Her male children also assured her of more direct access to wealth accumulated in the marriage with her husband.
Today, marriage dynamics generally vary between rural and urban areas.
For example, widows are the group of female-headed households that exhibit the highest rates of poverty.
The wife, as an outsider in the husband's family, would not inherit any of his property, other than that granted to her by her husband as gifts in token appreciation of years of devotion.
The children from this matrilineal marriage would be expected to inherit from their mother's family.
In polygynous situations, visitation schedules would be arranged.
The separate living patterns reinforced the idea that each spouse is subject to the authority of a different household head, and because spouses are always members of different lineages, each is ultimately subject to the authority of the senior men of his or her lineage.
In traditional societies, marriage under customary law was often arranged or agreed upon by the fathers and other senior kinsmen of the prospective bride and bridegroom.