Sunday, November 29, 2015

What happens to masculinity after marriage and fatherhood?

We had a lot of preparations to make before my husband and I got married. When we first got engaged I assumed our wedding and transition into a married couple wouldn’t be too much different than our current boyfriend/girlfriend roles. But as we started merging our lives together, it was obvious that figuring out how to act has husband/wife would be really challenging. I hadn’t given much thought to it until our premarital classes, where the counselor asked us individually our expectations of the roles of marriage. We ran into issues here. I realized that, because I had been a single mom for the past five years, I had been playing both the stereotypical feminine and masculine roles for my daughter. And my husband was not ok with that. He wanted all of the ‘masculine’ parts of the marriage to fall onto him. 

How practical are those expectations? Turns out, three years into our marriage and our roles are fluid. There have been times where I am the one working 40+ hours a week, and he is the one taking care of all the cooking, cleaning, and childcare. There have been times where we both did 50/50. And there have been times where he is the one working 40+ hours a week and I do all the home stuff. The good thing is, we’ve never really had to talk about it, we both just adapt to who we need to be.

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