Nearly to Newlywed: Figuring Out Marriage Roles

This past Saturday JR [aka the hubs] and I attended our second wedding as a married couple.  The first wedding was for one of his clients and this past weekends was for one of my cousins.  Both were a lot of fun and pretty different than the style we planned.  I think it’s so funny how much you notice about other people’s weddings after you plan your own.  As a recent bride, I’ve come to appreciate [more than I already did] the “little” details that often get overlooked by most guests [namely those who haven’t planned a wedding or haven’t planned one in a long time] – the stationery, the centerpieces, the vows and ceremony, the music, photography, etc.  Even the hubs takes note of things a little more closely now than he did before we got married.  As a recent bride, and more recent wedding guest, I encourage you to take in the details of a wedding – appreciate the little things and remember just how much work went into planning this event.

With our wedding just over two months behind us, I find that we’re still getting questions from friends and family about how married life is going.  It’s usually the first question we hear when chatting with someone we haven’t seen or talked to in a while and seems to have replaced the “what’s new in your life” opener that you generally get.  My answer always tends to be the same: “newlywed life isn’t really anything different than engaged or dating life”.  I usually have to follow that up with a reason, which is usually something about how we lived together long before we ever got engaged so we’ve pretty much learned the ins and outs of each other’s annoying [but once cute I’m sure] habits.

This is what made me think about today’s post on marriage roles.  These roles were partly established prior to us saying our vows, but it is a little different now.  So what are marriage roles?  In my mind, these are the day-to-day tasks that each of you [or both] handle to make your worlds go round.  Some of these roles may already be defined like who pays the bills, who brings the dog to the vet, who does laundry, etc.  And some of these may still be on the list of things to figure out.

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After living with each other for more than five and a half years, I’d say we have a lot of these roles figured out, but that doesn’t mean we like and agree to them.  For instance – JR takes care of mowing the lawn and other yard work [I help where needed, like carrying around the bucket when cleaning the gutters, picking up sticks or holding the bag open for the grass and leaves].  He handles doing his own laundry.  I handle most things related to our dog Pebbles [taking her to the vet, buying her food, buying prescriptions, etc.] with the exception of cutting her hair – JR has taken to that role and I help when needed.  I also tend to random jobs – like handling our home refinance, handling our schedule, figuring out gifts for family and friends and so on.

I’ve noticed lately that there still roles in our relationship that are blurred.  Like the cooking and cleaning, the random errands, etc.  He views the cooking and cleaning as a “wife” role, whereas I view it as a joint effort.  So who’s right?  And how can we get past the arguments?  I have borrowed this idea from an article posted on Fox News.

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We all know that the biggest way to avoid fights is to communicate.  I think once you get all your “roles” out on the table [laundry, bills, cooking, cleaning, yard work, date nights, etc.] and assign a name to those roles, these types of fights can be easily avoided.  Here are some of the roles we need to define as a couple:  cooking, cleaning [deep cleaning, not just picking up], budgeting, yard work, schedule planning and miscellaneous household chores [furniture assembly, decor].  I know there are many more but these are the few I could think of at the moment.

What do you and your spouse/significant other do to define your roles within your relationship?  Have you found that you get in a lot of arguments because you haven’t yet decided who’s responsibility it is to do certain tasks?  What’s on your list?

Xo,

Cammi

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