But are we remembering correctly?
In her book Stephanie shows the changes marriage has gone through from times past when women were socialized to obey the man, when no one even expected to marry for love. Dr. Dorothy Marcic of Vanderbilt University in reviewing the book said: “Back then, marriage was for economic and social reasons and family and society kept a couple together. Now we expect to marry for love, but as Coontz shows, love is the most fragile part of the equation. Thus, it has meant a change in how we see marriage, a change in behaviors. Not only do we expect emotional intimacy, but women (in Western societies, anyway) are more equal than before. And so marriage continues to evolve. Coontz also shows how robust the institution of marriage is: try to think of many other institutions that have survived for thousands of years. She also gives honest--and personal--insights into the difficulties of sustaining a happy marriage, as well as the rewards. Consider that married couples in Western countries are generally better off emotionally, economically and are healthier than couples living in other types of arrangements.”
So although we saw a huge rise in the divorce rate since the 1950’s we may not be looking at the story behind the statistics. With access to marriage preparation and marriage education at an all time high, perhaps our future will tell a better story than our past when it comes to thriving healthy marriages. At the very least, we can each do our part in our own relationships.
What do you think…have we idealized an era ? Did Ozzie and Harriet truly exist?