Marriage: a New Partnership?
In arranged marriages the relationship between husband and wife was the least important part of the partnership. Marriage was primarily an economic contract which served the needs of farmers and fitted in with the political ideology of the self-sufficient state based on family units. After a match was made, people hoped the marriage would ‘take’. If it did not, the couple had little choice but to stay together anyway. For better or for worse, the permanence of marriage was part of the contract. Women were expected to accept their husbands whether they loved or battered them, whether they treated them well or drank the family into poverty.
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