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What does "social status" in marriage mean?

(12 Posts)
viridus Mon 22-Jun-15 10:43:24

I have heard this talked about regarding marriage, that people "lose" this after they divorce. Is it something important that couples living together do not have. How relevant is it to have?

VacantExpression Mon 22-Jun-15 10:44:32

I have no idea. Social status sounds very Downton Abbey to me though and I am quite sure I have never had social status, whether married or not

Mumoftwoyoungkids Mon 22-Jun-15 10:46:24

Haven't the foggiest. But I got married at 20 so probably never had it to lose it!

Maybe it is to do with how you prioritise friendships before and after marriage / living together? (Clutching at straws here.)

WorldsBiggestGrotbag Mon 22-Jun-15 10:46:57

Never heard this!

drudgetrudy Mon 22-Jun-15 10:47:15

Think this is very old-fashioned. Before WW2 "married ladies" did have some degree of social status just from being married but I thought that had long gone.

morelikeguidelines Mon 22-Jun-15 10:48:17

I think it means nothing .

Socalled Mon 22-Jun-15 10:49:03

Women are often poorer after a divorce, speaking in purely financial terms, and anecdotally, SAHMs who derived a certain status from their husband's job/profession/status, seem to feel the loss of that after divorce. Plus - anecdotally again - divorced women often complain that they are not invited by married friends to social occasions like dinner parties where there's an assumption that the majority of guests are couples. Or that a divorced woman is suddenly seen as either single and pitiable, or single and a predatory threat.

mrstweefromtweesville Mon 22-Jun-15 10:54:15

Few women end up with more money than they had prior to divorce.
Many women end up as 'single mothers' after divorce.
Some women will go from a mortgaged home to a rented home.
Some women will be unable to keep up former friendships due to lifestyle changes.
Some children will have to leave their independent schools and go to state schools when their parents divorce.
All the above will contribute to 'loss of social status'. And they might apply to men, too. Perhaps.
(And of course, if married women go in to dinner before the single ones, where in the line are those who are divorced? wink)

viridus Mon 22-Jun-15 10:54:43

I was on one of the relationships threads and asked this question. Two women kind of told me off for asking!!
So I presume that for some people this is something relevant to them.
Just wish they would explain what they mean by it.
Could it be something that it is something to do with the old class system that is prevalent here? Eg would the prime minister be accepted for the role if he did not marry his live in partner?

tumbletumble Mon 22-Jun-15 11:42:17

I think it means how others in your community perceive you.

For example, if someone is organising a dinner party and deciding who to invite, as well as the obvious (do I like this person and want to spend an evening with them), they'll consciously or subconsciously consider lots of subtle things, such as: do I owe them an invitation? Will they get on well with so-and-so who I'm also planning to invite? Can I rely on them to be funny and interesting and help make the occasion a success?

Someone who ticks a lot of these boxes and gets a lot of invitations could be described as having high social status. You can gain social status via your partner (because I'm less likely to invite my friend to a dinner party if I find her husband obnoxious).

If you're divorced, you may be less likely to be invited (because you mess up the nice even numbers around the table) so your 'social status' is lower.

Does that make sense?

viridus Mon 22-Jun-15 12:47:52

Tumble - yes it makes sense. Maybe it also reflects on what type of "community" you belong to - back to the "class" thing again!
And the more "higher social involvement" you have in your life, the more affect it would have when removed.

fedupbutfine Mon 22-Jun-15 13:30:39

Women are often poorer after a divorce, speaking in purely financial terms, and anecdotally, SAHMs who derived a certain status from their husband's job/profession/status, seem to feel the loss of that after divorce. Plus - anecdotally again - divorced women often complain that they are not invited by married friends to social occasions like dinner parties where there's an assumption that the majority of guests are couples. Or that a divorced woman is suddenly seen as either single and pitiable, or single and a predatory threat

This. You are also reduced automatically to some kind of second-class citizen if you are a single mum. People you barely know find it acceptable to ask you all kinds of pertinent questions they would never ask if you have a ring on your finger. This includes people who know you were once married. I am regularly asked, as a single mum of three, if my children have the same father, for example. Everyone thinks they can comment on how many holidays you have (because obviously, as you're on the 'single parent benefit' that doesn't exist, they have a right to pick over your life), the size and age of your car, the size and location of your house (I was once literally sniffed at with a 'I suppose we're paying for you to live in there' comment), the clothes your children wear, the fact you dare to go out once in a blue moon (think 'fags and vodka' comments) and god help you if you are seen with a man in a public place ('poor children, lots of uncles'). If you don't work, you're a scrounger, if you work part-time, you have something that many married couples couldn't afford (ie benefits allow you to stay at home and that's not OK whilst it is perfectly fine for a SAHM with a husband on the same in come as a single mum to stay at home) and if you work full-time it's 'poor children, always in childcare'

It's very upsetting and I find that it's constant.

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