5 Ways Marriage Negatively Impacts Some Women

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Women are filing for divorce at a higher rate than men because, let’s face it, marriage is more likely to negatively impact women than men. 

As part of their “Relationships in America” study, researchers at the Austin Institute found that women expressed more unhappiness and discontent with their relationships than men. It is the woman more often than the man who want to end the marriage. According to the survey, 55 percent of women wanted their marriages to end more than their husbands. Only 29 percent of men wanted a divorce more than their wives.

What Is It About Marriage That Causes Women Such Discontent?

1. Marriage does a number on women’s self-esteem. Especially those women who choose to forego a career and become stay-at-home mothers. When you become financially dependent on a husband self-reliance and self-confidence flies out the window. Women is such situations begin to view their husbands as their only hope for a good future and themselves as someone who has nothing to offer. 

These women lose their own image and replace it with that of a mother and wife whose role is to care for and about others before caring for and about themselves. They set high goals about their ability as mothers, homemakers and good wives. Goals that are hard to attain and when faced with not being able to meet those goals experience negative thinking about themselves and their abilities. I wish I had a dollar for every stay-at-home mother I know who feels she is falling short at the work she does.

2. Women are no longer the captain of their own ship. Let’s face it, men out earn women and if a woman is married to a man who out earns her, he will feel he has more power over marital decisions that are made. 

Career women with children, even in this day and age, do the majority of the child rearing and housework. It is the wife who keeps the house running smoothly in spite of the fact that she also has a full-time job. When women have free time they focus on what needs to be taken care of at home. 

When men have free time they focus on finding leisure activities to engage in. 
Women are called “nags” when they ask for help from a husband and find that doing all herself is easier than suffering the wrath of a husband who feels that is “women’s work.” 

3. Women expect too much from marriage. Those expectations, when not met leave women feeling frustrated and resentful. According to Elizabeth Gilbert, Women want intimacy and autonomy, security and stimulation, reassurance and novelty, coziness and thrills. Gilbert understands this isn’t possible, but she tries to convince herself and her readers that she has found a loophole. She tells herself a familiar story, that her marriage will be different. And she is, of course, right—everyone’s marriage is different. But everyone’s marriage is a compromise.

And, who do you think does the most compromising in marriage? Women! Women go into marriage expecting too much and end up settling for too little!

4. Women are more likely to gain weight after marriage. Dr. Annette J. Dobson, a professor of biostatistics at the University of Queensland in Australia says, “Getting married or moving in with a partner and having a baby are events that trigger even weight gain."

Here is an interesting statistic, the 10-year weight gain for an average 140-pound woman was 20 pounds if she had a baby and a husband, 15 if she had a husband but no baby. Bottom line, married women become chunky. There are many reasons women gain weight after marriage.

  • Pregnancy and the inability to loose baby weight.
  • Using food as comfort to cover dissatisfaction.
  • Taking up the eating habits of a husband.
  • Putting the family’s preferences for food above their own healthy choices. 
  • Turn to food for solace due to the pain of marital problems.

Whatever the reason, a full-bodies married woman is the norm which is an indication that women don’t take good care of themselves after marriage. 

5. Before marriage life is interesting, fun and rewarding. Not so much after marriage. After marriage couples tend to set into a routine, one that promotes the health of the marriage and not the health of the parties to the marriage. Financial worries, the belief that couples should do everything together, having children, buying a home, these are all things that can make life less interesting, rewarding and fun. 

Marriage is tough, in ways that no one talks about when you are newly engaged and looking forward to “living happily ever after.” I’m not attempting to discourage women from getting married or encourage those who are married to divorce. It is, however in a woman’s best interest to either know what marriage is before going into it or, learning how to find happiness once she’s said, “I do.”