Aspects Of Marriage Essay, Research Paper
Aspects of Marriage
The role of “provider” has changed through out time. Bernard quotes the 23rd Psalm along with Exodus 16:12-13. In relation to these Bible verses Bernard says this, “In fact, in this role of good provider, God is sometimes almost synonymous with Providence.” She goes on to say that “the first great provider for the human species was God, the Father, surely the second great provider for the human species was Mother, the gatherer, planter, and general factotum.”
At this point in early history women had a huge role as the provider. According to Boulding (1976), “In hunting and gathering societies, males contribute to one-fifth of the food of the clan, females the other four-fifths.” Page 236 describes the virtuous women in the Old Testament. The woman in this proverb was the “very model of a good provider.” Women soon lost the role of “good provider.” Page 237 states that “The good provider as a specialized male role seems to have arisen in the transition from subsistence to market especially money economies accelerated with the Industrial Revolution.”
The book states that the loss of the “good provider” role for women has had negative effects. Bernard says that it placed women in a vulnerable position. Page 237 says this, “Because she was not reimbursed for her contributions to the family in either products or services, a wife was stripped to a considerable extent of her access to cash-mediated markets. By discouraging labor force participation, it deprived many women, especially affluent ones, of opportunities to achieve strength and competence.
Men assuming the “good provider” role has come with problems. The book states that “some men resented the burdens the role forced them to bear.” If a man was having problems fulfilling the role he would sometimes take it out on his family. Marriages suffered because of the frustration felt by both men and women. According to the book some men did quite well with the role, but providing men would concentrate on little else. This would lead to lack of intimacy in the marriage. Later readings suggest that the family has suffered when the mother re-enters the work force. Page 260 states, “The two job family is suffering from a speed-up of work and family life.” This page goes on to say that working mothers are the primary victims.
Norman D. Glenn says that traditional families are in trouble. He goes on to state, “If current divorce rates continue, about two out of three marriages that begin this year will not survive as long as both spouses live.” According to this reading, what Americans say does not reflect this. Glenn has found that surveys taken in recent years, regarding expressed attitudes towards the family, have remained consistent with those taken in 1971. It appears people are not aware of the problems marriages and families face.
Parenthood is a transition that unites or divides families. Jay Belsky and John Kelly state that, “Behind this common husband-wife perceptual gap lay some profound differences in biology, upbringing, and perhaps even evolutionary programming.” The book says that some women experience a feeling of “love at first sight” with the infant. For men it can take weeks before a strong bond occurs. One of the reasons that marriages unite is because of a “common set of gratification s.” According to the book, parenthood leads to better self esteem in both men and women. Parenthood can also lead to a biological connection in the marriage(p.293).
Children bring out pride in parents. Penelope Leach infers that parents view child development as a race. Leach states on page 297 that, “We behave as if the child who walks earliest will run fastest, as if exceptionally early single words predict meaningful later sentences.” We are told on page 299 that, “A baby s performance today says very little that is useful about his likely performance next year.” Parents get their ego s involved, and this is sad for children. It is hard for kids to live up to their parents expectations, especially when they are not grounded in reality.