When you start living with someone or you get married to them, it becomes clear that a relationship is no longer just about wooing someone and winning them over. You’ve already done that. Now it’s about maintaining a friendship with someone and creating a life with them. That’s not always about being touchy-feely, either. It’s about taking responsibility for your part as the man of the family and finding out what that is.
Don’t make any assumptions about places in the household
We don’t live in the same world that our parents used to live in. In case it’s flown over your head, women might still face barriers in some careers but they have just as much opportunity as a man. Yet many men are still assuming that their career will take precedence in a marriage, especially where children are involved. It’s important to fully discuss career futures and not let any lingering bias lead you to assumptions that will not only cause an argument but give your wife real cause to think that you don’t respect her aspirations as much as you respect your own.
No, women aren’t solely responsible for children
When it comes to some issues, a woman’s body is her own and she naturally has the most choice over what she does with it. When it comes to deciding whether or not to start or add to a family, the man should have as much say in the conversation. Whether or not you want kids is something you should decide before getting married. But there are changes later in the relationship that will demand that you revisit the conversation. For instance, the potential of a vasectomy if you don’t want any more. Or the process of adoption if you are unable or don’t want to conceive naturally. Family plans are something you need to find agreement on, especially if you have to potentially undergo some surgery to make them happen.
Money needs to be a joint effort
When it comes to the household finances, whether you’re earning or not, making more or making less, you have an equal say in the conversation. The same goes for your wife. You need to figure out what your shared plans are, from pensions to college funds, and how you reach them. It’s important to think about what money is put toward personal enjoyment, too. From joint vacations to solo spending money. A lot of arguments can be avoided if you create a plan together and stick to it.
The relationship must be crucial
It can all sound very businesslike, having the kind of conversations above and aiming toward those shared goals. But what’s important is the bond that makes it worth sticking together as a family. When you’re dating, lust, curiosity, and excitement take the lead. When you’re married, friendship needs to steer the ship. Make sure you keep the friendship in the marriage by taking the time for one another even if you can’t find enough time for proper dates.
Responsibility is crucial if you want to be able to keep any relationship going smooth. You have to know your own mind and be open to your wife’s side of the story, as well. Without a frank look at responsibility and cooperation, communication will break down all too easily in the family.