Traditional gender roles and responsibilities in marriages are changing, and today’s couples have to navigate this new reality. For decades, women’s labor force participation and educational achievements have risen significantly. In the 1950’s only 26 percent of married women worked outside the home growing to 67 percent by the mid-eighties. The Pew Research Center reports that 48 percent of highly educated mothers out-earn their husband. However, there are still many struggles around inequality in marriages.
Many relationships hold onto traditional gender roles which mean, while women are bringing home a substantial amount of the income, they are continuing to carry the bulk of the home and child responsibilities. Money and “in home” tasks fuel the majority of conflicts in relationships leaving couples filled with resentment and most lack the skills to solve these problems.
We must remember equality in relationships is not about having the same characteristics; it’s about having the same worth. Both parties must feel they are part of a team effort in creating a reasonable and fair living arrangement that is emotionally and financially sustainable. Have meaningful conversations about the skills you and your significant other possess, divide household responsibilities equally, and support one another’s contributions both financially and physically.
Inequality in a marriage will cause pain and destruction. Equality is about honor and respect, and these are key ingredients to a happy, successful relationship.
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