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    This Exchange simulates the original Couples Coping Support Group. It is designed to help persons with concerns in their relationships, family, marriage, seperation, divorce, etc.Offering a wide range of real world, personal experiences, information, knowledge, suggestions, & views from real people.
    How traditional are gender roles in your relationship?
    queston posted:
    Sorry, same-sex couples: this is an entirely hetero-normative question...

    We're not a very traditional gender role couple...

    I do virtually all of the cooking and grocery shopping
    My wife keeps the finances and pays the bills
    We share housework (I do at least 50%)
    I was a stay-at-home dad for a couple years when our firstborn was a baby.
    We work together on home improvement projects

    There are some ways in which we are very traditional in our gender roles, though:

    I do most/all of the household repair, auto maintenance
    She did most of the helping kids with homework
    She was more likely to stay home w/a sick child (although I did some)
    She was more likely to help with things at school

    It's interesting, though, how deeply engrained gender roles are. Even though I do at least as much laundry as my wife does, she will sometimes re-sort the loads that I have sorted, as if being a woman she automatically knows better than I do.
    queston responded:
    Forgot to add one of the big ones: I seem to be the one who frets more about the state of our relationship. My wife hates talking about that sort of thing.
    Anon_129886 replied to queston's response:
    My relationship is more traditional then i planned. My parents were completely reversed compared to the norm. My dad stayed home with us while my mom was gone on business trips. He did all the house work and raised us. My mom is not very good at fixing stuff so my dad did that too.

    My DH parents are the complete opposite so it was the traditional his Mom stayed with the kids and did housework and his dad made all the income. Needless to say our different backgrounds gave us very different ideas of what marriage should be like. In fact when DH met my parents for the first time he walked in the house to see my dad making dinner and my mom watching TV drinkng a glass of wine. While that may not be weird to some poeple he was shocked.

    We are able to compromise and work it out. I work part time and spend most of the time with our kid. I do most of the house work but he does help out. I try not to correct him if he folds clothes or does something different then i do, i am just happy he is helping.

    I have been told from his family i should spend all my time at the house so my child will strive but i can't do it, i feel like its my responsiblity to provided some kind of income. My parents believe i should work full time so our family can save more but i figure why change what works?
    FCL responded:
    With the exception of cooking (which he has never learned to do because I LOVE cooking - to the point of considering it an art form ), we're a sort of tag team. Who ever is there will do what is necessary, be it painting a room, looking after a child, or whatever.

    Our one big difference with traditional roles is our attitude to our children - he tends to be the cuddly, comfort one whereas I'm the strict one ... the girls even refer to me as "Papa" - lol.
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    mrslee97658 replied to FCL's response:
    Our gender roles are very traditional....I take care of the kids, cook. clean . He works, takes care of the household repairs, car repairs, yard work, takes out the trash...etc.. Although he has tried to teach me how to do simple household repairs and car maintenance I have to admit I haven't learned anything lol...I'm blonde when it comes to certain things. I know more about computers and I handle the finances as in paying the bills and things like that but he knows how to fix the computer if it breaks down so we compliment each other. He knows how to cook and does a better job than I ever could but he chooses to do that rarely....he likes my cooking ....but yes I think I'm terrible at it because my mom never taught me how to so I sorta taught myself and use recipes like the bible lol. Some work and some don't but hey I'm sooo much better than when I first met him 7 years ago.
    Me 28, DH 43, DS1 (11), DD (8), DS2 (5), DS 3 (4), DS 4 (2 months)
    candy352 replied to mrslee97658's response:
    Our roles aren't really traditional, but I think it's because he works at home. I manage our finances, and he does most of the housework and cooking. I help out when I can, especially on the weekends. When baby is born and I go back to work, he will be the one caring for the baby during the day. I love the fact that we won't have to pay for childcare.

    @mrslee I absolutely love recipes. Sometimes I am not in the mood to cook. But if I have a recipe, I am all in. I love trying out new ones.
    Candy 26, DF 36, PG with 1st child, EDD 1/6/12
    stephs_3_kidz responded:
    Our roles are very traditional in that I am a sahm and he works outside the home.

    However we do have 4 young children so we tend to throw traditionalism out the window a lot of times. There's just always a lot to be done.

    I do nearly ALL the housework on my own (besides the kids' chores) but if I haven't gotten things done or am sick, DH doesn't hesitate to help me out on that end.

    I also help him in the yard, with mowing, landscaping, and we always do household/remodel projects together. In fact sometimes I take those on by myself, too!

    Cooking? I do most of that, but sometime DH will cook and clean up the dishes and it thrills me to death. Usually he just makes something simple like tacos or pizzas but I don't care. It's the thought and effort that count with me!
    Foreverinyoureyes2 responded:
    As far as the 'work' side of things, we are pretty traditional. Steve pays the bills, mows the grass/does yard work, shovels snow, takes out the trash, fixes things and does what I consider "boy" work. (not that women can't do it, but this woman wont. nothing to cold, too hot or gross...that is just my rule.)

    I clean, take care of the homework and school matters with the kids, do laundry, load/unload the dishwasher, set and clear the table, and I am the taxi service. I run the kids to their stuff more than he does. I am a 'picker', in other words, I am too hyper to sit still for long periods of time, so I fill my time with little tasks and chores. Cleaning out drawers and cabinets, organizing etc...

    I think Steve crosses over more than I do. I make more money than he does, (at our regular day jobs, he has a side job that generates money as well.) But he gets up with sick kids, he cooks as much as I do. He does a lot for the kids. He can fix anything, so he takes care of that sort of thing. He can also make anything (we have a fully functioning machine shop in our garage), so just recently he made Alex a ramp and grinding box for his skating.

    I guess this is a hard question for me, because I dont see it in terms of gender, I see it in terms of whoever is the most skilled or able to do a task or job should do it. And whoever cares the most about something should step up. For example, Steve does not care about dusting. He would never just pick up a dust rag and dust, because he doesn't care if things are dusty. I do, so therefore, I just do it, because I care. It is much easier to manage things this way, than to try to make him, "Care" about dust or fingerprints on the front door enough to dust or clean windows.

    I don't think that I am too delicate or feminine to do anything, but I do not possess the skill set that he does to do many things that are not gender specific. For example, I have a condition that makes my hands tremble and shake. So no painting or anything that requires small motor skills for me! On the other hand, I am a claims adjuster, so I handle anything related to insurance. It is just an area of expertise for me.

    Steve oftentimes says, "If I lived alone I would have to do anything and everything, so can't pidgeonhole anything as gender specific."
    FCL replied to stephs_3_kidz's response:
    "Cooking? I do most of that, but sometime DH will cook and clean up the dishes and it thrills me to death. "

    I hear ya! Mine occasionally roasts a chicken and does pasta with the chicke juices ...
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    LovelyChelle8 responded:
    We are kind of untraditional in some ways, since I was the only girl my mom did spoil me. I never really learned how to cook, do laundry, or really clean a house properly. When I got my own apartment at 18 my mom showed me how to work a washing machine and dryer lol as well as a few easy recipes and cleaning tips.

    When DBF came along he is an only child so he was used to helping his mom cook and do for himself, so when he moved in with me he was in for a few surprises! Thankfully he loves to cook and grill so he usually cooks for us but I do surprise him every now and then.

    We have had our biggest arguments over house cleaning, since I'm not familiar with "picking up" after myself he gets annoyed, but I've been working hard on helping him. I do the laundry every week since he cooks and does the occasional repairs. He is extremely handy and I'm not all too sure how a powered drill works LOL!

    After making it the first year of living together we have learned a lot about each others habits, but we make it work! I think we when have children I'll be the one to clean after them and do homework, but he often tells me he plans on being a hands on dad and always help when I need him...I'm hoping he feels that way when we do have children!
    BalconyBelle replied to LovelyChelle8's response:
    Not married yet, but we don't exactly have traditional gender roles...We're both very self-sufficient, and I'm the least 'domestic' of the two of us. My mom was absolutely horrified when I told her that I wasn't going to be folding DF's laundry when we got married because he knew how to do it himself. She just gave me this blank, uncomprehending stare and said, "Well then, why would he marry you?"

    Even worse, she was serious.

    Please don't ask me to explain how she thought my refusal to fold my potential hubby's boxers would equal him saying, "That's it, the wedding's off." I don't get it. DF knows he's not getting a maid when he marries me & he knew it before he proposed. He's getting a companion & a partner in life--we share responsibility, even in domestic matters. We both take care of our own personal effects, we both earn a living wage, we both cook, clean, and can do basic home repairs and gardening. We don't divide things into Women's Work or Men's Work, they're just tasks and chores--& like with FIYE's relationship, they're taken on by the most able, skilled, or interested, not divided by gender.
    queston replied to BalconyBelle's response:
    A few random thoughts on this thread:

    1. The first time my MIL came to visit after we were married, I was fixing myself a lunch to take to work in the morning. She said something like "Oh, you make your own lunch?" This question implied something so foreign to me that I almost answered "Well, who the hell else would make it?" before realize why she was asking.

    2. We can, of course, choose to do things in "service" to our spouses. So, for example, I see no reason a wife should refuse to fold her husband's laundry. Of course, she also shouldn't be expected to do so because it is a "woman's job."

    3. Ironically, I think women may be more "liberated" from traditional gender roles than men in many cases. A family where the man cooks is no big deal. But in a household where the woman does all the "manly" jobs like maintaining cars, killing spiders, and cleaning the gutters, people would definitely look askance at that man.
    stephs_3_kidz replied to queston's response:
    The reason I do the majority of the housework is because I am home. It would be silly of me to sit at home all day and do nothing while my DH works his butt off at work and then expect him to come home and the housework be 50/50 after that. I like the house clean, the laundry done, and having closets/cabinets/drawers/etc organized. Therefore I feel like that's my contribution to the family and my "job" to have it done, especially now that I only have one child at home.

    However, like I said, my DH usually knows when I need help and if he doesn't, all I have to do is ask and he's there to help out.
    FCL replied to queston's response:
    I had a situation like your first one. It was early on in our relationship and my MIL and FIL were visiting. MIL said in an amused but shocked voice "Oh look, J! M is doing the dishes." I said "Of course he is. I did the cooking." Seemed natural to us but was totally alien to them.

    They've never really accepted that I'm the one who chop the logs - they don't get the fact that I actually enjoy doing it. It's a great stress reliever I think they've probably worried about us a lot over the years (lol).
    There's nothing inherently dirty about sex, but if you try real hard and use your imagination you can overcome that.
    stephs_3_kidz replied to FCL's response:
    My mom thinks there's "man's work" and "woman's work". She never really did any of it.

    When our first child was born she just about fell over when DH was changing diapers. She said that was "my" job. I told her I carried the baby and gave birth to him and besides the breastfeeding that was the only thing that ONLY I could do.

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