I saw an interesting article on TribLive.com, the website for the Tribune Review. It’s called “5 Myths About Marriage” and I thought it was interesting to see which good things were myths, as well as which bad ones. I was a little surprised. Here are the five myths they listed and some of what they had to say about them.
1. People don’t value marriage the way they used to.
A May 2010 Gallup poll found that while only 23 percent of Americans believe divorce to be morally wrong, 92 percent believe it is immoral for a spouse to have an affair.”
2. Married women who work put in a “second shift” at home.
Employed wives with young children do, on average, spend 2.33 hours more per week on housework and paid work than their husbands do. But that’s an extra 20 minutes a day, hardly a full second shift. And once the early months of child-rearing are over, the average total time most husbands and wives spend on paid and unpaid work combined is now virtually identical, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.”
3. Divorce is harmful to women and children.
Economists Betsey Stevenson and Justin Wolfers found that every state that adopted no-fault divorce experienced an 8 to 13 percent decline in wives’ suicide rates and a 30 percent decline in domestic violence in the next five years. On average, children of divorce exhibit more behavioral problems and do more poorly in school than children of intact marriages. But in many cases, problems blamed on divorce can be seen in children many years before their parents split and are actually a result of the family dysfunction that eventually led to divorce.”
4. Married parents spend less time with their kids than they used to.
I thought that might be true, but the article says that, in fact, parents spend more time with their kids now. In 1965, the average mother spent 10 hours a week focused on her children. In various polls, women have indicated that they spend more time than that with their kids now, even though they work more hours than most moms did in the 60s. The same has been shown to be true of dads.
5. Married couples are the building blocks of community life.
All that time invested in children comes at the expense of being involved in the world beyond the family’s front door. Sociologists Naomi Gerstel and Natalia Sarkisian report that spouses are less likely to visit and give practical assistance to extended families than are the unmarried. They’re also likely to spend less time volunteering.
We all had misconceptions (good and bad) about what marriage would be like or how it would work. I’d like to hear some of yours and I may post mine in another post. At the very least, it’s always nice to know you weren’t the “only one!”