Stephanie Coontz admits that, during the pre-modern period, marriage was an establishment of “cooperative relationships between families and communities” (Coontz 31) reasoned by economic and political aspects. Nowadays, marriage is a determination of “rights and obligations connected to sexuality, gender roles, relationships with in-laws, and the legitimacy of children. … It usually defines the mutual duties of husband and wife and often the duties of their respective families toward each other….” (Coontz 32). I find marriage as a legal union which binds the spouses to the certain kind of behavior, sharing the common household, producing and bringing up children. In modern society, children are becoming less relevant for the marriage as child rearing and marriage are not so close to each other as they were earlier. Although, still, an abundance of parents want to grow up their children in a family environment; moreover, children inherit the status of the couple and their property, and marriage allows it in an orderly manner. The evidence of the change of the social opinion on the issue of marriage lies upon the fact that marriage was not aimed the couple’s happiness. A woman was considered to be her father’s property. When a couple married, she was considered to become her husband’s property. Being similar to a business agreement, marriage was especially significant for an abundance of peasants and farmers who could unify in order to make their business more successful. All goods and incomes of a woman were controlled by her husband; he had a right to beat her or detain his wife physically. It is one more evidence of the woman’s dependence on her husband and her discrimination. Nowadays, a family is an independent economic unit; this is the reason why personal preferences are more powerful than parents’ wishes. Choosing a partner, most people are influenced by romantic feelings as the social ideals of marriage as well as the household changed. A woman has equal rights to a man; both of them take part in bringing up children and earning money. In most cases, a wife is not financially dependent on her husband. As the spouses are not forced to live together and to share the same household, the amount of conflicts is much lower.
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Coontz admits that “love is a mixture of sexual gratification, interpersonal comfort and interpersonal fit”. (Coontz 7). Making a profound analysis of the changes in marriage and its nature, it is obvious that the fact that love lies in the basis of it has both positive and negative effects. First of all, a person who is in love with someone can not help be happy with him or her. The triumph of love always makes the marriage be endured. Happy people are less likely to be at risk of alcohol or drug abuse, stresses, depression, health disorders such as heart attacks or strokes. It is evident that there is no reason for the person to divorce if he/she feels happy being married. Love makes a person expect too much from his/her partner whereas the daily routine of life can result in the divorce. The absence of romantic dating and the necessity to do the same things every day can make love dissolve. In spite of the personal satisfactions, if marriage is based only on romantic feelings, the spouses will divorce as their expectations will occur not to be close to reality. Romantic relationships transform into leading household and earning money; under these circumstances, a personality can make a conclusion that there was no reason to marry, and his/her choice was wrong. Taking into account the problem of divorce, it is noteworthy to emphasize on its influence on children. If a child is grown up in a family environment, he/she is more likely to be healthy and feel happy. In most cases, these children develop their personalities and talents. Moreover, parents are the best example to follow; this is the reason why the family where the spouses are happy is a one of the prerequisites for a happy family life of a child. Divorce is a stress for every child, and it can lead to certain psychological disorders. As a rule, it is a complicated thing for such children to concentrate on the subject at school. On the other hand, in some cases, parents want to continue living together for the purpose of preventing their child from the stressful experience. Such parents do not take into consideration the fact that conflicts, which are present in their family due to certain circumstances have an impact on their children, as well. They lead to stress and even influence their future vision of a family.
Analyzing the history of marriage, it is clear that the evolution of views on it helps us to understand the nature of family life. First of all, the history of marriage shows that love is inevitable for every couple as a person can not be happy with a spouse who is indifferent or even annoying. The economic ground of marriage is quite prominent, but it does not have a considerable impact on the choice of partners. Moreover, the instability of relationship between spouses can be caused by several factors. The first of them is the discrimination of one of the partners. If one of them is unequal, the spouse can not be happy, and it leads to a divorce. Furthermore, marriage does not include only love. Daily routine and sharing the same household is one of the factors which lead to divorce, as well. The history demonstrates that, earlier, people were ready for it as a woman lead the household, and the man earned money. Nowadays, romantic relationships made people oblivious to the fact that marriage is not only romance but also routine. The change of a woman’s position has caused several problems for the marriage. She does not have to be just a housewife as she desires to combine her career with marriage. This change in the nature of marriage results in an abundance of divorces.
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