Relationships have really changed over the last few decades. In most marriages now, men and women share (ideally) the responsibilities of earning the money, handling the finances, making the decisions and raising the children.

In most progressive, liberal-minded individuals, this is the only relationship that makes sense. Everyone has equal share in the responsibilities and power. Each partner has equal share in the work, and equal opportunity in pursuing their own ambitions.

Everyone says it’s the ideal balance. However, maybe it’s not what you want. Maybe you want a traditional style relationship.

Defining Traditional Relationships

Traditional roles are generally defined as the man being the bread winner, and the woman being the homemaker. When you think about these roles, they make sense in terms of nature. Women gave birth to and nursed the children-- hence, they stayed close to home. With this being a given, men went out to gather the wood and hunt for the meat.

Traditional roles in marriages and relationships find much less support now than even a couple of decades ago.

Even though it’s simply nature, it’s borderline taboo to point that out these days-- people take great offense at the idea that nature programmed men and women differently, but this is simply the logistics of gender. Males and females had different functions, and therefore took on different roles, which were then reinforced by becoming social norms.


Traditional roles in marriages and relationships find much less support now than even a couple of decades ago. People against traditional roles in relationships often argue it’s an imbalance of power. It’s just that kind of inequality that people have been fighting against now for generations.

People argue that it puts unfair expectations on both partners. The woman loses herself to the home-- becoming nothing more than an indentured servant. The man burdens the financial pressures, which are not the same now as they had been in the past. His self-worth rides on his ability to keep providing, and in uncertain times that may not be realistic.

Further objections include that a traditional roles leave people later feeling uncertain and unfulfilled. When children grow up and leave the nest, when retirement arrives, the couple is in turmoil. The roles they once lived for no longer exist, and they missed their chance for other experiences. They’re left suspended in confusion.

In Favor of Traditional Roles

Perhaps it is a latent comfort from our early roots, but some people are still comfortable with traditional relationships. Having traditional roles in a marriage does not necessarily mean one person needs to be submissive and the other needs to be dominant; it can simply mean you’ve each determined what facets of your lives over which each of you have consented to rule. It’s not oppressive if people take a job willingly.

There’s nothing wrong with a man wanting to focus on business. Even more important, there is nothing degrading about a woman deciding that home keeping, child rearing and domestic duties are her goals. After all, Martha Stewart made an empire out of those roles. It doesn’t mean a woman doesn’t have an opportunity to earn her own money-- indeed, if the relationship is a partnership, then his earnings are just as much hers as the dinners she cooks and the laundry she washes are his.

By flying in the face of progress and wanting to resort to “old-fashioned” roles, you are probably going to face continued criticism. People may accuse men of chauvinism, women of being weak and submissive. But you can’t worry about gaining the approval of others. You have to keep in mind that ultimately it is your relationship, and you need to do what is right for you.