Pondering Happiness

Megan is skeptical about marriage:

Surely, a great deal of our raising involves society tricking you into doing things that are not in your immediate self-interest. Similarly, I assume that contrary to the popular stereotype, men actually must do much better out of marriage than women do, because society expends so much energy on telling women that they cannot be happy unless they marry, and trying to make sure they can't be happy by stigmatizing women who don't. If women genuinely got more benefits out of marriage, we wouldn't have so many social institutions that punish them for failing to enter that happy state.

I think Megan is almost certainly right about men getting more out of marriage than women (even though they often feel in their hornier moments that they have the raw end of the deal). I'm almost a year into marriage and I'm honestly surprised by how much happier I am. Aaron and I joke about how we've almost turned into lesbians, going to bed early, worshiping the dogs ... Megan is writing about kids of course. But even without them, and even after writing a lot about the positive effects of marriage as an institution, I'm shocked by my own evolution. I'm sure we'll have rough patches, as every married couple does. But so far, it's been a revelation and confirmation of an intuition: in some ways, gay men may benefit from marriage more than any other group.