This is not a manifesto. This is not advice. This is an artistic theory… strictly for entertainment purposes. This has to be stated right away, because, someone might get the wrong impression and change their marriage. Not all changes are for the good/bad of those involved. Let’s take a look at this fictional account of events.
Feminism Changed Our Marriage
Dorothy and Albert grew up in loving homes. They aspired to have loving homes of their own. When they met, things seemed to click and gel just right. The romance grew steadily and went through all the customary drama of fresh romance.
In time, things settled into a nice lovely pace and before long, they were heading to a destination wedding that was the talk of many. It was beautiful. It was the stuff of dreams in an affordable yet expensive package.
And now, life turned “normal”. Things settled into a good pace. The glamor of youth and freedom gave way to responsibilities and you know…
Dorothy was pleased with what she had just heard. Her good friend had dropped some serious knowledge on her. For starters, there was nothing wrong with being a strong independent woman. All the guilt that she had felt, now Dorothy understood, was man’s way of keeping women down.
In fact, being a feminist was practically a human right. Women had to fight to be respected, heard, and honored. Dorothy was not going to let her husband get away with his juvenile ways. Not on her watch.
Albert could not understand why his wife was getting on him for things that were once just fine. All of a sudden, his wife was acting like a drill sergeant on a mission to whip him into shape. Gone were the gaming consoles. Gone were the relaxing with his friends on Sundays. Now, there were lists of things to do and check-in times.
While this posed a great opportunity and challenge to Albert, something in his heart told him that his life was going to experience some serious pain if he was not careful. But Dorothy was not like the other bitter women around town. No, not Dorothy. She wanted their marriage to succeed. Maybe it was time to grow up a little and work harder to make his wife happy.
There are many things that come to the surface once you’ve lived with someone a period of time. Facts that didn’t manage to come up in conversation before marriage are now pressing the couple for conversation. Especially things that didn’t feel romantic or necessary to talk about.
After all, who wants to mess with the feeling of being in love. It’s a great feeling. It should conquer everything, right? Talking about finances, who goes to school first when budgets are tight, what chores get done by whom, aren’t exactly fun chats to have as a young dating person.
Now that the reality of two cultures blending under one roof started to enlighten Albert and Dorothy, those previously undiscussed issues started to come to light and bring about tension. Granted, very low grade levels of tension that could have easily been swept under the rug as being work related fatigue.
Nevertheless, at some point, a conversation or two has to take place. The relationship has to transition away from the dating mindset to the living-together-for-life mindset.
The collision of values from within each member of the relationship must find a comfortable seat to face the values a community imposes on the couple.
When living in a conservative town, compared to a liberal town, there are values that are shared that will have some influence on the relationship. That’s the inevitable part of being human. We want to fit in, so we adjust to fit in. The contrast of conservative versus liberal was just for the sake of making an example. Neither views is better than the other. Neither view is bad. Just a view.
The general views of our neighbors has some influence on a relationship. If everyone things it’s a great idea to workout, and most neighbors go work out and ask about your work out, it will raise the odds of your relationship adopting more workout practices.
This is why certain cities have a certain vibe to them. Some are the uptight busy hard working vibes. Others are the laid back relaxed friendly vibes. Others are pro this and others pro that.
That’s the imposition from outside the relationship we’re talking about.
Just because there is imposition doesn’t mean there is change. Some people just don’t adapt or conform. That’s fine too. What isn’t, marginalizing someone who doesn’t conforms to the local norms.
So… back to the changes
Dorothy and Albert now find themselves negotiating their roles in their relationship. Who does what. When. Where. How. Who gives the tone, sets the pace, and encourages change.
There are less gender specific roles these days than there was in the past. The cost of social improvements means that some people aren’t sure just how well to adjust to the new values and expectations.
Quick example. A generation ago, most men were expected to work and most women were expected to focus on what took place at home. This did not mean men didn’t do anything at home or that women didn’t work. It just means that the values of that era (in the culture this piece is written) was that more domestic in-house work was done by the woman than the man.
Now, the demands of the economy are such that it is not sustainable for one person to do more domestic work than the other. Simply because both have to work, both have to balance their life with their career, and both spend more time outside the home than ever. No one gender is able to stay home more than the other. This means renegotiating what needs to be done and how it should be done.
There is more flexibility for couples to divide the labor based on skills than gender. It’s also raising a lot of concerns with individuals who aren’t prepared to face this shift.
How people label these changes, how they discuss these changes, how they feel about these changes, and what they do based on all these variables, will determine how much their marriage will change.