His And Hers: How To Define Roles In A Relationship

His and hers toothbrushes

We all have roles we have to play in a relationship, but how do you define who does what?

The piles of clean clothes are piled up on the couch in the basement waiting to be folded. The dirty clothes hampers are overflowing in every room. There is no time to wash! Go out and by a new outfit to wear to the party doesn't sound like a bad idea.

The kids need help with their homework. Why not have the oldest child help the younger siblings?

Where's mom?! She's tucked away in her office or on the couch glued to her Smartphone or laptop plugging away trying to meet some deadline.

'Dinner?! Oh! crap. Just order a pizza'.

In today's modern society, women are more in line with men. They are making more money, commanding a huge presence in fields normally dominated by men, and breaking the glass ceilings in business. This has taken its toll on the male ego and the home life. Times have changed and women are commanding more respect outside of the home. With all this progress, people are still stuck trying to figure out who does the laundry, washes the dishes, kills the bugs, checks homework, and/or cooks dinner.

There are couples who have successfully managed the household chores when both people work. The greater majority of married couples are figuring things out as they go through trial and error. Maybe he's a better cook and she's handier than him. The once traditional gender roles are sort of blurred but couples subconsciously attempt to keep them alive. My ex-hubby subscribes to the traditional gender roles of a woman is supposed to cook, clean, tend to the kids, check homework, do laundry, and basically anything that has to do with the house and kids. He felt his role was to go to work, cut the grass, take out the trash, and BBQ because those are manly things. I have a natural knack for fixing things so I also take on the minor household repairs and maybe installing a ceiling fan or two! This has created much strife in my house because the chores are unbalanced. Mind you, I work a full-time job just as he does.

Through trial and error, we realized we needed a game plan if we were going to combat the growing resentment over chores. I think this is great advice to give any couple facing the same dilemma. The game plan outlines each persons strengths and weaknesses. Chores are assigned based on individual strengths. For example, I am good and putting things together so when something is purchased it is already expected I will put it together. I have a degree in accounting and thus handle the household finances. I have a huge disdain of going to multiple stores for grocery shopping and will opt to pay the higher price of certain items. He will go all over the town. Needless to say, he was assigned grocery shopping. This type of communication helps to eliminate future confusion or resentment over unmet expectations based on individual upbringing.

Expectations breed disappointment, so be sure to communicate them to your spouse. And yes, even things as minor as who folds the clean clothes need to be discussed.