Everyone has a role in their romantic relationship. Men and women have traditional roles that culture and society has places on them. You play a role and your partner plays a role and your roles work together to set the tone in your relationship. You roles determine how you handle stress and conflict as well as harmonious situations as a couple. Intercultural and interracial couples might find that their traditional relationship roles are influenced by their cultural background.
Traditional gender roles have a large influence on your role in a relationship. The gender role in a traditional sense refers to attitudes and behaviors considered to be the norm for a specific gender and are often expected. For instance in early mainstream traditional America the female was expected to raise the children while the male worked outside of the home. In modern America gender roles have become more egalitarian where couples divide labor and finances equally, and in some cases the roles have reversed. However, Erickson (2005) elicits that gender roles with respect to the division of labor in marriage continue to remain rooted as a foundation for couples’ relationship ideals.
While traditional roles factor into your relationship culture can be a significant influence as well. For example if you grew up in an middle or upper middle class Caucasian family you may be more inclined to adhere to the traditional roles, but according to Piotrkowski & Hughes (1993) African American families tend to feel more obligation to split the division of labor. At the same time Hispanic gender roles differ slightly from both cultural groups mentioned above. Traditional Hispanic role expectations define the male as being dominant and the female as being submissive (Rafaelli & Ontai 2004). The man is expected to provide and sacrifice for family.
Combining your cultural ideals about your role can be difficult when you are in a relationship with someone from a different background. For instance, if an African American woman is in a relationship with a Hispanic man their ideas about the roles that they play could be different. Communication and compromise are the premise of a healthy successful relationship. If you live in the Austin area and are looking for a place to go to help strengthen your relationship and learn more about having a happy healthy marriage, Marriage Counselor Austin is a place that offers classes and workshops for couples and singles looking for conflict resolution or just proactive relationship and life maintenance. David Cantu offers a safe place for people to explore their lives and their relationships.