Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on July 23, 1972 · Page 66
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July 23, 1972

Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 66

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, July 23, 1972
Page 66
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Page 66 article text (OCR)

«F--July 23, 1972 Ch»"le»ton, W*it VirjlnU- 'His' Marriage Proven Better Than 'Hers' By Joyce Egginton The London Observer NEW YORK-Marriage. Western European style, makes wives sick. The American sociologist. Dr. Jessie Bernard, has found that far more housewives are like- l y t o s u f f e r n e r v o u s breakdowns, depressions and i n s o m n i a than w o r k i n g women, whereas the physical and mental health of married men is a lot better than that of bachelors. After more than three years' research into the status of modern marriage, Dr. Bernard--a leading expert in the field of family relations, and p r o f e s s o r e m e r i t u s o f sociology at Penn S t a t e University--has come to the conclusion that "there are two marriages in every marital union, his and hers, and his is better than hers." This statement forms the theme of Dr. Bernard's b o o k , "The F u t u r e o f M a r r i a g e , " a f i n e l y researched volume which seems likely to become as talked about, in its way. as Kinsey's books on sexual behavior. It says much that the Women's Liberation movement has been saying, only with more reasoning and less emotion. Yet Dr. Bernard says she did not intend to write such a book. When commissioned to do a survey on marriage, she felt that with her background of 40 years in sociological research she could write it in a few months, without much effort. Following wherever her research took her. she surprised herself by producing a final draft which bore practically no relation to the first. It turned out to be a damning i n d i c t m e n t of the system w h i c h expects e d u c a t e d women to be content with the low and lonely status of housework. This, says Dr. Bernard, has ramifications t h r o u g h o u t a w o m a n ' s marriage. Her husband has a competitive job while she has a dead-end one; he must be well-groomed for his work, so his new suit is more important than hers. He grows in his work; she does not. In fact, housework "may have a deteriorating effect upon her mind, rendering her incapable of prolonged concentration on any single task." Further, she does her t e d i o u s job in i s o l a t i o n --unlike her predecessors, who, without modern technology to help run their homes did not work in such solitary confinement. Musical Gift Right For Young Marrieds If you're looking for a wedding gift that carries an up- heat message for the bride and groom--take a trip to' your local music store. You'll find gifts from $2.50 to $2,000--so whatever your shopping range there will be something to fit your budget. Since one out of every six Americans is an amateur musician, chances are at least one member of the couple either plays a musical instrument now or would like to learn. If either bride or groom plays, they w i l l a l w a y s welcome sheet music, which is available from $2.50. If you know that the couple has at least one musical instrument, you can select a music cabinet in a furniture style (and price range) that suits you. A new piano light, decorative music stand or metronome is also an attractive, decorative note for the young couple's apartment. If you'd like to give the couple a truly memorable gift says the American Music Conference, you can select 3 Moog synthesizer (availabi. for about $1,000), a "do-it- yourself" harpsichord kit (about $300), a piano (starting at $500), an organ (prices range from $500 to $2,000) or a player piano (about $1,600). * * * A UNIQUE functional and musical gift that is ideal for either those who are musicians and those who'd like to be is a set of dinner chimes (in the $;iO range) with its own. song book. The chimes can. also be used as a tablctop or wall decoration. Your gift to the couple who would like to learn a musical instrument could be a gift certificate from your loral dealer good for music lessons or an instrument. If you know the couple fairly well, you could select an instrument for them--easy to play harmonicas (models start under $4 and go up to $50), recorders (in the $7 range), ukeleles (in the $10 range) and acoustic (non- electric* guitars (beginning at $40) w i t h self-instruction manuals. If the couple's interests warrant, rent an organ or piano for them and let them j o i n group p i a n o classes (many stores now offer adult group instruction). Any of these gifts will offer the couple a new hobby and a source of satisfaction that will repay your investment many times over. However, if the couple is not musically inclined, but you'd like to give them something musical, you can always buy them a conductor's stand, baton and score. . .to go with their slero equipment. "ISOLATION," Dr. Bernard observes, "encourages brooding, leads to erratic judgments... and renders one more susceptible to psychoses." Dr. Bernard found that working women, whether married or not, are in much better mental health than housewives. "Far fewer than expected of the w o r k i n g women and more than expected of the housewives, for example, had actually had a nervous breakdown. Fewer than expected of the working women and more than expected of the housewives suffered from nervousness, inertia, insomnia, trembling hands, nightmares, perspiring hands, fainting, headaches, d i z z i n e s s a n d h e a r t palpitations. The housewife syndrome is far from a figment of anyone's imagination . . . in terms of the number of p e o p l e i n v o l v e d , t h e housewife syndrome might well be viewed as public health problem number one." Few of the suffering housewives admit to being unhappily married, since it is usually the job and not the husband which causes 'a wife's distress. The blame lies with the "anachronistic way in which marriage is s t r u c t u r e d t o d a y -- o r , rather, the life-style which accompanies marriage and which demands that all wives be housewives." The effect of marriage upon men, Dr. Bernard found, is the reverse. The average married man is in slightly better physical health and much better mental health than the average beachelor. He is also happier, and only half as likely to commit suicide as if he remained unmarried. She believes that most men need the security and restraints of marriage for their emotional well-being. Children rarely make for added happiness between husband and wife. School-age children, between (5 and 14, "seem to have an especially distressing effect on marriage. This period in the life cycle is the nadir of general marital satisfaction in the marriages of both husband WEDDING PHOTOGRAPHY Exclusively by Steve Ladish Active Member ionnl Photograph.ri ot America Phone 343-3037 or See SampUt at Adarm Formil W*ar en MtFarland St. for a Beautiful Beginning... V A WE KNOW, how important that first home is, whether it be a small apartment or.a large Chouse. fwE K N O W . . . the limi- ' rations of a newfywed budget. WE KNOW ALSO . . . that regardless of the size of that first home,) regardless of the limitations of that first budget, every newlywed couple wants their first furniture to be something special, to be constructed of such quality materials as to give many years of service. WE CARE . .. about these things . . . about you . . . and most important, your own very special "Beautiful Beginning". We've been specializing in beautiful beginnings for over 54 years. In that time we've learned the wants and needs of countless young couples just starting out. Come see us and let us show you our complete selection of quality furniture at prices you can afford. Come see us soon and let us be a part of your "Beautiful Beginning" 12td OUNBAR AVE. DUNBAR, W. VA. PH. 768-1201 and wife. . . The situation improves little when the children become teenagers, and young unmarried sons and daughters over 18 can be devastating to a marriage." BEYOND THAT, Dr. Bernard points out, "the post- parental stage of marriage is a brand new phenomenon in human history. People did not live long enough in the past to reach i t . . . We are only now beginning to recognize the importance of this wholly new form of marriage; its potentials for happiness have hardly been explored." She also discovered that, contrary to p o p u l a r b e l i e f , childless marriages that survive are u s u a l l y h a p p i e r t h a n marriages with children. · Accommodating the marriages of husbands and wives to the demands of working mothers must be one of the first priorities of the future, Dr. Bernard believes. She does not advocate daycare centers, but rather believes that housework and child care should be shared by both partners, and sees this as becoming more and more possible with the advent of the three-and four-day week. She feels a wife must have financial independence, comm e n t i n g t h a t "a u n i o n between a man and a woman in which, when it breaks down, one loses not only the mate but also the very means of subsistence is not a fair relationship." She adds that "the news t y l e m a r r i a g e i s a c h a l l e n g e . T h e v e r y deprivation of assured support may be one of the best things that can happen to women." Dr. Bernard is not in favor of early marriages, and thinks it is better for a wife to be the s a m e a g e a s h e r h u s b a n d -- t h u s r e d u c i n g widowhood and lengthening the enjoyable post-parental stage of marriage. She advances the thought that geriatric polygamy may be a good idea--permitting men over 60 to have two or more wives in the same age group, again to reduce the number of lonely widows--and she envisages the possibility of a new form of marriage contract, renewable every five or 10 years. Dr. Bernard is convinced that marriage is here to stay, but thinks that traditional marriage will be only one of many future options. There may be temporary childless marriages for the young, stable or "temporarily perm a n e n t " marriages, involving child-rearing for the middle years, and yet other forms of marriage for the elderly. People should be able to tailor their relationships to t h e i r c i r c u m s t a n c e s and preferences. "And although I would be hard put to prove "WHERE BAKING IS AN ART" Our Experience in Creating Beautiful and Delicious Wedding Cakes will Add the Exclamation Point to Your Reception! CHARIESTOK'S SPECIALITY CAKE SHOP featuring: 9 oPFCJAI. OC r £MO'JS SU^PllE's Personalized By "Mrs. Goldie Sheets Noble" * !*£"!"· 3IEAD 1 e ^ T f i ' J ( K J a 4 l [ ! u n e r , 3 4 3 - 5 1 4 1 it," adds Dr. Bernard. "I believe teat the very nature of society--civil, as well as tribal--does call for marriage of some kind or other. But not for any one kind." Your very special ring BARONET SZSO WED. RIN« S*.7S MARINA *3OO WED. ftlNS 31.75 I M A G E J230 TO 5006 APOLUO J75O AUSO TO IO.OCO You may own many rings in your lifetime ... but only one engagement ring. Choose Keepsake and be sure you have the finest. 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