Singaporebrides | Relationships

October 2014

Married And Loving It

Can a married man truly be a happy one? Fu Jinming attempts to douse your cynicism with his musings about being happily unavailable.

Chinese-American comedian Joe Wong summed it best when he recalled how scared he once was of being married, because “… Wow, 50% of all marriages end up lasting forever!”

That always drew laughs from the guys. Funnily, the ladies too. And who could blame them? Popular culture has reduced the married man to a bumbling, long-suffering loser, always under the thumb of the overbearing wife, and pining for his single and carefree days. He’s the guy who’s out of the hunt and worse for it. A comedy of errors who’ve just made the biggest mistake of his life. Because which sane guy would voluntarily commit himself to a lifetime of domesticity, subservience, and (gasp), monogamy?

Well, I would. And I did.

To be sure, I didn’t always feel this way. I was one of the boys, convinced that a ring on my finger was a noose around my neck. I’ve seen friends who got hitched and promptly went off-grid, like a plane in the Bermuda Triangle. They seemed shackled to an invisible force, unable to live the life they want, the way they want.

Then I went and got myself married. Bad move, you say. A year on though, I feel it’s the best one I’ve ever made.

Because it’s true what they say: marriage isn’t just the coming together of two people. It’s the coming together of two lives. And as clichéd as it sounds, two really is better than one.

To give you a fuller picture, I’ve compiled a list of seven things I’ve enjoyed about marriage. I’ve sidestepped the obvious ones – like regular sex – and honed in on the less apparent ones – like time off from your parents – to show you the little things that made me a happier, better, and very married man.

1. The Dual Income

First, there’s the practical stuff. When it comes to money, two streams of income are infinitely better than one. Being married means there is now someone to share the bills and major expenses with. Particularly useful when time comes to renovate your home, or to purchase your furnishings, or to pay the mortgage.

You’re probably thinking: but aren’t women expensive with their handbags and shoes and endless shopping? Trust me, these will quickly be eclipsed by the prospect of having an extra wallet for a better home, a better vacation, and possibly a better car.

I’m not saying financial woes will be a thing of the past, I’m saying you won’t be facing them alone. And that you’ll be a lot happier looking at your bank account.

2. A Longer Life

A healthy, married life could mean a longer one as well. There’s been recent research in the US that claims married men are less prone to heart disease, depression and strokes than single ones. Science, apparently, has discovered lower levels of C-reactive protein (CRP) – a biological marker of inflammation and other nasty things – in married men. Other studies have shown that single men are five times likelier to die of infectious diseases, and twice as likely to die accidentally. Some went as far as to suggest that marriage is even better than giving up smoking.

So there you have it: your wife will hardly be the death of you. She’s the reason you’re still breathing!

3. To Extreme Comfort

The great thing about being married is that you get to be in the same room with someone you’re comfortable with. Very comfortable. So comfortable, you can rant and rave to her about your work or your co-workers and have her (mostly) on your side. Or wearing whatever you like for bed without her even batting an eyelid. Or passing the occasional, ahem, wind right in front of her, and not feel embarrassed at all.

All in all, marriage puts you both in the same comfort zone, where you get to be the person you really are – warts, flaws, farts and all.

4. So Long, Folks

If you’re an Asian man who’s had to share a home with his parents for pretty much his whole life, this will probably come as happy news to you. For getting married gives you the cultural license to move out. Not just out of your parents’ roof, but out of their incessant (albeit well-intentioned) naggings, constant disregard for your privacy and general lack of personal space. It’s a chance for you to leave the nest and grow into your own man. Because as long as you’re under their roof, you’ll always be their little boy, and forever be treated like one.

That’s not to say they’ll magically treat you like the adult you think you are once you’re out of the house. But at least you’ll gain some space. Besides, moving out usually does wonders for your relationship with your folks. It could be that absence makes the parental heart fonder. Or that they wanted you out in the first place!

5. A Convenient Excuse

Remember when you were at a party you wish you weren’t? Well, being married is a great excuse to skip a social event you don’t feel up for. Received an email invite for after-work drinks with colleagues you don’t like? Sorry, got to rush for dinner with the wife and her folks. Buddies asking to watch a late-night show you know you’ll hate? Dang, it’s date night with the missus. Sure, it’ll make you look like an emasculated loser. But it’ll emancipate you from small talk, fake smiles, and all kinds of social boredom.

Married and Loving It

6. Gifts & Surprises

For a guy who grew up in a frugal household, presents were a rare and precious thing. Which is why marriage rocks if you have the fortune of marrying a woman who believes in buying gifts for the man she loves, just to show she does. Like mine did when she felt I was getting too stressed out from work (I wasn’t), and that a spa massage was just what I needed (it was). And then there’s the birthday gift, anniversary surprise, Christmas present, and ‘just because-s’. Talk about a rewarding marriage.

7. Marriage Makes You A Better Man

And the thing I love most about being hitched? It makes me the man I want to be. Marrying a strong, opinionated and funny girl brought out the best in me. Every laughter we’ve shared, every argument we’ve had, and every compromise we’ve had to make forced me to grow as a man and as a human being. Patience, wisdom and maturity come a little easier now. As does a clearer perspective on the things that matter, and the ones that don’t. I’ve gone from being a man-child, to a man-child with a clearer head, and a surer heart.

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