Part 1 of this 2-part series was focused on women who couldn’t find a steady man period, much less one to marry. Part 2 is going to focus on women who can get long-term relationships but are unable to get the men in question to marry them.
One of my favorite books is The 48 Laws of Power by Robert Greene. And one of the laws in the book is especially relevant to this topic, and it’s the one that women who want to marry ignore the most. It is Law 13, and it reads as follows:
When Asking for Help, Appeal to People’s Self-Interest, Never to their Mercy or Gratitude. If you need to turn to an ally for help, do not bother to remind him of your past assistance and good deeds. He will find a way to ignore you. Instead, uncover something in your request, or in your alliance with him, that will benefit him, and emphasize it out of all proportion. He will respond enthusiastically when he sees something to be gained for himself.
Women, when trying to get men to marry them, violate this rule all the time, and I’ll explain how.
What do women often say when they have finished playing the field and enjoying their teens and 20s and they now feel it’s time to get married? They tell a guy “I’m not getting any younger.” [Translation: "My looks are fading."] “My biological clock is ticking.” “All my friends are getting married.” “I’ve given up so much for you.” “I invested too much time into this relationship for it not to be leading to marriage. You wasted/ruined the best years of my life!”
All of these and many of the other pleas women use to get men to marry them, as you can see, appeal to gratitude (“l gave you my best years. I deserve marriage.”) or mercy (“I am getting older, less desirable with age and all my friends are getting married. I need to get married now.”). The problem with gratitude is that people resent having it dangled over them and being reminded of it. Especially if they don’t value what you did for them as much as you do. For example, any man who isn’t a chump with low self-esteem won’t think you choosing to be with them is some kind of huge favor. They’d prefer to think of it as a mutual favor at best. The problem with appealing to mercy or pity is that there is no shortage of people in need. If just going by need, there will always be someone in worse circumstances who needs the mercy or pity even more than you do. And need is not attractive. Keep in mind, banks rarely lend to people who need money the most, yet to people who already have money they can’t lend enough.
If you want to get your man to marry you, don’t try to sell the idea to him by emphasizing how much it will benefit you or how much you “deserve” and “need” it. Focus on how it will benefit him. Too many women only focus on their own perspective in the matter and not the man’s.
Picture being a job applicant and having this approach to selling yourself. You go to prospective employers telling them how much you need the job, mentioning how you’re on the verge of poverty and how you’ve exhausted your other employment options and conveying your desperation. What would that employer do? He’d either wonder why you have so few options and be turned off by your desperation, or he’ll take advantage of your state of need by underpaying you, giving you a lower job title than you feel qualified for or exploiting and manipulating you once you’re hired because he’ll know how badly you need to keep the job. No, what you do is downplay how much you need the job, act like you have plenty of options, present the strongest image of yourself that you can and focusing on how you can benefit the prospective employer more than how the employer can benefit you. This is the same approach you need to take toward getting your man to marry you.
So let’s look at the balance of power going into a marriage situation and see what each side has to gain and offer. In part 1, I laid the case for why a woman’s strongest assets are her youth and age rather than her credentials and career status. Now on the male side of the equation, what gives him value are career status, social intelligence, confidence, power, stability and wealth. Unlike a woman’s main assets, youth and age, these assets of the male increase rather than decrease with age. Many men growing up don’t realize how much their stock will rise with age until it happens. In fact, our society has become so feminized that many men grow up thinking like women, fearing turning 30, focusing on their looks as metrosexuals and thinking their stock will fall with age the way women’s stock does.
But when men do start acquiring success, money and stability, start getting more comfortable with and less intimidated by women and start becoming consistently successful with women for the first time in their lives, they are placed in a situation they’ve never been in before. For once, they actually have the upper hand in the dating game. After years and years of chasing after women like hungry lapdogs and putting them on pedestals, they are suddenly in a position they never saw coming. They are now the prize, and they now want to make up for all the years when they weren’t. This is the mindset you’re now dealing with, ladies. You need to understand it in order to handle it correctly.
So as a woman you have to place yourself in a man’s shoes. Up until now you’ve been in the driver’s seat, making men jump through hoops and twisting them around your finger at will while sitting on the top of the dating food chain. Young guys with their lack of money, status and game accepted their lower status without a fight and begged and even tried to buy approval. Now at the exact time that the tables are turning, roles are reversing and your stock is declining, you are asking a man to settle down with one woman at the exact moment his dating stock is at the highest it has ever been and only stands to rise higher. He can afford his own apartment without roommates, is on a good career track, is no longer intimidated by women and has game, he is accumulating wealth and savings, he has more sexual experience and is no longer as clueless and intimidated in the bedroom, plus with all this rising dating stock, we know we have the option of dating younger and hotter than at any point in our lives, including the period of our lives when we ourselves were younger and hotter. So it’s not a lack of maturity keeping men from committing, it’s a lack of incentives. We as men see your incentive for wanting to get married, because your biological clock is ticking and your looks are fading and all your friends are getting married. We just don’t see the incentives for ourselves. Throw in all the divorce laws and other reasons why marriage is a bad deal for men and it just gets worse. This article also lays out all the liabilities men expose themselves to thanks to current divorce laws (emphasis added by me):
Sudden Divorce Syndrome. You won?t find it in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, that bible of psychiatric illnesses, but you will find it in life. In a 2004 poll by the AARP, one in four men who were divorced in the previous year said they ?never saw it coming.? (Only 14 percent of divorced women said they experienced the same unexpected broadside.) And few events in a man?s life can be as devastating to his physical, mental, and financial health…
The warning signs are usually there, claims Buckley, but the male mind is simply not very adept at recognizing them. ?When women make up their mind that the relationship is over, they stop talking about the relationship,? she says. ?Men interpret a woman?s lack of complaining as satisfaction. But more often, it?s because she?s simply given up.?
To understand how common this scenario is, consider figures provided by John Guidubaldi, a former member of the U.S. Commission on Child and Family Welfare. Nationwide, Guidubaldi reports, wives are the ones to file for divorce 66 percent of the time, and, in some years, that figure has soared to nearly 75 percent. ?It is easier to end a marriage than it is to fire an employee,? says Guidubaldi. If she wants out, it?s over. ?You can get a dissolution of marriage on the basis of nothing.?
Oftentimes, men have a divorce sprung on them in midlife, when their kids are more self-sufficient and they?ve finally started to think they were over the hump. Like Martin Paul, they could start to relax. But that?s exactly the time of life when the instance of divorce begins to swell (another occurs shortly after marriage). Joe Cordell, of the law firm Cordell and Cordell, which specializes in ?representing men in domestic cases, attributes this to wives deciding as they approach age 40 that it?s now or never for getting back into the marriage market. It?s the same phenomenon as rich guys trading in their long-time partners for trophy wives. Only it?s the women who are shedding men.
It didn?t used to be this way. While divorce has been legal for nearly two centuries, it was long a topic of such mortification that it was considered a last, desperate resort. The 1960s changed all that. The free-love decade both increased the inclination to divorce and dropped the social resistance to it. The rising financial independence of women began to free them from a need to stay in a stultifying or abusive marriage. As a result, divorce soared, doubling by most measures. But the stereotypical divorce story?man marries, starts a family, meets a younger women, and leaves his wife?just isn?t as common as we are led to believe.
?Marriage changes men more pervasively and more profoundly than it changes women,? explains sociologist Steven Nock, author of Marriage in Men?s Lives. ?The best way to put it is, marriage is for men what motherhood is for women.? Marriage makes men grow up. Nock observes that many men before marriage are indifferent workers, and, after hours, are likely to be found in bars or zoned out in front of a TV. After marriage, they are solid wage earners, frequent churchgoers, maybe members of a neighborhood protection association. But divorce takes that underpinning away, leaving men strangely infantilized and unsure of their place in the world. They feel like interlopers in the stands at their children?s soccer games or in the auditorium for their school plays.
Compounding this pain, men find the deck is stacked against them. The divorce system tends to award wives custody of the children, substantial child support, the marital home, half the couple?s assets, and, often, heavy alimony payments.
This may come as startling news to a public that has been led to believe that women are the ones who suffer financially postdivorce, not men. But the data show otherwise, according to an exhaustive study of the subject by Sanford L. Braver, a professor of psychology at Arizona State University and author of
Divorced Dads: Shattering the Myths. ?The man is in a lot poorer condition than the popular media portray,? he says. ?This idea of the swinging, happy-go-lucky, no-worries single guy in a bar?that?s just not it at all.? The misconception was fueled by Harvard professor Lenore Weitzman?s widely cited book, The Divorce Revolution: The Unexpected Social and Economic Consequences for Women and Children in America.
This is what you’re working against. And focusing even more on your own reasons for getting married will do no good. What you need to do is show how the incentives of getting married to you specifically outweigh all the incentives he has to stay single. So a guy is receiving the loss of his most enjoyable, prime dating years after a woman has already enjoyed her prime dating years, is receiving sex with one woman for the rest of his life, which will likely only decrease after marriage, is risking putting all his financial progress at risk if there’s a divorce thanks to divorce laws that are stacked against him, is risking bitter custody battles for any kids he may have, having to face a court system that presumptively sides with the woman when any charges of neglect, infidelity and emotional and physical abuse are levied…you can see why the fact that you’re getting older just isn’t enough justification for him.
So here’s what you have to do. First, follow the rules laid out in my perfect woman post to the letter. Also, take note of a comment left by a reader Mike in response to part 1 of this post:
I agree with your assessment about age/looks being a critical factor, but what about domestic skills – cooking, cleaning, etc. – and intangibles – non-materialistic values, interest compatibility, etc. – that many guys like myself view as prerequisites for wife status? Do these not factor in, or are they just assumed like ?good sex??
Feminism has convinced women that excelling in domestic skills that Mike mentions are a form of weakness or accepting oppressive tradition. I run into many women who even take pride in not knowing how to cook and hiring cleaning ladies rather than cleaning themselves. If you are willing to excel in these areas, you are adding much more value to yourself than you are from getting an excellent career. Now more than ever these skills are rare in women, while nowadays hypereducated career women are almost a dime a dozen. And honestly, most men suck at cooking and cleaning house, but most men are able to make ends meet, eat takeout and hire a cleaning lady. Take a look at the average guy’s bachelor pad and it’s usually a cluttered mess with tons of takeout boxes and TV dinners. Having someone else who makes money, can’t cook or clean and is able to hire a cleaning lady is redundant. Someone who can do those things however offers things the guy can’t do as well himself.
In addition, learn some of the advantages for men that come from marriage and sell those to him rather than focus on the disadvantages that come to you from not being married. For starters, married men tend to be more productive and successful across professions, stay in better physical and mental health, and are less likely to engage in “risky behaviors” which helps them live longer. Research as many benefits to men from marriage as you can and use them to sell him on the idea. I’ll let you in on a secret: much of this research is actually debatable and shaky. But that’s between you and me, he doesn’t need to know that. What matters is that many reputable sources trumpet these studies as valid, and the power of authority (study conducted by doctor, at Harvard, and printed in NY Times) is good enough proof for most people.
And lastly, give indications that if he marries you, he will not be at risk of many of the downsides that usually scare men away from marriage. Give indications that you plan to actually have more sex with him after marriage, not less. Guys always hear stories from their married friends about how sex slows down after marriage while blow jobs stop completely. Coyly purr things like “Once we’re married, I’m so going to wear you out every day. I hope you’re up to it.” (Or whatever wording works for you) Hint that blow jobs will increase exponentially. Don’t battle over the prenup if it’s important to him. Let him know all the ways having you around will make his daily grind easier. Take a top-notch cooking class and say it’s for him. If he’s into working out and eating healthy, learn to cook a dazzling array of low-calorie, high-flavor dishes. Show him articles like this one about the recent rash of wives who immediately left their investment banker husbands and hired divorce lawyers after they got laid off of Wall Street and the shopping sprees and Hamptons trips dried up, and mention how outraged and disgusted you are by such behavior and how you are totally unsympathetic to them, thereby planting the seed in his mind that his worst fears in a future wife won’t apply to you. Find out what causes him the most grief in his daily life, what his most dreaded chores or tasks are, and find a way to indicate that being married to you will alleviate that aspect of his life.