People often lament about how high the divorce rate is. And most people have different reasons why – people get married too quickly, divorce is too easy, we’ve lost all sight of “good Christian values”. But I think that clinging on to the old ideas of marriage is a huge factor.
If you’ve read my post on why I kept my last name, you might also be able to guess that I’m more for an equal partnership than any of that “head of the household” business. And I think that if I was in a different kind of marriage, the structure often used by our society, I would be miserable. And so would my spouse.
This old thinking expects the woman to be in charge of the house hold duties like cooking and cleaning, but modern day changes also mean women have to work too. Meanwhile, the man is not only supposed to work, but make more money. This puts an arbitrary amount of pressure on both people. If two people (or more) live in a house together, why would only one be expected to clean it? If you have a household income, is it so important who makes more? Not really. But it certainly makes it easier to feel like we don’t live up to the correct standards.
There’s another stereotype I think does marriage no good – that you have to be attached to the hip of your spouse. Or boring. I think some people might actually enjoy this, and that’s fine, but it does not fly for me. I need some free time, and my spouse and I have different interests. If I didn’t get to go out and explore things that interested me, with or without him, I would be really unhappy!
Now all of this may make some of you forward-thinking gals question the entire institution. Is it all out of date? I won’t lie – I’m married and this thought has crossed my mind. Maybe it is. And maybe in a few decades marriage will look very different than it does today. But before that giant cultural shift happens, we need to look at what we expect from it, and why.