Are you sharing decision making and leadership in your relationship? If this is an issue for you, you may need to explore relationship roles with your partner (Part 2)

Exploring relationship roles and your expectations about how decision making and responsibilities will be shared is vital towards understanding each other’s preferences for traditional or equalitarian roles in your relationship.

How do you plan to balance your work with household chores and responsibilities? Are there certain chores that neither of you like to do? What would need to happen in this area to make it feel most fair?

If you expect to have an equal relationship, where we you and your partner share leadership and decision making or you feel that you would be happier if there was a more even balance of power in your relationship, then you need to explorer these issues in more depth. Often our traditional or equalitarian behaviours are bought into out relationship from our family of origin.

Equalitarian: In our marriage, I expect my partner to consult me when making important decisions.

  • Who made the decisions in your home growing up?
  • How do you make important decisions today?
  • Would you be willing to allow your partner to make all the important decisions?
  • How would you feel if you were not included in making important decisions?
  • Equalitarian: When it comes to roles and responsibilities, both partners should be willing to adjust.

  • What adjustments do you feel a wife must be willing to make?
  • What adjustments do you feel a husband must be willing to make?
  • What type of adjustments you are not willing to make?
  • Have you talked about the adjustments both of you will have to make when you are married?
  • Traditional: I am concerned about doing more than my share of the household tasks.

  • Have you shared this concern with your partner?
  • Why do you feel that you are doing/will do more than your share of the tasks?
  • What do you feel is a fair share of the household tasks?
  • What can both of you do now to resolve this issue?
  • Equalitarian: We expect to divide household chores based on our interests and skills rather than on traditional roles.

  • What roles did your parents choose in regards to household chores?
  • What do you see your role to be?
  • What do you see your partner’s role to be?
  • If both partners are working, and one partner is doing a greater share of household tasks for example, then this inequity needs to be raised with your partner. Have you shared with each other what you would like for your roles to be regarding household chores? If not then you may need to or seek assistance from a marriage educator or relationship counselor.

    One approach is to complete the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment. PREPARE/ENRICH is a customised online assessment tool that identifies each couples unique strength and growth areas. Based on their assessment results, a facilitator provides feedback sessions, helping couples to discuss and understand their results while teaching them proven relationship skills.

    Contract: or call today (02) 9520 4049

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