Welp, they didn't hold anything back, and revealed their pretty strong and controversial opinions on the institution.
So here's what men truly think about marriage, ranging from "it's the most rotten thing in the world" to "I'm in love with love, marriage is a splendid old thing":
1."I got married, and now I regret it. She cheated three and a half months after our wedding (it was an emotional affair). I probably could've left her if I still had it in my head she was my girlfriend. But, I was brought up with the goals of having a wife and kids, and can't seem to bring myself to let it go. We are working it out, but it's hard to want all that again."
"The affair involved photos with someone she'd met online and who lived in another country. We were going through a bit of a rough patch, trying to figure out how we were going through our day-to-day life. She's put a lot of time and effort into me to get me through my apprenticeship, but when I reached the end of my contract with the training company without finishing, stuff took a bad turn.
So I think a lot boils down to how I feel like I owe her, and ultimately because I still love her. I think I can move on from it since it was a one-time thing, and she came clean about it herself. But it does suck feeling like you can't trust them around anyone anymore."
2."We had been together for nine years, and I did want to stay with her, so I figured, 'Yeah, why not throw a party.' It really was a great wedding. But even after nine years together, she changed a lot after the wedding (and acknowledged she did). We quickly didn't want to be around each other anymore, and were divorced within 18 months of the wedding date. I doubt I'll ever get married again. It's been six years, and that dream of a life partner (or even anything lasting) still seems like an illusion to me."
3."Currently being a bad partner is incentivized, so I would not recommend getting married. 'For richer or poorer, better or worse, in sickness and in health' are the ideal commitments of a husband and wife to one another. However, it is in the 'worse' scenarios that men are being left. I filled the caregiver role for several years, and had to work 'crazy' hours to keep a roof over our heads. I was doing my best to honor my vows, and she cheated and then left. Plenty of other stories like mine can be found. As I was working through what happened, it was astonishing to see how many other men had stories almost identical to mine. Marriage has the potential to be amazing. But unfortunately, the culture and legal system incentivize too much bad behavior to make it a worthwhile move."
4."I don't believe in the institution, and quite frankly am a bit upset by it being a societal expectation and 'requirement.' I think it's an outdated concept, and that there should be ways to achieve the legal benefits it rewards without undergoing the act of getting married. What angers me the most is that people ask you 'why are you guys just boyfriend and girlfriend, and not married yet?' It's like I as the man have to spend thousands of euros/dollars on a ring and undergo a bloody ritual just for the sake of getting on with our lives. When in fact, I am already 100% committed for life. People somehow view being engaged/married as this elevated state of partnership that is superior to being just partners."
"I can respect the whole celebrating the commitment for one another. That's a good enough reason if that's the main draw, and I can 100% get behind that. But the idea that a marriage somehow makes people more committed is utter bull, and I'm so tired of it.
People cheat, people get divorced, people marry people they shouldn't marry, people don't really know their partners as well as they think. Millions of reasons may still lead married people to a divorce, so I really don't see the point."
5."I've been married for 13 years. At the time I was very much in love (I still am), and social norms suggested this was the next step if I wanted to spend my life with her (which I did). For us marriage was an act of signing a contract (both literally and figuratively). Emotionally we were saying to each other we're in it for the long haul now, and if problems come up, we will work to fix them instead of breaking up. We hadn't lived together beforehand, so it also represented that change as well. I'm sure for couples who move in together outside of marriage the change is more subtle."
6."Let me put it this way: I love my wife, and I love being married to her, but the whole marriage industry and process of getting married is a shit show. The institution of marriage is based on an economic and societal model of the late 1800s, and apart from some aspects makes little sense now. Thankfully, my wife didn't want a large wedding, so we did a 'small' ceremony, and it was beautiful (it still turned out larger than expected). But the whole wedding industry can fuck right off. While it was beautiful, it was also probably the most stressful period of my life last year."
7."We had a wedding because it was important to my wife to have one. I’ve drifted away from my immediate family, so aside from my groomsmen and friends, almost all of the family in attendance came from her side. No regrets whatsoever. We had a blast during our wedding night, but my favorite part was getting to celebrate marrying her. Would do it again."
8."I always assumed I’d get married once I found The One, but once I met my girlfriend and learned she wasn’t super into marriage, I kind of realized it doesn’t really matter to me. I had only assumed I’d get married because 'that’s what people do.'"
9."I am married, but I will advise my son not to. Except for tax benefits, there's literally nothing a marriage offers to men — it brings a huge risk (yes, divorce). Today living together and having kids without marriage is totally acceptable, and nobody cares."
10."I get the benefit of marriage for raising kids or for taxes in a single-earner household, but I ain't having kids. The penalty of having to support somebody would likely outweigh the tax benefit at this point."
11."I've been married for 30 years — I can't imagine going through life without a partner. We were friends before we were romantic, so love is an extension of our friendship. A lot of people are against it these days. There are some legal advantages of being married (some people don't think about). My wife worked with a woman who had been with a man for 25 years but never got married. They had a house together, cars, and a lot of other stuff. The majority of it was in his name. He died suddenly and didn't have a will — she was left with basically nothing. Everything went to his family, and they kept everything. She was in her 50s and had to start from scratch. 'Marriage is just a piece of paper,' but it's a piece of paper the courts take very seriously."
12."To spend thousands of dollars on a wedding where nobody gives two shits about me, only to be a decoration next to the bride? To spend a couple of years in an unhappy marriage? To give her half my assets after divorcing and paying alimony the rest of my life? No, thank you."
13."I absolutely love being married. I treasure every day with my wife. However, I think I see a lot of people getting married because it’s the 'next logical step.' My wife and I were together for seven years before I proposed (from the time we were 19 until we were 26). I never felt any pressure from her to accelerate the timeline. If a woman is pressuring you to get married, there’s likely another reason besides just being happy — it’s likely a societal expectation."
14."I'm bi, and I want to find my forever person and have kids. The marriage itself is somewhat less important — I don't need a big wedding by any means. I would probably prefer something smaller-scale. I would also insist on a prenup not because I'm worried about anyone taking anything or the relationship failing, but because I've handled divorces, and they're AWFUL. All of that being said, people shouldn't rush to marriage. It's something that can be done in 24–48 hours, but can take months to over a year to undo at a significant expense."
15."I like the companionship and want to be a father, so yes. When I date at this point in my life (I'm in my late 20s), I'm more focused on values and marriage potential. I'd like to settle down in my early 30s. So, things like a woman saying she doesn't want kids or giving some indication like she's just there for a fun evening...yeah, I'll get up and walk out on you (in a polite manner, of course). That being said, it's also not something to take lightly. I have friends who got into shotgun marriages due to accidental pregnancies, or others who rushed into it because we're approaching our 30s. They were freaked out about being single. So, I focus on long-term potential, but it's a slow game. I'm pretty adamant on dating for a year or two, living together for at least a year, and then we can worry about the ring."
16."So I've been married for almost 19 years now (we were together for 11 when we got married). Eloped in Vegas (I highly recommend the cheap wedding so you could save the cash for the big celebration with loved ones after). I personally don't think getting married makes your commitment to your spouse more than not being married. I had bought a home with her, and we were raising a son together. I don't know that a piece of paper makes you more committed or not. Where I live, after we had lived together for seven months (back then — now it's a year), you were considered common law married. So, any breakup would be/could be treated like a divorce. But we were already engaged, and said that if we were going to get married, it would be an elopement in Vegas. The stars aligned, and we took my wife's parents there for their 50th wedding anniversary."
17.And finally, "Marriage is not the next step after graduating school or getting a job. It is a merger with another entity who supports and increases the value of your entity. You are like Dude, Inc. — you have goals and plans. You acquire assets to increase your value. MERGE with someone who also has similar goals and plans, someone whose addition increases the sum. A wife should not be a business expense, something you 'bought' to play with like an expensive toy. She should add (not subtract) to the net worth. Does love have anything to do with it? Of course, but you can love a woman who adds just as much as you can with one who will subtract value. Like a brand new car that drops a few grand in value, when you drive it off the lot, that hottie you want to marry can drop like a rock in value over time while increasing your expenses. Marriage is a business — you're making a contract with someone. Think before you merge."
Note: Some submissions have been edited for length and/or clarity.