As an unmarried man, I tread very carefully in talking about marriage. While I have many married friends and learned a lot from observing and interacting with them, I will not pretend to fully understand what marriage is like or be an expert on it. Yet in being an observer, I have noticed that marriage has certain effects on men, and there’s one in particular that I am focusing on for this post.

Generally speaking, marriage seems to smooth out some of a man’s rough edges and, for lack of a better description, grow him up real fast. What I mean by this is that marriage seems to make men less (outwardly) belligerent and much more responsible and less selfish. Of course, one can always find exceptions and I can’t cite any statistical data in making this claim, but I’ve seen it enough that I think that my general statement has at least some merit. Understand that I am not saying that single men cannot be mature or well-behaved members of society, but I am saying that marriage seems to help many men get on that path.

Could there be other factors at work here? Of course. Jobs, environment, health, education, the influence of friends, and just the passage of time all play a part in the molding of an adult man. But when I think of marriage, that covenantal bonding of husband and wife in sacred matrimony, I can’t think of too many other influences that are as strong in shaping a man’s life. Again, this is just an ignorant single male speaking on this, and I know that many people like to argue about the respective merits of marriage, but it seems to me that, at least in this one area, marriage is a positive benefit for men.

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