10 Men Told Me How They Feel About "Marriage Pressure"

Fellas share how they really feel about being pressured into jumping the broom.


I like hearing men's perspective on things. So, while watching a video on their hot take on relationships, as I read the comments, I noticed one that said, "There are only three reasons for a man to get married: You hate sex. You hate your money. You hate peace." Ouch.

While I don't agree with that particular hot take (because I know some husbands who truly love being married), it's not like this mentality is coming totally out of the blue. I counsel many couples who are in sexless marriages. It always fascinates me that the majority of divorces are filed by women (somewhere around 80 percent) and a lot of those wives do end up receiving alimony. And when husbands tell me their number one pet peeve in their marital union, nagging always tops the list (there are Scriptures in the Bible to back that up; ones like Proverbs 21:9). So yeah, I get why some men are gun-shy about making a long-term commitment. I really do.


When I ran this guy's resolve up the flagpole of some of the men featured in this article, it was interesting what most of them said. To paraphrase everyone's point, "A lot of this is because many marriages start off on the wrong foot. Couples aren't friends. People don't really get what they are signing up for. And a lot of men feel pressured to get married, so they're not really ready when they do it."

Yeah, this point hasn't escaped me either. I actually know several men who said they got married because they were given an ultimatum and/or they proposed but then the wedding date was put on the fast track and/or they loved their significant other but marriage was all that she talked about and so they did it to satisfy (and sometimes pacify) her.

Listen, some of y'all aren't gonna like this piece. A big part of that is because oftentimes, we'd rather decide how a man thinks (or should think) or berate him if it's not what we wanna hear. Yet you'd be amazed by how much bullshishery you can avoid if you'd simply listen to them. You don't have to agree. You don't have to enjoy what you hear either. Still, if you listen to what men are saying, it can give you a different outlook than your girlfriends have which can spare you a lot of frustration and disillusionment. It can also help you to better understand why sometimes we're on one side of the fence and men are totally on another when it comes to certain matters. There's nothing wrong with that. We're designed to be different, and therefore bring about a balance, for a reason.

So, when it comes to jumping the broom and the pressure that some men feel comes with doing that, here are what 10 different men had to say about feeling pressured to get married. Try and avoid going on the defensive. Just hear 'em out, OK?

*Middle names have been used to protect the men's identity. Folks tend to be more candid this way.*


Craig. 28. In a Serious Relationship.

"Some ladies won't want to hear this, but I don't think a lot of men see it as 'pressure' so much as manipulation. Like that saying, 'The man is the head and the woman is the neck that can turn the head however she wishes?' WTF is that? If you grow up thinking that it's your role to manipulate men, then you will believe that includes marriage. If a man wants to spend the rest of his life with you, trust me, you won't need to 'twist his neck'. He will come to that conclusion all on his own. He will make it very clear without your help too."

Frederick. 46. Married for 20 Years.

"I hate ultimatums. They're futile. If you are out here telling some guy that unless he marries you, you're out, you best leave because if he falls for that power play, he's going to always resent you on some level and you're always going to wonder if he truly wanted you to begin with. What men want, they will strive for. Marriage is no exception."

"I married my wife when I was ready and she never brought marriage up once. Sure, we discussed goals and desires but that whole, 'So, how long before you propose?' stuff? I never heard it and that was really attractive to me. I was clear that she didn't want to date forever but I wasn't pressured into moving at a faster speed than we were going. I chose her. I wasn't pressured. We both have no regrets to this day."


Lavell. 35. Single.

"What's crazy is all of my boys got pressured into marriage. Not one of them has told me that they got married because they decided on their own that they wanted to be with their wife. There were ultimatums or engagement ring pictures that were laying around or pregnancies that happened and their baby's mom saying, 'I don't want to be a single parent'—something along those lines. It's like women assume that the only way a man will marry them is if they push them into it. Why is that?"

Stanton. 33. Narrowing His Options Down.

"I know that I'm considered to still be somewhat young, but I dated a lot in my 20s and it's crazy how much marriage came up even then. I definitely didn't bring the conversation up. A lot of the ladies I dated seemed to almost be programmed to get married. Like it's not something that they necessarily wanted to do but it was expected of them. Now that I'm in my 30s, I've had some time to see what I want and don't want…what I like and don't like. There is one woman, in particular, who I am strongly considering becoming exclusive with. One thing that I really like about her is she's really confident. She has told me that she wants to get married one day, but in the meantime, her life is full and good. That is the kind of woman that men are drawn to—a lady who knows what she wants and also knows she'll get it, whether it's you or not. 'She' is never lacking in men who consider her to be wife material."


Jago. 40. Twice Divorced.

"My first wife, I was totally into her. Long story short, we didn't work out because we were too young. If anything, I pressured her to marry me. My second wife, she had just come out of a long-term relationship and was on this 'I date to marry' tip, so everything was on the fast track. Clearly, I cared about her because I married her, but in her mind, she couldn't be loved without a wedding ring and so the focus was so much in having to prove things to her rather than allowing things to naturally evolve. Marriage ended up being her end goal, so once it happened, she didn't know what to do next. We separated on our fourth wedding anniversary. She's on her third marriage now. I was her first."

Benson. 39. Dating.

"If you bring marriage up on the first three dates, I'm already checking out. Women like that sound like they are more interested in saying they've got a husband than getting to know a man for himself."

"At this age, it can get super crazy because women in their mid-30s who want children are really trying to fast track it. Then, when you're like 'slow down', they try and act like you've got some kind of unresolved issues when really, they come off as needy and desperate. Let us get to know you as a person first. Damn."


Alexander. 24. Single.

"This topic is comedy to me because can you really pressure a man into doing something he doesn't want to do? If he decides to go ahead, for whatever the reason, he must've wanted to on some level, right? Maybe that's just me."

Nathan. 30. Married for Two Years.

"This is what I'd like women to consider—please stop with all of the 'God told me you are my husband' stuff. Do you know how many celebrities say that and are on their umpteenth marriage? You make God look crazy out here. Besides, if he told you, he will also tell the guy. That's how it works. Spiritual manipulation is also a form of marital pressure. It's the worst kind too."


Donovan. 33. Single.

"This topic. Why is it that when an accomplished woman in her 30s or 40s is still single, it's some form of liberation and when a guy, especially a Black man, is in the same boat, somehow we must be defective or commitment-phobes? A lot of the men in my circle aren't afraid to get married. We just don't want to get a divorce. So, if it takes longer to find 'her', it's all good. The one who is the quick turn-off, though? The woman who tries and emasculate us by making us feel like if we're not with someone then something is wrong with us. No one wants to be shamed into marriage."

Luke. 42. Engaged.

"Remember when you showed me that article you wrote about a man being marriage material is a man who wants to get married? That really is the bottom line.

"If a woman wants to get married, she needs to get involved with men who are on the same page. Don't wait until you are so emotionally invested that you feel like you've got to drag a guy down the aisle because you have put so much of yourself into it. Men who are ready for marriage are gonna act like it. They won't need to be pressured. They are already in that head and heart space."

Again, some of this may not have been your favorite thing to hear yet it is directly from the mouths of men. And if you were paying attention, pressure isn't beneficial—to them and, in the long run, for us either. Bottom line, a man who is ready for marriage embraces it. A man who isn't—while he might respond to pressure, it ultimately isn't the wisest approach. Choose wisely, y'all.

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ACLU By ACLUSponsored

Over the past four years, we grew accustomed to a regular barrage of blatant, segregationist-style racism from the White House. Donald Trump tweeted that “the Squad," four Democratic Congresswomen who are Black, Latinx, and South Asian, should “go back" to the “corrupt" countries they came from; that same year, he called Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas," mocking her belief that she might be descended from Native American ancestors.

But as outrageous as the racist comments Trump regularly spewed were, the racially unjust governmental actions his administration took and, in the case of COVID-19, didn't take, impacted millions more — especially Black and Brown people.

To begin to heal and move toward real racial justice, we must address not only the harms of the past four years, but also the harms tracing back to this country's origins. Racism has played an active role in the creation of our systems of education, health care, ownership, and employment, and virtually every other facet of life since this nation's founding.

Our history has shown us that it's not enough to take racist policies off the books if we are going to achieve true justice. Those past policies have structured our society and created deeply-rooted patterns and practices that can only be disrupted and reformed with new policies of similar strength and efficacy. In short, a systemic problem requires a systemic solution. To combat systemic racism, we must pursue systemic equality.

What is Systemic Racism?

A system is a collection of elements that are organized for a common purpose. Racism in America is a system that combines economic, political, and social components. That system specifically disempowers and disenfranchises Black people, while maintaining and expanding implicit and explicit advantages for white people, leading to better opportunities in jobs, education, and housing, and discrimination in the criminal legal system. For example, the country's voting systems empower white voters at the expense of voters of color, resulting in an unequal system of governance in which those communities have little voice and representation, even in policies that directly impact them.

Systemic Equality is a Systemic Solution

In the years ahead, the ACLU will pursue administrative and legislative campaigns targeting the Biden-Harris administration and Congress. We will leverage legal advocacy to dismantle systemic barriers, and will work with our affiliates to change policies nearer to the communities most harmed by these legacies. The goal is to build a nation where every person can achieve their highest potential, unhampered by structural and institutional racism.

To begin, in 2021, we believe the Biden administration and Congress should take the following crucial steps to advance systemic equality:

Voting Rights

The administration must issue an executive order creating a Justice Department lead staff position on voting rights violations in every U.S. Attorney office. We are seeing a flood of unlawful restrictions on voting across the country, and at every level of state and local government. This nationwide problem requires nationwide investigatory and enforcement resources. Even if it requires new training and approval protocols, a new voting rights enforcement program with the participation of all 93 U.S. Attorney offices is the best way to help ensure nationwide enforcement of voting rights laws.

These assistant U.S. attorneys should begin by ensuring that every American in the custody of the Bureau of Prisons who is eligible to vote can vote, and monitor the Census and redistricting process to fight the dilution of voting power in communities of color.

We are also calling on Congress to pass the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to finally create a fair and equal national voting system, the cause for which John Lewis devoted his life.

Student Debt

Black borrowers pay more than other students for the same degrees, and graduate with an average of $7,400 more in debt than their white peers. In the years following graduation, the debt gap more than triples. Nearly half of Black borrowers will default within 12 years. In other words, for Black Americans, the American dream costs more. Last week, Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, along with House Reps. Ayanna Pressley, Maxine Waters, and others, called on President Biden to cancel up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt per borrower.

We couldn't agree more. By forgiving $50,000 of student debt, President Biden can unleash pent up economic potential in Black communities, while relieving them of a burden that forestalls so many hopes and dreams. Black women in particular will benefit from this executive action, as they are proportionately the most indebted group of all Americans.

Postal Banking

In both low and high income majority-Black communities, traditional bank branches are 50 percent more likely to close than in white communities. The result is that nearly 50 percent of Black Americans are unbanked or underbanked, and many pay more than $2,000 in fees associated with subprime financial institutions. Over their lifetime, those fees can add up to as much as two years of annual income for the average Black family.

The U.S. Postal Service can and should meet this crisis by providing competitive, low-cost financial services to help advance economic equality. We call on President Biden to appoint new members to the Postal Board of Governors so that the Post Office can do the work of providing essential services to every American.

Fair Housing

Across the country, millions of people are living in communities of concentrated poverty, including 26 percent of all Black children. The Biden administration should again implement the 2015 Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing rule, which required localities that receive federal funds for housing to investigate and address barriers to fair housing and patterns or practices that promote bias. In 1980, the average Black person lived in a neighborhood that was 62 percent Black and 31 percent white. By 2010, the average Black person's neighborhood was 48 percent Black and 34 percent white. Reinstating the Obama-era Fair Housing Rule will combat this ongoing segregation and set us on a path to true integration.

Congress should also pass the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, or a similar measure, to finally redress the legacy of redlining and break down the walls of segregation once and for all.

Broadband Access

To realize broadband's potential to benefit our democracy and connect us to one another, all people in the United States must have equal access and broadband must be made affordable for the most vulnerable. Yet today, 15 percent of American households with school-age children do not have subscriptions to any form of broadband, including one-quarter of Black households (an additional 23 percent of African Americans are “smartphone-only" internet users, meaning they lack traditional home broadband service but do own a smartphone, which is insufficient to attend class, do homework, or apply for a job). The Biden administration, Federal Communications Commission, and Congress must develop and implement plans to increase funding for broadband to expand universal access.

Enhanced, Refundable Child Tax Credits

The United States faces a crisis of child poverty. Seventeen percent of all American children are impoverished — a rate higher than not just peer nations like Canada and the U.K., but Mexico and Russia as well. Currently, more than 50 percent of Black and Latinx children in the U.S. do not qualify for the full benefit, compared to 23 percent of white children, and nearly one in five Black children do not receive any credit at all.

To combat this crisis, President Biden and Congress should enhance the child tax credit and make it fully refundable. If we enhance the child tax credit, we can cut child poverty by 40 percent and instantly lift over 50 percent of Black children out of poverty.


We cannot repair harms that we have not fully diagnosed. We must commit to a thorough examination of the impact of the legacy of chattel slavery on racial inequality today. In 2021, Congress must pass H.R. 40, which would establish a commission to study reparations and make recommendations for Black Americans.

The Long View

For the past century, the ACLU has fought for racial justice in legislatures and in courts, including through several landmark Supreme Court cases. While the court has not always ruled in favor of racial justice, incremental wins throughout history have helped to chip away at different forms of racism such as school segregation ( Brown v. Board), racial bias in the criminal legal system (Powell v. Alabama, i.e. the Scottsboro Boys), and marriage inequality (Loving v. Virginia). While these landmark victories initiated necessary reforms, they were only a starting point.

Systemic racism continues to pervade the lives of Black people through voter suppression, lack of financial services, housing discrimination, and other areas. More than anything, doing this work has taught the ACLU that we must fight on every front in order to overcome our country's legacies of racism. That is what our Systemic Equality agenda is all about.

In the weeks ahead, we will both expand on our views of why these campaigns are crucial to systemic equality and signal the path this country must take. We will also dive into our work to build organizing, advocacy, and legal power in the South — a region with a unique history of racial oppression and violence alongside a rich history of antiracist organizing and advocacy. We are committed to four principles throughout this campaign: reconciliation, access, prosperity, and empowerment. We hope that our actions can meet our ambition to, as Dr. King said, lead this nation to live out the true meaning of its creed.

What you can do:
Take the pledge: Systemic Equality Agenda
Sign up

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