Having lived with people of different gender and cultures, I have come to the conclusion that equality in everyday life is rather a matter of personal maturity and responsibility than gender and cultural background, although the latter, of course, also plays a role. What if all this can be taken into account, when creating your own model of comfortable coexistence, a family tradition of organizing a common life?
Level of personal responsibility
We are all different and carry loads of different weight and nature. Someone easily grabs the unliftable, someone is afraid to pick up even a pebble. The level of responsibility depends on genetics, the environment in which a person grew up and personal experience, and can vary significantly. The good news is that the level of responsibility can be cultivated. And another wonderful thing is that you can refuse to take it all on yourself, although sometimes it is extremely difficult to catch it and stop it, same as it can be difficult to take responsibility that is not given for the other party, for example. Here I recall how I couldn’t share care of the child with my partner because of the feeling that it couldn’t be done according to my standards.
And there is such a thing as the diffusion of responsibility, when a person refuses to take responsibility, hoping that someone else will take it instead.
The difference in pace
Each of us has our own pace and in a couple they do not always coincide, this should be taken into account when distributing responsibilities and have clear agreements. Maybe you are running ahead with your pace, and you don’t even give another person a chance to participate, which in turn causes dissatisfaction in you, and maybe some sense of inadequacy in your partner.
Cultural background and role models
In which culture did your partner grow up and how was it established in their family? How was it with you? Who unwittingly copies whom? What would you like to change?
When choosing a partner, we think we are choosing an adult, but in reality we live with three different ego states of them: parental, child and adult. If these states change often enough, it can really seem like you’re living with three different people. For example, your parental ego-state complains that too much is on you, because it has a tendency to control and micromanage life.
The partner listens to all this in the child’s ego-state and blinks helplessly. After a while, your parent-ego state explodes and lashes out at the poor “child”, who immediately mobilizes and does whatever it takes to avoid incurring anger. How to get out of this? Communicate like two adults, logically and balanced, and come to an agreement.
If you prefer to rather wash the floor than the dishes, why not organize your life, taking into account everyone’s preferences. Let’s not forget that these preferences can be subtly inspired by social norms and expectations and not-quite-preferences-in-really. Let’s analyze. Duties that are not to anyone’s taste can be rotated: sometimes you, sometimes I. Or delegate it to third parties if possible.
And again, we are different, our experience is different and we do some things in different ways, know how/don’t know how, this should also be taken into account. There is always a room for improvement and change.
Having discussed all of the above, we create specific written agreements. And again, there should be some flexibility and regular review of whether it’s working, whether it’s effective, whether all parties are happy. Is there a sense of equality and balance. I will add that criticism does not work, except for suggestions for improvement. Read about criticism here.
No matter what happens, you can’t take another person or their actions for granted, it hasn’t ever added motivation to anyone. So, let’s notice, appreciate, thank, support each other.