Day 7, Part Two: The Worst thing ever? Definitely marrying the “wrong guy”.

Do you know what happens when you marry the right guy?

This happens:

(skip forward for the good part)

And if you marry the wrong guy?

So ladies, it is very, very, very important that you don’t marry the wrong guy. Luckily, Cosmo is here to help you.

The article “How Not to Marry the Wrong Guy” (page 144) starts on FAIL, and gets even more and more FAIL-tastic.

Lately, it seems like you can’t open your Web browser without seeing some headling about a famous married couple call it quits…you’d thnk that super-together stars like Sandra Bullock and Kate Winslet would be able to pick winners.

Yes, ladies, it is important to compare your relationships to those of celebrities, who have the added stresses of living the relationship in the public eye. And yes, dating/relationships/marriage is all about picking “winners” in some screwed-up, ladymag version of fantasy football.

In a recent Cosmo survey, nearly two-thirds of you reported being worried about making a bad choice and winding up divorced. but experts say you can protect yourself from that fate if you evaluate your relationship pre-engagement according to a few important elements.

Wow. Evidently a lot of readers have anxiety about “picking the wrong guy”. Why is this? Is it perhaps the massive societal pressures we place on women to get married, stay married and have children? Is it because for many women who do not receive benefits from their employer, marriage is the way they get health insurance? Is it because for many women, divorce can be complicated, expensive, and have negative social stigma attached to it? Most likely. Will this article address any of those questions? Of course not.

Tip 1: “Don’t Dismiss His Past”

Is there a chapter of your boyfriend’s history that bothers you because it so doesn’t sound like the guy you know? then you need to decide if your relationship could survive a repeat, because odds are good that old habits will return…
…people can change…but here’s where it gets tricky: You need to figure out if the sleazeball chapter of his past was specific to that stage of his life, or if the traits he exhibited then are hardwired into his personality and just buried for now.

News Flash: People make bad decisions when they are younger! The example Cosmo uses is of a man drinking and partying a lot when he was in a fraternity in college. Which really, is pretty normal. Now, if Googling his name brings up a story of how he assaulted someone at an aforementioned frat, you have problems that this article will not be able to solve.

Also, for the millionth time, YOU CANNOT CHANGE YOUR SIGNIFICANT OTHER. If they say/do something that annoys you, and they don’t change their behavior, then you’ll probably have to live with their behavior. What if this was reversed, and an article in a men’s magazine had advice on how to “change your woman”?

Tip 2: “Own Up to What You Need”

‘I tell my clients to draw a big circle with a smaller one inside it and then fill the inner circle with four or five qualities they absolutely need a husband to have, like sharing their views of religion, family, or money’, says Lombardo. ‘Then they fill the outer circle with nice-to-haves. You should look for a partner who has all the inner-circle qualities and a few of the outer ones, not the other way around’.

I find it disturbing that this “expert”, psychologist Elizabeth Lombardo, singles out views on religion as one of the “core values” to share. I understand why family, and finances are listed (because if one person wants children, but the other doesn’t, or if one person constantly mismanages money, while the other one is keen on saving, there will be legitimate problems), but why religion? My boyfriend does not share my religious beliefs, and surprisingly enough, we manage to get along fine. My dad is an atheist, my mom is a Christian, and they have been happily married for over 25 years.

Tip 3: “Take Off Your Future Goggles and see Him As Is

…And if money worries are driving your quest for a ring, slam on the breaks. …the desire for financial security is one of the main reasons women get hitched to the wrong guy.

Is anyone shocked that this happens? In a recession climate where women still earn less than men, and receive less benefits? People seem to forget that there are many financial-based incentives that come with marriage. I have friends from college that got married in order to receive the additional federal financial aid the government grants to married students.

Tip 4: “Beware His Family Dynamics”

Depending on how close he is to his family, it’s not just him you’re marrying.

And this is why wedding planning is its own special hell.

Tip 5: “If There’s No Spark, Forget It”

With all this talk of shared values, don’t forget this primal truth: There needs to be a sizzle….The urge to rip off each other’s clothes should still strike on occasion.

No shit, Sherlock!

Tip Number 6: “Tear Up Your Bridal Time Line”

‘When women feel they’re falling behind on their bridal time line, they are more likely to settle for Mr. Almost Right’…’They’re scared of having wasted precious time, so they stick with guys they normally wouldn’t’

This whole “Mr. Right” thing really pisses me off. It reinforces the idea that:

  • Marriage is the most important thing in your life. If you don’t get married, you are a failure.
  • If you get married to The Wrong Guy, your life will be doomed.
  • If you’ve made a mistake in who you married, you can’t divorce, because Divorce Is Very, Very Bad.
  • Marriage equals marrying one person of the opposite sex forever. If you’re polyamorous, queer, a swinger, or have a union that does not fit the traditional heteronormative standards of marriage, you’re a freak.

Most of this advice is pretty basic, and would be less rage-inducing/asinine/stupid if there wasn’t the whole underlying theme of OH NOES!!!!!! DON’T HAVE A BAD MARRIAGE!!!!1!!11!11!!!!!11111

If you are concerned about whether or not you should marry your partner, here’s some actually helpful advice:

  • Calm. The Fuck. Down. If things do go wrong, it’s not the end of the world.
  • Nobody is perfect. Mr. Right probably doesn’t exist. Look for Mr. Right Enough.
  • Don’t get your marriage advice from Cosmo.

I’m sorry that this post is so long. I need to end on a happy note. Here’s some Brett Erlich:

This entry was posted in Advice, Cosmo, Heteronormativity, Sex, Sexism, Women and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Day 7, Part Two: The Worst thing ever? Definitely marrying the “wrong guy”.

  1. I think that the men’s magazine equivalent of the “change your partner” advice is “how to get her to want to have sex with you more often/do freakier things in bed.”

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