Marital Status and Women’s Self-Image After Divorce
A wife is always a faithful female partner in an ongoing marital relationship. As the wife, she shares her husband’s bed, kitchen, TV and the family boat but is always the main priority. The wife understands that it is her duty to take care of the family, provide for her husband’s necessities, raise the kids and maintain the status of the household.
Most cultures stress the role of the wife as the nurturer and the housewife. In other cultures, however, the wife is considered to be the dominant person in the home and sometimes that can mean being responsible for the family’s financial well-being more than her husband. In certain cultures, a wife will be expected to help her husband with his career and some cultures even insist that the wife foot the bill for the family’s needs. Women are seen as a primary provider. For these reasons, women may feel that they are destined to stay at home and care for the family, while her husband goes out to earn a higher salary and go into business. The only way these pressures can be removed is through education.
Education helps women see that they do have options beyond a marriage. It encourages her to take charge of her destiny. In many cultures, the woman is viewed as an unmarried child of a previous generation who has entered a new relationship. She may not be married. She is still a wife-one who head the family, cooks, cleans, raises the children and helps her husband work.
Education helps a woman recognizes that she has the right to be both a wife and a mother. The biblical concept of the wife as the passive wife of a single father has been replaced by the new vision of the wife as a partner in her husband’s marital relationship. This recognition encourages her to find ways to make herself useful to her husband in the marriage. She may decide to return to school to earn another degree so she can be a partner in the family business. She may want to find meaningful employment outside the home and pursue that goal.
Some women have a difficult time making the transition from marital wife to married wife. It is important for these women to realize that they are still loved and valued as women. They are still capable of happiness and of satisfying a role as a wife. The desire to be wanted and to belong is strong within them and this attitude will help them overcome the obstacles that get in the way of making a successful marriage.
The world is not as stacked against women today as it was in centuries past. Many cultures view women unfavorably in society and in their roles as wives and mothers. In many societies and cultures, the wife is seen as the primary caregiver of her husband’s minor children. Even in the most secular nations of the world, some cultures still have ingrained views about women. This often has a great impact on the way a wife treats her husband.
The experience of being married will change the wife’s view of herself and on her role in the marriage. When a woman is in a long-term committed relationship with a man she is going to come to regard herself as his wife. This change in perspective will have an impact on how she sees herself and how she feels about her husband and marriage. If the wife who is in the middle of a long term married relationship sees herself as a victim of her husband’s actions, then the effects of her divorce on her own self-esteem and on the relationship with her children will be much greater than if she were to view her husband as the perpetrator.
Divorce rates for married women are higher than the rates for single women in many cultures. In many cultures, the act of divorce itself is a stigma. It is not viewed in the same manner in many cultures as the act of having an affair or of straying. While many cultures accept the notion of a wife choosing to leave a marital relationship, in many other cultures the act of divorce itself is a stigma that suggests a lack of moral character and a lack of respect for the woman. The attitudes towards wife-taking in many cultures are likely to be much more extreme than those towards wife-giving.