Gender assigned roles may have been the norm nearly three decades ago, but rigid masculine and feminine role demarcations have receded considerably over the years. Couples rarely haggle over whose job it is to perform certain chores these days. Nevertheless, many of the case scenarios described in Marital Myths Revisited by influential psychotherapist, Dr. Arnold A. Lazarus, are still happening; however, instead of arguing over who is going to get the job done, the main complaint seems to be that requests are not carried out in good time.
“I advise couples to discuss time constraints and to accept the fact that it is just fine for items and issues to receive attention outside their own preferred time frame,” Dr. Lazarus writes, “If the interval begins to lag beyond what seems fair and fitting, the use of contingency contracts might be well considered.”
Dr. Lazarus goes on to describe a couple whose air conditioning units are inefficient and noisy. The wife wants central air conditioning installed, but the husband thinks the expense was too much. “These minor points of disagreement can wreak havoc on a marriage,” writes Dr. Lazarus, stating that “Resentments mount on both sides and can often begin to unravel a relationship.”
His advice? Couples should work in tandem to avoid power struggles, to avoid making unfair demands, and to agree to help each other promptly with tasks, chores and other household responsibilities – pleasantly, “The entire transaction gets soured when you do good deeds for your spouse begrudgingly.”
Here is a sampling of the other marital myths revisited this book by Dr. Lazarus: