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The Mind of the Married Man

We got seven guys drunk and made them tell the truth about sex after pregnancy, cheating, and what it’s like to make less money than your wife. Then we put bags over their heads.

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What were your hopes and fears before you got married?

P: I still don’t feel like I’m married. I still feel like I’m dating my wife, which is wonderful. I knew that I would marry her the moment that I met her. I realize that must sound incredibly trite, but it wasn’t “Oh, my God, I’ve had a premonition of a white wedding,” but as I was driving away from our first date, I remember thinking I could see myself, eight or ten years from now, hanging out with that girl. With the other girls I’d dated, after about a year I was always worried that the girl would be thinking of getting engaged, but with her there was no fear. I never had any worries about, “Oh, this is the only person that I’m going to sleep with.” This despite the fact that we have an 11-month-old daughter. I know this all sounds pie in the sky! I’m not going to say she doesn’t nag me—I mean, she nagged me when we were dating.

B: She was practicing.

CJC: I feel similarly, but I technically am still dating. We’re emotionally monogamous, but I still have a variety of dates and all that stuff—

B: You both sleep with other people?

CJC: We both sleep with other girls.

B: Jesus Christ.

CJC: But I never had a preconceived notion of what married life would be because I grew up in an extremely unconventional way. I did try two monogamous relationships in my twenties, but even then I knew that if I was ever going to be with a girl long-term, I was going to stray. Lucky for me I met a girl who was amazing enough, strong enough, and secure enough in my love for her and her love for me that she could tolerate that sort of caddish behavior.

K: I had a long chat with my first ex-wife yesterday. We were saying that prior to getting married, no one takes you aside and tells you anything. Your friends and family don’t warn you about anything. You’re on your own. I was with my first wife for nine years, and she’s an awesome girl and I think we had a lot that was ideal, but then monogamy started to become extremely hard for me. I’m not one to run around on the sly, or at least I wasn’t, but once we had the talk about it, things went downhill. There are so many things that you don’t know at the outset. One for me was that when you say “forever,” that means, like, you’ll never fuck another woman again. Now, I know that seems obvious, but that really is intense. That’s been the biggest difficulty for me. My second marriage was open, perhaps too open. Other problems come in when you try it that way. But listen, I’m twice married, twice divorced. I am for marriage; I want to be married. But for me, it’s hard on a sexual level to stay intense with one person. Monogamy is a challenge for a lot of men, even if they’re not talking about it. We love strange.

B: I had to make a quick decision because my wife is European and her visa was about to expire and we didn’t have the luxury of kicking it around and figuring it out. It was get married or break up. The obvious choice for me was to propose.

P: Where’s she from?

B: Poland. But I met her at an Irish bar in Paris and stole her away from an Iranian. It was very international. But this was just one of those things where the bureaucracy demanded that we make a decision, and I’m actually really grateful, because knowing myself, if it didn’t, I’d still be single, and she may have moved on and gotten sick of me.

M: My thing was sort of circumstantial, too. My boyfriend didn’t have a place to live, we’d been dating for three years, and I was like, “It’s been too long, just move in already. It’s stupid for you not to.” I was sort of nervous; I didn’t expect any specific thing to happen or whatever, but there was definitely this ominous feeling like, Moving in—this is it for me. Then we had a small ceremony with friends earlier this year, nothing big or fancy or legal, obviously. A small commitment. We’d both prepared some speeches, that was about it. The general consensus was that it kinda sucks that we couldn’t do anything official. The ceremony sort of confirmed within me, Yeah, this is what this is. I didn’t really fully appreciate everything until I was married for a good chunk of time, but now I’m more jazzed than I was before.


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