Wednesday, August 8, 2012

I've Looked at Life from Both Sides Now - Why Do Women Wish to Be Married?

I saw a middle school boy today wearing a "Game Over" t-shirt with graphic that showed a bride and groom; the groom wore a frown while the bride wore a smile.  You have to wonder what his parents are thinking allowing him to wear something that underscores a sexist belief in their son, but parenting is not the point of this post.  No, I can't help but think how marriage looks different from the single vantage point than it does as a married. 

I always looked at my mother as someone who was robbed: when she wed, it was taken for granted that the woman would stay at home and the man would provide financially for her and the family.  Now, this could be extremely limiting for the female, as she would be isolated with menial tasks to do all day, and what would she do if something happened to her husband or she just picked a do-nothing loser?  But, there's a whole generation of women that made their "career" choice by default, or, as in the case of my mother, from a very small selection of traditionally female jobs.  This list included teachers, nurses, and secretaries.  My mother, ever the practical one, chose secretarial school, because she didn't see the use in earning a four-year degree that she would probably use for less time that it took in her studies.  Fair enough.  So, imagine her dismay when she then had to work until the age of 68. 

Watching her work as hard as she did inside and outside the home, I grew wary of marriage.  Mom told me many times to not get married until I was at least 30 (boy, did I take that to heart!), because the best years of a woman's life are when she is earning her own money.  Why, then, are so many women so desparate to marry while men try to avoid it?  There have been many studies that show that married men are more satisfied and live longer than single men, while the same does not hold true for married women.  In fact, in order of happiness, married men are the most content, followed by single women, married women, and single men bring up the rear on the contentment scale.  Hmmmm...

Go ahead, taste your freedom
again, boys.  Get yourself
There's no question anectdotally that women work harder in a marriage then husbands.  Does anyone else have the "take care of this" act taken in their house?  That's where the husband just leaves things in a state, assuming that it will get taken care of.  My husband has cleaned the house exactly zero times.  When we came home to find all of our things covered in construction dust, he did not feel guilty leaving me to sort it out while he went boating in Connecticut, or went to his parents to "pay bills" for the whole day.  And, as I point out regularly, we have the same exact job.  Men are amazing, aren't they?  And then they joke about how they're like inmates in their marriages.  I'd like to allow a prison-break; I'll even help dig the tunnel!


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