Marriage Monday: The Role of the Man in the Family

A huge part of achieving happiness and feeling fulfilled within your marriage is knowing and defining expectations for each other.

For example, you might be getting irritated that every time your husband takes out the garbage he never adds a new garbage bag to the can.  Week after week this happens until finally you make a snide comment about it.  You see it as the last step in taking out the garbage.  However, unbeknownst to you, your husband looked at the task of taking out the garbage as a team effort... he takes out the garbage and you replenish can with a new bag.  He had no idea it bothered you and you had no idea that he saw it as a team effort.  Both views are reasonable and neither one of you have a problem doing it as the other sees it now that it was communicated, so why was it an issue to begin with?  The problem is the lack of communication in defining expectations!  Now that expectations are set either way, you are much less likely to get into an argument over the garbage bag.

Take this concept and look at it on a grander scale - how are our roles defined in our marriage?  Well, after reading an article by one of my favorite doctors, I learned a little more about some common expectations of a man's role within his marriage and family.  Each of these common roles are developed further so we can better understand what we are expecting out of our marriages.
The Role of the Man in the Family
  • Leader - Instead of waiting for your wife to take the initiative when you're having problems, take the lead.  Find yourself whining about the quality of home life?  Create what you want in your family instead of wallowing.  Change your view from looking at marriage as a 50/50 thing and realize it is 100/100 partnership; you give 100%!  Bottom line: be proactive!
  • Provider - This means so much more than providing financially - this concerns the spiritual, emotional, physical, and mental well-being of your family.  In order to create a positively influence it is imperative to provide other "currencies" other than money.  Remember, you get what you give!
  • Protector - It's more than beating up the guy who insults your wife... it includes protecting her self-esteem and self-worth (along with your children's).  You're a team and teammates always have each others backs and surely have the teams best interest at heart at all times.
  • Teacher - What are you teaching those around you with your behavior?  It's important to provide a good example for your children, your loved ones, and the outside world with word and deed.  Set high standards and teach by doing!

If you feel bitterness toward your spouse for not being the leader, provider, protector, or teacher as described above perhaps it would benefit your family to have a conversation about expectations.  If you find that your husband is doing a great job in a particular area, make sure you are communicating that to him, too!  We all have various strengths and weaknesses and it does very well to encourage each other along the way.

To continue the conversation on a man's role in the family, I am going to try to coax Tony into contributing for next week's Marriage Monday!  If you have any ideas or requests on what topic you'd like to hear a man's perspective on, comment and let me know!  It can be anything!
Reason #3 I love my Husband: He is willing to put himself out on a limb and try something new - especially if he knows it will make me happy!  Isn't that right, babe?  :)


  1. Every time you do the Marriage Monday's I nod my head in agreement with what you say.

    You're so right and insightful on relationships, no wonder you have a great one. Matt and I have our different roles, but we for sure help each other out when we need to. If I complain I'm too tired to cook or clean up he lends a hand even after working all day and it makes me feel we have a true partnership. :)

    1. Thanks Sean! ;) Tony and I certainly don't have a great relationship all the time - but I think we have learned how to do a few things right over the years because we did them ALL wrong up front haha!

      I love the true partnership aspect. That is so crucial. I remember all my fears boiling over before having Presley - thinking I wouldn't cut it as a mom... what if I got frazzled and felt like I couldn't do it anymore? - and Tony pointed out then that's when he would step in and take over. And that I'd do the same for him. And I just remember thinking thank goodness for him, for that kind of clarity, and for having a partner at all. :) I would love to hear more about the dynamics between you and Matt - I just love hearing about other marriages and how they work. xo!

  2. I am thankful for the partnership for sure!

    1. Goodness... I couldn't agree more. I am so comfortable with alone time and I crave it from time to time that sometimes I get caught up in it and realize jeez, I really am so lucky to be someones partner. We are lucky.


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