A co-worker once told me that the best marriages are the ones where both husband and wife run a business together. Trust is key in any business, and what better business partner to have than your own spouse. But, can a traditional style family nucleus model work also? What are the signs of a quality marriage? I say, trust!
Today, the perceptions of the role of man and woman in a marriage is being challenged more now than at anytime in history. More and more women and men are asking, why marry? What’s the incentive? What are the qualities I want in my partner? Recently, I got into an argument with a ridiculous lady in Japan on Skype. She said that she had to have a husband who was not only able to work ten hours a day, but come home and wash the dishes, too. She went on to say that she was angry at me for even suggesting that she should wash the dishes. She angrily said that her role in the marriage would only be to stay home and cook! That is not a quality marriage.
I went on and asked her, “What about your mother and father’s marriage now, and what do they think about you?” She said that her mother and father had assumed the traditional Japanese role. Father works, mother stays home to tend to the children and household duties. She had also mentioned that her parents hated her and loathed the fact that she was still living at home with them at over 30 years of age!
Japanese women, who are clear into their thirties, living at home with their parents is not uncommon in Japan at all. In fact, in some instances it is encouraged for all the obvious reasons; save more money, help around the house, and so on. More often than not, Japanese women who choose to live at home with their parents is a growing trend nowadays. Not only that, but there is less interest in settling down into a marriage with a working spouse for all the obvious reasons. Overwork is one reason and less time spent doing things like a normal couple, like going to movies on weekends and having a romantic a dinner somewhere, is another reason. How do you communicate with your partner what role he or she is to play in a quality marriage? You need to either seek marriage counseling or just simply communicate that as directly as possible.
How about a business model? Could both husband and wife perform more naturally in a marriage that’s centered around a business that they both run together? The wife could do clerical work in terms of handling the paperwork, and the husband could be the negotiator… ? I’m not sure, but I think running a business and defining which job a husband and wife would play in that business would be less complicating than a marriage.
The point here is teamwork. In order to have a quality marriage, a couple has to stop assuming certain roles are for men only, and visa-versa. A quality marriage needs good communication, trust, and most of all friendship within the marriage. Just because you are married doesn’t mean you are friends, it just means you are legally bound to be together. Try re-introducing yourself to your spouse. Get to know each other all over again. Take a trip down memory lane. That’s how you build a quality marriage.