Emerging Trend: Shared Spousal Roles

If you consider how men and women share roles in their marriage, you will note that these roles have evolved over time. Even up to the middle to late twentieth century, the roles of husband and wife have changed quite a bit. Where roles were a bit more defined across the genders, today, these roles overlap and many duties are shared between spouses. The shared roles can facilitate for a more harmonious marital relationship especially when children are involved.

In the past and still practiced today by some families, husbands typically would be the breadwinners, who would work all day, earn the family income and do the family budget. The wife would stay home, take care of the children, prepare meals and take care of the house. Whereas today, this role has been reversed in some marriages where some men stay home with the children while the wife goes out and earns an income. Some families opt for this because the wife has more earning power. This shared role can work especially if the husband is pursuing online studies because he gets more free time to study.

Shared roles are becoming prevalent in marriages especially when it comes to finances today. There are some men who allow their wives to manage the household finances or vice versa. More efficient households share this task. It not only keeps the finances in the open but it reduces fights over money. Money should not be the central focus in the relationship, but where the finances are handled as a team and each spouse has input, this shared responsibility can be the key to financial success.

Household chores can be unbalanced in some marriages. The typical marriage may have the wife doing the chores inside the home and the husband taking care of the vehicles, the yard and all other outside tasks. Other marriages where responsibilities are shared, there is compromise and teamwork. The spouses that work together get things done more efficiently. There will always be a particular task that is better handled that one of the spouses but marital camaraderie makes the workload seem lighter.

Raising children has been seen in the past as a woman’s role. However, today, it is widely accepted that children need their fathers’ input in their lives. Therefore, many fathers are taking a more active role in raising their children. As a husband shares this role with his wife, he makes a strong statement and impact of his children’s lives. It not only eases the mother’s burden, but his input is very important in shaping the children’s lives.

Today, the emerging trend is that husbands and wives share or alternate roles in the household. Spouses are sharing the finances, household chores and raising the children together. Husbands are also taking the opportunity to be stay-at-home fathers. The roles in a marriage have now evolved. A marriage should be based on love, trust and shared responsibility. Each spouse brings something special into the marriage and the spirit of collaboration makes the marriage be even more successful.

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