Marriage and Divorce - Part 3 - Marriage Essay Example
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Marriage, an Institution
Marriage is often regarded as a strong bond between a man and woman to keep them united forever. It establishes a relationship between the individuals and lays the foundation of a new family. In every part of the world, marriage is considered as an institution that is necessary for the healthy growth and development of the societies. Marriage can be social, legal or religious based on the cultural and traditional belief of people.
In traditional societies, marriage was considered as a male-female relationship to produce children and bring them up together. Most non-western societies strongly believe in nuclear family. They defined marriage in a different manner that includes an extended family network. In the western societies, marriage is considered as a social contract between a husband and wife. Western people do not the non-western belief that marriage is a social obligation, which can not be broken easily. Divorce is simpler in the western world that includes Britain and the United States.
Marriage and Divorce
Like other western countries, people in Britain and the United States also view marriage as a contract based on mutual understanding. In any marriage, woman plays an important role to handle the relationship in a perfect manner. Traditionally, men have been the breadwinners in the families and women’s role has been limited to household. However, in the modern era, women have proved that they are no less than men. They have excelled in every field and shared the financial responsibilities of the family equally. The economic empowerment has given them a sense of security and they now find themselves in a position to take the decisions on their own.
The traditional attitude towards women has stepped up the battle of sexes between men and women in the household. As women have become independent now, they have become vocal in family affairs and demand better treatment. They do no buy the argument that it is the duty of women to take care of the household even if she works outside. Such type attitudes of their male counterparts are the main reason behind the resentment. They denounce marriage and seek divorce to legally end the relationship.
In Britain, divorce rate has been increased significantly in the new millennium. The more disturbing trend has been noticed from the data which reveals that more than 70% of divorce proceedings are initiated by women. It can be attributed to the change in social structure and the role reversal witnessed by the British society in the 21st century. Earlier, the grounds for divorces were based on the family disputes, exploitation of women and matrimonial offences. However, seeing the number of women seeking divorce, it can be concluded that women no longer feel satisfied with their roles in the family and want to come out of the relationship.
Most women see the traditional role of a wife in a family unsatisfactory. They demand more respect from men and expect them to share the burdens of household work. They argue that if they can share the financial responsibilities of the family why men can’t assist them in household affairs.
Importance of Marriage for Women
Marriage is still beneficial for women. There is no point in denouncing a social relationship in the name of independence. The traditional attitude in the families has been changed to a large extent. Importance of women in family and social forums is now being recognized by men.
Traditionally, society has been male-dominated one. Hence, women initially face some difficulties to cope with the situation. However, once their male counterparts understand them and start respecting their decisions, things would be much easier. Whatever may be the situation in the early days, marriage will be beneficial for women in the long run.
Marriage also has a positive impact on the physical and psychosocial health of a person. Women benefit the most from a marriage. A number of studies in the recent years found that women in marriage are better and happier than single women. A married woman has greater access to her husband’s property and income. Her own income is an added bonus for her. Thus, in a married life, she is financially more secure.
The relationship is based on mutual understanding and co-operation. After marriage, the husband becomes a true companion and it is his responsibility to take care of his wife and children. The wife can reciprocate in the same manner. There is no question of gender discrimination if a woman can manage the things well. It is the responsibility of a woman to educate her husband about his duty towards his wife if he does not realize it.
If a couple are not satisfied with their relationship and are unable to resolve the problems within the family, they can always seek the counseling on marriage. But going for divorce at the firs instance is not advisable. Women can seek divorce if things go beyond control. Before that, they should try for a patch-up to save their marriage for the sake of themselves and children.
“In Britain divorce impacts upon women in an economically negative way, whereas men’s economic circumstances remain largely unchanged as a consequence of divorce. A study in 1996 showed that only 11 per cent of lone mothers who did not remarry had incomes above the poverty level a year later.” Marriage always makes a woman financially strong. Marriage is always the best option for them as it contributes positively to their mental and financial wellbeing.
Women also benefit emotionally from a relationship. It is considered that women are more emotional than men. They suffer the most in a broken relationship. Women who stay with their partners always possess better mental health as compared to women who are single. Their mental health deteriorates whenever there is a break-up. Long-term relationships are always better for both sexes. However, women do better emotionally after getting married. Women always take longer to recover from a broken marriage.
Marriage is always the best investment for women. They benefit both mentally and financially from it. Independent women must take the advantage of this social and emotional bonding. Also, women are more attached to children than their male counterparts. When a divorce takes place, they are forced to settle the matter in the court and there is no guarantee they would get the rights of children. Separation of parents often affects the growth and development of children. For the sake of their own wellbeing and that of children, women should think positively on this issue before opting for separation from their spouses. If they understand the positive aspects of marriage, the skyrocketing divorce rates in Britain and elsewhere will go down and it will create a healthy atmosphere.
Learning Alive. “Divorce”. 17 November 2005<http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/barrycomp/bhs/gcse_resources_pdf/Divorce.PDF>.
Smock, P. J., Manning, W. D., & Gupta, S. The effect of Marriage and Divorce on Women’s Economic Well-being. American Sociological Review, 64, 794-812. 1999.
Stone, L. Road to divorce: England 1530-1987. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990.
University of Helsinki. “Women and the Family in Europe”. 17 November 2005<http://www.helsinki.fi/science/xantippa/wee/weetext/wee234.html>.
 P. J. Smock, et al., The effect of Marriage and Divorce on Women’s Economic Well-being (American Sociological Review, 64, 794-812, 1999).
 Learning Alive. “Divorce”. 17 November 2005<http://atschool.eduweb.co.uk/barrycomp/bhs/gcse_resources_pdf/Divorce.PDF>.
 L. Stone, Road to divorce: England 1530-1987 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1990).
 University of Helsinki. “Women and the Family in Europe”. 17 November 2005<http://www.helsinki.fi/science/xantippa/wee/weetext/wee234.html>.