“The man code is strong with the boys. It says simply that if you make a commitment to someone or something you honor it. Wedding vows are at the top of the list but other things, like following through on promises, are also included. When someone breaks the man code they drop down a rung on the ethical ladder. Too many slips and you’re no longer in the club.”
-Dance of the Party Gnomes, p. 87
When you grow up with people who believe in the man code, it’s easy to continue the tradition. This is how the brain works, patterns are created through being exposed to stuff which leads to how you react to situations. Grow up with healthy, supportive, ethical examples and you probably will become healthy, supportive and ethical. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true which brings me to the Man Code.
The quote above is from my screenplay, currently in pre-production with Judd Apatow (OK, maybe it’s in pre-pre-production meaning Judd has yet to get back to me but with the “new truth administration” reality is fuzzy). The scene is set at a ski weekend with 14 guy friends and the main character has just learned that his wife might be cheating on him.
I’ve always lived by the man code, as have most of my friends. Not that I don’t know and hang out with divorced people and not that I have some super-ethical standard of living but I don’t know or hang out with affair people or people who don’t live by the man code. I committed to rigorous honesty a few years ago and it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done.
Man code is part of this, it means not deceiving your spouse, accepting that life is not always rainbows and flowers and since you are from Mars and your wife is from Venus, disagreement and frustration and compromise are all parts of the deal. If you don’t want to accept that then don’t get married. Simple.
And if you want to break your vows, you go to her first and say, “Honey, I’m in love with a stripper I met on PornHub and I want to throw away 20 years of growth and experience so that I can have sex with a confused millennial who will soon realize I am not as rich as I said I was and drop me for the next midlife-crisis-experiencing a-hole.”
Hopefully, that’s not what anyone will ever say but you get the point.
So, how does one stay committed in a time when any guy with most of his hair and a job can attract women? Easy, commit to the man code. Mean it when you stand in front of peers and family and say “To love and to cherish till death do us part.” Only get married if you are ready to commit and have found the one (best way to find this out: five-day camping/canoeing trip-trust me on this). But, once you’ve put a ring on it, know that that’s it, you are now on the waterslide of committed life, embrace it, love it, hate it, but commit to it.
Develop your own lineup if that makes it easier. The lineup is the list of women you would pursue if your wife suddenly vanished. Sarah Silverman is at the top of mine, which shows how realistic my lineup is. The only rule with the lineup is to not put your friends wives on it, trust me on this one too, no good will come of that.
Your wife should also have a lineup because, well, it’s only fair and maybe it will help you up your game. I’ve been trying to be more like Daniel Craig for years now but you can see how well that’s going.
Relationships are tough, it’s amazing that anyone stays together in these times of Tinder and Grinder and Zoosk and FarmersOnly.com (yes, this is a thing). But if you go in to your commitment with the attitude that fighting and disagreeing are a part of the equation and will help you become a stronger couple then getting through tough times becomes much easier.
Most women want to find people who complete them and can take care of them. They might say they’re all independent and stuff but really women want partners who are strong and confident while also being sensitive and loving. Of those four boxes, most guys check at least two, some three but very few can check all four.
Most men want the same thing, unless you’re a sexist thug like a certain person who shall remain nameless, #FreeMelania. However, society has implanted the Barbie image in men’s brains so we have this unattainable desire to search for the perfect size 2. The answer, of course, is to commit to the Man Code and love what you have.
We have to take our commitments more seriously. Promise to do something, promise to go somewhere, promise to act in some way and you should do it. People with integrity are better people, trustworthy, honest, and more fun to hang out with because you can count on them. Deception, lies and a lack of integrity pull us apart, as we become more entrenched in our bubbles and less able to accept others. A 50% divorce rate is just plain wrong.
Commit to the Man Code.