How Males and Females Adjust to Marriage
There is ample research to indicate that marriage is not a simple institution. People enter into the union with different motives and intentions; some are met while others are not achieved, hence leading to frustrations. Failure in marriages in the modern society is on the increase as indicated by the many divorces and separations. Evidence of the same is also revealed in the number of couples seeking counseling in the efforts to save their marriages. Emotional problems causing couples and even individuals to seek counseling are intriguing in research. Knabb & Vogt (2011) suggest a gendered trend in those seeking help in therapy. Compared to males, females are more likely to seek counseling, leading to the question of whether or not there is a gender difference in relation to adjustment to marriage.
Therefore, to answer the question of whether males or females adjust to marriage differently, and who adjusts better, an online survey was carried out. A sample of 50 married individuals, 25 men, and 25 women was selected to complete the online survey.
The findings of the research were analyzed according to the responses in the survey. Based on happiness in marriage, 21 out of the 25 women, which are 84% of the surveyed claimed that they did not feel happy in their marriage. On the contrary, only 12 out of the 25 surveyed men, 48% of men said they were not happy in their marriage. The evidence supports the findings by Boden, Fischer & Niehuis (2010) who argued that men are more likely to be happy in marriage compared to women. The same study revealed higher levels of satisfaction in marriage among men compared to women. Indeed, the level of approval is greatly related to the level of achievement of the motives behind getting married, given the fact that men and women get into marriage with different motives.
Emotional satisfaction rated better for men than for women, with 18 out of the 25 women, which are 72% claiming that they did not get emotional satisfaction in their marriage and only 9 out of the 25 men, 35% claiming to lack emotional satisfaction. Evidently, more men than women are emotionally satisfied in marriage possibly because they tend to achieve their motives in getting married (Terveer & Wood, 2014). In fact, 15 out of the 25 women, which are 60% said that they did not achieve what they desired in getting married, while only 10 men, 40% said that they did not achieve what they wanted in the marriage. Over 80% of the men and women surveyed claimed to have defined gender roles in their marriage, but only men (75%) appeared to be satisfied with the roles and found them fair compared to women (35%). Majority of men and women in the survey that is over 90% acknowledged that their gender affected their fulfillment in marriage. Therefore, the question of whether the women and men are well adjusted in their marriage has a lot to do with their gender.
The study was aimed at determining the role played by gender in adjustment to marriage. From the data obtained in the survey, and in line with findings from past studies, it is evident that gender influences satisfaction in marriage. Clearly, when entering into marriage, men and women come with different motivations, some for children, companionship, to find happiness among other intentions. According to Knabb & Vogt (2011), more women than men come into the union with emotional-related intentions, including finding happiness and for companionship.
On the contrary, men get married for more physical than emotional needs. In fact, many get married for sexual satisfaction and procreation. In most cases, these motives are fulfilled, explaining the reason why more men than women are happier in their marriages. Terveer & Wood (2014) suggest that women have more demands in their marriages compared to men and they mostly feel that these demands are rarely met, explaining their failure to be happy in their unions.
In fact, many marriage counselors have revealed that more women than men are seeking therapy. Evidence from research has also indicated that even in cases where couples come for therapy, it is common that the women in the relationship initiate the process. Thus, the evidence indicates that women have more emotional problems related to marriage than men do or that they are poorer at adjusting to the marriage life than their husbands (Boden, Fischer, & Niehuis, 2010). The same is revealed in the study where more women than men had indicated that they suffer from emotional problems related to their marriages.
Societies have traditionally assigned gendered roles to men and women in marriage. According to Knabb & Vogt (2011), marital happiness and adjustment is considerably related to the roles assigned to the male and female genders. The social and cultural standards and norms have traditionally defined the role of the male as instrumental and that of the female as expressive. Marriage is a special case of a small group within the society where the gender roles are greatly manifested. Indeed, to whatever group, roles are assigned to the participants, and as time passes, the task leader and the sociometric star’s roles tend to evolve. The task leader has the role of carrying out tasks, while the woman, sociometric star has the emotional responsibility of pleasing and supporting the task leader. While the physical tasks for the male might appear more challenging, the female carries the greater emotional baggage with serious effects on her happiness and adjustment to the marriage.
The socially and culturally assigned gender roles have not always been fair to the both genders. Due to their masculine nature, men are more satisfied with performing the physical roles assigned to their gender. However, this does not mean that women would prefer the physical tasks. On the contrary, women carry an even greater burden than men do since they are involved in emotionally satisfying the needs of the man and the children even without much emotional support for them (Terveer & Wood, 2014). From the survey, it is not a surprise that women feel like their gender roles are greater than those of the males, while their roles are unfairly assigned.
Happiness, satisfaction, fulfillment, and proper adjustment to marriage are all associated with gender. While there are other factors that play a role in the adjustment to marriage, gender remains a critical factor. Boden, Fischer, & Niehuis (2010) suggest that emotionally, men are different from women, with the latter being more emotional than the former. Given the emotional needs of the women, they are more likely to feel fulfillment than men. Additionally, the society has different expectations of the women and the men entering into marital unions. Women have tended to adopt help-seeking behaviors, including pursuing counseling and communicating more in their marriage in the process of improving their level of satisfaction in marriage since without this aspect, their ability to adjust to marriage is restricted. Men, on the contrary, appear to be more likely to get satisfaction from their marriage, from the early days, explaining their limitations in help-seeking behaviors. The evidence from research and the current study provides an indication of the reality that the gender of the person has a critical role to play in how they adjust to the marriage from the early days into the union.
From the survey and as indicated in the previous studies, it is evident that gender plays an important role in adjustment to marriage. Evidently, men are more likely to adjust better to marriage compared to women, primarily based on their gender. Research based on help-seeking behavior between men and women has revealed that women compared to men are more likely to seek help for emotional problems associated with their marriages. In addition, the research has indicated that more men than women are happy in their marriages. The different gendered roles that are assigned by the society to men and women in marriage have an important role to play in their ability to adjust in marriage. Women have a major emotional burden that affects their happiness, satisfaction, and adjustment to marriage. In essence, the findings from the study will play an important role in helping couples to adjust well to their marriages and be happy and emotionally satisfied.