Dear Dr. Buckingham,
I am a 30-year-old single woman who is tired of dealing with tired single men. I cannot seem to get a break free from meeting men who are afraid of marriage. I know that the divorce rate is high, but there has to be more to the story. I am meeting men who talk about marriage—but only in a negative manner. I am wondering if single men are lacking appropriate role models. I know a lot of married men who talk and act single. Are married men playing a role in the single man phenomena? Please shed some light.
I am meeting men who talk about marriage—but only in a negative manner. I am wondering if single men are lacking appropriate role models. I know a lot of married men who talk and act single. Are married men playing a role in the single man phenomena? Please shed some light.
Dear Sista Girl,
Yes, I do believe that some married men are playing a role in the single man phenomena. In talking with married men, I sometimes hear them say that being single was the best time in their lives, and some still fantasize about singlehood. Rarely, do I hear them talk about their marriages; and if they do, I often do not hear the positive aspects.
This occurs primarily because a lot of men often do not share sensitive stories or emotions with the women in their lives, so sharing with another man is definitely out of the question. Men are very private for the most part. Rarely, will you hear a married man talk about how beautiful, kind and intelligent his wife is to another man unless they are in church, at a relationship seminar or attending a marriage retreat.
Single good men who have a desire to be married constantly search for answers and information about marriage. It is sad to say, but a lot of married men encourage single guys to remain single (though, I’m sure some of it is in jest, the message still becomes clear).
Obviously, this is not true of all married men, but I’ve witnessed a large percentage of married men, who do not appreciate their wives in the early stages of their marriages.
When I was single and interacted with married men, I often walked away feeling discouraged about marriage. The conversations we had about marriage were scary as hell. They made marriage sound like they were serving jail sentences and often described their wives as being wicked and cruel wardens who have total control over them and their relationship.
I still recall a conversation I had with a married friend years ago. It went like this:
Married friend: Thinking about getting out tonight. What are you up to?
Me: Nothing much. Just relaxing!
Married friend: I am going to hit you up later, so we can hang out. Maybe go shoot some pool or hit a spot.
Me: Cool. Just let me know. Hit me up later tonight.
Married friend: Man’s it around 10 p.m., and I don’t think I am going to make it.
Me: Why not?
Married friend: My wife wants me to spend time with her; she got an attitude. Man, you should stay single, so you don’t have to deal with this stuff.
This is just one example of how some married men view their wives and marriage. But sadly, I see this happen in more scenarios.
In response to what some married men perceive to be hard times in their relationships, some married men still act single. Some married men cheat and treat their wives like second class citizens. I am often perplexed by the number of married men who still hang out in clubs and pick up women on a regular basis. I am also perplexed by the number of married men who talk about other women in the presence of single men.
The decision to enter into marriage is probably played over and over in the minds of single good men at least a million times; however, the images many see are often not good. Men and women are not honoring their vows anymore and are walking away from their marriages like never before.
And although, some married men set bad examples, single men are not totally discouraged about marriage because of married men’s behavior. There are a lot of other factors that impact a man’s willingness to abandon singlehood.
You can learn about other factors that influence single men in my book entitled, “You Deserve More: A Single Woman’s Guide to Marriage. Secure your copy at www.drbuckingham.com
I hope that I shed some light about this phenomena. I also hope that you also find Mr. Right. In the meantime, I’d like to encourage all happily married men to uplift their marriages. Make sure you’re spreading the positives of marriage to your single friends.
If you have questions for Dr. Dwayne Buckingham regarding relationships (married, single, etc), parenting, or personal growth and development, please send an email to [email protected]
Disclaimer: The ideas, opinions and recommendations contained in this post are not intended as a substitute for seeking professional counseling or guidance. Any concerns or questions that you have about relationships or any other source of potential distress should be discussed with a professional, in person. The author is not liable or responsible for any personal or relational distress, loss or damage allegedly arising from any information or recommendations in this post.