The Husband & Wife Roles

A long time ago (probably not that long ago really just exaggerating the changing of times) wives would stay at home. They would cook, clean, take care of children, make the husbands dinner and probably cater to the husband.

A long time ago the husbands would go to work that was it. Maybe he would fix things around the house. And maybe he would mow the yard.

The roles were very strict and you didn’t really cross them. Women belonged in the house and men didn’t. Times have obviously changed dramatically as we often find men at home and women in the work place.

housewifeBut now that times have changed you still run across men AND women with those old fashioned, traditional ideas. I have run across them plenty of times in my life. Being told that I should “submit” to my husband and “cater” to him. I’ve often asked Brent if he would like me to cater to him and always get a very sarcastic reply, ‘Yes cook my dinner and then give me a massage’. I know full well it is sarcastic as Brent and I have built a relationship around a partnership.

Yes I stay at home. I do cook. I do clean. I do make my children plates for dinner. I do NOT make his plate. He is a grown man and after caring for three children all day I do NOT want to care for an adult. I do make him clean up after himself and we both expect the same amount from each other. That is a partnership. We did not go into our relationship with preconceived ideas that he is the man and will beat on his chest every night after I make him dinner.

Whenever this topic is brought up to me or Brent we usually agree on our beliefs. We don’t think that their are laid out roles in our household. Nor do we believe in them. Yes I am the wife, yes he is the husband; but one is not greater than the other. Yes he makes the money and yes I stay home. But our jobs are equally just as hard. Though at times he believes dealing with the screaming, fighting, cleaning and monotonous routine of our lives is MUCH harder. At times I couldn’t imagine having to airport hop, work for 6 weeks straight and be away from my family.

We have formed this partnership together. We based it off our friendship. We work together. We love together. We make choices together. And often we do the work together. Everything is equal in our lives. We believe in that equality. I am not my husbands servant and he is not mine. Do we do things for each other? Sure. I often do make him a special meal. I often let him sleep all day. I often give him a massage. Same goes for him. It’s a give and take kind of thing.

My question is this though, does their have to be roles? Is one gender greater than the other in situations like mine? And why do people feel as though one should maybe do more than the other?


  1. I don’t think there has to be the old-fashioned roles, but I think each partner should agree to what their duties are so there is no resentment on either side. We tend to have the old-fashioned roles, but we never talk about what we expect the other to do. So I will get frustrated when he leaves his plate on the table, doesn’t put his laundry away, etc.

  2. No, there doesn’t need to be ‘roles’ and each is capable of doing any task that needs to be done at any given time. In my home we actually have a bit of role reversal going on. He does the laundry and I do the plumbing. That’s just how things work best for us. Every family is different and I think that being flexible allows for greater harmony in the home 🙂

  3. First this “he is the man and will beat on his chest every night after I make him dinner.” made me giggle Brittany … just have to get that out there lol!

    I grew up in a house where both my parents worked, mom still cleaned the house/cared for the kids and dad was in the garage. She went as far as getting his food, laying out his work clothes, and running his bath water …. I thought that was just a bit much. Jeff use to try that stuff and I flat out told him I’m a house wife NOT a maid … there IS a difference … he’s finally starting to see it my way … LOL

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