As I was washing the dishes recently, my mind wandered a bit and I started to think about marriage and the different roles each person plays. When I shared my thoughts with Vishnu, he suggested blogging about it to see what other people think/have experienced. Any marriage/relationship related topic is a fun one for me, so I thought why not.
So truth be told, for the first 28 years of my life, I imagined a truly equal marriage where all responsibilities are split evenly.
Not sure where this idea came from because my parents’ marriage wasn’t and still isn’t necessarily equal. My mom manages the finances, does all the cooking and most of the cleaning, and takes on a lot more mental stress overall. My dad, on the other hand, does the yard work, grocery shops, and keeps an eye on the cars. This is a very general list of what they each contribute to their marriage, and I know I’ve left off a million other things, but you get the picture. My mom is also more OCD and type-A, while my dad is one of the most laid back people you will ever meet. And that could very well have something to do with the roles they took on in their marriage.
Even still (and maybe because of), I looked forward to the day where my husband and I were equal partners.
And then I got married!
Like I said, I never thought about mine and Vishnu’s roles in our marriage until recently, but now that I have, I realize they’re far from equal at this moment in time.
This picture has nothing to do with this post really. It’s just the only one I have with us facing off!
Generally speaking, I manage our finances, do all the cooking and most of the cleaning, grocery shop, and handle all the day to day nuances. Vishnu maintains our car, manages all of our big purchases, and helps with the day to day stuff when his schedule permits.
Taking a step back, I realize our division of responsibilities also has a lot to do with our personalities and preferences (I tend to have the “boss mentality”). I’m a lot like my mom, and Vishnu’s personality is similar to my dad’s. You don’t say!
Also, where we are in this moment in time plays a huge factor. The path to becoming a doctor is no joke. Med school was filled with studying and stress. And now residency is filled with crazy hours and stress. I understand this and try to take on more as a result. Do I always think it’s fair? No. But I can deal with it because he helps out when he can and/or when I can’t – laundry, dishes, errands, etc. And I know there’s a part of me that truly enjoys playing this role right now.
I’m sure a ton of other things impact the part we each play in our marriage – cultural backgrounds, the way we were raised, societal norms and expectations, gender roles, etc. And just to throw us for a loop, I’m sure a lot of this will change when we have kids. Fun times ahead!
But as I’ve come to learn, all of the above is part of an ever evolving journey where the heavy lifting isn’t necessarily divided evenly between two people. At the end of the day, it’s not about that at all. Rather, it’s about communicating, understanding and supporting one another, and playing to your strengths. That’s what a good partnership is all about!
Kind of a random post, I know! But I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic.
And as always, thanks for reading!