Why Do Men Fear Marriage? - SingaporeBrides (2023)

Singaporebrides | The Groom Room

September 2015

By Fu Jinming

Why Do Men Fear Marriage? - SingaporeBrides (1)

There is more to a man’s fear of marriage than simple commitment phobia. Fu Jinming explains.

The ring around your finger is a noose around your neck. Or so they like to say. For how many times have you heard your female friends lament about having found The One, only to realise that he’s a commitment-phobe?

First, a quick lesson on commitment phobia. It’s serious enough to have a scientific name: Gamophobia, an affliction that turns men into frightened children who’ll run at the slightest sight, sound and smell of the C word.

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Ask if you could move in with him, and he’ll hem and haw like a lousy debater.

Ask if he’d like to meet your parents, and his face turns into a rabbit’s in a headlight.

Ask if he’d like to get married, and be prepared for a long, uncomfortable pause.

Which is frustrating to say the least for the ladies. Women deem marriage to be the final piece of the puzzle; the start of a new life with the man she loves.

Men see it as the end of life as they know it. No more freedom, no more “me time”, no more fun.

Yet there was a time when marriage was considered a major milestone in a man’s life. It’s when a boy truly becomes a man, one who was expected to carry real-world responsibilities with real-world consequences. It was a stage of life that demanded maturity and carried a considerable weight of respect.

In fact, bachelors in ancient Sparta were seen as neglecting their duties as men, and were often publicly mocked and humiliated at religious festivals.

These days, the same marital status carries just the weight of burden. Commitment is seen as a way to bind us to a lifetime of bills and fidelity. It is evil and should be avoided by any means necessary.

Or is it?

Just how rational are these fears? Are they a primordial attitude towards monogamy, or just gross misconceptions about marriage?

Let’s examine some reasons your Mr Right may think marriage is wrong. And what you can do about them.

Why Do Men Fear Marriage? - SingaporeBrides (2)

Fear 1: You’ll try to change him

The number one fear a man has about marital commitment is change. He fears that you’ll suddenly try to change him, like how you’ve changed his wardrobe, his couch, or even his food. Thing is, men do not like changes. They are totally comfortable in the man cave they’ve created for themselves – figuratively or otherwise – and would loathe for anyone to touch it. Their likes, choices and habits are theirs and theirs alone. And woe be to the woman who’d even think of changing them.

What you can do: Pick your battles. If it’s just an annoying habit that he has, like not putting the toilet seat down, let it go. After all, you’re supposed to live with each other, warts and all. If it’s something more serious, like a gambling addiction, then you two need to sit down and have a real long chat. Then you’d need to decide if you love him enough to run the very real risk that he will not change.

Fear 2: You’ll change

He’s afraid that you’ll change into another person after marriage. You’ll stop being the fun-loving girl he fell in love with, and become the wife who likes to frown and snap at him. Conversations will turn from talking about the movies, to about the grocery budget. Or worse, his future.

Besides the possible friction it’ll cause, he fears a transformation of a relationship that’s full of life, to one filled with boredom.

What you can do: Be happy. It’s that simple. Because unless you can be happy with who you are, and how you live, he won’t be able to feel relaxed and assured around you. And when you’re happy and living your life to the fullest, it keeps him interested. And your marriage, interesting.

Fear 3: He’ll lose his independence

He’s also afraid that you’ll turn into his mother and control his life. Which spells the end of the swinging bachelor, and the start of a life of domestication and subservience. He fears he’d have to ask your permission to go out with his friends, to watch his football matches, or even when he spends. He’ll feel less like a man, and more like a man who’s lost his freedom.

What you can do: You deserve your own friends and life even after you’re married. So does he. So trust him – unless you have a good reason not to. In which case, you have a good reason to leave the relationship.

Fear 4: Hollywood’s right

It’s almost become trendy for men to dismiss the concept of marriage. If you like marriage, you’re somehow seen as less masculine. And you can blame Hollywood for it. For years, Tineseltown has churned out romantic comedies and bromance flicks that seem to champion the fear of marital commitment. Yes, the girl always gets the guy in the end. But along the way, male viewers are treated to the infinite ways marriage will turn their lives upside down.

From Vince Vaughn talking about sex with the same woman for the rest of your life in Old School, to the final farewells to bachelorhood (gone wrong) in the Hangover series, the message is clear: Marriage is bad for men. The bad news is, the longer men are exposed to this celluloid myth, the more they’ll start believing it’s true.

What you can do: Volunteer to watch these movies with him, and laugh along to them. That way, he’d know that you at least appreciate the fears – perceived or otherwise – that men have towards marriage. Make light of the matter like the piece of fiction it is, and he may gradually accept it as such.

Fear 5: Added Responsibilities

Home loans. Parenthood. And let’s not forget the wedding bill. These are just some of the responsibilities the “man of the house” is expected to bear. While more households today have become dual-income ones, in most Asian homes, men are still seen as the main breadwinners. Which means extra pressure that some guys will be happy to avoid. It may even add to his insecurity that you’ll leave him should he fail to finance your lifestyle or the family.

What you can do: Ask him to grow up. Failing which, look for someone else who has. The truth is, a man who’s not man enough to shoulder the responsibilities of a real man, is not man enough for you.

At the end of the day, marriage is a new experience for both parties. It comes with its own sets of changes, challenges and compromises that both you and your other half will have to adapt to. If your partner expects you to do most of the marital heavy lifting, or if he just plain doesn’t want to change anything in his life for you, you’re better off walking away. Because while marriage isn’t right for all men, not all men are right for marriage.

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What do men fear most in marriage? ›

Some men fear that their wives will spitefully try to take more than their fair share of hard-earned wealth in the event of a divorce. Another common fear is that a wife will become too financially dependent on her husband, putting strain on the marriage and disempowering the female partner in the process.

Why are men so scared of getting married? ›

Fear of failure:

There is no doubt before marriage every person has a fear about marriage whether it's a man or woman. Most men have this fear of failure in their mind. They feel relationships as a bigger task than anything and feel stressed and no man wants to be present as an unsuccessful person in front of a woman.

Why do men reject marriage? ›

Past relationship baggage, rejection, ambition, and low sex drive are some of the most common emotional intimacy issues in men. Everyone can look back at a past relationship and experience emotions as if it was just yesterday when, in fact, the experiences happened years ago.

Why are men scared of divorce? ›

Men may find themselves holding onto a marriage that has gone past its expiration date for fear of being alone. Starting over again in relationships when you are not ready to hit the singles scene can feel extremely intimidating. Divorce can really damage a man's self-worth and hope in finding someone else.

What is man's number one fear? ›

Common Fears Among Men

Being incompetent – fearing that they don't have what it takes to accomplish a task or to succeed in a job or relationship. Being weak or being perceived as weak – one of the biggest fears for men, as they tend to believe they are not supposed to be weak or even to be perceived as such.

What is a man's worst fear? ›

Most phobias are pretty unsurprising. According to recent statistics, the number one fear among men is acrophobia, the fear of heights. The list of things that scare the hell out of guys also include snakes, dentists, injections, thunder, and being maimed.

What is the #1 reason men get married? ›

Unconditional Love

It's the primary reason why men get married. In fact, in a survey conducted by Pew Research, 93 percent of married people (both men and women) said love was the reason why they got married, and 84 percent of unmarried people want to marry because of love.

Why do men choose another woman? ›

Sexual compatibility is one of the top reasons a man chooses a woman over another. Many men prefer a woman that matches their sexual styles. These styles may include her moves, the way she kisses, the way she dresses, and so on. Understand that she might not even be as beautiful as you are.

What age do men think about getting married? ›

The age varies from man to man, but there are patterns that are easily identified: Most men who graduate from high school start thinking of marriage as a real possibility when they are 23 or 24. Most men who graduate from college don't start considering marriage as a real possibility until age 26.

How often do 40 year olds make love? ›

Once a week is a common baseline, experts say. That statistic depends slightly on age: 40- and 50-year-olds tend to fall around that baseline, while 20- to 30-year olds tend to average around twice a week.

What do you call a man who doesn't want to get married? ›

A misogamist is a marriage-hater. Your confirmed bachelor friend — who swears he'll never get married — might just like his independence, or he might be a misogamist.

Why do men lack emotional intimacy? ›

Men may also experience difficulties achieving intimacy because of a lack of 'emotional vocabulary'. Men often feel less able to express the way they are feeling than women, and may feel uncomfortable with discussions about emotions. However, it is important to remember it is a skill, and as such can be learned.

Are men happier after divorce? ›

A study by Kingston University in the UK found that despite the negative financial impact of divorce on women, they are generally happier than men after divorce.

Why do men drag out divorce? ›

While it may seem irrational, many disruptive partners hope to stall the divorce in hopes the petitioning party will change their mind and call off the entire thing. Other reasons a spouse may want to drag out a divorce include: They have financial concerns about their share of the assets. They're angry and want ...

Do men regret divorce later? ›

According to a survey, 39% of men regret being divorced. But it is not as simple as it seems. This statistic has many layers to it – for example, a man who has committed marital wrongdoing that triggered the divorce may regret the event, but a man who has been wronged during the marriage may not regret it.

What do men fear in a relationship? ›

These fears are: rejection, irrelevance, and disappointment, and together they add up to the fear of failure—of failing to be … a man.

Why would a man be afraid of a woman? ›

Men's fears of women can be hidden but powerful. Men can be afraid of being dominated, controlled, or abandoned by women. Men can be afraid of being inadequate with women.

What are the two biggest fears in life? ›

8 Biggest Fears You Face in Life (& How to Overcome Them)
  • #1 Fear of Failure.
  • #2 Fear of Rejection.
  • #3 Fear of Change.
  • #4 Fear of Public Speaking.
  • #5 Fear of Imperfection (or not being good enough)
  • #6 Fear of Vulnerability.
  • #7 Fear of Time.
  • #8 Fear of Loneliness.

What scares men away? ›

7 Ways You're Scaring Men Away Without Realizing It
  • You don't see your friends. Guys like girls who have a social life. ...
  • Being irrationally jealous. ...
  • Texting too much. ...
  • Not having any hobbies or interests. ...
  • Talking badly about other women. ...
  • Pushing for commitment early on. ...
  • Oversharing.
Oct 13, 2016

What do men worry about the most? ›

Work and money were the two biggest factors, with 17% of men worrying about their job and 16% worrying about money.

Why do men fear love? ›

He Doesn't Know How to Be Vulnerable

Your guy may have a fear of love simply because he doesn't know how to be vulnerable. That may be because he put up his wall after past hurts or because he's only had casual relationships that didn't require vulnerability and trust.

What do men want most in a marriage? ›

Like women, men want a life partner who will be trustworthy, faithful and reliable. They want a wife who will stand by their side and, considering divorce rates, it's no surprise that dependability would continue to be attractive.

What is the number one reason marriages end? ›

It is no surprise, then, that marital infidelity is a leading cause of divorce. Just how common is marital infidelity? According to a study from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, as many as 25 percent of married men and 15 percent of married women have had extramarital affairs.

What age do most men get married? ›

Median age of U.S. Americans at their first wedding 1998-2021, by sex. In 2021, the median age for the first wedding among women in the United States stood at 28.6 years. For men, the median age was 30.6 years.

Can a man love 2 woman at the same time? ›

Emotional behaviours and inclinations

According to Ken Munyua, a Nairobi-based psychologist, men can have a sense of attachment and commitment to more than one romantic partner, which they will define as love. “A man may be able to emotionally commit and attach himself to two women at the same time.

Can a man love you and be with another woman? ›

You may be asking, “can a married man fall in love with another woman?” If so, the answer is a resounding yes. And a married woman can fall in love with another man too! Naturally, there are all the other possible combinations. A married man falls in love with another man or a married woman with another woman.

Why do men move on so quickly? ›

“There are likely several reasons for this,” she says. “Men are not reinforced or socialized for emotional communication the same way as women, relationships may often have a different functionality for men, and men at a certain younger age may not feel the same pressure about family planning and marriage.”

What is the best age for a lady to get married? ›

For a woman, between 25 and 30 is a great period to marry, all things being equal. There is enormous energy in men and women in their 30s and early 40s to raise children and build a home.

What age do most men want to settle down? ›

Ninety percent of men who have graduated from college are ready for the next step between ages 26 and 33; this is when they are most likely to consider marriage. But this window of opportunity stays open only for four to five years, and then the chances a man will marry start to decline.

At what age do most men get divorced? ›

The median ages for first marriages in the United States are 26.9-years-old for men and 25.3-years-old for women. On the other end, the average age for couples going through their first divorce is approximately 30-years-old—30.5 for men, 29 for women.

Which country men last longest? ›

Countries ranked by life expectancy
#CountryMales Life Expectancy
1Hong Kong82.38
92 more rows

Why are men afraid of commitment? ›

Because of the strong mothering pressure that some men experience growing up, they may fear being controlled. Some men have a core unconscious fear that they are not lovable. Some men don't feel like they're adults who are ready to take on the responsibilities of a relationship, children, and family life.

What is it called when you get married with no one knowing? ›

Eloping is a marriage conducted without the knowledge of the couple's family and friends, particularly their parents. Typically, those who elope only have a ceremony and do not host a reception or celebration.

Should I leave if he won't marry me? ›

“If your partner doesn't want to get married and you do, you should not necessarily leave,” says Rabbi Shlomo Slatkin, a counselor and co-founder of the The Marriage Restoration Project. “Sometimes one partner feels pressured and is reluctant to commit.” But time can change this, Slatkin says.

What makes a man avoid intimacy? ›

The reasons behind why men struggle with intimacy

Some of the reasons why men struggle with intimacy are linked to childhood abuse, abuse from a previous relationship, issues related to low self-esteem, and low self-esteem in bed while performing.

How do you touch a man emotionally? ›

How To Connect With A Man On An Emotional Level
  1. Keep it sexy.
  2. The importance of physical touch.
  3. Remain a mystery.
  4. Take an interest in his life.
  5. Take an interest in his hobbies.
  6. Have an affirming attitude.
  7. Show respect.
  8. Surprise him.
Feb 1, 2021

How do you know if he's afraid of intimacy? ›

Signs of fear of intimacy may include: avoiding physical/sexual contact or having an insatiable sexual appetite, difficulty with commitment, history of unstable relationships, low self-esteem, bouts of anger, isolation, difficulty forming close relationships, difficulty sharing feelings, difficulty showing emotion, and ...

Who initiates divorce more often? ›

A study led by the American Sociological Association determined that nearly 70% of divorces are initiated by women. And the percentage of college-educated American women who initiated divorce is even higher.

Who suffers most after divorce? ›

Statistics show that while women initiate divorce almost twice the rate that men do, women are also much more likely to greatly struggle financially after divorce. This is particularly true if children are involved.

Who gets over a divorce faster? ›

A study says that after a divorce, 73% of women move on faster than men. The divorce rate says that there is a between a 40 to 50-percent chance that a marriages will last in America, which according to a recent study, isn't great news for the guys.

What pushes a man to divorce? ›

In a study done by Pennsylvania State University, the top reasons men listed for divorce was incompatibility, infidelity, lack of communication and personality problems.

Can a judge see through a narcissist? ›

When confronted with facts, the person will likely allow their true nature to come out. A judge can see firsthand the combative, abusive, and controlling nature of the narcissistic parent.

What do narcissists do when you divorce them? ›

A narcissist will expect to get special treatment and to be able to control everything in the divorce, even the judge. They also don't like to lose, so they will file motions and fight hard to win, even over trivial matters that aren't worth the attorney fees.

How many men regret leaving their wife for another woman? ›

However, as for men, 39% of the 206 ex-husbands report they regret leaving their wives.

How often do divorced men remarry? ›

Remarriage Statistics

There is good news for divorcees in respect to finding another partner. Nearly 80 percent of divorced people get remarried. Six percent of people even remarry the same spouse.

Do men regret losing a good woman? ›

Men don't tend to feel regret straight away. In fact, it can take them up to six months before they start to regret losing a good woman. One of the things that will make him regret it sooner is seeing you with someone better than him.

What are men's biggest fears in relationships? ›

These fears are: rejection, irrelevance, and disappointment, and together they add up to the fear of failure—of failing to be … a man.

What is the biggest fear in marriage? ›

Fear of divorce only becomes a problem when it starts to get in the way of marital happiness or prevent a couple from taking the next step in their union. As a matter of fact, many committed couples choose not to marry specifically because they are afraid of divorce.

What men need most in marriage? ›

Willard Harvey, in his book His Needs/Her Needs, states the five top needs of men in marriage. Those five needs are admiration, physical attractiveness, recreational companionship, sexual fulfillment and domestic support. The need that is often most neglected and that I want to focus on here is the need for admiration.

What makes a man scared of a woman? ›

Men's fears of women can be hidden but powerful. Men can be afraid of being dominated, controlled, or abandoned by women. Men can be afraid of being inadequate with women.

Why men are afraid of serious relationship? ›

Key points. Because of the strong mothering pressure that some men experience growing up, they may fear being controlled. Some men have a core unconscious fear that they are not lovable. Some men don't feel like they're adults who are ready to take on the responsibilities of a relationship, children, and family life.

What makes a man fear intimacy? ›

Some of the reasons why men struggle with intimacy are linked to childhood abuse, abuse from a previous relationship, issues related to low self-esteem, and low self-esteem in bed while performing.

What is most damaging to a marriage? ›

Using Power and Control. This is by far the most destructive force any human can bring to a marital relationship, and obviously includes the use of physical and sexual abuse or violence.

What is the greatest threat to marriage? ›

7 Threats to Your Marriage
  1. Lust. Sexual desire in itself is not a bad thing. ...
  2. Selfishness. Selfishness is the opposite of love. ...
  3. Laziness. Long lasting relationships take an investment of emotion and energy. ...
  4. Anger and Bitterness. A lasting relationship requires forgiveness and grace. ...
  5. Envy. ...
  6. Pride. ...
  7. Discontentment.

What makes people afraid of marriage? ›

Why do I have a fear of commitment? Many people trace their fear of commitment or fear of marriage to past traumatic experiences. Gamophobia can be a protective response. You can't experience heartache if you don't allow yourself to commit to a long-term relationship.

What are the top 3 things men want? ›

According to Steve Harvey, if you provide a man with these three things in a relationship, he won't leave: support, loyalty, and intimacy. Harvey says that men may hide behind their macho demeanors, but in the end they just want to feel special.

What are the three things a man needs from a woman? ›

According to Steve Harvey, if you provide a man with these three things in a relationship, he won't leave: support, loyalty, and intimacy. Harvey says that men may hide behind their macho demeanors, but in the end they just want to feel special.

What are the five needs of a man? ›

Food, water, clothing, sleep, and shelter are the bare necessities for anyone's survival. For many people, these basic needs can not be met without the aid of charitable organizations. A reliable place to receive a meal can be what's needed for a person to focus on obtaining higher needs.

What do guys secretly find attractive? ›

Being passionate in your relationship is always going to be attractive, but they also find passion in other areas equally sexy. A woman that's passionate about their job or a hobby will be incredibly attractive to most men. They love to see someone who really cares about something and puts their heart and soul into it.

What do men find most attractive in a woman? ›

Men prefer a woman who can stay calm and relaxed. Beauty is more than make-up and a fancy haircut. Men find women more attractive when they are neat and clean. Men find women who smell nice, who have clean hair and hydrated skin more attractive than a face perfectly covered in makeup.

What makes a man happy in marriage? ›

"Just being in a relationship and being committed to it, just showing up every day is an expression of [his] love," Chethik said. So what makes a man happy in a marriage? "Acceptance and appreciation. We want to be needed," he said.

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