The following was written by a student from SUNY Stony Brook for her sociology of gender class:
According to research, about 40 percent to 50 percent of married couples in the United States get divorced and around 60 percent of them fail in their second marriages.
Then what can be done to reduce the rate of divorce? There are three ways to reduce the rate in America.
First, an individual has to be confident as a husband, a wife, a father or a mother. Even though one might be less educated or financially incapable in comparison to their spouse, there needs to be a general acknowledgement of one trying his or her best who has full confidence in themselves.
Often, when a person realizes that he or she is not meeting the standard or expectation set as a husband or wife, a sense of shame and failure takes over and brings his or her self-esteem down.
Such situations also lower values one has put into the marriage and lead to thoughts that one is not appreciated. This not only results in divorce but may also lead to extreme cases such as suicide.
Second, in order to reduce the possibility of getting a divorce, both spouses need to do away with stereotypes of roles and responsibilities. According to the research on divorce from Utah State University, the biggest factor for divorce is “lack of commitment (73%).”
When a husband thinks less of his wife because she does not fit into a preconceived notion of a wife and vice versa, both the husband and wife may assume the other party in the relationship is not fully committed.
But there are no particular roles attached to a husband and a wife. Rather, depending on individuals and circumstances, the roles need to be adjusted or created to meet the needs. Also, if a person is able to take on the responsibilities of the spouse in addition to one’s own, then he or she needs to take pride in doing so.
In addition to stereotypes, if an individual sets expectations for oneself and is not able to fulfill the expectations, the outcome may be problematic. The person is more prone to low self-esteem as well as devalue oneself. In such cases, divorce and other extreme measures could take place for the individual and the relationship.
According to the research on divorce from Utah State University, one of the main causes of divorce is “premarital childbearing and pregnancy.” About 37 percent of the children born in the United States are born out of wedlock. Also, their parents are not likely to get married and, even if they are married, they are prone to divorce before their child reaches school age.
In an effort to lessen the divorce rate, there needs to be governmental intervention. When a child is born, before or shortly after the discharge of the mother and the baby from a hospital, both husband and wife need to be informed of their new responsibilities as well as practical guidance on how to maintain a good marital relationship.
This can be provided to couples in a form of counseling or a workshop, and practical assistance on parenthood is much-needed. This will allow husband and wife to be fully aware of their new roles as mother and father. Moreover, there will be better understanding of each others responsibilities. In order to strengthen the relationship between a husband and wife, there needs to be a systematic way to do so.
A well-integrated perception of one’s spouse, discovery of an individual’s real role within the perimeter of family and a more active governmental response to reduce the divorce rate can alleviate families from being broken and couples getting divorced.
Dong Jin Park