Most couples have rather specific roles in their marriage. After all, a marriage/family is like a team and everyone needs to do their part for the household to run smoothly. It’s not uncommon for Dad to fill a more traditional role as breadwinner, snow remover, and yard maintainer, and for Mom (even if she works outside the home as the secondary or even primary breadwinner) to fill the traditional role as cook, grocery shopper, and child nurturer. Sometimes roles overlap and sometimes a complete role reversal occurs.
When a couple divorces, however, the roles the pair had as Husband/Dad and Wife/Mom often become magnified, and each spouse feels like the other is tromping on his or her territory. Not only that, but often neither partner feels appreciated for the work they did do in the family. Unfortunately, not feeling appreciated often manifests itself as a position in the divorce. For example: Mom feels unappreciated for all the nights she stayed up with sick kids and feels like she should have sole physical custody; Dad feels unappreciated for all the nights he put in working long hours and feels he should get all the retirement. The point is, both parents worked hard in different ways to make the family run as smoothly as possible.
With an impending divorce, each spouse will have to give up some of the control of their original role, and take on additional tasks in a new role. It’s not so bad, though. Shoveling snow burns calories, and who doesn’t want that? As for cleaning baby bottles – who knew swirling bubbles around can be a great stress reliever?Tagged with: Collaborative Family Law • divorce • gender roles • marriage • new role • retirement • roles • sole physical custody • stress reliever • traditional roles