Tradition is holding on for dear life with each passing day. As we sail further out into the deep sea of technology, economic conditions, educational and political advancement, things are changing all around us, especially expectations. Long gone are the days when women can be house wives while men work and bring home the bacon. Today it’s no surprise to see women working full time jobs, making more money than their men, and even having their significant other stay home and be house husband while she brings home the bacon.
As with all change, some are ready for it and some are not. With roles come expectation and oftentimes the lines can be blurred. I’ll never forget a conversation I had with a brother who suggested that his woman must cook for him, maintain the house, do laundry, and sεx him every night. When I asked him why, his response was “Because that’s a woman’s role.” Taken aback, I concluded that his woman must have been a housewife. He corrected me and informed me that she also had a 9 to 5 as he did. I found his demands a bit excessive and unreasonable considering his lack of reciprocity as well as her demanding schedule. He believed that because he was a man, his role was simply to bring home money and that was it — the mindset stemming from antiquated traditions. And while he held on to these outdated traditions, his woman was operating in a non-traditional capacity. I asked him how could he expect his woman to work a full time job, come home, cook dinner, maintain the house, keep the clothes clean, sεx him like a pοrn star, amongst other things and all he could say to me was, “That’s her role.”
I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. As a boy growing up, I watched my grandfather do it all: Cook, clean, fix things around the house, carry the groceries — all in his advanced age. My grandmother tells me stories of how he would do his daughters’ hair, iron their clothes, and work hard to provide for his family. He didn’t have the mentality of the “I work and make the money so I’m not obligated to help out in any other way” man. My grandfather’s ideology on a man and woman’s role in relationships was passed down to me, but as I speak to other young brothers and read social commentary, I find that many brothers don’t feel the same about the roles in their relationships/family.
I believe that every relationship is unique unto itself and should be addressed accordingly; however, I believe it’s unfair to hold women to these traditional roles while we are living in non-traditional times. When Apple releases a new operating system, we’re quick to update our phones. It appears to me that many of us need to swiftly update our thinking as it pertains to the modern day woman’s role in relationships. When these working women come home, they are just as tired as you, if not more, because those heels show their feet no mercy. Do you ever think that they would like to come home to a warm meal, running bath water with lots of bubbles, and soft music to relax from their hectic day?
Your strengths should accommodate her weaknesses, and hers, to yours.
Share the burden of daily duties. It’s understandable that with the conditions of the economy both partners will likely have to work to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. Consider alternating days for who cooks and who handles laundry duties. If she cooks the dinner, why don’t you wash the dishes? If she bathes the baby, assist her by putting the baby’s clothes on. If you find she’s too tired to have sεx, that may be an indicator that she needs you to help out a bit more in some other areas. Doing so may free up some energy for her to put you to sleep at night. I like to compare it to a great tennis match: It’s exciting when both players are volleying and doing whatever it takes to get the ball going back and forth over the net. You want to share that synergy with your partner. Be sure not to stifle your contribution by limiting what you contribute to your relationship. The objective is to maintain the peace, enhance the life experience, and reciprocate the energy, even if it means you have to use the proverbial between-the-leg, back hand shot to get the job done.