Studies correlate traditional gender roles with greater domestic harmony.
“To have and to hold from this day forth … Till death do us part.”
What they forget to mention if you want to live happily ever after is how to divide up the household chores. It is very easy (and also not readily advisable these days) to take a perceived sexist view and say that men like to fulfill their “hunter gatherer” role and women run the house the best. Although this is a very old fashioned view there are certainly studies that support the claim that the divorce rate would be lower if we went back to the traditional way of co-habitating.
The modern married couple have an entirely different perception of marriage to our predecessors and the view now is that couples should share responsibilities and chores equally. Women now have a much higher level of education than before and are much more likely to command a reasonably well paid job and have a lower level of dependency on their spouse. The problem with that very modern arrangement of equality is that there is a danger that the relationship could resemble more of a business partnership that an intimate and loving relationship and as a result, there is a greater tendency to see a conflict of interest as you juggle schedules and divide up chores rather than a more harmonious arrangement where roles are clearly defined.
Equality in the home
Whilst equality in the home is always a desirable objective, there are many studies that have demonstrated that sharing equal responsibility is less likely to create contentment and the statistics show that there is actually a higher divorce rate where couples try to pursue equality rather than having more old-fashioned defined roles within the marriage. The argument put forward to support the traditional husband and wife arrangement is that when there is clarity regarding the roles that each person is expected to fulfill in the relationship, there is less likely to be conflict and arguments. If a modern couple share the duties equally there is more opportunity for confrontation if one partner thinks that the other is not pulling their weight and contributing equally. If the ironing has not been done or the lawn not been mowed, it is very easy to identify the culprit in the traditional marriage scenario.
Dealing with the problem
At the end of the day all we are talking about are statistics and views that may or may not conform to your own ideas of how a marriage works best. The only people that can make a relationship work in the way that suits them best and leads to a long and happy marriage, are the couple themselves. If the wife wants to stay at home and do the housework and the husband go to work to pay the bills, no problem. As long as the rules of engagement are clearly worked out while you are very much in love and looking forward to married life, then whatever works for you, even if it does not align with modern views or even traditional views, it will hopefully mean you are less likely to be one of the unfortunate statistics that ended up getting divorced. In the same way that a pre-nuptial agreement is hardly the most romantic gesture ever made between a couple, at least you know where you stand before you get married.