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Clarifying Relationship Roles

Just a few decades ago, the roles of a man and woman in a relationship were pre-selected and never discussed. The man went to work, brought home the money, and acted as the provider and protector. The woman cooked the food, took care of the children, and acted as the nurturer and caretaker. However, the times have changed since then and men and women have a large selection of roles to take on in a relationship. Women are choosing not to have children and focus on their careers. Men are confidently voicing their cooking skills. And men and women alike are proudly getting into caring and happy same-sex relationships.

All of this makes those pre-set roles a little bit messier.

So, what does this mean for your relationship? It means that roles within the relationship are just another topic of discussion. Both you and your partner need to have realistic expectations for the role of yourself and each other and be working from the same script. This is where your negotiation skills are paramount. You were each raised differently with different ideas of who does what. Now you must voice your role beliefs to each other and negotiate the opinions that clash. Your partner thinks you should do all the housework but you work as many hours as he or she does? Speak up! You think it is imperative that your partner be the one to stay home with the children when they are sick? Ask his or her opinion on this! Most problems arise within a relationship when each individual has different expectations.

Here are some questions to ask yourself when clarifying roles within your relationship:
Transitioning to different roles within your relationship can be difficult for you and your partner. However, changing roles does not have to threaten your relationship. Here are some tips to make the experience a positive one.

Although reworking roles may take time and effort, clarifying them can give you clear guidelines for making your relationship run smoothly.

(Source: The Truth About Love by Pat Love, Ed.D)

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