Relationship Roles in Your Marriage: Navigating Roles and Expectations in Your Home
Navigating relationship roles can be challenging, especially early on in your relationship, or when you and your partner are facing seasons of change. In this episode, we discuss the ways your relationship roles might be defined, and how you and your partner can have honest and productive conversations to support each other and be flexible to changing roles. Whether you are tired of managing all the housework on your own, or you’re wanting to be able to do more and take some of the load off your loved one, you can pick up some helpful skills and steps for checking in on your relationship and adjusting roles as needed.
Main Points of this Episode:
Learn the different ways relationship roles might be established:
- You learn from how you saw your parents or caregivers handle different roles and expectations when you were growing up.
- Sometimes you or your partner might naturally take on various roles and tasks based on a season of life and the schedules you each have.
- You and your spouse might have discussed your ideas about roles and expectations, whether in premarital counseling or another setting.
Identify the issues you and your partner might have with relationship roles:
- You each might have different expectations and not be on the same page about the roles in your relationship.
- You might be carrying much of the load, and building up frustrations and resentment toward your spouse.
- Maybe you’ve both tried to talk about it, but can’t get past the disagreements and conflict that have developed.
What you can do to navigate establishing and changing relationship roles over time:
- Schedule a time for you and your partner to share about the households you grew up in. What did each of you learn from seeing how your families handled various roles and household tasks? Did you like the way your family did it, or would you want to make some changes to that?
- Next, talk about the house you both want to build together. Now knowing each other’s background and evaluating where things currently stand, share your ideas and hopes for the future of your household. Each of you take turns discussing how you envision navigating relationship roles. Plan for the future changes. Along with this, talk with your partner about how each of you see the roles currently being defined in your relationship. How is budgeting handled? How are bills divided or shared and paid? Who handles different household chores? Who typically gets the groceries, washes the laundry? What changes need to be made in the way things are now to help each of you reach the goals for the house you want to build together?
- Every couple of weeks, or every month, set aside time to check in on how things are going. Be FLEXIBLE. Work to recognize any big changes in each of your lives that might require changes in the roles you each take on.