Mutually agreed on roles Mutually agreed on roles

Mutually agreed on roles

WITH YOUR WORLD 3 April, 2019 Ana María López de Mesa

Today couples are involved in new dynamics. It is important to understand them, especially in the handling of money, a critical issue.

Advisor Chiquinquirá Blandón – Psychologist

It is not strange to see that men today stay at home taking care of the children and that the woman goes out to work. Nor is it strange to see men who work also wash, cook and help the children with their homework when traditionally these were thought of as exclusively woman’s responsibilities as conceived by social conventions. In general, couples think of themselves in a different way and this is not exclusive of new generations. Nevertheless, in this context, there are challenges that members of the couple must face through dialogue, love and honesty.

The most outstanding transformations appear in the economic sphere as psychologist Chiquinquirá Blandon comments. It is normal, currently, that they agree to the man staying home taking care of the children according to the income both receive or the type of contract they have. Our advice for the person staying at home is that he not totally abandon his “productive role and that he value the money he can contribute” because this will give him dignity. If one remains in the role of housewife, self-esteem is highly affected in the long run.”

If this decision is arranged and in the understanding that this is a new reality, there must be a change in attitude on both sides in order not to fall into circles of negative interaction in which one simply goes on the defensive feeling humiliated or ashamed for the change in roles.”

“They must continue to believe that they both count on each other, they are a common strength, even through difficulties,” she adds. All changes need time so they can integrate into the DNA. But sometimes the woman feels that the man can grow comfortable in this house role and that is burdening for her similar to what happened to men previously. To have the burden of supporting the home and also the emotional one is difficult when there is anger or deprecating commentaries.”

Who is the Manager?

Change in roles can also involve the asministration of the money. The psychologist is emphatic in saying that economic decisions must be taken by both of them after an open dialogue. “Having clarity as to what it is you really want with respect to money and how far I am really able to go (…) Couples who grow economically are the ones who work as a team. We cannot fall into the unconscious game that exists in the relation of the couple where they establish that one of them is a spendthrift and the other one stingy and this turns conflictive.”

In general, there is some decorousness when talking about economic issues; talking assertively, clearly about how much they earn and how much each will contribute. It is necessary to talk it out and define it. A clear budget must be made. Finally, a couple is a partnership and we are called on, as such, to be there through thick and thin. The couple is a common fund for difficult moments with which both feel well and backed up.”

The tendency is to more equalitarian relationships. “This change in conscience,” says Blandon, “is enhanced by youngsters who experience changes in their roles in a natural way and move others to do so, i.e. their own parents or grandparents, to make adaptions, to study, to go out more and to distribute the tasks, to have a new sense to life. So age is not important, “Holding fast to what was before is not viable,” is Blandon’s closing statement.

In order to take on the changes

  1. In order not to judge or be judged. The accumulation of complaints may unleash greater discomfort. One must keep one’s communication very effective and affectionate.
  2. Understanding that the most important thing is the wellbeing of both and therefore to implement together the adjustments required.
  3. Committing and assuming the decisions, free of prejudice and in the certainty that this is what is convenient for the couple.

See also: Is couples therapy the answer?