Why do modern marriages fail

Changing families and the instability of modern marriage

Table of Contents

1 Introduction

2. Definition of the family term

3. Historical development of family forms
3.1 The Oikos - "the whole house"
3.2 The bourgeoisie
3.3 The modern nuclear family

4. Instability of Modern Marriage
4.1 The model of the "divorce spiral"
4.2 The process of customization
4. 3 Changing values ​​in society

5. Requirements for a sustainable marriage

6. Conclusion

7. Bibliography

1 Introduction

The present work deals with the changes in family forms and the possible reasons for the instability of modern marriage. The processing of the topic is integrated into the time from the Middle Ages to today and is limited to the area "Germany". Divorce is part of the reality of life for many people, which is precisely why this topic is so important and topical. Possible reasons for the increase in divorce numbers have been discussed in numerous studies. The aim of this work is to work out whether the institution of marriage has actually lost its importance for society and to what extent the change in values ​​also affects the change in family structures. At the beginning, the term “family” is defined according to today's understanding. Then the change in the family is considered in the overall historical context in order to create a foundation for a more detailed study of the instability of modern marriage. In the in-depth discussion of possible causes of divorce, several theories, such as For example, the “divorce spiral” according to Diekmann and Engelhardt has moved into the focus of the study in order to be able to define factors that favor divorce more precisely. Finally, the theoretical requirements for a sustainable marriage are described.

2. Definition of the family term

The term "family" is derived from the Latin "la familia", which in its original sense means something like "community under the violence of the family father" (Tenorth / Tippelt 2007, p. 239). In the 18th century it replaced the term “the whole house”. “The family is a primary group that is determined by related, social and / or legally defined relationships within and between generations and is typically characterized by close coexistence and cooperation” (ibid., P. 238). For this coexistence there are neither structural requirements nor explicit functional provisions that are directed at the individual. In outdated definitions, marriage is still emphasized as the basic entity of a family. The definitions have now been formulated in a more general way and have adapted to social change. For example, it is neither stipulated which sexual orientation the partners must belong to, nor which form of coexistence they have chosen to be allowed to call themselves a family. The decisive factors are rather the “aspects of demarcation, privacy, durability and proximity” (ibid.). In a broader sense, relatives such as aunt, uncles and grandparents are also part of the family. They complement and support the core family, which mostly consists of the parents and their still dependent children. Not only do family members support each other, but the state also wants to preserve and protect the social institution of the family (Art. 6 GG) (cf. Ochs / Orban 2011). Because the institution For the state, family is an economical alternative to childcare from an economic point of view, and should therefore be promoted and maintained. But it also fulfills a number of other social functions, which, however, are both time and culture-bound. First of all, the most obvious feature, the Reproductive functionwhich emphasizes the importance of having offspring in order to ensure the existence of society. This function is in same-sex marriages so not possible. However, a new law has been passed that allows homosexual couples to give families to adoptive children. Another function includes the Livelihood security and the production, that means that a regular income must enable independent housekeeping. In addition to a strenuous professional life, the family and their Regeneration and Leisure function provide relaxation. So it should offer a place where you can relax. If children come into the family (whether biological or not), they should be socialized and educated by the family, since "in and through familial interaction children and adolescents develop basic behavior as well as cognitive and emotional basic structures" (Ecarius / Köbel / Wahl 2011, p. 9). Also the Placement function is of great importance because it is important to secure a status as a family. This is primarily possible through education and mutual support (see Tenorth / Tippelt 2007).

3. Historical development of family forms

3. 1 The Oikos - "the whole house"

One can observe that the family has always been subject to constant change, which is mostly based on the economic situation and the prevailing conventions. “The central feature of the“ whole house ”was that Unity of production and “family life” ”(Peuckert 2008, p. 17). In the Oikos, the householder and housemother lived together under one roof with their children, relatives and the servants, that is, maids and servants. They formed a living and working community. The housemother's job was to take care of the domestic affairs. It was required to be economical and extremely economical. She did a lot of things herself and was extremely skilled. In a certain way she was on an equal footing with the householder, only women-specific tasks were assigned to her.

The father of the house had the right to chastise as well as the right to commendation (although at that time it was about more elementary things than raising the children). He was responsible for the family and always fulfilled duties outside the home, such as B. the exercise of political law in the community. The household in the Oikos was like a holistic economic unit that offered its members little space for intimacy and individuality, because no individual living space was intended for anyone. There was no need for this, as the free time was very limited. In return, however, the Oikos offered all members protection and social security. Due to the permanent shortage of all kinds of goods, the available people and resources had to be used to the maximum, which required good organization. Only children and old people were tolerated as “useless eaters”. Interpersonal relationships were therefore largely reduced to economic benefits, such as labor or the woman's dowry. Rationality was the predominant factor in choosing a partnership, the internal climate in Oikos was mostly cool and distant (cf. Gottschalch 1979). It is certain that " Affective-neutral (low-feeling) relationships had a clear preponderance over emotions ”(Peuckert 2008, p. 17). The relationship with the children was also clearly different from what it is today, because they were seen more as small adults who were supposed to benefit the Oikos. Due to the high child mortality rate at the time, none could so create an emotional bond between mother and child. It is important not to forget that the “whole house” was not consistently present in the population, because only a minority of nobles or rich farmers were able to run such a “house”. Unmarried women in particular, who were not housed in a monastery, were very dependent on this “house”, because only those who had a house were fit for family and thus marriageable (cf. Gottschalch 1979).

3. 2 The bourgeoisie

As a result of industrialization and urbanization in Germany, the unity of production and consumption fell apart. Production was outsourced from “the house” to factories or factories. The family was left as a place to relax from the harsh outside world. This changed the internal structure in the family drastically. The gender polarities and generation conflicts intensified (cf. Gottschalch 1979). Because it was completely new to people that almost everything they needed for life could be bought as a finished product. Through nationalization, the livelihood services, such as B. the pension, outsourced from the "whole house" and passed into the state, thus also the rights and obligations of the landlord. Since compulsory schooling was introduced, more household members had the chance of education. This gave them the opportunity to reflect on their current living conditions and, if necessary, to leave the traditional path, but also to risk failing on their own. As a result of these fundamental developments, starting in the middle of the 18th century, there was a significant reduction in the workload of both the landlord and the housemother. The individual lost competence, while the state steadily gained power. However, on the flip side, this meant more freedom and intimacy for the family. Life was only organized within the nuclear family, where intimated places of retreat were established for everyone. From the 19th century onwards, the term “the house” was almost lost, and the “family” came to the fore. A new class formed, the “bourgeoisie”, it was the new one ideal for a modern family (cf. ibid.). "Every adult is not only entitled to marry and start a family, but also to a certain extent obliged" (Peuckert 2008, p. 20). Society assumed this “normal behavior”. Breaking out of the intended structures was hardly possible for the individual. Homosexuality, for example, as it is dealt with today, was currently an absolutely taboo subject in society. As much newfound freedom as one had, one was nonetheless bound by social norms. The aforementioned separation of privacy and production resulted in a strong polarization of the areas of responsibility within the family. “The housewife” was both an invention and a necessary consequence of structural change. Because of the child labor ban, there was a problem with childcare: Who takes care of the children when they are not working? The housewife and mother were assigned three main areas of responsibility: children, kitchen and church. From now on the housewife was a consumer and no longer a producer. Since the man went to work during the day to make a living from income, it became the woman's job to lovingly take care of his well-being and the household. Maintaining relationships gained in importance in the “emotionalized household” (cf. Gottschalch 1979). "Reliability, security, intimacy, trust and warmth" (Ochs / Orban 2011, p. 50) were the new attributes for the relationship in a marriage. Just like a love marriage, children formed the basis for a happy family. Since the mortality rate fell significantly and the children were no longer necessary for retirement provision, it was possible to weigh more thoroughly how many children one would like to have as part of family planning (cf. Gottschalch 1979). There were also higher demands on the upbringing and education of the children, who in a certain way served as objects of prestige.

Promoting education became the task of the housewife, for whom the child had a meaningful meaning. For the child, the family was a place of emotional imprinting and bonding, the mother-child relationship seemed to a certain extent transfigured (cf. Ochs / Orban 2011).

3.3 The modern nuclear family

Today it is often made clear that the “family institution” shows some symptoms of crisis, such as B. a steadily decreasing propensity to marry (cf. Peuckert 2008). But whether the marriage is actually in crisis will be examined in more detail in the following considerations. The “social structure [seems] to be becoming more and more fragile and permeable in modern societies. As a result, the individual experiences a steady appreciation: A value system of freedom, equality and success-orientation prevails ”(Ecarius / Köbel / Wahl 2011, p. 19). There are no longer any explicit guidelines on how to live together. Where the church used to set collective norms and values, there is now individuality and self-determination of the individual. The church has lost its meaning, which leaves room for new ways of life. This can be observed since the mid-1960s. Faith used to hold together many marriages that today would be divorced more quickly under the same circumstances. The Church has given marriage a sacramental meaning, it was an indissoluble covenant between the couple and God. The prevailing religious alienation is due to a deterrent harshness within religious institutions and a false accentuation of the church. Divorces have become commonplace for us (see Peuckert 2008). The annual number of divorces more than tripled between 1960 and 2005 from 49,000 to 174,000 (cf. Emmerling 2007). A divorce like this doesn't necessarily have to be a bad thing, sometimes it is like a break in the air for everyone involved. Because a real “vicious circle” can arise: “Disturbed relationships between the partners intensify individual disturbances and these in turn increase the difficulties in the relationship” (Ochs / Orban 2011, p. 92). It is important for both partners to be able to develop freely, to draft their own résumé. Professionally as well as privately with absolute equality. Women with a high level of education in particular are demanding their right to a career of their own. Because they no longer identify with their mother and housewife role alone. However, it is for such a Double career marriage It is often not so easy to combine family, children and work, which is why the number of births continues to decline (cf. Peuckert 2008).

4. Instability of Modern Marriage

4.1 The model of the "spiral of divorce"

The number of divorces is rising steadily, so it is important to collect possible reasons for the increased risk of divorce. The sociologists Andreas Diekmann and Henriette Engelhardt have created the model of the “divorce spiral” on the basis of numerous studies. In a certain way, this has a self-reinforcing effect and develops its own dynamic, since the divorce development is exposed to a constant urge to expand (cf. Peuckert 2008). For a more precise explanation, five social mechanisms are identified that presumably increase the risk of divorce. First of all, it can be stated that there is an interaction between the risk of divorce and the Female employment exists, because "the 'anticipation' of divorce risks, empirically demonstrable, also promotes the inclination of married women to take up gainful employment, a situation which in turn presumably increases the risk of divorce" (Diekmann / Engelhardt 1995, p. 216). Many women fear addiction because they know about the high number of divorces. That is why they promote their independence by taking up gainful employment. Alone, that you can get through your own environment or the media If you take note of the high number of divorces, the risk of divorce increases. Because by constantly dealing with the topic, the stability of one's own marriage is increasingly called into question. “The skepticism [...] translates into one Reduction of "marriage-specific investments", z. For example, renouncing home ownership or having children, which increases the risk of divorce [again] ”(Peuckert 2008, p. 173). Thirdly, it increases Probability of remarriage, because the many divorces, also for middle-aged people, mean that more potential partners are available again. Many therefore tend to break up more quickly because they see a realistic chance of a new, better partnership. And fourth, the divorces have become commonplace. Yours today Normality character was favored by the divorce law reform in 1976, with the change from the indebtedness to the disintegration principle (cf. Peuckert 2008). “Today, divorce is more and more accepted as a legitimate form of marital conflict resolution and less often viewed as a moral failure” (ibid., P. 173). The last point was completely new for the research, because Diekmann and Engelhardt established for the first time a verifiable connection between children of divorce and their own risk of divorce (intergenerational tradition of divorce (cf. ibid.)).


End of the excerpt from 14 pages