The Role of the Woman in a Marriage??

May 8, 2008 at 11:22 am | Posted in Love & Marriage | 32 Comments
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I’ve been having alot of girl get togethers these days and somehow the topic of conversation almost always ends up being about how to ensure “you’ve got your man” and how to “keep your marriage going strong”.  Because of the high divorce rate, I’ve been extremely interested to listen into viewpoints of what make marriages work.  More importantly, I like to listen to the older generation who are still happily married because they obviously know what it takes.

It’s starting to seem that only those who understand their place in the marriage are the ones who are making it. You listen to most of the people out there and the argument is all about “me” rather than “we” and ” I’m not being satisfied,” “this is so unfair to me,” etc…

But then you listen to those people who actually seem content in their marriage and they portray marriage as an acting of roles. Both men and women of these contented marriages agree that the man and the woman have traditional roles in a marriage and that’s what makes it work.  These roles are the following:

  • The Man’s Role:  To lead and represent the family, Work – Bring home the money, Make all financial and important decisions, Protect his family.
  • The Woman’s Role:  To care for her family and especially her husband, To be the perfect image of the family by keeping herself beautiful and the best that she can be, To handle the home and keep up social activities. 

Of course, there are a bunch more but the gist is the Man should be the Man and the Woman should be the Woman.  Things start to mess up when one side steps into the territory of the other. 

I still remember something I once heard from a very respected and successful man about his wife and why he’s happy in his marriage…  “All I expected from my wife when I married her was to remain the most beautiful she could be, care for our house, keep me comforted and relaxed by not letting me worry about house and tedious matters and to maintain our social activities and image and she hasn’t failed me which is why I love and respect her so much. ”   They don’t seem so madly in love but they respect each other so much.  He continues to be fascinated by her looks and beauty and is so proud to have her by his side and she depends on him for her security and well being.  It’s quite refreshing to see actually.

I don’t know, I haven’t figured out what I think the perfect formula to a marriage might be yet, but I’m leaning more towards the side of having “roles” in a marriage.


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  1. I totally agree with the principle of roles in a marriage. The husband and the wife have completely different roles to play, both for the sake of keeping their marriage sturdy, balanced and healthy. Men and women must share equal RIGHTS in life; however, it would be ignorant to claim that men and women must share equal responsibilities as well. After all, a man’s brain is differently wired than that of a woman. Each is designed to handle different things in different ways with the former being more developed in some areas and the latter in other areas. This of course does not imply that a man cannot participate in a woman’s task and vice versa. The important thing is not to let exceptions become the rule. Each gender will perform better in areas they were meant to handle.
    It’s quite apparent that the institution of marriage has seen dramatic fallbacks in the last few decades. I think it’s due to the decline in family and religious values in today’s societies. Divorce has become an option quickly to be favored in marriages we see today. One who is not brought up to live up to family and religious values will not be equipped to handle the challenges marriages hold. Patience, compromise, open mindedness and ethics are the tools required to handle the long rugged road of a married life. Those very tools are the ones that have the power to make the journey a success. No two people should get together before the above mentioned tools, along with love, friendship, trust and respect are established between them.

  2. I think that the survival on any relationship (including marriage) is largely dependent on how much you are willing to put up with.

    Old-school marriages work because they didn’t have all that much they had to worry about back then and could divide their roles more easily, it’s also because our parents/grandparents were willing to put up with each others flaws.

    Most modern marriages involve two people who have alot to worry about both in and outside the marriage and all the demands of modern life coupled with having to deal with your other halfs flaws gets too much leading to divorce.

    I also think that people expected alot less of their husbands/wives back then because life was simpler (socially, economically etc).

  3. i agree with having roles

    and no it doesn’t mean one person has to be inferior to the other.

    but if u each had ur own roles u would run parallel to each other and keep the train moving, if not then you’ll jest end up crashing and burning!

  4. One word in the article attracted my attention which is “Respect”, once a couple realize the meaning of this word and really act as it means their marriage will succeed, but we also have to take into consideration love as a basic condition for any successful relation.

  5. Ok one essential thing people have to look at is that times have changed. Forget how successful marriages were “back then” and look at the present. Now I am not saying that defining roles is not important and successful marriage will most probably have the husband taking care of a few aspects and the wife the others. What has changed is that the world has become a smaller planet and you can easily travel from one place to another (dont forget also the media). What this means is that cultural values are diluted and you have more options to chose from. For me there is a couple of things that need to be done:

    1- Compromise and patience without those two no marriage no matter how in love they are will work. These days people have grown selfish and as someone above said its “me” and not “we”.

    2- Passion eventually will fade away and the only thing that will remain is respect for one another and a different kind of love will replace passion. Couples have to realise that they are a team and they should support and be there for each other. People again prefer to be there for their own selves.

    The difference between back then and now is that people stuck with one another through the tough times, unfortunately now they prefer the easy way out and ask for a divorce. Every marriage, even the successful ones, pass through ups and downs. Will you fight for it when the time comes or will you abandon it as most people have?

    Do I believe anything will change? I dont think so, I think it will get worse for the institution of marriage and I think we will find less and less people willing to put in the effort to make a marriage work simply cos there are many more options out there. Dont get me wrong I like that the world is smaller, that we can go practically anywhere we want to and watch the superbowl on satellite TV, but hey thats the price we pay for it.

  6. While it’s true that for much of history one purpose of marriage has been to divide the labor of survival between individuals, it should be noted that the particular division you describe only goes back a couple hundred years at most and in most cases didn’t become a reality until the economic boom that followed WWII.

    Let me suggest that instead of thinking about marriage in terms of roles, think about it in terms of individuals. A person and his or her spouse are each unique in his or her own right, and the relationship formed between them is unique. It would be better to focus on discovering the details of that unique relationship than to try and fit that relationship into roles that may not fit.

  7. ive been quiet intrigued by this artivle for a took me a while ot comment n it because i wasnt sure aoubt what i really think about it..i think ive reached a conclusion though…i defenitly agree that there is role division in each marriage…i dont think this division demeans or belittles any of the 2 parties…however i dont believe the roles are fized..during ones life a lot of experiences and challenges are faced…when you decide to spend your life with someone you should be aware and ready for all the propects…i know of many succesful marriages that have the order of the roles mentioned in the article reversed..meaning the woman providing for the family temporarly or for a long period of time sometimes because of better opprotunities or because an accident the husband passed through…during the difficult times you both face each of you would have to be the mother,father,sister,brother and friend to your partner at one point…this is the beauty of companionship in my openion..the beauty of role is very colorful and full of surprises..and the roles you will have to play have to face up to them

  8. Divorce rates rose dramatically with the introduction of “no fault” divorce- people were more easily able to end marriages when the marriage was no longer fulfilling their needs. And…is that a bad thing? Do we really want to go back to a time when individual happiness was significantly less important than the economic foundation a marriage provided?

    People are also living much, much longer today than they were a half century ago. So marriage and lifelong commitment has become a much longer commitment. With longer lives comes more time to grow and develop and change as an individual, so people who might have been compatible and in love at 25…might not work well together at 45.

    It’s so easy to have a rosy-tinted view of the past, but it it helpful and instructive?

    I think the key to a successful marriage includes clear ideas about who does what in maintaining the household. But it shouldn’t be based on “proper” or “natural” roles- it should be based on clear communication (and negotiation and compromise if necessary) between the individuals. There should be a foundation of respect and friendship. Sharing a hobby or passion together is also important. And recent studies suggest that positive interactions should outnumber negative ones by about 6 to 1.

    I highly recommend the book “The Way We Never Were” by Stephanie Coontz.

  9. We are in a digital imaging class and would like to use your picture. Please send me an email if we can use this picture or not! Thank YOU

  10. i like this advices,they are good all of them,the other thing that i can add is that people should not get into marrige because of meterial.when the material is no longer the same as u want or is no longer there at all, the marrige wil also end cos what u loved is no longer there.we must get into marrige because of love so that even if there is difficult time we will be stil together.

  11. Interesting. In that example of the “successful” couple, the “husband” described everything in terms of himself. Keeping HIM relaxed, happy, comforted, satsified with her looks. Nothing about whether SHE’S ever happy, satisfied, comforted, relaxed, etc. Perhaps this is why the “wife in the kitchen drinking the bottle of cooking sherry” became a running joke on old sitcoms and why so many kids grew up only knowing their mothers constantly drugged out because they had a “nervous condition”. Does *that* seem like a healthy marriage?

    • Thank you Chris. I was thinking along the same lines!!

  12. In my observation, The modern marriage has changed over the years with the two income family. Even with two incomes other roles haven’t changed much. The majority of woman still do more of the housework, childcare, cooking, shopping, doctors, etc. Most men seem to think as long as they work and come home they have fulfilled their responsibility. They can’t understand why a woman is upset or tired all the time. If a woman mentions it to their spouse then the husband says they are nagging. The woman physically and mentally cant do it all. Even when the woman wants to do it all, they eventually become tired and burn out. After a while the wife starts filling resentment for the spouse not doing their share. I believe that the traditional role is better, however, with most in two income families there will be stress. The wife sometimes has been know to refer to their husband as another one of their children, someone else to pick up after. The wife then seems to think if they are doing the majority of everything on their on then they may be better off as a single parent.

  13. Ok so lets say I agree with the women’s role as listed above but find myself in the situation where i’m the one who provides the majority of the income and pays ALL the cost. I work full time and find it difficult to maintain a home and look my most beautiful all of the time as well as carry all the finacial burden of the home. I fell im in this rediculous situation where I am forced to play the husbands role and still get the pressure to sustain my role as a women as far as the household and apperances are concerned. It’s driving me completely mad and making me resentful of the impossible situation my husband has me in, yet he seems oblivious to his shortcomings as far has role but yet demand I carry out mine. What then?!

  14. In my relationship of 27 years, and marriage of 10 my wife has never taken on even the more remote role of a wife. When my son was born she completely ignored me. Up a her mom’s in the morning and sound asleep when I retuned from our 7 day a week restaurant. The was the same when I worked in Sales making more than most people ever will. I pleaded with her for years to show me some attention, act like she cared what I provided, act like she cared about me at all. She said nothing. I work out a lot, make a lot, am never selfish with money, actually I just passed it over to her. I am always home with her and my son, going out to eat or being together. We actually get along great but now I realize that I’m just a sucker who plays my role and for years it has never been reciprocated. Now I’m resentful and want a divorce and all she can say is that she know’s she messed up but I’m the jerk for leaving. Yes she does nothing to change anything. It’s always I will later. She hasn’t worked in a decade and live by the beach, come on. If I had what the other guy said he had we wouldn’t be her. “Keeping HIM relaxed, happy, comforted, satsified with her looks.” What the hell is wrong with that. I’m sure his wife is receiving in order to do that for him! Now I’m done, everyone loses. 😦

  15. I will messages to be sent for me thanks

  16. A true fulfilment deserved role set in agreeing that each partner is bringing the best in the other with strengths that the other may lack and attracting to assisting to be the best person he/she can as individuals to naturally and with pure intentions success without failure. Challenge without judgement. Acceptance as individuals. Acknowledging that your strengths feed the other in return.

  17. I’m confused now I thought marriage is about two people but no wen u get marrIede your partner forces u to go to his family who don’t like you and every time u go there u feel lost not welcome and he tells u dat u hv to go to his family it’s a must because u married to him

    • Since when did you forget how to say the word ” N O” to him? Women must understand that just because the man is the head of the house, does not mean you become a yo-yo and allow dishonor from him. It is entirely okay if you stand up to him and tell him that it is his job top protect you and not allow his family to mistreat you. Marriage doesn’t mean that a woman loses her opinion and her self respect. Why do so many women do that?

      He must listen to the scripture that tells a man to cleave to his wife. If my husband’s family was treating me disrespectfully, there is no way I would go where they are. Stand strong girl. I would look my man in the eye, as he got into the car and I would say, “I will be here in front of the tv, when you return. Have fun dear.”

      Many women are so gullible and weak and do whatever their husbands tell them to do. That’s not marriage. He is supposed to treat you with honor and love you and not be harsh with you.

  18. I am recently married, I had all sort of questions like, why should I do all household works , when I never did any of those at my home before marriage? Why should I look after my husband and see to that he eats,sleeps properly, when I was taken care of my parents like these? Why should I quit my passionate job to take care of my husband and be supportive to him?

    The more I asked these questions the more confused I was. But as time went by its 3 months now , I realized that for a happy marriage life, we need to understand our partner and act accordingly to lead a happy married life. If we keep asking such questions its not going to help. All I learnt is we are no more kids and we are now a responsible person and so is the spouse. After reading the book “The five love languages” I started to note what my husband’s wants and needs are, what he expects from me and how I can love him more and more each day. This is great and I finally decided to live for him as he is my “Husband”
    The most precious person in my life.

    If every one starts to think like this life will be beautiful and also your spouse will start to respect you to a great extent.

  19. I have enjoyed this.the bible talks of submissions of wives to there husbands,trust in each other and depend on each other and become one.i think this is enough to me.

    • Eddy, the Bible also speaks of the husband to love his wife and do not be harsh with her. It also tells that we are to submit to one another. There will be times in a marriage when a husband must listen to his wife. Women are not doors or floors, but people too.

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  21. please can u list the do and dont of men and women in marriage

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  25. Men have a huge sin nature. Women are sinners too. Neither is perfect. But one thing I know is, that we in this country have got to stop writing these evil, anti women articles, that scold wives/men and tell them to look out for the husbands. You people are out of your minds if you think that husbands can just forget about their wives, while the women lick the bottom of his shoe. You see the reason people keep writing these scold women articles, is because women allow it and do not speak up. You women had better not believe those crappy articles.I cannot continue to be the only women on these blogs who is willing to challenge these writers and speak up for women. I need help from the rest of you women out there. Some of us need to write some articles that tell husbands what they need to do for their wives to make wives happy.

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