Is there life after the wedding? More precisely, is there a happy life after marriage? Why do quarrels, misunderstandings and disagreements arise between young spouses, and not only young ones? What is their reason and how can you establish relationships and achieve mutual understanding. Such questions excite many spouses, both young and with a decent “experience” of living together. Almost all quarrels and disagreements in the family are resolvable, if you know what their reason is and what needs to be done to establish relations in a marriage. Let us first examine the necessary conditions for a happy marriage, which can be said to guarantee that there will be no serious conflicts and disagreements. They, of course, should be known first of all to those who are going to marry. Well, for already married, too, not everything is lost, there are ways to establish relations between husband and wife, but more on that later.
So, the necessary conditions, prerequisites for a happy marriage:
- Achieving emotional and economic independence. Before marriage, you need to emotionally and financially separate from your parents or previous spouses.
- Complementary compatibility of spouses. In what it is expressed: spouses occupy the same position in relation to each other as they had in relation to their brothers and sisters in the parental family. For example, the husband was the oldest child in the family, and the wife, on the contrary, the youngest. In this case, complementary compatibility is maintained. If, for example, both were the eldest children in the family, then conflicts may arise on the basis of power – “Who is in charge of the family.”
- Docking according to the beliefs and stereotypes of husband and wife behavior accepted in the family of parents. Otherwise, this phenomenon is also called grinding of characters, in reality, grinding of stereotypes takes place. For example, in the husband’s family, it was believed that the breadwinner of the family should be a man, and the wife should only deal with household and children. And in the wife’s family, it was the norm that both spouses work and are equally involved in the household and children. In this case, quarrels and misunderstandings are likely before the spouses find a compromise convenient for both or come to an agreement that suits both.
- Common territory (housing) and joint economy. I suppose everything is clear here.
- A feeling of love and respect for the partner, the presence of common interests and similarity of values. Trite, but always true. It will be easier for spouses loving and respecting each other to find a common language, to agree, despite other disagreements, contradictions and discrepancies.
- Formed and clearly defined structure of family roles. In what it is expressed: each member of the family has his own roles, rules of conduct, rights and the obligations arising from them. Specialists in the field of family psychology have found out what roles family members must fulfill in order for family relations to be smooth and peaceful, and everyone will be happy.
These roles are few, the only condition is that they all must be occupied, distributed among family members. Family roles can be distributed between spouses either 50 to 50, or one person assumes a large (or primary) responsibility and, accordingly, the powers arising from it in this area.
What are these roles:
- The role of the breadwinner, the earner of money, financially supporting the family. Variants of the distribution of this role: either both equally, or the contribution of one of the spouses significantly exceeds the material support of the family (up to the full assumption of the breadwinner role on the seed).
- The role of the hostess (owner), responsible for housekeeping in the house. Often this role is given to someone who does not bear the responsibilities of the breadwinner of the family, or is equally distributed between spouses.
- The role of the child care manager. Here we are talking about caring for a newborn and a child not older than three years. In most cases, this role is unconditionally given to the mother of the child.
- The role of the educator of children. Who will be involved in the upbringing of older children: both equally or someone’s contribution will be more significant than the second spouse.
- The role of a sexual partner. The first to take initiative in intimacy is responsible for the diversity of sexual life. Again, the distribution of this role may be even between the two spouses, or someone will take on a large or major initiative.
- The role of the leisure organizer. Who will take the initiative in the field of leisure for the family. In other words, it will take on the role of an entertainment organizer for an interesting and fun family spending free time. What this includes: visits to the cinema, exhibitions, museums, field trips, holiday organization, vacation planning, etc.
- The role of the organizer of the family subculture. Determine what is a subculture? This is a group of people (in our case, the family) who have common interests, deeds and problems with each other. The role of the organizer of the family subculture includes the formation of family members of certain cultural values, worldview, political beliefs, religion, etc.
- The role of the liaison officer. Who will organize communication with relatives? Keep track of family gatherings, parties, and other established ceremonies?
- The role of the “psychotherapist”. Who in the family is always (or most often) ready to listen, understand, support, help to understand the problem?
And here we come to the most basic. Why do conflicts arise that can last even for years? Although the norm is often inherent only to newlyweds and all issues of the distribution of roles are resolved during the period of “lapping characters.”
So, quarrels between spouses arise when the above roles are not clearly distributed, verbally not agreed between each other. Or, both spouses equally claim the same role, and both want to bear greater responsibility for her, to have more weight in deciding on a particular sphere of family life. Or it happens the other way around, none of the spouses wants to take the initiative and take on some role (and sometimes they don’t even know about its existence). The place remains “vacant”, friction and misunderstanding arise due to the fact that no one wants to fill the gap in the distribution of family roles. Or both spouses, relying on the stereotypes that were adopted in the parental family, consider it mandatory to take this role on themselves (or surrender to the spouse), and they are sure that the spouse should consider the same way as he does. Not taking into account the fact that the way in the parental family of the other spouse could be completely different and he, in turn, may not even be aware of the obligations imposed on him. Sometimes spouses completely ignore the need for the distribution of roles that they consider insignificant, for example, an organizer of leisure activities or the role of a family therapist. Everyone expects that the other should support and listen to him, and he must always be heard and understood. Or, conflicts arise during each holiday, vacation, repair, because the role of the organizer of this event by default is unknowingly attributed to the other spouse, and he, in turn, may not even guess about the expectations of the partner.
Therefore, all newlyweds who are about to enter into marriage or those who have long been married but are in a constant situation of family war, psychologists suggest discussing the following issues with each other (see the Appendix to the article) in order to eliminate all possible causes of quarrels and misunderstandings . Moreover, you need to try to reach a compromise or come to an option that would suit both. There is no need to concede in what is important to you – it is better to concede in insignificant areas so that your spouse can do the same in relation to you in what is essential, it is of great importance to you.
What else can be caused by quarrels between spouses related to the distribution of roles in the family.
Sometimes the roles contradict each other or one of the spouses is burdened (by his tacit consent or to complete displeasure) too many roles and related obligations and responsibilities.
There is another extreme – one of the spouses, considering himself the most competent in all areas, heroically takes on almost all roles. What remains to the other is that he feels unnecessary, depreciated, not worthy of respect and, in general, cannot find his place in the family. In this case, it remains either to endure, with the threat of losing self-esteem in one’s eyes and the eyes of loved ones, or to flee from the family to hell, to where it will be needed and valuable, will be able to realize its abilities and capabilities.
The general rule for eliminating quarrels in the family: all the roles assumed by family members must correspond to their capabilities and the desire of each individual family member to fulfill this role. A person who plays a role must feel that he is playing an important and valuable role. For example, do not underestimate housework or childcare, assuming that the most important role is to provide for the family financially. All roles are equally important and necessary if the couple wants to live happily, peacefully, together, feeling satisfaction from being part of their family.
When assigning roles to avoid conflicts, you do not need to directly indicate to your spouse what he should do. First you need to identify the roles that you would like to take on and listen to his wishes. Next, divide equally the responsibility in those roles that you would like to perform both. And then, based on the capabilities and preferences of their own and partner, to distribute the remaining unoccupied roles.
Well, the last thing that spouses need to know in order to prevent conflicts is that the distribution of roles can change over time, so they need to be coordinated with each other at each stage of the family’s life cycle.