Perhaps one the things that captures the issue best when it comes to male/female long term relationships is the divergence of the sexual market place (SMP) and the marriage market place (MMP). Of course, there are many reasons why this has happened, and we won’t really be going into lots of detail about that here, but suffice it say that the problem really manifests itself in these two market places.
Fifty/sixty years ago, they were sort of one and the same. Naturally enough, they were not always aligned, but for lots of people they were mostly aligned. Young women (lots of them at least) had hope chests, dreamed of marriage, worked to keep their reputations intact, developed their personality and manners, and naturally enough, worked to be appear physically appealing to men (the main SMP aspect).
Most of the non–SMP stuff fell to the wayside. As a supposed replacement, career success was touted as something that marriage minded men should just love. As it turned out, it was mixed bag, the marriage minded men maybe liked the possible extra money, but didn’t like what it might of turned her into, and futhermore did not like the things that were were not developed as mentioned above.
Women went on their merry way thinking that all was fine. Perhaps some realized that the SMP and MMP were no longer really aligned. They put it out of their minds though. One must not think of that stuff their friends might say. The narrative must be defended at all costs.
As we all know, the market places are very much different today. Short answer – a high value in the SMP (or a once high value in SMP, now declining) will very often not translate into a comparable MMP value. So very much damage encapsulated in one sentence.
Exit question — how many ever truly realize what happened to them?