Why Is Marriage So Bad For Women? [EXPERT]


Marriage may not be so great for women which is why they are seeking divorce more often than men.

In this article and many other studies there seems to be evidence that women aren’t as happy with marriage as men are.  In fact, women are seeking divorce more frequently than men yet they aren’t ending non-marriage relationships at that same rate.  This seems to suggest that marriage isn’t all it’s cracked up to be – at least not for women.  So what gives?  Why is marriage bad for women? Marriage, it seems, is stuck somewhere in the past where women aren’t equal partners and thus not as satisfied as their single counterparts.

Maybe it’s time for women to stop looking for the ever-elusive soul mate and instead settle for nothing less than a fabulous life partner.  The old marriage paradigm in which women feel lucky to be married and “taken care of” is not working for many women in today’s society.  Marriage should be a relationship that benefits both people and makes both lives better than they might be on their own.  Since marriage isn’t a requirement for having children or even living together anymore it isn’t actually a necessity for many people.  If marriage is going to continue in our society, it needs to be worthwhile for those who undertake it. 

Women still do more housework than men even when they work outside of the house as much as their husband’s do.  In other words, married women do more work when they get married and married men do less.  If a woman wants to do less housework, she should stay single! Marriage brings a heavier load of manual labor to women on top of work outside of the home and frequently more time raising children.  Needless to say, this situation certainly doesn’t lead to women enjoying their marital status.

Women also dramatically decrease their lifetime earnings when they get married whereas married men make more money throughout their lives.  This could, of course, be by choice because a woman decides to stay home to raise children.  However, if her marriage doesn’t work out, the likelihood of her having serious financial difficulties dramatically increase.  The decrease in lifetime earnings and the loss of potential earnings due to gaps in her career can be devastating for women in the long run.  Staying single and working continuously would actually lead to more financial stability for many women. 

To be sure, some will call this man bashing yet it isn’t.  It is a call for women to look more deeply for the right partner. Ask the right questions, push through the superficial issues such as appearance and instead find out if you have similar values, goals, and dreams.  Studies seem to suggest that the current state of marriage may not be a good deal for women so it’s time for us to change marriage – not necessarily abandon it.  Certainly, more egalitarian marriages are beneficial to all involved both emotionally and economically.  Children have the advantage of both parents involvement, families aren’t dependent on just one income, and each partner gets the benefit of a life of accomplishment and growth.  Interestingly enough, studies suggest that a wife’s happiness is more important to the overall stability of the marriage and thus to a decrease in divorce. 

So is marriage really that bad for women?  Sometimes it is (as I’m sure it is for some men as well).  Women are more likely to do more manual labor, more hands on parenting duties, and make far less money in her lifetime than both men and her single counterparts.  Versus women who have a committed life partner who shares in all aspects of the relationship, the home, and the family, she is much more likely to be happy and to stay in the marriage.  It’s certainly worth a woman’s time to look for a partner who wants the same things.  If not, she might just be better off on her own. 

Lisa Kaplin is a psychologist and life coach at www.smartwomeninspiredlives.com.  Lisa has been married for 25 years and has three children.

You can reach her at Lisa@smartwomeninspiredlives.com