“For the thousands of years that
marriage was more about property and politics than personal satisfaction, this
reality also shaped people’s expectations about love” (Coontz, pg.12). In the
traditional ways of marriage, a man had superiority over a woman and even if
she loved someone outside of her marriage, there was nothing that could be done
as women had to stay faithful to their husbands to hold up their reputations. “A
husband owned his wife’s property, earnings, and sexuality and had the final
word on all family decisions” (Coontz, pg. 9). 
Some partners would fall in love after forming a union. This was viewed
as a plus to the marriage and would make the relationship stronger. Nowadays,
however, we commonly see unions falling apart due to one or both partners
failing to uphold their commitments. The history of how marriage is perceived
may have changed over decades but there are still certain couples that maintain
the traditional values, meanwhile others choose a different approach. It is a
matter of the environment one grew up in that influences peoples beliefs on the
practice of marriage and these beliefs vary from one family to another.