also supporting her, since she's too old to work.
- My sister-in-law has a nephew to dote on, in addition to me, again, paying off some of her debts while she was unemployed for two years.
- My mother has a grandson to dote on.
- My sister has a role model to look up to as a good parent to her own surprise child.
- My son has the father and life I never had growing up, living in a house of fun, love and discipline to grow to be a strong and honorable man.

Sounds like a pretty sweet deal for all involved. Everyone made out like a bandit, right?


Marriage is the worst decision I have ever made for myself. I've had years to sort this out, and I can definitively say that, aside from my son, marriage has provided me nothing I couldn't have gotten anywhere else. More importantly, it has robbed me of nearly everything that made my life worth living, and given me little else than problems in return.

In short, this is what marriage has given me:

- More stress.
- More work.
- More chores.
- More debts.
- More drama.
- A family, which is primarily hard work, routine and sacrifice, with only scattered, isolated moments of happiness and fun.

And this is what marriage has taken from me:

- My money.
- My emotional stability.
- My dreams.
- My free time.
- My freedom.

If you wish to know more of what I have learned and experienced as a married man, at the bottom of this post are three labels:

- For essays or experiences on why marriage will drain and ruin you, especially if you are a man, click "Problems."
- If you already tied the noose and need advice on how to deal with your life and/or awful wife, click "Solutions."
- To compare an unmarried man's life to that of a married man, click "Then and Now."

Next, my policy on commenting: I will not censor comments, positive or negative, provided they contain nothing illegal or threatening, or aren't blatant spam trying to advertise something. On the other hand, I don't expect rational discussion over a topic so enmeshed with tribalism and the biological drive for sex or children, so to save yourself some time, try not to leave comments that marginalize me, or derail the conversation from the points I've brought up. As such, you should avoid:

1. Changing the subject

"You should have known what could happen with a girlfriend."
"I wouldn't want someone like you as a husband."
"Why should I believe someone who was short-sighted enough to smoke cigarettes and get cancer?"
"You'll get no pity from me."
"And yet, life goes on."
"You just married the wrong person."

You can discuss other things on this blog, but if you're trying to sell marriage, acknowledge my major points first.

2. Namecalling and loaded language

"You're a bitter loser."
"Why should I listen to a misogynist?"
"Stop whining."
"Learn to be more mature."
"Wow... this blog is pathetic."

Smearing my character or acting dismissive doesn't change the logic of my statements.

3. Strawman

"More chores doesn't make marriage bad."
"You wrote an entire blog just looking for people to take your side?"
"You should go back to your bar and club girls."
"Why do you want people to abandon their children?"
"Just because you have a bad marriage doesn't mean all marriage is bad."

Please don't stuff words in my mouth (or make baseless and false assumptions), then declare victory over your caricature.

4. Denial

"You're a liar." (Fail to mention how)
"You're wrong." (Fail to mention why)
"Shut up."
"Go away."

Just saying the first two doesn't make them true, and all four variants of the same logical fallacy are only intended to get me to shut down without logically acknowledging my points.

5. Arguing from exception

"I'm happily married, so you're wrong."
"My friend is happily married, so you're wrong."
"Not all women/marriages/etc... are like that."

Finding one, or a small handful, of exceptions to a general rule is intellectually dishonest, because you fail to address the logic or evidence of the rule. The only thing you succeed in doing with this logical fallacy is proving that an exception exists, but unless I use the word "all" to describe marriage or anything else about it, then you are proving nothing.

6. Postmodernism / Relativism

"You do realize that other people like different things than you, right?"
"Am I not allowed to have my own views?"
"Well, that's your opinion."
"Let's agree to disagree."

My logically sound views being different from other people's less convincing ones doesn't make mine unworthy of consideration, and it doesn't equate the two in any way.

The current record, and apparently most popular combination, for intellectual dishonesty is Changing the subject, Namecalling and Strawman, 3/6. I have spoken to less than a dozen people online about marriage, but this same exact combination actually happened in no less than four different places from four completely different people, showing the prevalence of this kind of refutation. Basically, ignore the message, then attack a caricature of the messenger in an effort to smear him. I would appreciate it if you were not like these people, or the dozens of others who mix and match the above methods to champion marriage with few to no convincing points whatsoever.

Finally, I want to thank all the well wishes and posts of concern about my current status, which is quite different from what this top post introduced (i.e. my life leading up to 2012). If you don't wish to poke around my blog to find the important posts that led to me changing my life, this is the most important:

2012-2013 Marriage Review