Soul mate view of marriage limiting women

Soul mate view of marriage limiting women
Highlights

Wives who have a romantic view of marriage are less likely to do volunteer work for the wider community, leading their husbands to volunteer less as well, says a study.

Wives who have a romantic view of marriage are less likely to do volunteer work for the wider community, leading their husbands to volunteer less as well, says a study.

The researchers focused on whether couples took a "soul mate" view of marriage, making it their top priority in life; or whether they held a more traditional view, placing additional values on other functions of marriage such as raising children and fulfilling financial needs.

"Wives who take a more romantic view of marriage appear to seek (emotional) satisfaction primarily through husbands, which might take couples' time and energy away from their involvement in the community," the researchers wrote.

But husbands' romantic view of marriage was associated with neither their own nor their wives' volunteering, the study found. For the study, Young-Il Kim from Baylor University and Jeffrey Dew from Brigham Young University, both in the US, analysed data from the Survey of Marital Generosity, a recent US national sample of 1,368 married couples ages 18 to 45.

Time spent alone with one's spouse was positively associated with husbands' reports of their own volunteering. "I thought it was interesting to see the gender difference here," Kim said.

"One possible explanation is that couples who invest more time in their marriage are more likely to have better relationships, and husbands in such marriages may be more likely to volunteer with their wives, who may push them to volunteer more," Kim noted.

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