A new survey has found that a lot of women, at least one in three, are still struggling with their first marriage.
A recent survey from the University of Toronto’s Sauder School of Business and the University at Buffalo’s Graduate School of Public and International Affairs found that 29 per cent of women who married in the first two years of marriage were still struggling to get the relationship started.
“I would like to think we’ve come a long way, but I think there’s still a lot to learn,” said Rachel Janssen, a doctoral student in psychology at the Sauder and the author of the survey.
“In our current system, women have to take the longer path, and I think that’s an incredibly frustrating part of the process.”
Janssen said she wanted to find out what women’s expectations were for their first marriages and how their experience was different than that of men.
“The first step is acknowledging that the expectation of women is different,” she said.
“We don’t expect women to be successful at every part of their lives, we don’t have expectations that women can’t do a lot.”
Jonssen and co-author Kristin Bales also conducted a similar survey in 2014 and 2015.
In those studies, women were also more likely to feel like they had to wait for marriage to be formally established.
The findings of the new survey, published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, suggest that men and women’s experiences have been evolving.
The survey found that men were far more likely than women to say they were satisfied with their marriage.
“Men tend to think about marriage as being a step from marriage, whereas women tend to believe marriage can be a step after,” Jansen said.
“Men have a long history of making marriage a stepping stone.”
Jenssen said that in many ways, men’s expectations about their marriage were similar to those of women’s.
“What I think is really striking is that men are so much more willing to look at marriage as a step rather than a stop in the road,” she explained.
“There are so many different ways to look to get married.
Women have been able to have a relationship before marriage, but it took a long time to find the right one.”
Jamsen said she hopes that the results of the study help to inform discussions around the need for more education and greater diversity in the workplace.
“When I was working in the industry, I didn’t see many women in leadership roles, and now we have more women than ever working in leadership positions,” she added.
“I think that is a huge step in the right direction.”