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Don't Let Marriage Kill You
One of the most common issues men share with me is how they "lost themselves" once they got married, as if the change in relationship status on their Facebook bio somehow had a magical power over their daily performance after the vows were shared.
These men are the same ones who:
Sold their guns
Got rid of their motorcycle
Quit hitting the gym consistently
No longer hang out with their bros
Stopped participating in recreational sports
They did all of this in the name of "Now it's time to lead a family…".
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The Problem Here?
While you may think you’re supposed to slow everything down once you “get the girl”, your wife married the man who was doing those things; she married the man into life and one who had friends and a mission. She didn’t marry the neutered version of that guy they became.
There's a difference between making intelligent decisions once you’re responsible for the daily care and guidance of others and losing the entirety of who it is that you are as a man.
Men who place everyone ahead of themselves will come in last place in the race of life; the man who invests in everyone's happiness sans his own will be left behind, wondering why he never got a kickback after doing what he was supposed to do...
You cannot self-sacrifice your way to happiness.
Regardless of what mainstream movies and TV are saying (why are you viewing them as healthy examples in the first place?), getting married should not remove anything from your everyday life except the smallest details, which should have been replaced with new personal endeavors which better fit the relationship.
You Think I’m Talking to You?
If you think this is hitting too close to home, then you know I’m speaking to you and before you get defensive and want to justify the reasoning behind your decision to drop all of your personal habits and hobbies, let me stop you there and remind you that it doesn’t matter why you did these things - you need to get your life back on track as you’re more than a husband, you’re a man and an individual who needs to be selfish at times to give the best “self” there is to give to your wife and children.
There's nothing wrong with taking time for and spending money on yourself; you are as deserving of investment when it comes to time, energy, and money as everyone else.
The wife can't always come first.
The kids can't always come first.
In fact, the inability to view yourself as someone who “deserves” new clothes, a new car, to go to an event, or new “toys” (Whatever you’re into) is a sign of broken attachment with yourself and an unhealthy attachment with others.
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At the end of the day, you either have a healthy relationship with yourself and a healthy attachment with others, or you don’t.
Once you start investing in yourself, you'll become an individual of value once again, and everyone will start to give more weight to the words and guidance you offer. The respect that’s lacking and the fragmented connection you’re experiencing is a source of frustration and internal conflict, but it’s 100% self-induced, and your decision to make yourself a priority again is what’s needed for others to prioritize you as well.
This starts and ends with you.
Once you see yourself as someone worth loving and connecting with, you give others permission to do the same.
I don’t mean that you give them permission to love you for you again (you do), but I want you to recognize that by killing the God of Altruism, you’re enabling others to prioritize themselves, and this is how you have your wife finding hobbies and viewing herself as someone worth taking care of, and your children will replicate the same.
Now, there may be a reservation in changing the daily routine as you’re living a life with another person and so mixing things up for you mixes their world up as well, and it’s here that we do need to use some tact.
This change is not meant to be a secret move you’re making in the shadows of your relationship. The best way to execute this “new you” is to talk to your woman about what it is you’re doing and why;
start making healthier choices and let her know that you’re looking to get things dialed in as they’ve been slipping - you can even let her become a part of the process and make it something where the two of you can independently work together on your solo goals.
A real-world example is happening right now:
My wife is all about hair, and she is in school to get her Cosmetologist’s License; She is next to me editing IG videos of the hair she did today; I’m sitting here writing this piece. Normally, I write these during the day or the night before, but we have sick kids in the household, so the schedule has been a little off.
But, we carry on, and I have given Jackie some advice on how to improve her IG with things I’ve learned along the way creating online, and she has been able to provide some insights to me when I say, “What did I do before we were married that you liked, and do I still do them?”.
We are literally working on our own thing - together as I write this piece.
Your Marriage is on You
I don’t want anyone’s marriage to end, but at this point, I find it necessary to highlight the fact that marriages can end, and if you want yours to last, you must stop with the assumption that the one you love will always be there, accepting you as you are.
Everyone has a breaking point, and resentment can lead to the unimaginable coming true.
That woman you’ve loved and cherished for years, sacrificing all that you are for, she can fall out of love, and those memories together will mean nothing because you’re looking back at those moments with fondness - your love is looking at what you had together, and she is looking at you today, knowing the future will not bring moments like that again because you’ve settled in and stopped chasing growth, adventure, and personal development…
Spare yourself this fate by looking at your relationship with yourself and how the fire inside, one which roared with fury, is now just barely an ember.
It’s time to color outside the lines and get back to breaking rules and taking names.
It’s time to reignite your passion for life and fan the flames within your soul to get you back to living hot.
If you want to have a strong future and a lasting marriage, you need to make today something that motivates both you and those you love to look forward to tomorrow.
Look to take as much as you can from today and make yourself a priority in that process. As you develop and chase life’s opportunities, you’ll find that personal development makes the relationship (marriage) stronger. As you and your wife both work to be better people, you become better lovers, better husbands, and wives, and ultimately better human beings who are enjoying the company of both each other, any kids in the mix, and life itself…
The cure to a life of redundant living is to break the routine and get back to having fun. Become better than who you were before you “settled down” into marriage and recognize the fact that marriage is not settling down; it’s the time for you to build your life up.
- Zac Small
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