Marriage Guidance, Women and the Problem(s) of Returning Soldiers in Finland, 1944–1946

TitleMarriage Guidance, Women and the Problem(s) of Returning Soldiers in Finland, 1944–1946
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2018
AuthorsMalinen, Antti
JournalScandinavian Journal of History
Volume43
Issue1
Pagination112 - 140
Date Published02/2018
Abstract

When former military chaplains began to give marital guidance to troubled couples after the end of hostilities with the Soviet Union (1941–1944) in Finland, new information about the causes and experiences of marital problems and divorces emerged during guidance sessions. Even lengthy marriages were seen to be burdened due to the stress of reunion and men’s wartime infidelity, increased inclination to drinking and aggressive behaviour. The article discusses the meaning and construction of marital expectations with respect to the development of post-war marital dissolution, and argues that wives in particular tried to adjust their marital expectations in accordance with the general developments in personal life and society. Especially in the case of older marriages, for the majority of women, divorce was seen more as means of personal survival than of seeking happiness, even in the urban areas. Although contemporaries feared that the marital institution was disintegrating, the majority of wives were willing to work to save, or endure, even troubled marriages. [from publisher]

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