Couples who pursued Stage II values created a new set of problems, the very qualities that made a perfect couple in a Stage I marriage made them perfect for divorce in a Stage II marriage – she was seen as preoccupied with the home and b-o-r-i-n*g.. .; he was seen as preoccupied with work – and afraid of intimacy. The contrast between Stage I roles and Stage II goals and the resultant setup for divorce becomes apparent in this table:

Stage I Roles Stage II Goals*



Why divorce was the trade-off to relationship progress

(OR LONG TERM relationship)

Stage 1 Roles

Stage 11 Goals’

love less conditional

Love more conditional (no verbal or physical abuse; expectations of mutual respect, common values…)



Parental influence is primary

Parental influence is secondary

Women expected to marry their source of income ("marry up")

Neither sex expected to provide more than half the income



Men deprived of female sex and beauty until they supply security

Neither sex deprived more than the other

’Stage И goals arc the ideal; тая of these goals are not yet reality for most couples.

Many marriages consummated in Stage I, then, were suddenly held up to Stage II standards. They failed. Marriages failed not only because the standards were higher, but because the standards were also contradictory. For a Stage I woman, a lawyer was an ideal candidate for husband. For a Stage II woman, the lawyer, often trained to argue more than to listen, was an ideal candidate for divorce. The very qualities that led to success at work often led to failure at home. Sex role training had always been divorce training, but without the option to divorce. Stage II brought with it the option. Thus the diiorces of the 1960s-S)Os.