MEN AND MARRIAGE: The Changing Role of Husbands by Elizabeth C. Mooney

MEN AND MARRIAGE: The Changing Role of Husbands

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The title misleads in that this is yet another addition to the vast mountain of literature on how changing mores have altered male-female relationships. But if the subject has been flogged almost to death, Mooney manages to make it seem fresh and interesting. The men and women she interviews come alive and speak insightfully about their experiences, problems, adjustments. We meet men and women of Mooney's generation (wed shortly after WW Il) who analyze why their marriages have endured (the women were ""programmed"" to compromise) or have collapsed (usually the men had another lady in the wings). Some who first married young and starryeyed walked away and succeeded the second time around. Most of the current generation she interviews seem to be either cohabiting or living in platonic mixed-sex groups which Mooney characterizes with the acronym POSSLQ: ""people of opposite sex sharing living quarters."" Most of today's young women think of marriage quite a bit, whereas it seldom seems to cross the men's minds until their lady friends bring it up. Both partners among today's young marrieds usually work outside the home and share chores and child care. The men avoid doing the laundry, This and other sweeping observations (men have more fragile egos than women and require approval and dominance in marriage; women are more sensitive to the emotional consequences of their acts; men tend to blame divorce on the women whereas women blame themselves) will raise some quizzical eyebrows. And, because Mooney speaks most 'knowledgeably about the older generation, those under 35 might find her attitudes quaint--especially when she tries to interpret what the young are telling her. However, the material is warmly and well presented. For those who haven't yet read up on modern male-female relationships, this is an excellent introduction. Even those who have plowed through the literature will gain new perceptions as they listen to the various generations speak about their experiences with the opposite sex.

Pub Date: Nov. 2nd, 1985
Publisher: Watts