Whether you realize it or not, you have relationship rules and role expectations. It's how we believe things are going to be when we're married. It's how the man and the woman are going to "act" or what each person is going to be in charge of in the marriage.
Where does this come from? Generally it can come from what we saw modeled from our family/parents. But remember, your spouse didn't grow up in the same family! It's very important for you to talk about what you have in mind with one another. For example, who fixes things when they break? Who is the primary breadwinner financially? Who is expected to work, and if so, how much? Who does the cooking, cleaning, and laundry? Who handles the money and finances?
In addition to marital roles, we sometimes have "marital rules". For example, "Don't work too hard or too late", "Expect sex at least twice a week", "Don't talk about money outside of the family", or "Don't buy expensive gifts".
Agreeing to roles prior to marriage can relieve alot of arguments down the road. Talking about the rules you have can help as well. It can help you see if these are rules you carry from your own personal family and if these rules will clash with your future spouse's rules.
Talking about these two things helps get them out in the open and allows you as a couple to compromise. From here you can operate your marriage on an agreed upon set of rules which will make your marriage go smoother.
Please check back in this week— We still have communication and fair fighting to cover as well. Thank you for reading!
Written by: Tamara McCord MA, LMHC, LCAC
*Tamara enjoys doing marriage counseling, individual counseling, & couples counseling at Imagine Hope. We also specialize in family counseling, child & adolescent counseling. Imagine Hope serves the Indianapolis area, including the surrounding areas of Carmel, Noblesville, Zionsville, Westfield & Fishers.