The Legend of the Happily Married Man

Ten months.

I am the kind of person who will go to quirky extremes to accomplish a mission that I have set my heart upon. In the process, that may mean that I am seen as fanatic, arrogant, or simply removed from reality and relevance. This is because I believe that often in life, it’s the little things we take for granted that can ultimately throw everything off whack. So I pay very close attention to those seemingly insignificant details and live my life accordingly.

Therefore, I am not a husband who will ever be quoted as saying, “Well I can look at the menu, can’t I?” as a justification to “appreciate the beauty” of another woman. It’s one thing to acknowledge another woman is attractive when someone asks me, in general; but that’s not what I’m referring to.

I’m talking about being out at a public place, hanging out with other guys, and the conversation turns to the body of the 22 year old waitress.Or observing the way other male coworkers lose their focus every time the Jane Siegel of the office (a reference to the 2nd season of Mad Men) walks by. I simply refuse to contribute in those situations.I am a happily married man and that means something to me.

It means that I don’t need to try to answer any subconscious questions in regards to my ability to woo a woman other than my wife.It means I will respect the sanctity of my marriage and the integrity of my family; not letting my guard down, even on account of an innocent look or a thoughtless comment regarding another woman.

Why would I need to “look at the menu” when I’ve already got everything I want in my wife? Part of the positive re-branding of fatherhood involves a deliberate campaign to view every other woman simply as another woman- not an object of desire. A man I would aspire to be like is a man who respects his wife even when she’s not around. So that’s the kind of man I choose to be.

I wear a wedding ring. Therefore, that dominates the messages I send to other women. My conversations with them will accordingly be intertwined with mention of my wife and son; so that even if I didn’t have a wedding ring, the message would still be clear how much I value my marriage- and how not interested I am in looking at any other items on the menu.

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  1. by Ferne Emery

    On October 2, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    I believe that the wedding rings are an extension of the heart. It doesn’t matter what you wear on your finger; if it’s not in your heart, it’s a wasted symbol. The day I got married, my husband explained the old wives tale that a woman wears the rings on her left finger because it’s believed that a vein in that finger is directly connected to the heart. I see many men who wear their rings, and scoff at the meaning. I know women who see a wedding ring and see it as a challenge. I say I “see” them, but know they are not my friends; I believe you are who you hang with. So, just wearing the rings isn’t enough. I actually sometimes forget them because I’m in a rush in the morning. Some of my friends sleep in them, and that’s great, but I don’t. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what is on my finger; it matters what’s in my heart.

  2. by Denise J Charles

    On November 5, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    These thoughts are great and it is wonderful to hear a man voice them. The issue is really one of sexual integrity and having the guts to not do what is almost socially expected, that is, flirt with other women.

  3. by Nick Shell

    On November 5, 2011 at 8:15 pm

    Thank you kindly, Denise.

  4. by Jay

    On December 21, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I am not married or a father but one day when the moment comes this is the man I look to be. I find myself at a crossroads at the moment and looked to a relationship for realization… when that didn’t work the advice from all my brothers and most of my guy friends is to always have a side piece, because a man is a man… that isn’t a man, if you’re unhappy leave but cheating is never the answer. I hope that when I do meet the mother of my kids, I stand by this. Awesome, thanks bro!

  5. by Amanda

    On February 15, 2012 at 8:24 am

    You’re AWESOME! I hope lots of other men read this and are challenged to change their behavior.

    My husband also hates it when he’s out with other men (usually from work) and they start checking out the waitress. He usually asks them, “Would you do this in front of your wife?” Or “How would your wife feel if she knew what you were doing?” He usually gets pretty snarky comments in return, but he’s unapologetic. He also fast forwards through risque parts of movies, or changes the channel if he’s watching TV and something racy comes on – even when he’s by himself. I respect him so much for that and I know that he CHOOSES to act this way out of respect for me and our marriage. It makes me feel so loved and cherished even though I am far from a super model (although my deluded husband claims I am more beautiful than super models are anyway, and that I have never been prettier to him than I am now at 32 weeks pregnant.)

    Men like you and him are the way men SHOULD be. Thank you!

  6. by Nick Shell

    On February 17, 2012 at 1:00 pm

    Amanda, thank you. Also, you have inspired me to write a post about why husbands truly see their pregnant wives as no less than beautiful. So, thanks for that :)

  7. by KToTheT

    On March 2, 2012 at 11:48 am

    He doth protest too much, methinks.

    If your marriage is not secure enough to endure the occaisional wayward glance or harmless flirtation, I fear for its longevity.