has existed longer than written history. When I ask students where they see themselves in ten years, they almost always answer married. Marriage is an integral part of our culture. With marriages failing at nearly fifty percent, and with the multitude of unhappy marriages in existence, why do people still want to get married so badly? Cultural tradition and expectations, the desire to possess another, and the idea of being a princess or prince for a day are at the root of most people\’s desire to marry. From the time children grasp the idea of coupling they are told about marriage, and the idea they will one day marry is imbued in them. Little girls especially are saturated with the idea of marriage, whether it is by
and caregivers or by the messages they get in the media. The Disney idea of and relationships alone is enough to skew how women view love and marriage. Then, despite all the evidence around them to the contrary, young men and women continue to believe in marriage, believe they have found true love, and want to posses their loved one forevermore. One doesn\’t have to look far into history or other cultures to witness the idea of possession in marriage. In our country, North Carolina was the last state to \”remove the spousal exemption\” in cases of spousal rape. The rape of a spouse in the mid 1900\’s in this country was not subject to prosecution, as was perceived as a marital right.
This bellows of ownership. Evidence of our patriarchal society lives on in the taking of a husband\’s name. Many feminists believe this to be remnants of when the husband had rule over the wife, children, and property. Again, marriage as being related to possessing another is suggested. Of course these examples are from history (if you can call 1993 history). But possession remains a stalwart of marriage. When one loves another they want to feel secure; this (often illusionary) feeling of security is enhanced by the legal binding of one to another. It makes it more difficult to leave, and thereby relates to possessing. In short, we want to marry so we can hold onto another. It is difficult for many to admit they want to possess another. The sound of it is archaic and brings images of ownership. People much prefer to say, \”I want you to be mine. \” There are even Valentine candies embossed with \”Be Mine\”. This statement, although still ringing of possession, is more palatable. In many cases possession is exactly what we want: we want to know the other will always be there for us; we want to know we are bound together, that nothing will separate us. However, it also isn\’t hard to see this as illusionary, despite the rate at nearly half of all marriages.
A final reason people want to get married is the gala event it has become. A large percentage of women dream of the day they will be the princess at their wedding. Who wouldn\’t want that? Many men feel similarly. You get to be a star for a day. Everything is about you. Everyone is there to celebrate you and your love for one another. Weddings are beautiful events. The pageantry, the pomp, and the of it all results in it being majestic. People cry with. The thought of completely doing away with this ceremony is preposterous. There are few who would deny their offspring this opportunity. The idea of marriage may be outdated and tied to archaic tradition, but the American public will continue to dream of their perfect wedding and their perfect marriage for some time to come. The question is, will their expectations of marriage meet the reality? Copyright William Berry, 2012 Despite the fact that it\’s the twenty-first century and women can earn their own money, go to a sperm bank to have a child and lead a satisfying social life without a man, the role of wife remains compelling. Young women are more self-assured than ever, not necessarily in search of a boyfriend and comfortable focusing on their own goals. They know that sex can be a sport and men can be adjunct, perhaps fungible.
Yet what I\’ve found is that at a certain point for these women, usually by their mid to late-twenties, being engaged and getting married becomes important. It isn\’t that these millennials live under a rock or haven\’t heard the stats on divorce or that they haven\’t noticed the breakups of Katie and Tom, Demi and Ashton and even old-timers Tipper and Al. What happens to this group, as well as to women in their 30s to their 80s, is a pervasive sense that they\’re missing something meaningful if they aren\’t wives. No wonder there are widows, divorcцes and never-married women of a certain age who approach \”wifing\” as an essential experience. Few of us can escape what has been etched into our psyches for decades — that being a wife is significant. That the perks of the job trump the obstacles. Each of us responds to marriage partially based on our personal experience — we meet a man and are convinced he is \”the one\” and after an appropriate amount of time together, the commitment is made (this may escalate due to a biological clock, a dread of being single another Christmas, family pressure or exhaustion with the men out there). A woman is partially influenced by her mother\’s modeling — negative, positive or mixed. Society at large is also a partial influence, always assuring us that there is no better imprimatur of romantic love than marriage.
This is true among the 200 women with whom I spoke for my. These women are from all parts of the country; large cities, small towns, suburbs and rural areas. They vary in age, social strata and ethnicity, but despite their different backgrounds, their attitudes toward the role of wife are strikingly similar. According to my research: 80 percent of women, regardless of their current marital statuses, consider marriage a goal 65 percent of women end up embracing the conventionality of husband, house, children The advantage is that wives today have a level of confidence that\’s unprecedented and impressive. Not only do these women choose to be wives but they expect, perhaps command, that their husbands come through for them. If fifty or sixty years ago wives had little agency of their own, wives today are mature and worldly. Most likely, they have lived with their husbands before they marry and the couple has hammered out their differences and values ahead of the march down the aisle. This savvy wife wants the marriage and views it as a means of securing a best friend and trusted confidante. In this way, she is a true believer who is unfazed by any Census report or her friend\’s tale of woe and has tremendous hope that her marriage will succeed.