What Shall Be Considered to Confirm Marital Roles?

Author Gary D. Chapman From Things I wish I’d known before we got married 6 years ago 8647

Before marriage, it is of great importance to confirm each other's marital roles so as to avoid future conflicts after marriage. To successfully confirm who will do that, the following questions and issues shall be figured out first. Those include where your perception of marital roles come from, what each of the couple are good and what's your likes and dislikes shall be clearly figured out first before confirming marital roles of you both.


Where Do These Ideas Come From?

An influence upon your perception of marital roles is your own philosophy about maleness and femaleness. Your philosophy answers the question, “What does a man do and what does a woman do in a marriage relationship?”, Your answer to this question has been greatly influenced by your educational experience. For example, if she attended a university where she was exposed to strong feminist professors, then she will likely have very strong opinions about what women do and don’t do in a marriage relationship. On the other hand, if she attended a conservative religious university, she will likely have very different ideas as to the role of a woman in marriage. His education and religious beliefs will also greatly influence his philosophy of the role of the man and the woman in a marriage. To ignore these strongly held philosophies or to think that your love will override their influence is foolish. If you cannot negotiate these differences before marriage, they will greatly inhibit your ability to develop marital unity.

If he feels embarrassed to let his friends know that he washes dishes and she feels that washing dishes is a sign of masculinity, then washing dishes will become an emotional stress on their relationship. If she feels strongly that a wife should not do all the cooking and he, on the other hand, has no expertise in cooking, they need to negotiate an agreement before marriage. Either she changes her opinion or he enrolls in a culinary course at the local community college. Your philosophy of maleness and femaleness greatly influences your expectations of marital roles.


What Are Each of You Good At?

This brings me to the third factor that will influence your opinion on who should do what, and that is the reality that both of you have different skills. When it comes to food preparation, one of you may be skilled at shopping for the best deals while the other may simply buy whatever is necessary to prepare the meal. One of you may be skilled at baking while the other is skilled at grilling. One knows how to dust furniture and the other can’t see dust. One of you may know how to trim shrubbery and landscape the yard and the other may not have a clue. One is a computer whiz and the other simply knows how to send emails.

It is important to recognize these differing abilities and seek to use them for the benefit of the relationship.

We need not have the same skill sets, but it is important to recognize these differing abilities and seek to use them for the benefit of the relationship. On a football team, all eleven players have the same objective, but they don't all play the same role. The coach seeks to put the players in the position that he thinks they are best equipped to execute. That principle should also be helpful in determining marital roles.


Your Likes-and Dislikes

The fourth factor in finding agreement about who will do what is the simple fact that each of you has likes and dislikes. She may find budgeting and keeping track of finances to be a breeze, where he may find it to be an ordeal. They both have the skills to add, subtract, and keep records, but one of them likes to do it and the other does not. He may find vacuuming the floors an invigorating challenge; she may find it drudgery. She may find paying the monthly bills to be enjoyable; he may find it as extremely oppressive. Making sure that we know each other’s likes and dislikes is an important step in the process of deciding marital roles. Ideally, it would be nice to have each of you doing things that you enjoy doing. But if neither of you enjoys doing it, obviously someone must accept responsibility for a task that is not necessarily pleasant. However, considering each other’s likes and dislikes should be a part of the process in deciding who will do what.

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