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in: A Man's Life, Sunday Firesides

May 4, 2019 Last updated: May 20, 2019

Sunday Firesides: Marriage Isn’t a Game of Russian Roulette

To hear a lot of men tell it these days, marriage is too risky a proposition. If it goes wrong, it’ll wreck your life — emotionally, legally, financially. Better to steer clear of the altar altogether.

This view basically sees marriage as Russian roulette — a game of pure chance, where you don’t have any idea what will happen when you pull the trigger.

In reality, however, how a marriage turns out is almost entirely within your control.

Before you get married, you can look for red flags in the relationship. You can ask friends and family for their honest opinion of your girlfriend. You can try to think about your compatibility outside the haze of chemical and hormonal attraction. You can choose a partner who shows a commitment to keeping herself up mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

After you get married, you can continue dating and having meaningful conversations. You can continue to pursue individual and shared interests. You can refuse to give up on taking new adventures together.

If you do these things, you can stack your chances for a happy marriage in your favor, so that your risk of divorce is negligible.

Is there still a chance you’ll split up? Sure. There’s a risk in everything in life.

But rather than being the kind of unmanageable risk found in Russian roulette, the risk of marriage is more like that of driving a car. To greatly mitigate the chance of being in an injurious accident, you can take driver’s ed, buy a safe, crash-tested vehicle, and stay aware when you’re on the road.

While you can’t 100% eliminate the chance of a crash, nobody lets that stop them from getting behind the wheel every day. Because despite the risk, that mechanical vehicle, like the vehicle of marriage, will take you places you couldn’t otherwise go.   

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