Husband Wife Relationship

Mardu spouses spend a lot of time in each other's and their children's company, and in most marriages, particularly between long-married couples, considerable warmth and companionship are evident. Husbands and wives eat together, sleep together, spend leisure time together, and make many everyday decisions together. Within the broad gender-based division of labor, there is considerable interchangeability in a range of household-related tasks, such as child-minding and the getting of water, firewood, brush for windbreaks, and so on. In the minority of marriages that are polygynous, relationships among cowives are usually tranquil and mutually supportive, especially with child-minding, but with older wives in positions of seniority over younger and newer ones. In the hunter-gatherer period, cowives, their husband, and children slept within a single windbreak; in settled conditions, similar arrangements have been observed, but polygyny is now uncommon. Traditionally, divorce appears to have been rare, and could be initiated only by men, for a variety of reasons; women who eloped or fled from a marriage faced punishment. Divorce occurs more frequently today, and may be instigated by either partner. If there were children, they normally remained with the husband and his other wives; today, this is one of a range of child-rearing arrangements that occur when families break up.

Pregnancy And Childbirth

Pregnancy And Childbirth

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