Don’t mind me, i couldn’t resist using this picture yet again!
Back in the days when men were mostly on the field and women took care of the home, there was very little confusion about who did what; roles were pretty clear. But these days when women can get to the top of the corporate ladder just like men or even achieve more, there’s a need to define roles within the home. This is vital as it can be a major source of conflict in the early months of marriage.
There are several factors that come into play as far as marital roles are concerned. You must remember that you and your spouse both grew up in different backgrounds. For instance, I’ve met men who believe their wives are lazy for having househelps; simply because their mothers did the house chores while they were growing up.
Like I usually say, we are products of strong parental influence; and we should realize that what we have come to accept as ‘ideal’ is what forms our expectations as far as roles in marriage are concerned. What is right to do for the husband may not make sense to the wife…..
After studying and understanding that these differences are many and varied, I try to encourage couples (preferably before marriage) to write down the roles they saw each of their fathers and mothers play back then, sit down and discuss them; the similarities and differences, and then use the information to craft out how they want to run their home. This makes life so much easier.
I’ve said this before and I’ll repeat it. Having expectations in marriage without expressing them ahead is a sure route to conflicts and frustration. There are a number of factors responsible for influencing one’s perception of marital roles. The first we’ve addressed is parental influence. Let’s take a look at more of them.
Our philosophy about maleness and femaleness could also influence it. Some pple have strong philosophies based on the fact that they grew up with a few strong female influences in their lives (a University professor for example), some were raised with conservative religious convictions/beliefs that define roles differently.
What are you good at? Once you have what you’re good at, there’s no point looking for what’s ideal as far as roles are concerned. For example, I once spoke with a guy who is technical and loves gadgets and he insisted he wanted a lady just like him. Seriously? I think he needs a homely person to balance what he lacks. We don’t need to have the same skill sets, but we must recognize our differing abilities and seek to use them for the benefit of the relationship.
Some guys love to cook! It doesn’t make them less manly. My mother in law for example, fixed the sockets, checked the gen and so on, and I discovered hubby had the same expectation of me when we got married! He wasn’t ‘wrong’, that’s what he saw growing up! Of course, he knew quickly that am not gifted or interested in that line! Lol
On a football field, there are eleven players, the objective is clear, but roles are different and defined! Let our goal of marital success drive us to have roles that complement and help us achieve it.
Stay tuned for more where this came from!
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