Traditional Roles in a Marriage

Do you have views on roles in a marriage?

This guy, @BlkGuru, attempts to tell an actual husband of 20 years how marriage is supposed to work, in this viral video that is floating around social media. It is hilarious to me. He sounds like he has studied marriage at the feet of another unmarried social media relationship guru. 

Growing up in the South, I was raised around "traditional" marriages. They were traditional in that women "kept house" whether they worked or not. I was "rebellious" because it did not make sense to me. If we are all eating and messing up a house, why are we all not cooking and cleaning? 

Granted, if one person was the stay at home spouse and did not work outside the house, then working inside the house made sense to me. However, when both people are working and tired, coming home to cook and clean should not be left to one versus the other. Doing so shows a lack of human compassion for your spouse and a level of selfishness that seems out of place for a marriage. 

That's just me talking as an unmarried person. On the flip side, there were perks to "traditional" marriages for women as well. The men would mostly do the heavy lifting. I say mostly, because even that was not always true. For the most part, the men were the chauffer's, the landscapers, the heavy item carriers, the mechanics and the plumbers. But they would do it on their time, not when it needed to be done, but when they felt like it. 

I will honestly say, viewing marriages the way I saw them growing up, put me off. I did not want to get married because I thought what I witnessed was how all marriages worked. I thought that the men did whatever they wanted to do and women did what they had to do. Nothing about that was appealing to me. 

Honestly, this view is why I am not married now. I held onto it for a long time. As soon as a man, who I was involved with, started talking about gender roles, I would exit stage left. Keep in mind, I'm a great cook and actually like cooking. I'm actually into some "traditional roles" but it is the demand and the "you have to do it" that blew me. I'm over here like...I don't have to do anything, but stay Black and die. 

Social media gurus have a knack for saying 
Black women are not marriage material, but 
the material they envision for the marriage may 
be wrong. 
This brings me to a funny conversation that I had this week with a friend from law school. She and I had not spoken in a while because life and careers got in the way. We were catching up and she reminded me of something that happened with a guy I was seeing at the time. She was like, "Girl yeah, you said... 'Hmph...he's talking about fixing plates...FIX MY PLATE! You're not the only one working...if I am good enough to cook the meal...the least he can do is offer to fix my plate!'" She and I both cracked up laughing because I remember exactly what happened in that incident. 

That was years ago...and yes, I really loved that man. I would go into the gory details, but you can read about it in my book. It's funny now because all these years later, do I regret not fixing his plate? No. I honestly do not regret it. I regret that neither of us were mature enough to express ourselves completely and understand fully why we felt the way we felt. Actually, he was more mature than I was at the time. He's gone on and married and I have loved another man since him. 

Do I still feel the same way about marriage? Not really. I just know that I am more of a "teamwork makes the dream work" with some traditional values type of person, and that is okay. I have seen all kinds of marriages stay together and fall apart. (I practiced family law for ten years.) Marriage is what the two people in it, make of it. 

I think I lean more towards shared values vs shared beliefs. Your beliefs can change with the wind, but your values should be more stable. If you believe your woman should be barefoot and pregnant, so be it. If your partnership is traditional and it works...then work it. Every marriage does not have to be cookie cutter to thrive. 

Follow @YBBG_Blog on Twitter and use hashtag #YBBGTopic for more interesting discussions. 
Check out YBBG on Facebook


Popular Posts