How Marriage Has Changed Over Time

How Marriage Has Changed Over Time

When couples talk about marriage nowadays, it is hard to know exactly what to expect. Marriage is not always built on the traditional gender roles that governed your great-grandparents’, grandparents’, and maybe even your parents’ marriages. In fact, today’s marriages tend to focus on an even 50/50 split.

Marriage has come a long way even in this century. Millennials are doing things their own way, and while this is great in most cases, it can be confusing if a partner is not on the same page. You may be willing to get rid of gender stereotypes, but your partner may be just fine having you do all the cooking and cleaning.

After all, there is no playbook or instruction manual for marriage. We tend to base our own marriages off what society thinks is right. We may look at the marriages of family members and friends. So there are many different ways in which a person can view marriage. But if both parties do not agree on the basics, then the marriage is doomed to fail. It can even lead to divorce down the line. 

How Do Millennials View Marriage?

In the past, men had their roles and women had theirs. Women stayed home to cook, clean, and take care of kids. Men were the ones who went to work to support the family. Even in today’s world, many women cook, clean, and perform childcare tasks—on top of a full-time job. However, with more and more women climbing up the corporate ladder and becoming the breadwinners of their households, many men are doing their fair share of household tasks. Some are taking paternity leave and even taking on the role of stay-at-home dad. 

In fact, this is the type of situation that millennials prefer in their marriages. They want 50/50 partnerships. They are not limiting themselves to certain tasks. Everyone is doing their fair share, which may mean men are the ones cooking and cleaning while the women are working. 

While marriage has been around forever, the concept started to change in the 1960s with the feminist movement. Before that time, women were expected to have children right after getting married. That was their primary role—to raise a family. 

Expectations have changed since then. Women are starting careers and having children later in life—sometimes even in their 40s. Many women are forgoing having children altogether. Many are choosing instead to focus on their careers and spend their time with their spouses traveling and engaging in other hobbies.

Marriages Moving Into Uncharted Territory

You could say that marriages are moving into uncharted territory, especially in the age of COVID. Couples have had to restructure their roles to deal with childcare, distance learning, and changes in the workplace. Some people have had to continue working at a brick and mortar location, such as nurses, doctors, retail workers, and food workers. Others transitioned to remote work. When both parties transitioned to working from home, it often led to more stress, as they were around each other 24/7. Some enjoyed being quarantined together, while others did not. 

Marriage in the 21st century has also led to other changes. It is no longer a stigma to have a child out of wedlock. People are realizing that a marriage certificate does not make them a better parent. If couples do decide to have children, they may have them later in life, when they have established their careers. They are no longer in a rush to have children in their 20s, especially when there have been so many advances in the field of fertility. Women can now get pregnant in their 40s and even their 50s. 

There are also changes in terms of who is bringing home the bacon. In the past, that was primarily the man’s job, but nowadays, nearly one-third of women do. While many women are more than happy to be the breadwinners, some do wish they could take on more of a role as a stay-at-home parent. This can lead to resentment, so this is something to keep in mind in Millennial marriages. 

In any case, both parties are on the hook for childcare, cooking, cleaning, and other tasks, especially if one person is working from home. This means that stress is impacting all members of the family. This can be met with resistance, which is why it is important for couples to have honest discussions about their feelings. Otherwise, these feelings can build up and lead to resentment. 

Seek Legal Help

Marriage has changed over the past few generations. Today’s marriages are much different from those of our parents and grandparents. While this can be a good thing, it can also be frustrating for those who are used to more traditional gender roles.  

Are you happy with your marriage, or are you struggling? Seek legal help from Broward County divorce attorney Scott J. Stadler. If you have communicated your concerns to your spouse, but to no avail, we can advise you of your options. We have more than 30 years of experience dealing with marriage and divorce issues. Schedule a consultation today by filling out the online form or calling (954) 346-6464.