The Happiest Marriages Are Those That Are More Traditional in Nature

A similar version of this article was originally published at the Washington Examiner.

If you’re in a traditional(ish) marriage—that is, if you’re part of the majority of married women in America who are either not employed at all or who are employed part-time—you’ve hit the jackpot.

Countless modern marriages are struggling today or falling apart altogether due to the script they’ve been fed since the day they were born that a good marriage is a union of “equals,” or one in which both partners work full-time and year-round.

These marriages represent a mere 29% of married-family households (not quite the impression you have from those media messages, is it?), and many are not doing well.

That’s because viewing your spouse as your “equal,” as opposed to a partner of a different sex who has wildly different needs and behaviors, invites a boatload of unnecessary conflict.

Sexual equality is a lie. Healthy relationships depend on sexual polarity, not on sexual equality.

This is especially true when it comes to sex. The research has been done: egalitarian couples, or couples with so-called equal marriages, are far more likely to have unsatisfactory sex lives.

“[Gender] continues to exert a strong influence over individual behaviors, including sexual frequency within marriage,” write the study’s authors.

It may be an uncomfortable pill to swallow, but there’s no getting around it: the happiest marriages, sexually and otherwise, are those that are more traditional in nature.

By “traditional,” I’m not referring to Ward and June Cleaver. I mean traditional by today’s standards. Yes, today most wives are employed in some capacity; and most husbands are hands-on dads. But in the vast majority of married-parent households, the husband still works full time and year-round while wife works part time, intermittently or not at all.

These families represent the new traditional family: there’s overlap, but the gendered structure is in place.

And here’s why that works from a sexual standpoint. When a wife knows she can count on her husband to provide and protect for her and the kids, her respect for him comes naturally. And respect is crucial for sexual attraction. A woman wants to feel as though she’s protected and provided for, whether or not she needs him to or not. It’s in her nature.

When the roles are reversed, the game changes—because it just isn’t natural for the woman to be the dominant partner.

No woman, deep down, wants to be in charge of her man. Every fiber of her being calls out for a man who’s stronger and smarter and more capable than she. And her need for this type of man is directly related to her desire for him.

This the theme of almost all great love stories and even Disney films such as Beauty and the Beast. The female protagonist longs to tame the male beast, or the dominant male, by channeling his lust and love in her direction. When she’s ultimately successful, the story ends.

Most women just aren’t attracted to men who are unproductive or even less productive than they are (unless the work the man does has some measure of cache or is something that garners inherent respect—such as a writer or a politician or a cop). When a woman feels stronger or richer or more capable than her man, her desire for him wanes.

The way to avoid this fate is to embrace gendered roles that allow their respective masculine and feminine natures to rise to the surface. What’s more, couples in these marriages don’t tend to keep score the way couples in so-called equal marriages do. Thus, they have fewer conflicts.

Women are simply drawn to masculine men, just as men are drawn to feminine women. The more you equalize the two, the more we become androgynous beings—which is where we’re headed—the worse the sex between them will be.

Bottom line? Traditional gender roles may not be trendy, but that doesn’t mean they don’t work. On the contrary, the evidence suggests it’s your best bet.

Suzanne Venker

Suzanne Venker is an author, columnist and radio host known as The Feminist Fixer. She helps free women from feminism so they can find lasting love with men. Suzanne's newest book, WOMEN WHO WIN at Love: How to Build a Relationship That Lasts, will be published October 2019.

Reader Interactions


  1. Ahhh. Wisdom. So sweet. POLARITY is when current flows, when a relationship is electric. When there is no polarity, there is no current flow. The Yellow Emperor’s Book of Internal Medicine, written before Christ, said that all disease is blockage of flow – and when one removes the blockage, the flow heals the system.

    Suzanne, I LOVE people who share wisdom. Here’s another analogy for you. There are 5 electron shells- s, p, d, f, g. Generally, the electron will seek the lowest energy level, or shell, just as water seeks its lowest level. You can add extra energy to the electron, and it will stay in a higher shell; fail to keep putting that extra energy in, and it drops to the lowest shell. This is why traditional ideas last- they work. Our ancestors, no matter how bad their lives were, managed to reproduce. Birthrates in the USA have been going down, for a while. I see people in non-traditional relationships, all the time. I have yet to see one of those, that lasts more than about 10-15 years. They just aren’t stable. This is aggregate behavior- the behavior of a group. No, the fast horse doesn’t always win the race- but betting on the fast horse is the way to bet. Metaphorically.

    Older men know to watch what women do, not believe what they say. Women gravitate towards an alpha male, a provider, who is dominant. They forget that soyboy they’re with, as soon as an alpha male shows up.

    Feminists hate men, or should I say, fish bicycles. No problem. So own the hate. Own the desire to “bathe in the tears of men”. Revel in that hate. So why do so many feminists in their 30’s and 40’s… start looking for a male partner? Huh? I was in a martial arts class filled with feminists, in Northampton. I just kept my mouth shut, like my mom and dad taught me, and listened. That’s how you learn. Oh, they had all kinds of hatred for men, they sounded like the triple K people I knew as a child, talking about n.. I mean black people, sorry, I choose not to use that word, for religious reasons. And then they talked about how hard it was to find a good man, in Northampton, you know, wealthy, has his own house, needs to have a large annuity so he can give all his attention to them… it would be like a guy in a Nazi uniform trying to hit on Jewish lasses, you know, there was just something not right about it… one of them hit on me, in the presence of my wife. I was able to suppress the urge to vomit, fortunately, and used soft language to turn that one away.

    Men know that, for most women, they are an early retirement plan, an ATM, a garbage can for their negative emotions, a punching bag, a home base to play around with other men from, and so on. Men know very well that the alpha bad boys have women lining up to see them, and that a good man will be ignored, until he is economically established. Tom Leykis, ok I don’t like his morality, but he does speak truth, notes that those women who work 60-100 hour weeks make good “booty calls”, but do not make good wives.

    As long as we are talking about traditional… a woman has a composite image of the perfect man, which is, check it out, the best parts of every man she’s ever done the wild thing with. A woman who has little sexual experience prior to marriage is far less likely to divorce, like under 10%. A woman with under 10 such experiences is around 30% likely to divorce. A woman with more than 20 partners is around 80% likely to divorce. Uhh, yeah, how about that. Golly gee whillikers, Batman, maybe traditional ideas made sense. Totally aside from the damage that STD’s can do. While I believe in the renewing power of the spirit… it has to be summoned, and most women don’t summon it. 0′

    My uncle Chuck and his wife saw their 70th anniversary. Chuck always saw his wife as the beautiful lass of 21 he married. I don’t think he even saw the grey hair. I have daughters… and I still see them as the babies they were born as, that I supported.

    I laugh as hard as I can, at Sex and the City. Women who gave their best years to bad boys, for free, who have hit the “wall”, in their late 40’s, are going to find a rich guy who will dote on them and shower them with goodies, and pay full retail for a car with 100,000 miles on it, all dinged up? In NEW YORK CITY? Huh? What? I’ve lived there. A rich guy, in the city, can be out with a different magnificent woman in her 20’s, every night of the week. He can even double up, in a night. SATC is Cosmopolitan BS on the TV screen. Yeah. Right. Reich Minister of Propaganda Josef Goebbels didn’t tell lies that big.

    I see more and more divorced men, over say 40, who will never get married again, period, and are quite open about it. The postal clerk where I go tells women openly all he is interested in is the wild thing. His wife dumped him. He got custody of all 4 kids, because she neglected them, including the youngest, who has fetal alcohol syndrome. He will never put his head in the guillotine of marriage again. He has women coming to him. Why buy the cow, when the milk is delivered free, at no cost?

    I’m sure you were pilloried in the press for telling the truth, Suzanne. Please keep doing what you’re doing, you and Karen Straughn, and Cassie Jaye, and others. As a professor of mine once said, there is no better machine for telling lies with, than a printing press.

    I read every one of Tucker Max’s books, carefully. He’s married now, with a child- and as he said, it took him longer to mature. This former bad boy didn’t marry any of the women he played around with, no, he found what was apparently a very nice lass, who was committed to marriage.

    Those who attack marriage, and the traditional roles, are like the Red Guard destroying Chinese culture, in the 60’s, who have nothing to replace it with. And our media are every bit as biased as the Chinese media of that time. Both the Russians and Chinese tried to abolish traditional gender roles, at first. They ended up imposing them back, again, because tens of thousands of kids were in institutions…

  2. Rollo Tomassi notes that men will never get the love they think they will, in getting married. A woman loves her children first-which is important. Hubby is important by helping the children.

    Traditional marriage had the advantage of entrainment. There was a lot of societal channelling of sexual energy, into marriage. Now, marriage has opposition.

    Young men are stupid. I know. I was one. Women get used to dealing with stupid men. But around 30-35, or so, men’s intelligence climbs from below the belt to above the neck. I see divorced women, in their 30’s, with children, thinking they will hoodwink some clown into getting married. They discover the wall about the way a crash test dummy discovers windshields.

    Women mature earlier. There is an evolutionary advantage to this. Scots people were burned out of their homes, and slaughtered, from Roman times onward. So Scots Irish women get married young, and have children young, even out of wedlock. If you know your house is likely to be burned, you don’t invest much in it. Maybe that’s why rednecks live in trailer parks? Women mature earlier, because having children younger is healthier.

    Men mature later. Which is why in Europe, Russia, and Asia, there is often an age gap between men, and women. Women prefer an older man, he’s gotten the wildness out of his system, he is more focused, and he is established. Wait, what is this… oh… traditional marriage. Traditional marriage worked; we are all here. The crazy chaos we have now has resulted in fewer and fewer live births, and chaos in society.

    Men have more access to sex now than at any time since maybe ancient Rome. Hmm. Where is ancient Rome? Oh wait, it consists of ruins, and a few books. Rome died from the same idiocy we have- inflation, excessive military expenses, divorces, bad food, pollution…

    Traditional stuff is interesting. There are over 500 roman bridges still in use, in Spain, with modern traffic including trucks. They built to last. The aqueduct in Segovia worked until 1910, and with minor repairs, could still provide water to the city. It has lasted 2,000 years. What of our culture will be around, in 2,000 years?


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