Married Men are Sexier (or so they say)

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Written on 1/16/2008 04:23:00 pm by sikapitan

Thank you for the warm wishes. Thank you for still bothering with this blog. Yes, thank God, I finally

tied the knot with my girlfriend of 6 years plus (trust me for not remembering exactly…) on the 25th of December 2007. It is a culmination of years of compromise and understanding, of politics and gamesmanship, of trust and honesty, and of course, love and forgiveness in that wonderful process fondly known as courtship. Fortunately, and hopefully, it doesn’t end when I said “Aku terima nikah Tengku Rinanda Putri binti Tengku Aziz dengan mas kahwinnya 501 ringgit tunai”.

The date, in case you’re bothered and my wife (yes, I can use that term now, rightfully) failed to mention it in her blog, was chosen by my dear mother. My mom, my uncle and my aunt got married on that very same date, and their marriages are still going strong till today. So I guess that she wants the same result in my marriage by picking that date, although frankly speaking, longevity does not necessarily mean happiness.

The appropriate age for marriage is around eighteen for girls and thirty-seven for men

- Aristotle

I am 24. And the wise Aristotle believes I am too young to get married. I have just embarked on a career with Maxis. I cannot claim that I will be here forever (in fact, I doubt that I will stay on for too long). But what I do know is that when I work, I work to the best of my abilities. It will mean late nights, it will mean bad mood swings, and it will mean missed dinners and appointments. Is getting married a hindrance?

Honestly, I don’t know. But a few weeks before my marriage, I had an interesting conversation with the head of Maxis Broadband. He was talking about his own personal life and the career that he’s had. He found out that I was getting married, and he was genuinely surprised.

His first reaction was to say that he got married in his 30s. He was busy with his rising career, and he worked tirelessly day and night since he graduated to become more successful than his peers. He felt that getting married would be an obstacle. So I naturally assumed that he would say that I may not find marriage suitable as a person who is ambitious and wants to rise quickly.

Surprisingly, he said I made the right choice. He believes that getting married early is actually a better proposition than working too hard and sacrificing your personal life first. Why? Because when you’re young, you have the drive, passion and energy to succeed. You can take a lot more when you’re in your 20’s than you could when you’re in your 30’s, both physically and emotionally.

A marriage might slow you down a bit, but he noted that the serious work, the one that really cause you headaches, begin much later in your career. It’s a misconception really that once you’ve established yourself then you have less work to do and could therefore concentrate on your family. That might be the case with most people who don’t mind settling into a comfortable position, but to him, each promotion only spurs him to work harder so he could continue getting promoted.

In your early days working in a company, your job scope is limited, and though work is tough, it will not make you lose your hair. But as you perform well, you get added responsibilities and this commensurate with your age and experience. So, according to him, as you get older you get more work or harder work or, if you’re unlucky, both.

Your career will only truly shoot off in your 30s, or if you’re politically connected/extremely brilliant/son of the boss, after 27 years old. Imagine getting married when you’ve just been promoted to Manager of Consumer Marketing, and then having your first child when you’re just about to head a new product launch. More work, less time, more discontent at home, less happiness in life, more sleepless nights, less productive.

That’s not even considering the impact of suddenly finding yourself living together with another person, every day and night. After years of bachelorhood, and perhaps enjoying the life of the young, single and affluent, how would a person react to a transition that threatens his way of life for the past 4-5 years?

Imagine then just being an up and coming executive, who decided to get married early and have his first kid by 26. By the time he’s ready for upper management, the child would have gone through his early phases as he enters kindergarten or primary school. The marriage too would have gone through its early obstacles and financial constraints and both parties are comfortable with each other that the house they live in really has become their “home”. He said that he was envious when he looked at his peers who now have kids going through SPM, while he has to be content with the fact that by the time he hold his first grandchild, he would probably not be around to see that grandchild enter school.

Truth be told, I don’t know whether he was trying to be nice to me. He might not believe it. But after listening to another CEO having problems balancing his personal life till it caused him his marriage, I can safely say that there’s no regret in marrying early, Aristotle be damned.

I’ve got a lot of issues that I would like to address, and it seems that my schedule have cleared up in the near future, so maybe the next update will be coming soon enough. Go figure!