Your perception of the situation seems to me fairly accurate, but there are some critical details:
Yes, in a small college town, if your partner is not an academic (ok, there's a significant separate issue of "spousal hires"... addressed in a moment...), and does not want to be involved with pizza, there are limited opportunities. Obviously. And your department, and the university, cannot really do much to change this.
Happily, in recent years, the "issue" of academics being partnered with academics (unlike the "simpler" days of yore when wives just followed their academic husbands ... wherever...), is being much better acknowledged and addressed, at least intermittently, by some universities. It is my perception that there is still a tendency to stigmatize "spousal hires", but, also, given the realities (!?), this attitude is less and less acceptable.
Yes, I do think any sort of equity for partners (among many other equity issues) will involve major changes in pretensions... The pandemic has jarred things loose in some ways, which may be good, but it has also diminished resources, which tends to make people pull back and be stingy ... I don't know what will happen.
But it does not quite make sense to plan our lives on the most cynical premises, since then the optimum might be just to exit as soon as possible. In contrast, I think some gambles, even though definitely not "sure things", are worth making.