Think of a good law firm. There are the partners and the employees. The employees include working attorneys, legal assistants, and administrative assistants. All of them work are expected to work hard because all of them perform different but important functions in the firm. However, only the partners make the major decisions that affect the company.
In your Five-Year Marriage™, when you are negotiating or renegotiating your contract, you need to decide if you are going to be a partner or an employee.Partners have an equal say in how the marriage works. Being a partner intrinsically has more benefits, but it also carries a greater share of the risks.
In many marriages, some people like being marriage employees. They don’t mind not being an equal partner because they don’t want the responsibility. If something goes wrong, they can blame someone else. They can maintain a childlike naivete and, for some, it’s a kind of freedom.
While the choice to be a partner or an employee is always yours, there’s a price to be paid for that…and it’s usually your SELF. On the other hand, there’s more risk when you take the partner role but also more reward, most specifically in terms of the true intimacy that can bless a marriage.
Are you a marriage employee? If you are, maybe you chose to be an employee because it was easier, or it was role your parent modeled or you accepted the employee role unwittingly.
But now you’ve grown, or stepped into your personal power, or just got older and wiser. You want to make a change.
If you have been a marriage employee, and you want to change that role, the end of a Five-Year Marriage™ is a good time to rethink what you want to do. If you stepped into the role of marriage partner but want it to be different, here are a couple questions:
- What would you have to be and do differently?
- What would your spouse have to change?
- Are you both willing to redefine your roles?
- How will you handle your new roles…especially when one of both of you unconsciously slip back into your old roles?