This is the third post in a series on marriage. You can find the first post here. To recap, my wife and I just celebrated our 25th Anniversary, and while I’m no Dr. Phil, I wanted to pass along some tips I learned along the way. We talked about Commitment, and tuning in to your partner. Today I want to pass on something I wish I knew 25 years ago as it would have saved countless arguments and lost sleep. Unlike a lot of other things that make a relationship last, this one is relatively simple… until you sit down at the table to talk about it. To make you marriage happier and life easier, you need to clarify roles and responsibilities.
If you are not married yet, sit down with your future spouse and do this exercise, you won’t regret it. Over 25 years of marriage, most of our fights had to deal with roles and responsibilities. Here are some questions that you and your loved one should talk about…
- Who is going to be the primary breadwinner?
- How are decisions going to be made when opinions differ?
- How are the household chores divided up?
- How much TV is too much TV? What about computer or video games?
- Who’s career is more important?
- Do you sacrifice money to get further educated? Who goes first?
- Who stays home with your newborn after 3 months?
- Who gets up in the middle of the night with the kids?
- Who is going to cook? What is going to be cooked?
- Who does the grocery shopping? Do you use coupons?
- Who changes the diapers?
- Who disciplines the kids? What are the rules? Are there rules?
- Who takes the kids to school? Who picks them up?
- Are you expected to be at all the kids functions?
- Who balances the checkbook? Who pays for what?
- Are you going to go to church? Which church?
- Whose relatives are you going to spend time with over the holidays?
- What kind of presents are expected on birthdays and holidays?
- Do you both get cars? Who gets to chose it? How much can you spend?
- How are you going to raise your kids? Private, Public or Home school?
When you sit down to talk about this, write it down. Make a fancy certificate or a journal, and then both of you sign it. Sometimes in the heat of battle, it helps to go back to “the book” to see what was agreed upon before.
All the best!
All the time!
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