My husband and I have been married for 1.5 years. We have differing perspectives on the topic of ''roles". I feel that we should be equals, but he feels that it is pre-ordained (christian) that men and women have different roles. We both work, care for the kids, cook, clean, etc. He comments when we have disagreements, about any of these things, that he is "the man of the house", but that his role is not being respected as such.
I don't feel that he treats me as an inferior, but I can be a bit of a feminist and those comments and opinions trouble me. When I ask him what it means to be the man of the house, he says it is ultimately his responsibility to protect, provide, and care for everyone. That's great, but we are sharing those responsibilities. Where does that leave me and what am I supposed to derive from these comments? When I question further about role responsibilities, he makes references to the bible, God, and thousands of years of evolution, but nothing more specific.
To complicate matters, I have 3 daughters from a previous marriage, and they do not want to accept his authority. This is what we argue about. I think his expectations are too high over things that I see as not large issues, and he takes the things that they do personnally, as disrespectful to him. The arguments start when the only things he says about them are negative comments about their behavior. He seems to find something wrong that the kids have done morning and when he comes home at night. They leave the lights on, crumbs on the counter, or forget to water the dog. I will give him this: there are times he tells them to do things and I think they intentionally ignore or put them off. I have been addressing these things as he tells me about them, but after I address them with the kids, he complains that I am not stepping it up enough because their behavior isn't changing.
I find myself spending so much time unhappy with how things are and everyone is constantly unhappy at home. I sit in the middle of it all and everyone looks to me for solutions. I get depressed over this situation as I can't seem to resolve it. I have taken the kids to group counseling and it was helpful but not enough. He and I had been to a couple counseling sessions, too, but he is so firm in his convictions about how things should be that I don't see much more coming out of that.
"O tiger's heart wrapped in a woman's hide!" ~William Shakespeare