How to Remain Married for a Lifetime


If you’ve been visiting my site frequently, you may think that I’m a woman-basher. Heck the “love” category is freakin’ depressing: batshit-crazy women, bad mothers, and gold-digger mercenaries. Where is the love?

I gotta say … You got a point.

So in this article, let’s talk about something a bit more uplifting. Let’s talk about how you can get your marriage to last a lifetime … without becoming a spineless, supplicating, and weak husband.

To do that, let’s look at the marriage customs from more than 300 years ago …

Back in the 18th century and earlier, arranged marriages were the norm. You didn’t go out and choose your own girl. There was no flirting, no dating, and definitely no hooking up. You worked hard. And when the time was right, your parents (or even a matchmaker) chose the girl you were gonna marry. If you were lucky, you got to spend a little bit of time getting to know the girl. If not, you went straight from strangers to husband & wife. And most likely, you remained married for life.

In these days, arranged marriages have been replaced by autonomous marriages. You see a cute girl. You think she may be the one. You try to talk to her, without appearing creepy or desperate. Next, you try to date her. And then date her some more. And after a few years, you get married … with divorce looming over the horizon.

According to Wikipedia (with my emphasis in bold):

Divorce rates have climbed in Europe and United States, with increase in autonomous marriage rates. The lowest divorce rates in the world are in cultures with high rates of arranged marriages such as Amish culture of United States (1%), Hindus of India (3%), and Orthodox Jews of Israel (7%). In contrast, over 50% of self-arranged marriages in many parts of Europe and United States end up in divorce. This has led scholars to ask if arranged marriages are more stable than autonomous marriages, and whether this stability matters? Others suggest that the low divorce rates may not reflect stability, rather it may reflect the difficulty in divorce process and social ostracism to the individuals, who choose to live in a dysfunctional marriage rather than face the consequences of a divorce.

Hmm… It seems like American society has taken a step back when it came to fulfilling wedding vows. Why is that?

Why Do Arranged Marriages Work Better?

Based on the statistics, it is clear that arranged marriages work better than “true love” marriages. Why?

Parents’ filters. If your parents want to set you up with your future wife, you can be damn sure they’ll do quite an extensive background check. They would asked questions such as:

  • Is she educated?
  • What is her faith?
  • What does she do?
  • What is her reputation?
  • How is her health?
  • How old is she?
  • What is her family like?
  • Does she have kids?

You can’t blame them. They merely want the best for their son.

If they spot any red flags, the girl won’t make it through the filter. They’ll pass on the cigarette-smoking, divorced, and unemployed mom. They’ll ok the sweet, shy, and child-less elementary school teacher. Basically, when they introduce you to a girl, you’ll know that she met some kind of criteria.

As with any relationship, the better you are, the better your girl is gonna be.

Less choices. When a person has less choices, he’ll have less regrets. Since you are not meeting 10 different people every night (unlike the typical bar-hopper), you won’t have as many choices — which is a good thing. Studies have shown that more choices create more regrets. You are more likely to choose and to feel satisfied with your choice if the selections are limited.

What would you rather have: 3 high-quality selections or 30 various-quality selections?

The same can be said for your wife. If her choices were limited to a few, high-quality options, she would feel more satisfied in her choice. And hence, less likely to divorce.

Social expectations. Cultures which embrace arranged marriages are more conservative. Therefore, they strongly frown upon divorce. Divorced women may actually be ostracized from society. In traditional societies, female divorcees don’t get alimony, child support, children, or friends. She will have nothing.

Therefore, the wife would try her best to make the marriage work. At the slightest sign of difficulty, she won’t be crying out for a divorce.

In a no-fault divorce environment (which we currently have in the US), as long as one side (usually the wife) wants out, the divorce is gonna happen.

Is There Love in Arranged Marriages?

It is a fair question.

If two people are paired together without their consent …

If two people are strangers when they marry …

Can there be love?

According to Harvard academic, Dr. Robert Epstein:

… feelings of love in love matches begin to fade by as much as a half in 18 months, whereas the love in the arranged marriages tends to grow gradually, surpassing the love in the unarranged marriages at about the five-year mark.

Ten years on, the affection felt by those in arranged marriages is typically twice as strong.

Dr. Epstein believes this is because Westerners leave their love lives to chance, or fate, often confusing love with lust, whereas those in other cultures look for more than just passion.

He said: ‘The idea is we must not leave our love lives to chance. We plan our education, our careers and our finances but we’re still uncomfortable with the idea that we should plan our love lives. I do not advocate arranged marriages but I think a lot can be learned from them.

‘In arranged marriages, thought goes into the matching. In the West, physical attraction is important. But people must be able to distinguish lust from love. Strong physical attraction is very dangerous, it can be blinding.

So yes, love is present in arranged marriages. And after 10 years, the love in arranged marriages is double that in an unarranged marriage. Basically, there is less love in a marriage based on “true love” and “soul mates.”

Even though I write about loveless women (i.e. batshit-crazy women, bad mothers, and gold-digger mercenaries), I believe in love. I really do. And I think it is a great thing.

However, I don’t believe in romantic love — the love at first sight … the love from being struck by cupid’s arrow. I think that is more lust than love. And people who marry because of this “love,” are the ones who will most likely divorce.

My definition of love is unwavering loyalty. There doesn’t have to be fireworks or chemistry. But there has to be faithfulness and dedication. Therefore, based on divorced rates, there is actually more love (and more loyalty) in arranged marriages than autonomous marriages.

I’m not gonna get married. But if I do, my safe bet is to have it arranged.

Divorce-Proof Your Marriage

If arranged marriages are way too old-school for you, do not worry. You can still take active steps to make sure your marriage lasts for a lifetime:

Rule #1. Apply some filters. It doesn’t mean she has to be the hottest girl. It means she has to be a good girl and a loyal girl. This type of girl is most likely submissive and traditional. Good luck finding her.

Rule #2. Remember … less options mean more satisfaction. Hence, pick a girl with less experience. In other words, marry a virgin. Since she did not “try out” other guys, she has no one to compared you to. Therefore, you’re the best guy she’s ever had. Good luck finding her.

Rule #3. Live in an environment that empowers you. Is the community pro-marriage? Does the society shame promiscuity and divorce? Consider the legal factors too. Does the law of the land favor husbands or wives? Dads or moms? A smart man will try to tip the scales in his favor.

I came across a story of a wife that was growing uncontrollable. The husband seriously feared that the wife was gonna slap him with a divorce, take his assets, and keep his children.

So he secretly plotted to move to another country with his children. During the few months before the flight, he was doing his best not to displease his wife. He grit his teeth on the inside, but was full of deference on the outside.

Yes, honey. Whatever you want, darling.

Finally, the chance came for him to show his cards. The last few days before the flight, he told his wife, “Honey, the kids and I are moving. You can choose to join us, or you can remain here. If you remain in the US, you will never see them again. And don’t think you’ll get even a penny from me.”

The wife decided to move with the family. She couldn’t bear leaving her children. (She probably couldn’t bear living with her parents again either.) In the new country, her uncontrollable behaviors stopped. She became docile and submissive. The man reclaimed control of the family once again.

This story shows that you can break rule 1. You can break rule 2. But never break rule 3. Always tip the scales in your favor. There may not be love in your marriage. But with power, you can get things your way. In this case, more likely than not, you’ll be married for a lifetime.

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  1. Fantastic Post Alex,

    The issue of marriage these days unfortunately is totally disregarded. I think the reason is that both the man and the woman still think that they could still do what they did when they were single. They still think they can go and “Hang with the Fellas or Girls every weekend!” They do not want to give up control of their lives to one another there is no “Give or Take” Western society tries to push that marriage is all about the woman when it reality it takes both the man and woman to make the marriage work. Many modern western women have the misconception that marriage is something like what you see in a Disney movie.

    Like i said before Marriage takes work, patience and sacrifice! You have to respect and be dedicated to each other, Yes love plays a role as well but its not the only thing that can make a marriage work.

    I met my wife later in life before that time i dated women and while dating them each one taught me what to look for and what not to look for in a woman i would like to marry.

    let me tell you a story!

    I met my wife at work she worked in a different department than i did but since i was the local IT guy there i usually would be walking around from one desk to another solving IT issues. We met and we hit it it off! We clicked immediately as we both like the same type movies, music and even technology! We began dating after that!

    Then one day i was sitting in my desk early one morning in the IT department. That particular morning everyone was there getting ready for the day and lo and behold my wife came to me and brought me my breakfast to my desk and placed it very neatly in front of me. She took off the wrapper and even opened my tropicana orange juice bottle!

    Everyone in the IT department grew quiet as they watched my wife do this for me without me asking her. Gave me a kiss on the cheek and went off on her way! I turned around and saw all of the guys with big smiles on their faces. They knew and i knew i gotta put a ring on this chicks finger quick!

    its been close to 10 years now since we have been married and yes it has its ups and downs but i do not regret marrying her. I found her only because i had a list of what i thought the qualities of a future wife should have. A lot of us men tend to think with our Dicks when choosing to be with a woman for the rest of their lives. We tend to shoot for the pretty looks and the great sex. Those qualities although good are not the only qualities you should be concentrating on while looking for a woman.

    You should look for whether or not you get along with her, Whether or not she can take care of the home the both of you live in and such. Will she be a good mother to your kids and would she hold you down and stay by your side through thick and thin. Those qualities are the ones that i was looking for in a future wife and was lucky enough to find a woman like that.

    Arranged marriages although has its positives it can also easily break up just like those western type marriages. They break up not because they want to be away from each other its because of outside forces. Her friends might be whispering bullshit into her ear about how great it is to be single and such. Telling her you do not need a man to tell you or take care of you and vice versa.

    You want to know the secret of being happily married is? It is not allowing outsiders invade your relationship and filling up your mind with fantasies. Once you find that woman watch her closely at watch she does in situations. If any of those tests you do on her she does poorly then its time to kick her to the curb and move on to something better.

    Great Post Alex!

    • Alex Ding says:

      Hey bro,

      Your wife sounds like a keeper. Treat her well.

      You obviously know what you are talking about because you’ve been married for awhile.

      Thanks for the tips!

  2. Anonymous says:

    I was watching a video of Dr. Benjamin Carson recently and he talking about how marriage is a sacred institution and how gays and other related sexual orientations should not be allowed to have all the privileges a man and woman couple has.And I agree with this .

    So Alex if you were in his position how would you tackle this?

    As for the marriage part thanks for the post.I only 18 so I thats not my main focus now.
    However it is a topic that I am drawn to due the high divorce rates broken homes etc.

    • Alex Ding says:

      Dr. Carson’s view is deeply rooted in Christianity, and I cannot argue with his viewpoints.

      Personally, I think marriage is good — if both the man and the woman are loving and loyal. But if you’re not sure if she is loyal, marrying her would be a terrible idea. As for gay marriages, I don’t have an opinion.

      Besides satisfying cultural obligations and moral obligations, is there a point to marriage?

  3. I like the way you say
    “Good luck finding her”.

    BTW any examples of such countries. I live in the Philippines, in comparison to others I dont know if it is “pro or anti” comparatively.

    • Alex Ding says:

      Philippines frown on divorce, so I would assume there is no alimony and child support there. But if you bring a Filipino wife to the US, it may not go too well. It depends on who she is.

      A lot of the girls there are family oriented. The environment is very pro-family. And most of the stories of marriages with a Filipino women were positive. There are the few stories of her turning into a complete nightmare.

      But finding the right girl is very individual specific. See who she keeps company with. See if she is willing to cook for you and serve you. Later on, I’ll write an article on how you can tell if she is any good or not.

      • Question. Does restricting your options apply to both sides? Although i’m not married, I could guess that being a somewhat promiscuous man might make it easier to cheat on a good girl.

        • Alex Ding says:

          Hey Ken,

          You’re absolutely right. It applies to both sides.

          • Thanks for the reply Alex.

            Just read Influence by Robert Cialdini, 80/20 by Richard Koch and Persuasion by Robert Levine.

            You just changed my life.

            And to think those books existed years ago! ARRRGGHHH!!!

            Anyway, congrats on becoming a doctor. Your latest post is definitely something to heed.

            Keep writing.


          • Alex Ding says:

            Hey Ken,

            Those are 3 excellent books you read. Reading a life-changing book is rare, but it is sooooooo worth it. Keep up the reading and you’ll be amazed at how much you’ve changed for the better … even in just 1 year!

            Too many guys focus on developing their body, but you get more bang from your work from developing your mind.


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