Marriage shock by dalma heyn book review sample

Dalma Heyn’s book Marriage Shock tries to explain why many women are not satisfied in their marriages and why most divorce cases are initiated by women. As the name suggests, the book tries to show the shock that people, women especially get when they get into the institution of marriage. According to Dalma, many women’s frustrations in marriage result from the cultural view of what marriage is supposed to be like and what is expected of an ideal wife. After people get married there are unwritten rules in the society that govern marriage and dictate the way in which married women are likely to behave. Consequently, many newly married women experience several problems both emotionally and psychologically while seeking to adapt to the new mode of life. They suffer a lot of pressure trying to fit into the scale of what a wife would probably to be like and in turn end up miserable.
According to the writer of the book, due to the expectations that the society has for married people many women tend to concentrate on what they should or should not do rather than enjoy their marriages. Marriages are seen as a setting in which women should be selfless, submissive and contented. The society often expects to give up their dreams and live their entire lives diligently serving their husbands and children. According to Dalma, this is an exceptionally unhealthy way of getting into marriage as it significantly increases the chances of unhappiness and eventually divorce. As a result of such a mentality, many women end up suppressing their feelings and sacrificing themselves for the sake of the marriage.
After marriage, both men and women change their attitudes and behaviour towards their spouses. The women are often the ones who suffer most due to numerous rules laid down by their husbands that they must follow. The women often end up losing some of their favorite clothes due to the protests by their husbands. What they used to wear before they were dating now becomes too indecent when they get married. These women, therefore, have a hard time coping and adjusting to the new marriage life. The men also change after marriage and become possessive and domineering. They tend to dictate the time that their wives should get home, who they can or cannot be with and even what they can or cannot wear. As a result, women tend to feel bound by the rules and instead of enjoying their marriage they get frustrated.
The married women also lose themselves in trying to become and do what the society expects of them. They feel obliged to do certain things and to stop doing other things that they previously enjoyed doing. They are also unable to talk freely about their feelings. This is due to the fact that they think that is part of marriage life and that it is normal for married women to live like that. They, therefore, suffer in silence. Consequently, these women end up feeling lonely and are responsibilities overwhelm them. These women are unable to share their feelings of misery and frustration with their close friends and family especially those that are not in marriage since they feel like they will not understand. They also refrain from discussing their feelings with their married friends for fear of being told that that is how marriage life is or being receiving condemnation for being self-centered. In the book Marriage Shock, the writer shows how newly married women feel obliged to protect their husbands and, as a result, do not talk about them much. She gives examples of women whose lives change drastically after they get married and discusses the feelings of these women using their own words.
The transformation process of a woman to a wife or as Dalma calls it the process of matrimorphosis, is often slow and painful on the part of the women. This process takes place from the first day of marriage and goes on for a long duration until the woman becomes what can be easily identified as a married woman or a wife. This is usually the process where the woman is stripped off of her rights to enjoy life as she used to her freedom is taken away from her, and her life becomes a predictable cycle of sheer boredom and frustration. This is a process that many married women identify with as it is like a rite of passage in marriage. According to the writer of Marriage Shock, this can be avoided by people looking at marriage differently. It is not right she argues, to get into the institution of marriage with the mentality of carrying out certain duties as it takes the love and affection previously present and creates an environment conducive only for the purpose of breeding hatred and discord. This she adds is the cause of many divorces in the country.
In the book, Judy for instance is wed to Jack and is not satisfied in her marriage. She is in the transformation stage and is not enjoying it one bit. She is, however, unable to disclose her feelings to her sister Ella even though they have always been close. This is because of the feeling of loyalty and obligation towards her husband Jack. As a result, she only gives one word answers to her sister about her marriage. Since she got married, she suddenly feels distant to her sister who is not in marriage. She cannot disclose her feelings of unhappiness to her sister since she feels that since Ella is not married, she would not understand what she is feeling and why. She has a hard time coping with the new life, the duties and her husband’s lifestyle in general. Antonia also shares her experience of how her relationship was before and after her marriage. She states that before she got married to her husband Jonathan, she was totally open with him in bed and did not with hold anything from him sexually. She expressed her sexual desires to him and told him exactly what she felt and or wanted in bed. Her fiancé was also remarkably comfortable with her meeting and spending time with her male friends. After they married, Jonathan became extremely jealous and was not okay with her friendship with her male friends. Consequently, she became quieter in bed and gave him control over everything including sex. Tracy, another woman with transformation stage issues, also has a hard time adjusting to the new life. Before she got married to Tom, she would go out to a party with him dressed in short, tight clothes that were appropriate for the party. Her fiancé Tom did not have a problem with her dressing at the time. She would go dancing with her two male friends and leave Tom drinking since he was not much of a dancer. After they got married, her dressing suddenly became a problem, and as a result of his protests, she got rid of some of the clothes she liked. She was now a married woman and had to act the part. This stuck in her mind and cause her to get rid of her other clothes that made her appear sexually attractive since she did not want problems with her husband. When they went out, she felt obliged to stay close to her husband and did not go dancing with her male friends any more. It was also necessary for her to act in a way that would not embarrass her husband especially when she went to meet his boss. The marriage life turned out to be more tasking that she was anticipating.
The information given in the book is both relevant and significant to the reader as it is true. Many of the marriages in present day society are subject to what the society considers being expedient or inappropriate. They are more or less governed by these unwritten rules of what a woman ought to do in order to be regarded a dutiful wife. As a result, many women end up miserable and frustrated in marriage and in turn frustrate their spouses. This book is an exceedingly useful tool to married men and women throughout the world today as it sheds light on issues that are often not discussed. This will help women to know how to live their lives in a manner that will help them to be successful both in their personal lives and their marriages. The book is also useful to men as it will help them to know how to treat their wives in order to ensure that they do not suppress their needs. It will also, help the men to understand that the women also have goals, plans and ambitions that require to be realized.
In conclusion, the book talks about marriage life and how it is viewed by the society and the implications it has on the woman. It is a magnificent instrument for the betterment of marriage life both to a man and a woman. The book mostly dwells on the life of a woman immediately after marriage and enables the reader both male and female to understand better why women act the way they do and how to improve marriage.

Works Cited

Heyn, Dalma. Marriage Shock: The Transformation of Women into Wives. New York, NY: Open Road, 1987.