Like individuals, marriages cannot always be generalized and no two are the same. That said, for a time marriages were usually maintained with a breadwinner/homemaker pattern, and the man held the job and made the money. Though this strict view of marriage has shifted into many different types and set-ups of marriages, one divorce lawyer was surprised by how many women are still dependent on a ’Prince Charming’ and are without an economic leg to stand on should something happen to him.
Margaret Klaw has been a divorce lawyer for 20 years and believes that if a woman finds the ‘Prince Charming’ society has instilled in the culture for years, then great — but one should always have a back-up plan. Writes Klaw:
I completely understand how it happens. A couple meet in college or grad school, get married, work for a year or two, wife gets pregnant, stops working for a brief period, husband’s career builds, wife doesn’t return to work because husband is capable of supporting them both, wife becomes absorbed with the very considerable pleasures of full time motherhood, wife has a second and maybe a third child. Fast forward fifteen years, children are all in school, wife’s job is managing the family and household, husband’s job is to earn all the money, and the marriage falls apart.
Marriage and society has changed drastically over the decades, and though many women of older generations went with the homemaker status quo, the rise of divorce and of the ability for women to be independent have changed the way marriages should be treated financially. ”There is just no question that money is power,” Klaw writes. ”The power dynamic in marriages where one person is financially dependent on the other is dramatically different from marriages where either spouse could pay their own rent if they had to.”
As mentioned before, no two marriages are the same. And there are plenty of female breadwinners these days, too. In view of Klaw’s commentary, I’d say men should also always have a back-up plan in terms of money and job skills. “Unless they are really wealthy, it’s a disaster,” she writes. ”You just can’t divide up one income stream and have it support two households without a significant drop in everyone’s living standard.” [via Huffington Post]
I’m married, and I believe two people can be in a loving marriage until death do them part. My own parents are an example. However, should something happen — and it could be something out of our power like accident, illness, death, etc. — I have my own back-up plan that serves the make-up of our marriage. I’m an idealist who thinks realistically.
What do you say, Lovelies? Do you believe happily ever after exists? And if you do, will you (or do you already) have a back-up plan?