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What’s Your Role in the Relationship?

What worked for grandma may not work for you!

There is a tendency for most couples to cast themselves in traditional roles once they get into a committed relationship. They begin to act differently and have different expectations than when they were dating. They begin to subscribe to beliefs like women are supposed to cook, clean, and be the caregiver in the relationship and men are supposed to be the financiers, handymen, and decision maker. At one time this was the normal landscape of committed relationships, but times have changed and these roles are no longer needed.

Although people know that intellectually there is no need for the roles they still want their partners to act them out, but usually don’t want to act them out themselves. This creates tension and irritation in the relationship. The key is to allow your partner to be themselves. Don’t tell them what to do or how to do it. After all that is what you want for yourself, isn’t it? The thing is we have all been trained to believe that when you are in a committed relationship as well as dating that men are supposed to say and do certain things to show they care about you and visa versa. When this doesn’t happen we tend to feel unloved or that they don’t care enough to do certain things for us.

The thing is everyone is an individual with their own life experiences and they cannot be expected to have a cookie cutter response to love and dating. In addition to that they cannot be expected to know your expectations on love and dating unless you communicate those expectations. This part is usually a problem for most people. They are under the assumption that the other person should just know what they need or expect. Unless you are with a mind reader it’s not going to happen even if they love and respect you. It’s just not possible for another person to know what you want and need without you communicating it to them first.

I recently discovered this first hand. We had a broken mini blind in our living room and I wanted Anthony to fix it. I asked him and he mumbled something. It did not get done so I asked him again. He said he would get to it when he had time. Weeks went by and it still did not get done. I began to feel resentful and when I brought it up again with an attitude he said “I will get to it, but it’s not as important to me as it is to you.” This made me think why am I expecting him to do it? It’s not even important to him. Why do I feel angry about it?

I realized I expected him to fix things because I was raised to believe men handled those duties. I then realized I did not need him to fix it for me. I had plenty of other options. I could fix it myself, which was not likely because I am not that handy, I could hire a handyman, I could ask a friend to do it, or I could wait until Anthony was ready to do it for me. Just exploring those options made me feel less angry. I decided to seek out a handyman and keep my relationship intact. After all I don’t like it when he expects me to do things I don’t want to do. I apologized to Anthony for pushing him and expecting him to fix things when I wanted him too. I explained that growing up in a small town all of the men I knew just fixed things with no questions asked. I told him I realized he was a New Yorker and did not grow up the same way. He thanked me for letting him know how I felt. We had a great discussion about the roles in our relationship and we grew from the experience. He fixed the blind the very next day.

The thing is we are both very strong independent people that have decided to build a life together. That life has things that have to be done. Instead of expecting each other to do things based on a gender role we communicate our needs to one another and decide together who is going to do what. For the first 15 years of being together I worked full time, cooked, cleaned, and took care of our kids. I did it because I wanted to. It was a lot of work and when it got to be too much I asked for help. These days Anthony runs our home. He cleans, does laundry, cooks, and takes care of our daughter. I run a consulting business in addition to working with him on our relationship businesses. The roles have reversed. Not because I am stronger than him, but because it makes the most sense for our life today. We do what needs to be done and we give each other the love and respect to be ourselves. We do not expect each other to act out a gender role in the relationship. We love and respect each other too much for that. We have a luxury relationship in which both of us get to be happy.

This requires some letting go. It also requires you rethinking your beliefs about what men and women should and should not be. There is very little chance you can be a modern progressive individual and still have a traditional relationship. You must create it from scratch together. You must communicate your needs and wants. Then plan how you will coexist and build the life you both desire. This takes time and patience. You will have to work through some disagreements, but in the end you will find a common ground. Being yourself and doing what you want feels great! Being with another person does not mean you have to sacrifice yourself. You can both have it all, but first you have to create it together.


Anthony Clark (The Game Dr,) was born and raised in Brooklyn New York and is a former male escort. Melanie Clark was born and raised in Fresno California and is an former model. 2 decades ago they met in a nightclub and were immediately attracted to each other. Ever since then they have been inseparable. This husband & wife duo have been together for 20 years and are still madly in love. They are proud parents of 3 beautiful children, they are best friends, and they are soul mates. Anthony & Melanie’s extraordinarily successful marriage is proof that they know what it takes to find love and make it work. 15 years ago they became dating & relationship coaches so that they could share their secrets to romantic success with others. They are also international authors, professional speakers, and creators of “Luxury Relationship advice” – which is designed to meet the progressive dating & relationship desires of today’s generation of men & women. The Amazing Clarks have a non-traditional approach to love & dating that resonates with the relationship lifestyle that today’s couples and singles desire. They are incredibly entertaining, open minded, and non-judgemental. They say what they think and refuse to be politically correct. Their groundbreaking philosophies are the perfect balance of science, spirituality, and real life experience. The Amazing Clark’s mission is to teach the world to say “Hell no to the status quo” and introduce them to new & better ways to love & date.

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2015-09-21T10:29:52-07:00