This is a lighthearted question meant to open up discussion about unique dynamics within a marriage. I would really appreciate it if everyone could refrain from dragging in gay marriage/transgenderism/any other hot-button issue that isn’t directly related to this. It always turns ugly and I want this to be fun, not contentious.
Anyway, my question is, based on your experience in your marriage, what you’ve witnessed in those around you, or even just your personal beliefs about romantic relationships and marriage, would you rather be a husband or a wife?
Obviously, I’m a woman and I love being a woman, but even that aside, in my marriage, I am very happy to have the wifely role. My husband and I are by every measure a very modern couple. We both work outside the home, are educated, both have big responsibilities, and both of us have jobs that require us to be strong, stubborn, and bullheaded. When we get home after a long day, we prepare dinner together. But our dynamic is much more traditional than our “modern liberal lifestyle” would indicate. I do allow him to lead, and unless I have a very good reason that he refuses to see, I usually let him have the final say in decisions. He likes being more of a leader, it gives him a self-esteem boost, and he’s a very thoughtful, generous man who loves and respect his wife and her intelligence, so I never feel trampled, ignored, or minimized. He definitely believes that being given this extra responsibility and trust requires that he be more self-sacrificial.
This arrangement works for us. I feel like a lot of the pressure is taken off of me and he feels good. It was never a conscious decision, it’s just the dynamic and roles that we fell into as our relationship got serious.
Hubby and I went on a long car ride yesterday, and we talked about this dynamic. We laughed at how naturally it happened and how no one would guess by meeting us. I asked him, given our marriage, whether he would rather be a husband or a wife-all freaky genital and sex stuff aside. He said that in our day-to-day lives, he would rather be a husband. (I’m the one that plans our social life, keeps track of the little things, plans travel, and just generally keeps things functioning). But, that when things get rough, he’s happy to be a husband, but that he thinks being a wife is easier. I couldn’t really disagree with him-but I would always rather be the wife. I like the feeling of taking care of him and our home, and I like the feeling I get when the big tough brave man takes care of problems.
So…all rambling aside, what about you? Given the dynamic of your relationship, do you think one spouse has it “easier”, or that one person in your marriage has a more “fun”, or less stressful role? Would you want to switch these roles, even temporarily?
Of course this is so subjective. For all I’ve said about traditional roles in my marriage, the year that he spent with cancer all of that was out the window-I did it all. And if I ever went through something like chemo, the reverse would be true as well. So given that every person, every marriage, and every circumstance is different, let’s remember to keep this charitable and not pass judgement on one another.