I’ve always thought of myself as a laid-back, low-maintenance chick, someone that would never give a man a lot of stress. So when I asked my ex-boyfriend years ago if he wanted to get married, and he told me that he needed more time, I gave him all the time he needed. As in, several years to figure out how he felt. In the end, we never got engaged or married, and we ended the relationship shortly after. I never got upset with him, or threw a temper tantrum when he seemed put-off by my interest in marriage. I wanted to be an understanding partner and I did not want to feel like I forced someone to marry me by giving an ultimatum.
It turns out that my laid-back nature was not healthy for my love life and aspirations for marriage. According to the groundbreaking book “Why Men Marry Some Women and Not Others” by John T. Molloy, it is only the women who demand marriage that end up getting married. Those women who patiently wait for the man to set the terms of their relationship often never end of getting married.
“Our most important discovery was that the primary difference between women who marry and women who do not is Women who marry insist that the men in their lives marry them,” said Molloy. “More than 73 percent of the women coming out of marriage license bureaus with the future husbands told us they had put pressure that didn’t involve an attempt to manipulate their man into marrying them but was simply a result of their telling their man what they were feeling.”
The book makes this point clear: Women who wish to be married need to tell their spouses that it is vital to their long-term happiness if they are married. And they need to make it clear that they won’t settle for anything less.
“The idea that any woman needs a man to be happy and fulfilled today seems politically incorrect. Nevertheless, 64 percent of the brides-to-be told us they held this belief, while less than 20 percent of the women who did not think they would marry held the same belief,” said Molloy in the book. “We concluded that a woman who believed that marriage was essential to her happiness worked harder at finding a mate.”
Molloy recommends that women refrain from giving “It’s marriage or me!” ultimatums. Instead, he recommends that women say something along these lines: “I love you, but I need marriage.” This is a delicate way of speaking to the man about how you feel, without making the discussion about marriage accusatory or hostile.
Here’s more interesting points from the book:
- “When we asked couples about to marry which of them had first spoken about marriage, 69 percent said it was the woman, 12 percent the man. The remainder did not remember, were not sure, or disagreed. Most of the times they disagreed, the man said it was the woman, and she did not remember it that way.”
- “Discussing marriage is important for a number of reasons. One of the most important is to avoid a misunderstanding that can strike a major blow to your plans to marry.”
- After reviewing the data, we came to this conclusion: If the woman conveyed to the man in her life the belief that marriage was essential to her happiness, it often became a very powerful argument for marriage. Almost a third of the women who were about to marry said that they discussion or argument that convinced their fiance to propose went something like this: ‘Marriage is essential to my happiness. If you love me as you claim, you’ll do what it takes to make me happy.'”
- “Interestingly, 63 percent said they would have proposed in a year or two. That’s a very revealing answer: Our research showed that when men delayed proposing by as little as three months, often they never proposed. Without such pressure, there probably wouldn’t have been a proposal at all!”
- “The majority of those women also believed that their men understood if they remained a couple for a year or more and were getting along, at that point they should start seriously considering marriage. This is an extremely good idea: Left to their own devices, less than percent of their future husband a thought dating for a year and being in love meant marriage was necessarily the next step.”
So be very vocal about your feelings ladies! If you are a woman who wants to get married, you only have so much time to discuss the subject seriously with your spouse before the optimal moment passes.
Do you have any advice for speaking to a man about marriage?