Support from family and friends
Partnership in marriage implies that husbands and wives support one another emotionally, economically and in the practical tasks of managing a joint household. This raises what appears to be simple question about whom, if anyone, women without husbands turn to when they are in need. The answer is more complex than the question, since there are epistemological issues of what constitutes support, how it is assessed and the adequacy of the support that is forthcoming. This is an area where there are mixed messages about general support for women inside conventional marriage, let alone those outside of it, where the extent and the types of support actually obtained from husbands is lost in an ideology of marital partnership. If the issue of support is framed in terms of finding a husband-equivalent, then women without husbands or spouse-like partners may, by default, seem to be obtaining less. Alternatively, if the support experienced by women without husbands is compared to actual levels of support experienced by married women, they may appear less disadvantaged.
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