Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Married and Miserable: Why Men Don't Leave

It is amazing to me how many married men openly flirt and actually hit on women.  In fact, when I was in the world of online dating I was shocked with the number of married men openly online.  They are looking for a little somethin'-somethin' on the side to keep them busy and mind off the misery of their real lives and marriages.

On a few occasions I have had the chance to talk with men who either stayed in bad marriages or are currently still married and miserable.   Turns out, that while they know there is probably a better life waiting for them beyond the gates of divorce, they stay for several reasons:

The Children
While yes, many married men stay in their marriages so their children are raised in a traditional nuclear family, there is actually another aspect at play.  Traditionally, single dads do not get to see their children all that often.  Due to work schedules it is rare that a father can commit to taking his children 50% of the time.  This leaves the kids with mom and dad seeing them every other weekend and one night a week for dinner.  Even with a busy work schedule, married dads get to see their children more than if they were divorced.  That time with the kids is very important.

If the man has been the primary bread winner in a relationship he runs the risk of loosing a significant portion of his take-home-pay post-divorce. Paying alimony can financially criple a guy and if the woman qualifies for permanent alimony he is looking at a lifetime of paying and financial hardship.   Additionally, if a couple has significant savings, guess what?  Yeah, it gets evenly split. Giving up half of all savings, investments, and value of the house can be overwhelming.  Lastly, when splitting you are now running two households on that one income so standard of living is going to plummet.

Social and Family Life
When a couple has been together for a significant amount of time they have many, if not all mutual friends. Most of the time they have many couple friends and it may seem impossible to imagine what will happen to those relationships.  At the same time deep friendships may have been formed with the wife's family how to navigate those post-divorce may seem too much to handle.

Divorce is a Pain in the Ass
It doesn't matter the reason or the freedom on the other side of the final signatures, divorce is a long uphill both ways in the snow with no shoes type battle.  Guys have watched their friends go through it and saw the toll it took on their lives.  Every aspect of your life is examined and scrutinized, there is usually a bit of drama and fighting, and significant time is required.

Many men also stay married because they like the stability of the life they have established and all that their wife does for them. Everything is good with their career, the kids, friends and family.  But most importantly, it is easy to get attention from other women, flirt, and have an affair.  Sometimes too easy.  It is easy to turn a woman into a mistress convincing her that he will leave his marriage or perhaps finding someone who is also attached, miserable and wanting an affair as well.

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