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Word Count: 900
Marriage has gone through profound changes over the last five decades but we continue to speak about it as though its the same old familiar pattern To see how much has changed I am going to look at the shift from the forties to the sixties to today In 1968 less than a year after the famous Summer of Love as they used to say out in the country The times they were a-changing The sexual revolution Viet Nam drugs--the youth of the day were convinced the world would never be the same again Yet they didnt think about how such changes would affect marriage It seemed as if they thought it would be about the same as it had been for their parents except better because they like most youth of most times thought they were better than their gray and jaded parents that represented the American Gothic portrayed that day No matter how you describe it it was a powerfully attractive vision The average age at which Americans got married dropped drastically to just 19 for women The number of children soared higher than it had for decades to a peak of 37 children per woman in 1957 The goal back then was domesticity and both partners worked for it--one to earn the pay the other to make the home If a man was a good provider if he didnt drink or beat his wife if he was a good father to his children he was a good husband A good wife had to be a decent cook and housekeeper take care of the children and provide emotional support to her husband Polls taken during that time show that more than 90 percent of people could not imagine an unmarried person being happy When asked what they thought they had given up for marriage and family most women said Nothing Since the fifties weve chased personal happiness career and self-fulfillment and assumed that
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