Do you know your place?

No Political Correctness SignWARNING

While neither political nor religious in nature, this posting makes no attempt at political correctness. The faint of heart may wish to take their medication; the arrogant and easily offended, well, I’ll see you in the comments.

Where is Your Place?

Do you know your place? Yes, I do. It is not behind you, nor in front of you but beside you.

That is if you want it to work. Gender roles are as outdated as the prairie dress; although leather and lace never go out of style. Relationships are like a navy seal team, in order to work they must be fully cooperative. The nature of the relationship will affect the level of understanding, and the roles that are defined. The key to a successful relationship is to agree on the roles each partner plays.

CribTraditionally women stayed home and took care of the kid, or did they? Women rule countries, corporations and households. Men do the same. Women’s work or men’s work, you tell me. No longer the delicate flowers once thought by their own design, men are often intimidated by strong women while women playing the role of the damsel in distress are frantic at the lack of a knight to rescue them.

Blame it on the Cleavers

No, not the meat clever; put it down and back away. Leave It to Beaver, you remember watching the reruns? Every morning June came down in pearls to kiss Ward, Wally and the Beaver goodbye. Ward Cleaver was the breadwinner, June Cleaver the caregiver. The roles were clearly defined, but one thing you never saw. Even though she would defer to him at times, the one thing that you never saw was him disrespecting her. The two had a loving marriage full of give and take which gave it balance.

no meat cleavers

Well, maybe she would have…

Then there was Roseanne, the loud-mouthed blue collar woman with three kids, a husband and a sister to keep things interesting. She bossed them all and never deferred in the slightest, showing that women can manage to run a home and hold a job though it is not always easy to avoid losing yourself.

Did she lose herself? Her nature was to take control while loudly showing that she was far from delicate. Instead, she was strong from the things that life had thrown at her. When a woman can swing a hammer, wield an axe and hit a target with open sights for a rifle and a bow and arrow, it’s past time to stop referring to them as the weaker sex.

Secure in Your Own Identity

Sugar Daddy and Sugar Momma bring to mind images of one fifty years the senior of their partner and throwing money around like water to keep them covered in their pleasure. The return on investment: Sexual, eye candy makes them feel like royalty. Okay, back to reality, the fantasy is over.

Paying the Bills

Anyone with a calculator can balance a checkbook.

It is merely a reversal of traditional gender roles. A man that stays home allowing a woman to be the breadwinner while he manages the household is neither lazy nor weak. The agreement, understanding between the two, was worked out between the two and is no one else’s business. The largest problem with the relationships where one is breadwinner and the other caregiver; one partner changes the rules without consultation of the other and derails what was once thought to be a common goal.

The starting roles were agreed on. One partner provided financial support and did specific duties at home while the other’s main provisions were to the household structure with or without children. The dating phase was about fun; the commitment phase is about communication and understanding.

Failure to communicate is detrimental. The woman in your life, while you imagine her in pearls catering to your every need while you ply her with gifts and beat your chest like an ape may have other desires that she wishes to have fulfilled, and she could have an idea or five of how she would like them fulfilled. The man in your life while you imagine him earning millions of dollars as you sit in a manicurist office and go on shopping sprees with his money may have a different idea of the world according to relationships.

There is nothing wrong with having a single income home; there is nothing wrong with working from home; the problem lies elsewhere. When one claims they do not need to be told what needs to be done yet without telling them it is forever undone, irritation occurs. Taking others for granted is detrimental, chances are when you tell mate that you need something, and they agree to help you expect that help in the same century.

Looking down on someone because of the role they play is not your place. It is likely that you are not privy to the private agreements that people have in the privacy of their own homes. Accusations, advice and rumors are simply you making an ass interfering where you do not belong.

Partner Not Parent

The best relationships have clearly defined, agreed upon roles no matter how unconventional. Even the not so clearly defined couples have a common goal: to be together.

Mr./Ms. Right (Now)

Mr./Ms. Right (Now)

Should you run across someone that wishes to stick you in a role that makes you unhappy, it is best to bid them farewell. The presumption that someone will always be there to catch you when you fall is a dangerous one. Not everyone cares if you have what you need. Deliberately antagonizing someone is not endearing you to them; it is creating a rift. Rifts turn to valleys and valleys to oceans.

Feelings lost cannot be regained. The woman in your life, she is strong enough to wield an axe, run the household, hold down a job and still find time for whips and chains. The man in your life is moving mountains for you but picking up his mess is a foreign language. The blame usually goes to the mother, but there are men that never learned the lessons they were taught, or instead of listening to them they were modeling what was seen.

When parenting children, the fact they have a choice of the life and relationships they choose to have outside our homes is vital. The absence of this understanding creates misery and a feeling of being trapped that is not easily overcome.

Are you provider, caregiver or both? Are your sons respectful? Are your daughters strong? Do whips and chains turn you on or bind you to a self-imposed prison?

Do you fear the large age difference or find it acceptable as long as the phrase “it’s a daddy thing” does not enter the picture? Are you woman enough to put yourself in a man’s place? Are you secure enough in your masculinity to perform housework?

Still reeling,


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© Red Dwyer 2013
Original post & Crib image © Laurie Childree
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  1. Heck, I’m gonna go right out and buy my wife a new ax, just as soon as I get through washin’ the dishes.

    I guess I don’t really understand all these roles either. My wife hasn’t worked outside the home since just before the birth of our son. This was a mutual desire. We always put each other first, even above our kids, and now that our kids are grown and gone we are not living with a stranger.
    We spend every minute except for about 10 hours a week together.

    I am not sure what her role definitions would be but I know mine. My role in our marriage is to love her with all my heart. All I expect in return is for her to accept that love.

    • Need some firewood do you? The role of loving is an important one that should not be underestimated. 🙂

  2. You said it! Choice – that is the operative word. Whatever role you have in your relationship, it must be a choice, not a decree from others. <3
    Stacy recently posted..Easter Memories from Yvonne Lafleur to Panoramic Easter EggsMy Profile

  3. I have played all the roles. Suppressed in marriage independent when the provider left, the leadership role, independently single, and now somewhere in between. I still have to work for money’s sake, but I also take care of the cooking while he earns the majority, but does most of the cleaning. We talked about all this right away, at the beginning of our relationship, and I like how things are right now.
    Alexandra Heep recently posted..A Blast from the PastMy Profile

  4. About the only defined roles we have is that she is the wife and I am the husband. Oh and I cook and do the grocery shopping and gripe about stuff.

    She handles the bills and cleans after I’m done cleaning. Don’t ask.

    Two people should figure out together how they are going to share responsibilities before they get together, not after. After that, to hell what everyone else thinks. Just make it work.

    MJ Logan recently posted..Dog SmartMy Profile

    • I have to admit, Roseanne’s big loud mouth makes me push the change-channel button on the remote. I just think she is obnoxious. It has nothing to do with her role in her marriage or family.
      MJ Logan recently posted..Dog SmartMy Profile

      • I don’t have to ask about cleaning after you clean. I can guess. Roseanne has that affect on a lot of people. She was a bit overbearing. 🙂
        Laurie recently posted..A to Z ChallengeMy Profile

        • I know what you’re thinking, but I’m not that guy that dusts around the vase rather than pick it up to dust underneath it. I pull the chairs out to vacuum and put them back.

          I’m a good cleaner, but I don’t see clutter. I like neat, organized counter space. She likes counters bare of anything but the surface design. I have to chase her out of the kitchen with a cleaver to keep things organized and not lost forever in a black hole of hidden away daily necessities. I am the one who has to work there, mainly, she does not. 😛
          MJ Logan recently posted..Dog SmartMy Profile

          • ROFL, you have the problem we do. I have OCD over how it’s done, and he keeps putting things in the wrong place. I can just imagine the struggle to keep the counter tops empty. 🙂
            Laurie recently posted..A to Z ChallengeMy Profile

  5. Roles undefined can be problematic if underlying respect and cooperation are not part of the equation… the norm. Mutual respect and open-mindedness go a long way to solving any discrepancies. Responsibilities and sharing should be chosen happily–with common sense and reality. Life is neither “Leave it to Beaver” or Roseanne. Hopefully we as a society have grown exponentially smarter and become more realistic.
    raymond alexander kukkee recently posted..King Henry and the BoxMy Profile

  6. I think the important thing to keep in mind is we must always wear the flexibility to redefine each role, in the moment, if it be wanted/needed. Never should a relationship be static, such that what I “signed up for” is all it should be and never shall there be a change. After all, it takes two to tango and to two disagree AND two to agree!!!
    I love how you make the basics so important. The basics sometimes get lost in the complications of life and relationships have been destroyed over less!
    You keep me grounded, Laurie!

    BuddhaKat recently posted..If It’s Tuesday, It Must Be True…My Profile

    • Relationships fall to the waste side far too easily. Grounded is an interesting term, I prefer to think my head is in the clouds most days.
      Laurie recently posted..A to Z ChallengeMy Profile

      • knowing you’re an Aquarian woman too (just discovered that recently), I dare say your head IS in the clouds most days… somehow, though you’ve got your brain trained to write from what feels like a grounded place!!

        I too am Aquarian and I know the feeling well (of living mostly in the clouds)!
        BuddhaKat recently posted..Arianna and Aiden…My Profile

  7. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with traditional roles, modern roles, reversed roles, or anything else. Like you said, if the people in those roles or relationship are happy, then it shouldn’t matter to anyone else unless they are being exploited or abused or repressed.
    Binky recently posted..Don’t Blame MeMy Profile

  8. I never understood the supposed “defined” roles for men and women (women especially). You would figure by today’s standards both would be at equal, but there are still things prevalent today that have yet to disappear. It also isn’t exclusive to one thing or another. They are there in movies, shows, videogames, etc. (I know I am treading common knowledge here).

    Like one reality show that pisses me off (which I won’t name) two guys going around collecting antiques and whatnot. Every time they talk to the girl who is supposed to be their assistant/partner/whatever when they talk to her it always seems like they are actually saying “Yeah! Stupid woman! What do you know?”, and the girl looks like she could literally kick both of their asses. No matter what the deal is it just comes off that way to me. Or that bullshit where they explain how to work something to a female but they talk to her like she is too slow to comprehend what they are saying.

    Sorry if this is a bit off topic, just my two cents.
    The Heretic recently posted..Won’t You Be My NeighborMy Profile

  9. After love, my oversimplified explanation of a marriage / relationship comes to a full stop at one word: Teamwork.

    Teamwork means communication, division of tasks, responsibilities and the flexibility to go the extra mile if / when necessary. Teams are successful because they work. Times have changed and I agree, we must change with the times.
    Tess Kann recently posted..Flash in the Pan: Alive & EnergizedMy Profile

  10. Thank God I’m single!!! LoL!!!

    Love and hugs!

    Prenin – crusty old bachelor and loving it! 🙂
    prenin recently posted..Tuesday – Quiet Day.My Profile


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