Sunday, 10 May 2015

Shared Load Marriages

Have you heard of 'Shared Earning, Shared Parenting Marriages'? Yes? Good.

Now, have you heard of 'Shared Load Marriages'? No? 

Guess what .. right at the outset, before I started penning (well, typing at the speed of thought) this post, I searched for 'Shared Load Marriages'.

As I expected it to be, I did not find the exact phrase 'shared load marriages' but found some Google search results that were very similar to 'shared earning, shared parenting marriages'.  

What I am seeking to illustrate is, even as difficult as 'shared earning' or 'shared parenting' has been to evolve unto, 'shared load' is still not even a practical occurrence enough for it to be coined as a phrase! 

Now, by definition, Shared Earning, Shared Parenting Marriages are, indeed, shared load marriages.  Then, why the heck am I nitpicking about the phrase, you ask?

Well, well .. here goes .. why are these marriages not just called 'shared marriages' [its an altogether different point that, all marriages, by definition, ought to be sharing!] and instead elaborately christened 'shared earning, shared parenting' marriages? 

My take is, its probably because those components - earning, parenting - are such vital attributes to be shared.  Therefore, I am recommending that we now go ahead & coin these as 'shared earning, shared parenting, shared load' marriages.  As a starting point, to recognize that sharing of household chores is as much a serious attribute as earning & parenting - to share. 

Advantages of 'Shared Load' Marriages:

Image Credit: Tamara Shopsin via NYT

Shared Friendship:

Well, never married myself, yet, I still strongly believe lasting friendship is absolutely pivotal to marital companionship.  And, what do best friends do? Of course, they share!

Nourished Relationship:

I think (again from observation), any relationship is like a weighing scale. Broadly, the two sides need to be balanced.  The relationship strains when either party feels burdened (or deprived) more than their fair share - its important to note though, not all shared load marriages need to cut it fine 50-50 across every shareable component.  For example, both husband and wife don't need to do laundry of 50 percent of the clothes to be washed. One of them could be doing it three days a week. So, by sharing, we mean a fair share, in spirit. A workable split that leaves either partner equally engaged and responsible.

Shared load marriages, I think promote balance and therefore are better nourished relationships.  Well nourished relationships, needless to say, are healthier & last longer.

Well adjusted Child(ren):

Now, this could be the clincher.  In today's highly challenged parenting times, how do we bring up children to mutually respect each other (as genders), to understand and appreciate the other gender's strengths, challenges & contributions?

For example, for women in India, the current challenge is not only to protect thyself & thy daughters from crime, but more importantly, to bring up their sons in a manner that they won't propagate further crime against women. 

This is where I think shared load marriages can play a very big role - children (son or daughter) who watch their parents share the marriage are most likely to develop into well adjusted adults, naturally taking forward the legacy.

Convinced? Its time to #ShareTheLoad.  At home. 

I am writing for the #ShareTheLoad activity at in association with Ariel.

Cheers :)