My Son Does Not Believe in Marriage. How Do I Change His Mind?

My Son Does Not Believe in Marriage. How Do I Change His Mind?
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Hi Evan. I hope you can help. This is about my son. I love him dearly. First, I can say he is not gay. But he is already 29 and tells me he doesn’t believe in marriage. He believes in plurality in relationships. He refuses most arguments about the benefits of being married and insists that the best lifestyle for him is not to be faithful to one woman, but to have many women.

See, this breaks my heart. As a mother I want him to find a women that loves him, get married and have children and be faithful like a normal person would do.

How can I help him move his thinking towards favoring marriage and faithful relationships?

Any suggestions? Please help.
—Ileana

Dear Ileana,

I’m going to answer your question, but I can’t “help”.

Because your query presumes that you can “make him” do something that he doesn’t want to do. And you can’t. The second you accept that is the second that you’re going to come to peace with reality.

If he wants to be free, there’s absolutely nothing his MOM can say that’s going to change his mind

Reality is that your son wants to be free. And if he wants to be free, there’s absolutely nothing his MOM can say that’s going to change his mind — no matter how earnest, factual and logical.

So I’m going to attempt to do two things today. One, I’m going to explain to you HIS point of view. And I’m going to give you some ammunition for YOUR point of view for when you ignore my advice and continue to try to convince him that he’s wrong.

Your son believes in “plurality” in relationships. He wants to have many women.

Guess what? So do most men.

The question is whether it’s a short-term or a long-term proposition.

At 29, I was still looking for a girlfriend, but I was very much enjoying the opportunity to sleep around for awhile before I started building my future. It would be somewhat unusual if he DIDN’T want to sleep around. Especially since biologically, this is what men are programmed to do. Really. It’s not even debatable.

So, if I were you, I would put zero pressure on your son. Let him know to have safe sex and try to be an ethical person by not hurting women unnecessarily or for too long. That’s all that you can do.

If he’s going to undergo a change of heart, you can’t impose your beliefs and values on him. It will have to be on his own terms.

95% of people eventually get married.

However, none of them do so because their mothers tell them to.

Soon, he’s going to notice that all of his friends are getting married.

Soon, he’s going to be the only single guy at weddings.

Soon, he’s going to be the “old guy” at clubs and parties.

Soon, he’s going to discover that all of his single friends aren’t available to go out and pick up women.

Soon, he’s going to discover that it’s somewhat hollow to keep recycling women, week after week, month after month.

Soon, he’s going to think about his own loneliness.

Then again, I could be wrong.

Maybe your son is wired differently. Maybe he didn’t see your marriage as something he’d like to emulate. Maybe he doesn’t see the value in family. Maybe he’s just a shallow horndog, who truly values sex a lot more than he values intimacy and sharing. Maybe he genuinely prefers to be alone.

Only time will tell.

But, if it’s any consolation to you, 95% of people eventually get married.

However, none of them do so because their mothers tell them to. They do so because they determine that the value of love, commitment, and stability is greater than the value of a variety of partners.

As long as he thinks that variety is better than monogamy, he’s going to continue to make that decision.

I’ll bet that he changes his mind eventually. But it might not be until his early 40’s that he realizes that life is better when you’re not alone.

Just remember: it’s not about YOU and YOUR grandkids.

It’s about HIS happiness.

And if this makes him happy (and doesn’t hurt anybody else), all you can do as a mother is to support him.

And don’t get attached to any of his girlfriends.

Join our conversation (26 Comments).
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Comments:

  1. 21
    Amelia

    I don’t know, Goldie.   I think that  some men really  don’t find the impetus for evaluating women as marriage material until their friends begin to pair off and start families.   It starts gradually, but then all of a sudden, a single guy will realize he’s become the odd man out among all the husbands and (maybe)  fathers, and that nights out have morphed into weekend cookouts.   Yeah, the guys may still get together by themselves, but maybe only a few times a year when it used to be every weekend.   Basically, he starts feeling lonely and awkward which prompts him to  work on making some  decisions about himself.  
    That doesn’t mean it’s the  actual reason a single guy in that situation would get married…he may decide marriage just isn’t for him.   But if he does decide that marriage is in his future, I think any guy with his head on straight will still want to look for and marry a great gal who makes him feel great.    And in seeing his friends who have great wives and  great kids – who show him that marriage ISN’T going to completely ruin his life – that may be what starts the process of thinking and acting seriously about women as companions during the day, and not just during the night.  

  2. 22
    Catharine

    I can understand how the mother feels, but I hav a 27 year old son. I don’t want him to get married unless it’s right for him. His dad and I got married too young and I think his dad bowed to pressure from his parents and thinking that I would be a replacement for his mom.  

  3. 23
    T-Cat

    I had a 40-year-old tell me the exact same thing a while ago. He married VERY young & got divorced ten years later. That explains why he’s taken on such an attitude, or belief. He lost his identity in it all, which is VERY sad to me. I’m glad he has the freedom to express who he is now. He said he doesn’t trust women, but who knows, perhaps he’s carrying feelings of guilt? I told him we can remain friends, hence our different values & beliefs, & that I’ll still support him 100% regardless.  

    He always goes out of his way for me & makes time, even though he’s a true alpha. His career comes first & I respect that. The attraction is high, but because I’m a very cautious & analytical person, it hasn’t blinded me. I’ve let this one slide. If things happen, they will. However, the passing of time is inevitable & I STILL keep my options open. 🙂

  4. 24
    Trevor

    Most men are completely incapable of monogamy.   Many guys get married thinking they are but they aren’t and that is why half of marriages end in divorce.   I am 44 and still single because I realized early on that making a commitment to only have sex with one   person for the rest of my life was a commitment I couldn’t keep.   I don’t make commitments I can’t keep!   Perhaps your son is the same way.

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