10 Things a Man Fears Most about Marriage

When James Douglas Barron's girlfriend wanted to get married, he was, well, afraid. What threw this otherwise brave man into a fit if fear? Simple. He thought long-term commitment would ruin their fun relationship. Now that they are married (and happy), James thinks his prenuptial terror couldn't have been more amiss. In his book, She Wants a Ring -- and I Don't Wanna Change a Thing he offers advice to other commitment-phobes and along the way gives women a glimpse into the male psyche.

"For a guy, the decision to get married is a series of educated guesses," says Barron. "For some women -- not all -- it's intuition. That's why it's so terrifying for men. They feel as though they're at sea without a paddle while women are sailing through the water on course." Ready for some real insight from a real guy? Some are more serious than others, but here are James' top 10 reasons why men (even your man) may be afraid to get hitched:

1. The life sentence: "For better or worse." (Clank! Cell door shut!)

2. Giving up that dream of tasting the fruits of all nations (flitting from woman to woman in a glorious bath of love and lust).

3. The "What If?" complex (as in, What if I fall even more in love with another woman?).

4. Divorce (as in betting on a loser).

5. Replicating his parents' failed marriage. (Or replicating his parents' happy marriage -- and one day calling his wife "Angel," "Sugarplum" or "Darl.")

6. Surrendering his post as president and CEO of the firm Fun. Then having to answer to a board of directors in a firm called Compromise, fully knowing every decision can come under killjoy scrutiny.

7. Becoming an active member in the Tamed Husband fraternity.

8. The Blah Life (boredom, overfamiliarity, and routine).

9. Surrendering quiet, control, space, privacy, watching ESPN all night, poker and suds with the guys, cigar breath, stinky sneakers ...

10. Giving up Erotic Break-the-Guest-Room-Fold-out-Couch Sex for Regulated You-Do-This, I-Do-That, Now-Let's-Sleep Sex.

Want more insight into men's minds from real guys? Check out the Guy Talk: Real Men, Real Issues, Real Answers message board!

Excerpted from She Wants a Ring -- and I Don't Wanna Change a Thing: How a Man Can Overcome His Fears of Commitment and Marriage © 2001 Quill, A Division of Harper Collins

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