The 21st Century may see a socioeconomic shift in favor of women, e.g. more upper-level management positions, more business owners, greater control of wealth.
Success comes at a price; working harder for longer hours upsets the already teetering balance among personal, relationship, and family demands. Another price? Women are just as likely to experience heart disease as men.
For decades men have steadily increased the amount of time they put into housework and childcare. Even so, the reality in most families where both partners work still reflects a scale that’s less than balanced. And while the workforce is trending toward containing equal numbers of men and women, that increased role doesn’t usually reflect other, needed, social changes, like equal pay, daycare, maternity leave, or scheduling flexibility in attending to family needs (like staying home with a sick child).
Women as breadwinners are another phenomenon of the new century’s economic downturn. That kind of role-shift between partners rocks a boat already sinking with the weight of household needs – who does what? How long before hunting dust bunnies pales in comparison to hunting mastodons?
It’s a 24/7 job, no matter who does it and whether the family knows it or not, holding fast is everyone’s job. While men may be able to put sex toward the top of the pyramid (at times even the tippy top), most women are still in the burial chamber, getting the mummy ready for bed.
Fact is, too many married women look to their partners to lighten the loads of laundry, not for sex.
- Talk Together. Remember how it was when your relationship began? You two talked forever. It worked then; why not now? Remember that part of what makes your marriage exciting (and sometimes turbulent) are your differences.
- Mourn. Be brave; acknowledge that some hopes and dreams are no longer attainable or even reasonable. Holding on can pull you both down. Move forward by dreaming in a different color.
- Say it Out Loud. No one knows what you’re thinking unless you say it out loud. You may have always expected your partner to be a mind reader, thinking “If they loved me…they’d know.”
- Re-Prioritize. And share the list with your partner. Working toward workability takes two. Are you tired of seeing his clothes on the floor? Does he get crazy when your hair’s in the drain? Negotiate a win-win; it’ll save you both time and aggravation.
- Negotiate. Working toward workability takes two. Are you tired of seeing his clothes on the floor? Does he get crazy when your hair’s in the drain? Negotiate a win-win; it’ll save you both time and aggravation. Be sure to follow through.
- Delegate. Neither of you is superhuman. Trying to do it alone hasn’t worked, has it? Too many women excuse children from sharing in home tasks. This often untapped resource can learn, starting as early as age 3, responsibility, ownership and pride. And you catch a break.Cluttering our days with unreasonable expectations and unspoken needs is so much less necessary to our happiness – and health – than being together. So what’s stopping you?
Specializing in couples work, Kathe Skinner is a Colorado Marriage & Family Therapist and Relationship Specialist. She works especially those couples where invisible disability is present. She and husband, David, have lots of practice re-prioritizing retirement in interesting economic Find the schedule for the next Couple Communication Workshop at http://www.beingheardnow.com
© 2014 Being Heard