Understanding Roles and Rules Helps Make A Strong Marriage.

I am blessed to have a great marriage. We have a great balance and harmony that makes every day unique. Now we would admit, not every day is wonderful, we do have troubles just like everybody else, but those troubles do not last long.

How is our marriage strong? Did we have incredible premarital counseling or am I just a perfect husband? Those things do help, but our marriage is strong because we have discovered and talked through two important elements in life.

Before marriage, we come in with two expectations that if not exposed before marriage can become a big problem. Those expectations are unspoken rules and unconscious roles.

We all have rules and roles that come from our upbringing. For example, if your mother always did the laundry, you would associate that role solely to a female. That gets put into your subconscious, and then you might expect your wife to fulfill that role. That role maybe completely different from your spouses upbringing, they might have grown up with “Everyone does their own laundry.” All of a sudden you have an instant fight brewing from something was never spoken beforehand. Rules are the same way. Certain things might go in certain places. Bedtime and wake up time might clash. Which holidays are mandatory and which ones you can skip.

If you are married, you know what I am talking about and if you are single, you might think this sounds ridiculous. Unfortunately, these things can cause a significant strain in marriages. I have heard couples talk about expectations that clash. For example, one couple, the husband wanted to have a future that was stress-free of financial stress, so he expected to work long hours and his wife to work long hours to supply a nice nest egg. She wanted to be a homemaker and make sure the house was welcoming. Both those things are good, but their expectations clash. When they were dating things looked good for them both until they got married and started having children, then all of a sudden a bunch of invisible rules and roles came into play.

What is going on in your marriage? Are you having strains from the unseen? If so, sit down and talk them through, and if need be, find some martial counseling. Your marriage can be great, and for the children you have or yet to come, they need you to have a great marriage.


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