Gender Roles and Successful Marriages

Do you agree that expected gender roles have major impacts on the success of a marriage? In a widely cited classical book, Judson and Mary Landis (1953:) argue, “We emphasized also the necessity for looking upon the wedding as a commitment binding both partners to permanent cooperation, and offering no limiting escape clause. Important also is the attitude each individual holds concerning his or her role in life. What rights, privileges, and obligations are mine because I am born a male? Or what rights, privileges, and obligations are mine because I was born a female? The success of some marriages is jeopardized at the outset because the partners hold set prejudice concerning man’s place or woman’s place in life.”  

How does this quote relate to your own reality? For instance, if you are or were married, did you carefully think about, your gendered role, and that of your partner before you got married? During the marriage, what was the match between what you perceived as your gender role, and that which confronted you in the marriage? If you are now divorced, how does the quote relate to your break-up?  

The topic also relates to people who are in committed relationships that do not include marriage. In a future blog, I will elaborate further on how gender roles can potentially strengthen or weaken romantic relationships.  

Written By: Peter K. B. St. Jean, Masters Level Intern


Landis, Judson, T., and Mary G Landis. (1953) Building a Successful Marriage. New York: Prentice Hall.  

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