DifferingViews on Marriage and Family
Marriage and family form the backbone of society. However, the situation is not as rosy as it looks from the outside.
What constitutes family and marriage?
Individuals in the family are related by blood or custom.
Functions of family- companionship, rearing children and sharing of duties.
Family members expect a conducive environment for sharing duties and emotional companionship.
As a child, I believed marriage was the most stable setting in which everybody should belong.
The Changing face of marriage
The contemporary transformation in education has led to a changed view of how men and women view their roles.
Contrary to my childhood view that none of the spouses could live alone, divorce is now rampant.
Negative view of family and marriage
Negative situations observed in marriage and family
History of negativity in marriage and family
Factors leading to negative situations
Types of conflicts- the search for wealth and education achievement
Itis evident that different people can have varied opinions ofmarriage. Someone looking at the situation from the outside mayconsider as the most harmonized setting while those going through itmight express totally different views.
DifferingViews on a Marriage and Family
Individualsin a family are related by blood, marriage, law or custom, formingthe most basic building block of society. Growing up, myunderstanding of marriage and family was based on the importance ofthe two institutions since they were necessary for the existence of astable society. One of these functions is the provision of astructure for the bearing and rearing of children. They also providea channel through which people feel loved while at the same timehave a sense of belonging. In my view, a marriage and family settingprovided individuals with a high likelihood of turning out asadmirable and productive members of the community. The societyportrays the unit as a universal setting that fulfilled six needsthat included economic production, the socialization of the younggeneration, caring for the sick and the aged, sexual control,recreation, and reproduction.
Mynotion was challenged when sociologists believed and reported theneed for the emphasis on personality in searching for a potentialmate. People’s expectations of their mates or marriage partnersincluded compatibility, understanding, and affection. Marriage wasthen considered an arrangement based on feelings of intimacy andattraction, as opposed to duty and obligation. At the time, marriagecame with parenthood which required the couple to be responsible fortheir families (read children) in regards to the provision of food,shelter, clothing and guidance. In addition, perseverance was key inrelationships, and challenges like divorce were very few.
DifferingViews on Marriage
Thesituation above presents a stark contrast from today’s marriagesituation. Having grown up and experienced the real perspective offamily life, I have discovered that my earlier viewpoint could onlyhave been imagination or misinterpretation. In regards to housework,for instance, there is often the struggle over the spouse who isresponsible for it. Majority of husbands desist from any kind ofhousework, and this often leaves wives to it, irrespective of whetherthey are also responsible for other jobs outside the home. Whilehusbands may be of the opinion that they really help out their wives,sometimes on a fifty-fifty basis, this is not always the feeling whenit comes to wives, and they often feel overworked. A situation likethis could always be the beginning of conflicts in marriages,eventually affecting families.
Thefamily has been viewed as a social arrangement that benefits men morein comparison to women. This leads to the existence of patriarchalcultures which contribute to inequality between the sexes, wheremales are more powerful than females. The situation leads to a statewhere the roles and responsibilities performed by males are perceivedto be more valuable than those performed by their wives. When itcomes to the formal workforce, mothers earn less than their husbandsdespite the fact that they spend the same hours in their occupations,and at the same time extend their duties to tending to their homesand children.
Whensuch kinds of situations come too often, conflict is created withinthe marriage and family setting. This is always accompanied by itsfair share of negative effects, one of which is divorce. In the past,divorce was almost non-existent. This may have been due to theperceived notion that marriage and family was a life-long bond whosepurpose was to create a conducive environment for rearing children.Initially, men had dominance over women who willingly submitted tothis because there was little choice. However, over time, situationshave changed, and the parties to the marriage are becoming lesspersistent and unpredictable. This situation began with the birth ofindustrialization when women gained education and earned highersalaries than they used to. Consequently, their dependence on menweakened.
Asa result, today’s spouses are more likely to feel that they arebeing deprived of some aspects that are necessary for the maritalrelationship. They have become less tolerant of challengingsituations because they feel detached and often seek a way out. Thisis often a result of competition for time, affection and attentionthat creates a void between the spouses. Today’s marriages areoften laden with competing self-interests especially in mattersrelated to wealth, resources, and power. None of the parties is everwilling to submit to their partner.
Inconclusion, the improved life conditions have left people to havediffering views on marriage. Some believe that there is increasedsharing of duties while others see the changes as a threat to theposition of spouses. The improved levels of education translate tomore earning power which eventually gives way to questioning andrejecting the dominance of men. Relationships that are perceived tobe unfair are no longer tolerated, and therefore the elevation ofdivorce rates. Such situations have often led to conflicts in thefamily, presenting a real life challenge that is less rosy than theoutward appearance thought to exist earlier. Despite the changingconcepts that allow some degree of balance and subsequent harmony,the essay represents the two sides of marriage and family. Oneincludes the views by a young, inexperienced person, and the secondby the same person after having gone through marriage, or having hadmore exposure on the subject.