10/01/2006

Is Marriage Worse for Women than Men?

(Read Marriage-women-men Column)

36 comments:

young woman said...

Good post. I agree that this often happens to many women. I have observed it.

I think that women tend to guide their lives more by social expectations that are unspoken--one being that she should never be more successful than her husband. She's in this marriage now, and she has to make it work. She recognizes early on that she has more drive/ambition than the husband, but she can't let him see that, because it could be intimidating. Men dislike being intimidated by their woman. So she learns to "dumb herself down" and "do what all the other wives do" --join the Oprah book club, and host baby showers, get a secretarial job, take joy in the comforts of hosting a Pampered Chef or Mary Kay party, all the while longing for the day when she can have children. Then hopefully, they [the children] will have the guts to be "all that they can be," and therefore her choice to marry will not have been in vain, because her potential can be vicariously realized in her children.

Also, I think that women tend to encourage more in their marriage---let us not underestimate the power of encouragement for success. She is often seen trying to build the confidence of her husband and admire his dreams/goals/ideas, but I don't know how often she is actually asked about those things herself by her husband. Does he encourage her to pursue things? If he does, is it always on a second priority to his goals?

Thirdly, I don't think there are other women--older women--the mentoring type of women--in churches where this girl attends who encourage her to become someone more multivalent in interests other than the stereotypical good wife. Seriously, I have often felt the pressure from older evangelical women to fit into a certain, glorified, stereotypical pre-set mold of what a Godly Wife looks like...and there is little to none encouragement to try to broaden or re-shape that mold from my models in womanhood, and to make my own mold, well, that's almost taboo. It's a lonely road in evangelical-dom.

I am 26, slightly "bright," in graduate school, and not married, and you have reminded me, that I am okay this way. There are not many men who want women who don't fit into the mold their mothers played for centuries. It seems a girl has to choose: 1) Waterdown my Self--my ambition, goals, interests, enthusiasm, in order to be married, or 2) be lonely for life. I can definately understand why many women choose the first choice. Who knows? Maybe the lonliness will get to me one day soon too.

It's a false dichotomy, but its the reality we face, it seems to me.

young woman said...

p.s. Maybe I should be the one to make this a D.Min project. It's definately an interesting sociological study! haha.

Anonymous said...

Wow, this has to be painful topic for many of your past students to read!!!

Those of us not living in christian college towns or in the Bible belt see this "syndrome" so frequently in young christian households.

You are a wise man to face realities of church life and to take with you those who stuggle in that area!

Anonymous said...

Keith,

One of my wisest college profs told me, "If your wife gets the chance to make more money than you, LET HER!"

This was wise advice, and for the first four years of our married lives she DID make more money than me. My money paid the bills, and her money was for extra savings and for fun!

A GOOD female friend of mine married a man who changed once they got married. When they were dating, he liked her cute tops, stylish hair, and appropriate but attractive makeup selections. However, once they got married he expected her to dress incredibly conservatively, use a bare minimum of makeup, and a sluggish, "housewife" style haircut. Suddenly, this cute, fun, attractive (can I say "sexy"? I just did...) girl become boringly unattractive. And all because her husband wanted it that way.

Additionally, she was well-educated. But he told her (AFTER they were married) that the man is supposed to make more money than the woman. So again, she looked for jobs that appeased his thoughts on the matter.

Don't get me wrong - I think they're "happily" married. I just think she got the shaft, and it's primarily due to his after-marriage revelations and expectations.

Sorry for "anonymous," but I don't want to get hate mail either...

The AJ Thomas said...

Here are a couple options (I doubt every woman you see has had the same experience):
1. They had kids and while he is off at the office stretching his mind and leading his church/organization to new heights she is up to her elbows in diapers. The bulk of her conversations are with people who have a smaller vocabulary than some parrots. She gets up to 5 hours a sleep at night but never all at once. And she is still suffering the ill effects of “pregnant brain” (don’t throw stones is a medically documented phenomenon).
2. She is caught between sin and obedience. I think we I see this a lot with the bible college I went to. It goes like this; woman feels called of God to pastor a church, woman falls in love with a man who feels called of God to pastor a church, woman chooses to ignore her call (or doesn’t realize that there are only 3 churches on the earth that would hire both spouses, especially in a senior leadership position) and marries her husband. He takes a church. She is doesn’t fulfill her call. She feels torn between her responsibility to be the wife of a pastor and her call to be a pastor. That kind of inner turmoil would take the fire out of an A-bomb.

A husband who tried said...

I'm posting anonymously for the sake of my wife. I'm older than my wife, so I was done with undergrad before she ever started. I put off our wedding date to enable her to get the full college and pre-professional experience that would enable her to soar after graduation.

We went to seminary immediately after getting married. I got an M.Div, she an M.A. in counseling. She is incredibly gifted in her field. She became a stay-at-home mom when our first child wsa born. As our youngest child approached school age, she began to feel the tugs of returning to the professional world. Our then current ministry appointment was winding up. I gave her my support and full power to decide our next location of ministry. We would go anywhere necessary for her to pursue employment, post-grad training, whatever. She did not like the idea, but I insisted.

Somehow, the ball got put back in my court. We ended up in a wonderful church that called ME to be their pastor. She decided, partially as a result, to put off her return to work a little longer. In the end, I believe that this is the path God had desired for our family. But I am amazed at my wife's reluctance to take the lead. I'm even more astounded at how she did it without my knowing it until after the fact!

All this to say, I'd like to know why this happens myself. This won't be a popular answer, but could it be this is the way it is supposed to happen? Honestly, my wife seems as content and fulfilled as she ever did.

Kurt A Beard said...

I would add a few items (keep in mind I’m a guy)
1) Minister men don’t often include their wives in ministry. I’ve heard things like “a women’s ministry is her children and husband,” “oh honey you would be great in the nursery of the church I lead.” The marriages that are successful for the women often seem like those who have balanced the ministry. Husbands who have wives as ministry partners and not volunteers seem better off, it’s better to say, “honey you have a lot of great ideas what song do you recommend after a sermon on marriage?” or “oh honey a engaged couple asked me to do their pre-marital counseling, I told them they would be much better off hearing from my better half.” It sounds bad (and they may not be good examples) but teaming up for ministry instead of segregating man at work woman at home seems to work better.
2) It can happen to guys. I think many of your points seem to stem from missing out or ignoring the calling. I’ve spoken to a few friends (guys) who’ve felt like the wives you described. The connection they all shared seemed to be their misplacement in life, they weren’t in the ministry they should have been, it may have been they weren’t in the ministry and needed to be or weren’t in the right ministry. This is close to where you went with #4 “Her husband (who got lower grades than she?) got a well-paid job right off the bat and started climbing the ladder of success;” it may be an issue of being on the wrong ladder sometimes.

IWU2004grad said...

Here is my question: Do ministry grads/ministry wives experience this more than "other" women grads? (I think they do.)

If so, why?

JohnLDrury said...

I've heard it said that women are inherently more capable of multi-tasking than men. I don't know if this is genetic or cultural or something else. Whatever the cause, if this is the case (and I say "if" because I have nothing more than authority of others and anecdotal evidence to support the observation), then it would not be surprising that the world of college rewards women over men while the world of work rewards men over women. Why? Because balancing numerous small tasks and pleasing multiple authority figures is the path to success in college (both acaedemically and socially), while focus on primary tasks (even to the detriment of others) is rewarded in the world of work.

Both of these observations are suspect, as are the correlation between the two. But I thought I would try it out anyway. Please correct me were I am mistaken.

luke middleton said...

Due largely to the length of the comment I prepared to share on this article, I have opted to post my response at my own site.

My response to this article and the comments previously posted can be viewed here.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the real core issue is a lack of a healthy biblical view of marriage. I believe the church is contaminated by a number of unhealthy/nonbiblical views of women and marriage--some are rooted in feminist mythology others are rooted in an equally unhealthy Baptist/Reformed mythology. Many of these couples probably carry a number of these myths with them into marriage and probably don't even know that they hold them or where they came from.

The other problem is probably a certain education mythology of what young promising women should aspire to in education, marriage and life. For that matter men too. The first comment is a prime example. Young woman implicitly says that a woman who chooses to live at home, contribute to the family finances in only a modest way (if she chooses to do so at all), and have children is a "dumbed down" woman--especially if she excelled in college. The tone is that this is some kind of waste of "talent." I could not disagree more.

I would add my own theory as to why this is happening. The dominant education institutions, both secular and Christian, promote an unhealthy view of self and marriage. I think this is best characterized as idolatry. The modern religion of education (christian and secular) generally promotes an egocentric outlook and rather than a marital union, emphasizes a legal partnership model of marriage. Girded with this unhealthy view of marriage these young women are dealing with the fallout of unrealistic expectations, internal conflict and a sneaking suspicion that they have been sold a bill of goods.

Keith.Drury said...

I am headed out of town for a couple of days but before I leave let me compliment to depth of thought shown by the "first responders." This is helpful already (and tomorrow is actuall "Tuesday" the actual release date of this column)

All I might mention is that my original column was not about mothers but wives... the role of motherhood on women is a another issue worth examining but not part of our observations in the original column... it was mostly about women without kids yet and many of them are working outside the home. It might be helpful to address "motherhood matters" issues in a later column on that--since that is a far more complicated issue. It might be most helpful to address the women who are not yet mothers yet and who even have jobs yet still show the "newleywed wilt."

(IWUgrad2004... Oh my... THAT is a provoking qiuestion... worthy of exploration...) --leaving until Friday now...

Larry said...

First time for everything, Keith.

I disagree with your premise. Frankly, I just don't get it.

I was divorced, and I'm not sure that my failed marriage was any harder on one party than the other. It was hard on both.

I'm remarried now, and neither my wife nor I could be any happier.

How about this--marriage is harder on some people than others. What does gender have to do with that?

Hey, I'm just asking.

tricia said...

Very interesting. I knew nothing about any such issue. I think women have much higher expectations from marraige than men do, and learning to either manage those expectations or turn them to desires rather than expectations can be challenging.

Personally, I haven't seen much of what you identify until after kids, but I am not overly social either :-)
I think perhaps part of the reason I have not seen that may be part of the answer to one of your questions...why does it not happen in some marriages? I could be wrong but I feel like it did not happen to me, and I feel like it did not happen to me because of what my mother and father modeled to me, my husbands attitude of respect for my learning (he often asks me how I would interpret this or what I have learned about this subject), and the simple fact that I love learning. The first several years out of college I took several relatively boring jobs and so it was my independent studies that kept me engaged and passionate about life in general. Not to say that those three things are key for other people, just that they have been key in my life.
Any chance you are coming to Catalyst?

Thinking in Ohio said...

Since we're talking about the "early years of marriage" probably the first five years... assuming that's the longest most most couples put off having children... I would simply suggest that the early years of marriage are HARD! We all refer about the joy of newlyweds the "honeymoon years", but I have yet to really see it with anyone. Most of the counseling I've provided as a pastor has occured in the first year of marriage as "newleyweds" sort out their differences. I know that my wife and I both brought a lot of unrealistic expectations into our marriage that only time, love and perseverance could correct. There's definitely something to be said about sticking it out and letting your love mature. While I'm sure some disappointment may be related to to professional aspirations, perhaps some of it is personal as well. Hopefully, some of these women will shine more brightly in the coming years?

Having said that, I'm certain (as the comments above suggest) that wives often get stuck holding the bag in the relationship. It seems our (secular) culture today encourages men to be irresponsible and less devoted to what matters most... while our church culture can often encourge wives to play the side-kick role of "Tonto" "Robin" or, at best, "Wonder-woman" always in the shadow wearing a smiling face of support and encouragement.

Jo said...

Very intriguing article.

Might I suggest a book that addresses what you talk about Dr. Drury?

http://www.amazon.com/Living-Boundaries-Evangelical-Feminism-Theological/dp/0830826653/sr=8-1/qid=1159846166/ref=pd_bbs_1/102-4652158-9267350?ie=UTF8&s=books

It is called "Living on the Boundaries" by Dr. Nicola Creegan and Dr. Christine Pohl. They talk/theorize about how it is hard to be an academic woman AND be an evangelical. They also discuss theories that come from many personal interviews/surveys on why women ignore a "call" to ministry/teaching, etc. It's a good book--I resonated with it, anyway.

daniel ml said...

warning: male perspective :)

I think there are some "transference" issues for young married couples--a combination of subconscious and conscious expectations that one places on their spouse (of either gender). I think men tend to feel empowered by their wives because women tend to fill the role of "every woman" (wife/mother/sister) readily and easily. The wife fills every need of the feminine in the man. Men however do not as easily fill every masculine role for their wives (husband/father/brother) and so the wife is often dissappointed. Also, women tend to intuitively know which role the husband needs at a given time whereas men often fill the wrong role in certain situations leaving their wives confused and flustered.

This has been my take on it for the last several months anyway (creeping up on my 5th year of marriage)

Anonymous said...

after you get married you find that your husband is lazy so you have to work several part time jobs, keep the house clean, cook, and do all the jobs at church no one else will do.............your husband seems to have no desire for intimacy so eventually you kindof give up and just plod along hoping for nothing better

Been there . . . said...

I was shocked when I read your article. I fit what you were saying so well that you could have been talking about me.

I graduated with honors, single, and was a fortunate woman to have found a ministry job right out of college. Soon I met and married my husband, who was also in the ministry. We both moved and took a church and were both on staff.

I loved the fact that we were a team. It was no longer "Sally did a great job!" It was "Sally and Billy did a great job!" But I noticed that while I had been encouraged and accepted in my educational process and job as a single woman to be innovative, responsible, driven, creative; as a married woman I began to hear whispers "Well, we know who wears the pants in THAT family!" My suggestions had to be tempered with, "Well, this is just my opinion . . ." rather than just stating what I thought in order to be received without eye rolls or being perceived as pushy. I also noticed that the same ideas coming from my husband's mouth were perceived as original and interesting.

As the years went on, and we changed churches again, the comments changed to "Billy did a great job, and isn't it nice that Sally helped!" And perhaps that's what I wanted the perception to be. After all, if I were in charge of something (excluding working with children), I was bossy and unfeminine. If I was the "helper," I was accepted and praised for being a good help-mate. I wrote many of my husband's sermons. I planned almost every activity, prepping him minutes before: here are your notes, focus on this story, here is what we're going to do next, etc.

Soon we were in a new church and I wasn't an employee of the church, I was a "full-time volunteer." They just didn't have room for me on paid staff, and though many other staff positions were added during our time there, mine was never one of them.

Then it became, "Isn't Billy doing a great job? Sally who?" I remember the annual sting when the staff of the church was recognized, but though I was working every bit as much as paid staff, I was never recognized, acknowledged, or thanked publicly. While once perceived as bright and bursting with potential, I was now kept secret. I began to doubt my ability and my calling.

I struggled terribly: Why are people embarrassed by me? Is it wrong to want to be appreciated? Is it wrong to want a salary? After all, we're all in this to win souls, not make money or win accolades. I convinced myself that I was just being selfish. But at the same time, I wasn’t being heard. I wasn’t living up to my potential. I couldn’t use my gifts because I felt misunderstood.

After years of keeping my giftedness in the closet, of being a great unpaid employee, of never achieving my real potential, do you know what I did? I changed careers entirely. I went back to school, got a degree in a profession where women are commonly employed. I have been allowed to soar without anyone thinking I'm pushy, overbearing, or "wear the pants in the family." My husband and I are still involved in ministry, but not as my occupation.

So that sad vacant look in my eyes when you see me on campus? Disappointment that what caused me to be successful in school was ultimately my downfall in ministry. Embarrassment that I've disappointed professors who really believed in me. Sadness that what I loved most-ministry-wasn't in the final plan for my life. The difference between the world of academia and reality was a bit more than I had expected. I think our society accepts bright single females, but I think there is little room for bright married females in Christian community, especially in the ministry.

Jeff said...

I’d say the focus needs to be on the men in this dialogue. Perhaps the difference that you notice is not the women 'waning', but the men catching up?? With the age of adolescence being extended in general in today’s culture, maybe it's the men who are a bit behind and catch up in the years following graduation. In this, when the male grad comes back for homecoming the faculty person could just be noticing the bit of freshness and vitality that they hadn’t seen before and wondering “hey, why isn’t she different too?” Maybe it’s not marriage ‘dulling down’ women, but marriage enlightening the men.

David Drury said...

***apologies for the long post... you got me going here***

I ask this: what is different about the women this trend does not apply to? What about the young women who come back to your campus and after 5 years they are thriving?

I have a few hunches about what is different for those women:

1) Being married without children is a cultural limbo. In our society it is difficult to be married but not yet have children. You're not a part of the college and singles crowd. You also don't fit with the "married" clique in most neighborhoods and churches. Most young marrieds have trouble with that "first conversation" with other couples who have kids--who invariable ask, "Do you have kids?" or even the assuming "How old are your kids?" and the answer "We don't have kids (yet?)" is one that stalls the conversation and "leaves them out" of the loop. This is particularly difficult, I believe, for young wives, who seem to have a stronger family and cultural (and biological???) draw towards having kids. They can often feel like they are "waiting" in life... while waiting to have kids. Life may be "on pause."

2) They often have husbands who have an egalitarian view of marriage, and have not placed unwarranted (or unexpected) restraints on women like some of the more extreme examples cited above.

3) They immediately sought work in their field of education. By doing this they rode the wave of their successful education--instead of waiting around a few years creating a suspicious "resume gap."

4) They aren't married! My guess is that women who don't get married at all right after college are better off in what you evaluate -- and here I'm implicitly agreeing with your theory. I've seen many young ladies thrive in education and work right after undergrad--but in many of those cases they were single while they did it.

I know I'm a guy so this all needs to be taken with a grain of salt. However, my perspective on this is two-fold:

a) I frequently saw my buddies in college transform from slackers to successes when they got married. One good friend was your typical "sleep in and forget to study" student... then he got married while IN COLLEGE and he became completely engaged and a good student and then got a good job right away after school. His wife turned him around I believe. Because of this "anecdotal evidence" I and many of my friends developed the "get married as soon as possible" policy in life. It seemed like a completely winning situation for young guys. As selfish young men--of course--we weren't thinking about whether it was "win-win" situation for the ladies (and honest but difficult confession).

b) I'm now the father of two girls, and my perspective has completely shifted. When they go to college I suspect I'll hope my girls wait (and even advise them to wait?) as long as possible to get married. When I was a young man I thought those oppressive fathers who told their daughters to wait to get married were dictators… now I’m in danger of becoming one of them!!!

-David Drury

(I get plenty of hate mail as it is--so I don't mind getting more because of this, so I won't post anonymously)

:-)

Anonymous said...

Okay...assuming that the two students remained chaste until marriage, couldn't the brimming energy and motivation stem on behalf of the man be due to sex (G.A.S.P!)

And I'm not saying that just in jest. It certainly plays a different roles for both partners in the marriage.

Anonymous said...

Stereotypes:
A man marries, hoping that his wife will remain the same, and she doesn't.
A woman marries, hoping that her husband will change, and he doesn't.

Matt Guthrie said...

To been there - I have to say this b/c my heart aches right now. I hate that you have this testimony to share with us. I hope that healing comes to you and comes soon. I hope I am never complicit in the recurrence of anything similar in my life.

I'm curious what others think about iwu2004grad's question. I would imagine the answer is yes, based on been there's response.

John Mark said...

I think a question about women will really have to be answered by women, to have any credibility. I do wonder, however, is this a generally accurate picture? Are most women unhappy in the early years after college, playing second fiddle, or worse, to their husbands? If this is true, how different it this picture from the one captured by "The Feminine Mystique," written, what, 40 years ago?
If it is true, how can we make things better for women?

Jim and Jaena said...

I have not personally experienced this, and these may be a couple of reasons why:

I began ministry right out of IWU as a single young woman. Although this did have its disadvantages (everyone trying to set me up with their grandson, nephew or a single young pastor they knew), it allowed me to learn about myself both personally and professionally. I became comfortable with the gifts, abilities, and calling God had given me and was also strengthened by this independence (not needing a guy or spouse to be "complete.")

At the time I would not necessarily have seen this as positive, but I think that those years were helpful in preparing me for marriage (to someone in ministry, in fact) and in giving me the self-confidence and self-respect to know what I have “to offer.” Now, when most of my days are spent at home changing diapers or keeping up the house, I know that (deep down) I am the same person, with gifts and abilities that God wants to use for His kingdom. I am not an extension of my husband (although I do think we are better together than we would be apart), and he encourages me to still be involved in areas of ministry that I enjoy.

Which brings me to my second factor: my husband. I am blessed to have a husband that cares about my needs and not just his own. Perhaps some of these young women do not have the support they desire, and maybe young ministry husbands do not even know how to give what their wives need. I don't know...I do know that for me, marriage was much harder (but also much more fulfilling) than I ever expected. Are these issues covered in any class at IWU? Sounds like a practical course you could teach, Coach.

Anonymous said...

I observed young ladies, even Christian young ladies in high school dating and chasing after guys who treated them so poorly. I also watched some of those same young ladies in the college environment chasing after the same guys. Their reasons were not for the way the guy treated them, but mainly for other reasons.

I share because I think one problem is simply that our culture's focus and over-emphasis on relationships has emotionally stunted the development of teenagers and young adults so that too many are still concerned with the same things that middle school girls are concerned about in relationships- but they are concerned about these things as adults.

This is not to discount the fact that there are women who have developed a complete and healthy self during those years because of their resistance to the overwhelming concern with dating.

I also, having graduated from a Christian college, have seen too many women- particularly the ones described above- who will marry the last guy they were dating in college. They will date for a long time and the girl will immediately identify problems that she has, but she is willing to settle because she does not know where else she is going to meet a guy, and so many Christian young adults are concerned about dying alone! After all, we've seen the single 35 year olds in our churches. We don't go to bars or clubs. so we assume the last place we will have on our journey to meet a spouse is at our Christian college. Which also explains the frantic dating phenomenon that is prevalent at Christian colleges and universities.

All this leads to either poor marriages where the women are not treated properly and "loved as Christ loves the Church" or marriages where the guy needs a lot of work to be done on him.

ultimately- as a man, if my wife were like the candidates described in the column, I would feel responsible for it and would do my best to find out how i can help rectify the situation.

Anonymous said...

Keith:

I coulden't help but think, "is there not a holiness wilt" as well?

Is there not a "chritian wilt" as well?

Is there not a "conservative wilt" as well?


I believe there is!

Anonymous said...

Hi Coach,

Interesting. Well, what about me? Since you just saw me last week coming back on campus for the first time since I've graduated...how would you categorize me? Do I fit your article's description? I've been married almost 3 years (got married my senior year) and I took a full time ministry job right out of college. My husband owns his own business and is a dedicated volunteer of the church. I do not often wonder what others think of me...but this article makes me curious.

If you ask my opinion, I would say that marriage is great for me. I love being married with no kids. It grants us a lot of freedom, joy, and time to spend together as a couple. I love my marriage. Why the difference? I think I can attribute a great compliment to my husband who helps make our marriage and my life so fulfilling. He is an incredible encourager to me. He is my #1 fan and supporter. He also teaches me and leads me. He is self-sacrificing and he loves me unconditionally. I believe I am a better person because of Kevin than I would be without him. My hope would be that all marriages would experience the deep love, joy, & fulfillment that we've found in each other through Christ.

Thanks for the opportunity to chime in on this surprising topic!

Blessings,
Sandra Andrews

Anonymous said...

Sandra (along with other posts here) might have given us the master clue. If she is right--that she has not lost the "edge" she had in college--is it because "her husband is her wife?" She has described her husband the way traditional males have always described their own "preacher's wife" (right down to "#1 fan").

Drury, is what you are seeing mostly among the women of "ministry couples" who have hit the reality of the job sharing and male dominence in the church and someone like Sandra above actually has more in common with the guys who go out with nurse-wives than ministry wives?
--married-a-nurse(sorry--I can't put my full name--I'd get killed for this)

Anonymous said...

Here is the answer:

When she married her workload doubled.

When He married his workload either stayed the same or became lighter.

And I am NOT talking about work at the office.

Thinking in Ohio said...

OUCH! Anonymous, I now feel compelled to go help my wife with the dishes!

Seriously, you nailed a truth in that last comment. Men could once hide behind, "we're old-fashioned"... most young men (myself included) can only admit we're lazy and self-indulgent... seeing as most of our wives probably work as much outside the home as we do.

Bitty said...

Is marriage worse for one person than the other? Well, the flip side is this: is marriage better for one person than the other? If so, why? If marriage is better for one then the other, then either a) someone is giving more and someone is giving less or b) communication is breaking down and whichever one has it better thinks the other one has it good. I suspect it could go back a lot to this: do the guys you ask about marriage tell you how they like it, or how their wives are liking it?????? I suspect that question will link up really quickly with how satisfied the women are in the bedroom. Anyway, it's not worthing responding unless I'm frank;) Oh, and women tend to feel responsible for the relationship itself. COMMUNICATE, people, be HONEST if you need your husband to do a load of laundry. Geesh! Life is too short to be disappointed all the time.

Anonymous said...

I have nothing profound to add with the exception that I KNOW I haven't fallen into this category because I am still constantly vying for my independence and am scared to death that marriage will allow me to morph into the other person. We have no children and are not planning any for a long while, but I am still afraid, every day, that I will wake up one day and not be the person I used to be. I still have plenty of women friends and am definitely over-committed with things other than my work. I am enjoying this stage of my life and feel that I am improving and growing. I obtained my master's degree and am considering more schooling at this time. I want to be my husband's partner, not his tagalong.

Anonymous said...

There is a lot of empirical research to suggest that there are a number of factors that affect the satisfaction of men and women and marriage. Briefly, there is some evidence to suggest that men benefit more "instrumentally" than women do, and that the expectations men and women are different in marriage--not more or less, better or worse, but different. Furthermore societal influences affect how expectations are formed and how we respond given how well our expectations are congruent with those in the community it which we belong. Gender has much to do with it but not everything. I have my Masters in Marriage and Family Therapy and my thesis was on marital satisfaction and psychological well-being in couples. I would be happy to recommend resources.

Keith Drury said...

Thanks anon... but we can;t ask for recommendations with an anon address... perhaps write to me by email and then I can get this help.

keith