A while back on the range, I was explaining to a guy my notion of “Man Years” and “Woman Years”
It’s a concept similar to “Dog” or “Cat” years, but it’s not as simple.
For a woman, her “woman years” are always her biological age.
A man, on the other hand, is his biological age plus or minus a few cumulative factors.
If a man has a girlfriend or has a fiancé who he doesn’t live with, he subtracts 2 years from his biological age.
(i.e. – if his biological age is 18 and has a girlfriend, he is 16 in “man years”, since girlfriends make men act young and dumb)
If he has a girlfriend/fiancé he lives with, he subtracts 5 years from his age.
A married man adds 5 years, plus 5 years for every child he has (regardless of who with).
A divorced man subtracts the 5 years from being married, but adds 20 years for the divorce.
An important thing to note about this is that both men’s and women’s life expectancy are still their respective “man” / “woman” years (in Canada, it’s around 80 or so).
By this calculation, I am turning 60 this December, and have about another 20 or so years left before I hit my life expectancy, or as I like to think about it, until I’ve gone through all a man needs to go through in his life.
If my wife (of 9 years) were to divorce me tomorrow, that would be it. I’d be done.
This is a particularly contentious these days, since marriage and fatherhood are more or less culturally dead institutions, but there are still young men brave (or more likely, shortsighted and foolish) enough to get married or God forbid, have children.
There’s some things these young men need to think about, especially if they love guns and shooting and don’t want to experience pre-mature decline in life expectancy through divorce.
The first and most important is after getting married (and almost certainly after having kids), expect guns to be a contentious issue.
If your wife had the slightest bit of insecurity before you got married about your affinity for guns, expect guns to drop significantly in your priority list (or maybe to drop altogether).
If you have children, it’s almost a guarantee your gun collection and range time will suffer for it.
The fact is, guns, ammo, and range time are a draw on your resources and it doesn’t matter what you or your wife said when you were dating/engaged/first married/before you had kids – the resources you expend on shooting will become a major source of conflict between you.
Even if you are fairly well off financially, the TIME you spend shooting (or even thinking about shooting) will become a source of contention. Count on it.
So what can you do?
First, never ask your wife for permission to go to the range, go to your gun room, or to buy a gun/ammo or anything else. Ever.
Doing so admits to your spouse that you are incapable of making decisions for yourself and need her to either think for you or worse, needs to be your master.
Marriages where one partner is the superior to the other aren’t happy ones.
“May I …?” Should never be a statement that you make to your wife (nor her to you), and not just for guns and shooting – but for everything of consequence in your marriage.
The CORRECT question to ask your wife concerning range time (or anything else) is:
“Will you be okay if…?”
You should know the answer before you even ask, and the answer should be “Yes.”
It should be “Yes” because to do something like shooting (which is a drain on your collective resources), you had better have done your due diligence before hand to make sure your wife (and children) are well taken care off in your absence.
To do otherwise is perilous to your life.
Also remember that even if she is physically present while you are shooting, your mental absence in many ways is worse than if you were just physically absent altogether.
Remember that marriage is about compromise and parenthood is about unrelenting self sacrifice.
For marriage, it’s a compromise to accept the absolute worst about your partner, in the hopes that what is redeeming about their character makes up for it (and likewise for them to you).
If you don’t know the worst in your wife before you marry her (and likewise her in you) – watch out, your playing a game more dangerous than Russian Roulette.
If you’ve never gone through any meaningful hardship with someone, you never know the worst about them (and them about you).
If you marry a girl just based on the good times you had with her when you were dating, you’d better be careful. You have no idea who that person is, and one day, when she is sleep deprived, exhausted, and stressed out – hell will break loose between you.
If you’re not prepared for it, you probably should keep a divorce lawyer on speed dial.
Double so if you have kids, because kids, even normal, healthy ones are a tremendous strain on a marriage and require incomprehensible amounts of self-sacrifice to anyone who has never had them. (I have 4, including one special needs child – I know this very well).
So what can you do to keep your trigger time and your wife and/or kids?
Sort yourself out.
Be the absolute best person you can be at all times, on or off the range. Use your range time to build your confidence and competence, not just at shooting, but at building a universally applicable mindset and life perspective.
Harden up, toughen up, and smarten up.
Not only do these make you a better shooter, they are also guaranteed to help you earn/make more money which will allow you to provide the resources that won’t make guns or range time an issue between you and your wife.
(I budget about as much for childcare in my absence as I do for ammo – and I buy a LOT of ammo).
This also makes you a decent father, one that, by my estimation there is a vast shortage of in our society (just look at the dysfunction of the Millennial generation as a whole).
Push yourself to the limits constantly, and bring your wife along with you, especially on dark, difficult, unpleasant journeys.
If you can, go on those journeys BEFORE you get married.
11 years ago, I knew I wanted to marry my wife (and make lots of babies with her) when I had my guns confiscated by the police and she stuck with me through the 6 months of hell to get them back.
Prior to and ever since, I’ve fallen in love with her (and likewise her with me) every time we’ve gone through (and overcame) comparably shitty situations together.
We’re coming through one such situation now, managing our special needs’ daughter’s disability.
For me personally, range time (any range time) is what fortifies my mind and hardens up my character to the point I can handle the burden of being a husband and father.
A burden far greater than any I carried before, but one I am blessed and thankful for.
If you dare to think you can carry that burden, I bet your ready to be a husband and father.
If not, maybe consider bachelorhood a while longer. Maybe consider a life as a MGTOW if that burden is too daunting (there is now shame in it, and it might be the absolutely right decision).
You’ll get a lot more trigger time and have a lot more money if you abstain from marriage and parenthood.
Whatever your choice, see you all on the range soon!