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!

By Parita

12 thoughts on “Marriage – An Equal Partnership?”
  1. Now that Alex and I have been married for a little over a year, I think we’ve sort of fallen into a routine with certain things. I’d say it mostly has to do with what we’re both good at and what we enjoy. For example, I do all of the grocery shopping, cooking, etc. because that’s what I love! Alex handles all the major house projects because he knows his way around a table saw and he’s much more detail oriented than I am, so he’s great at things like that!

    Sometimes I’ll ask him to help me with the cleaning or he’ll ask me to run to the hardware store, so we try to help each other out, but it’s funny how our natural division of labor just sort of happened!

    (Also, I’m just like my mom and Alex is just like my dad. HAH!)
    Liz @ I Heart Vegetables recently posted…(Mostly) Sugar Free Meals (Week 4)My Profile

    1. Like I said, you have to play to your strengths! We totally do that and it works. 🙂 Glad you guys found a way that works for you!

  2. Spousal rolls are very unique. My husband loves to cook and experiment in the kitchen, so I leave that up to him. I’m a thorough house keeper so I like to clean my way. It works out well. Car maintenance is a huge thing. Oil checks, air in tires, detailing. Hubby loves that and I have no clue.
    Charlotte recently posted…Pan- Am-azing!My Profile

    1. I am trying my best to get Vishnu in the kitchen more! He’s actually a pretty decent cook when he puts his mind to it. 🙂 Glad that you and your husband have found a way that works for y’all!

  3. I think a marriage is equal when both parties feel supported and appreciated for what they contribute. It may not be an equal number of “tasks” but supporting one another and using your strengths creates an environment where everyone takes part and feels valued. Great topic! Thanks for sharing 🙂
    Pragati // Simple Medicine recently posted…BBQ Baby Bellas and Spicy ArugulaMy Profile

    1. Could not agree with you more. It’s not so much about the tasks as it about feeling supported and understood.

  4. This was such an interesting (and relatable!) read – thanks for sharing! In terms of our marriage, I’m definitely more Type-A and more OCD about stupid things, and REB is the more laid back one. But he claims that between the two of us, I’m the more “fun” one in our duo because I’m more extroverted than he is despite being super OCD and assertive about things. He’s a lot smarter than I am, so he takes care of the yard work, finances (the biggies) and the cars. I take care of most the housework, grocery shopping, meal prepping/cooking. But, we both still have separate accounts (just the way we want things) so I take care of some bills via autopay and he takes care of the others; and we both of course, take care of our dog. It’s very weird to see a dynamic flow like that!

    1. If it works for you, then it’s not weird! I love how every relationship is different! For example, Vishnu always says that I could take all our money and run if I wanted to because he really doesn’t keep track of the bank accounts and all that. You have to play to your strengths. 🙂

  5. This comes up a lot in my marriage. It swings back and forth from where I feel like I’m juggling everything (because I may be a tad bit dramatic) and where I can’t believe Tom stays with me because he takes on so much himself. Basically, I handle the logistics of our relationship (finances, planning – meals, trips, etc. and either doing most of the cleaning or coordinating the cleaning that needs to be done and when and then constructively suggesting he do it) and he does most of the actions, like cooking, driving, fixing things, running errands (because I don’t really drive) etc. I think it’s a pretty good balance overall, but it’s something we have to check in on regularly to make sure it’s still working and neither of us are starting to feel overwhelmed or resentful about anything. When that happens, we adjust.
    Kacy recently posted…Balancing Work and Travel in RioMy Profile

    1. I think the checking in regularly part is key. V and I have learned over the years that there’s no such thing as communicating too much (well there probably is but we haven’t reached that point yet!). Glad you and Tom have found a great balance!

  6. this is such an interesting post…since im not married, i cant relate a lot but with my boyfriend, i can see how things will be divided amongst us. i think a lot of it has to do with your personalities and comes with a lot of understanding and communication. for example – i hate doing laundry so i will probably leave that up to him while i will happily cook and clean 🙂
    dixya | food, pleasure, and health recently posted…Tangy Fruit SaladMy Profile

    1. Personality and basic likes and dislikes play a huge part it how things get divided. And when you like and dislike the same tasks, you have to compromise!

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