Long gone are the days of the submissive wife from the fifties. No longer is it necessary for a woman to be dependent on her husband for support, silent until her voice is desired, or forced to stay at home expected to procreate one child after another. Women were the sole caregivers and it was expected of them to resolve marital conflicts by giving in and obeying their husband.
The sixties started a mutiny that has left a permanent impression on the world. Liberating women has changed our culture almost overnight granting freedom our gender has never seen before. In consequence, everything known about marriage has changed.
Successful marriages are rapidly declining as the roles of husband and wife are changing dramatically. Women being more successful in the working world then in the past, are leaving marriage and children for later in life if at all. This shift in balance with gender roles has women no longer willing to be solely responsible for fixing their marital issues and men are now more childlike and lazy.
Due to this turn of events, men are now faced with an identity crisis. Consideration is nearly obsolete. Men do not open doors for women, nor are women offered a simple hand for the purpose of an escort. So they turn to some unsophisticated form of entertainment that gives them a false sense of virility and women continue to surpass them in almost every way.
Outpacing men for about twenty years now, women are earning more degrees and hold more jobs than ever before. An essay by Don Peck, The Atlantic, reported that in November 2009 nearly a fifth of all men between the ages of 25 and 55 did not have jobs, the highest figure since 1948. According to The National Marriage Project and the United States Census Report, the importance of marriage is declining from sixty-five percent in 1969 to fifty-two percent in 2009. As women are now independent, divorce rates have dramatically increased and couples choosing to get married have declined leaving marriages at an all time record low.
The fall of masculine identity, with the rise of the independent and liberated woman does have its disadvantages and comes at a price.
Meeting with three married couples, we openly spoke about the modern marriage and women’s issues after liberation. I discovered the one commonality each of the wives shared was intense loneliness due to the lack of companionship with their spouse, or anyone else for that matter. Another reproach they related to was the lack of intimacy with their husband.
Lynn gave a specific example of how her husband ignores her all evening long as he sits in front of the TV while social networking, and then expects sex in the middle of the night. “I feel repugnant as he rolls over when he’s done,” she whispers with tears on her cheek. “He doesn’t bother to kiss me before or after. I wonder why I got married in the first place.”
Brenda is recently separated after being married for seven years with two children. After working all day she would come home to make dinner, clean, and help the kids with homework while her husband was gaming, social networking, or dozing off in front of the TV. “With the way he went about his day, it was as if I was raising three children instead of two and I became tired of it.”
The issue that bothered Sarah was her husband messaging ex-girlfriends on Facebook. “It’s not so much that he’s friends with them,” she says with a nervous giggle. “I just wish he would put that much effort into communicating with me. He will spend the entire evening with someone online then go off to bed. I find myself being jealous of the stupid internet and now I presume he’s having an online affair. I should just leave him.”
Psychology Today states men have become confused about their role in the marriage which makes choosing a compatible lifelong companion very difficult. Eventually he believes he’s found the one person who will tend to his every need and he marries her. Once the infatuation fades, reality sets in and he finds himself looking at her thinking he’s made a terrible mistake as he notices all of her imperfections he swears were not there before.
Rob, the one husband that agreed to let me publish his interview, said that his wife was fun and alive in the early years of their marriage. “She was always smiling and seemed so happy. The other day she told me she married the wrong person. Man, has she changed.” When asked if there was anything he could have done differently to prevent her from changing he responded, “I’m not the one with the problem. She sulks around here complaining I ignore her all the time while I’m busy. She doesn’t even get things going on in bed anymore. It’s all me doing the work, so I just get it over and done with so I can get to sleep.”
Well that’s something every woman wants to hear from her husband. And just for the record, Rob was busy with social networking while watching television when the wife was complaining about being lonely.
This just goes to show, gender wars have a completely different meaning then they did back in the day. There is no simple solution to the chaos men and women contend with. Women have chosen a path of equality which has led to loneliness, and men are lost no longer able to prove their importance as the dominant species.