Modern Day Rule: Marriage / Family Operating Model.

people sitting on green grass

I have been curious after observing how a marriage works; a bond that is made to be function by two individuals. Individuals essentially means a person with his/her own opinion, perspective and ways of doing things. How can two individuals make it work?

So I had a long time thinking and observing how two can be fully functional and at what stage a certain decision has to be made, especially when both of the partners have their own career. After years of learning, I have come to the following (very fair, pretty ethical, and practical) approach. Or what I like to call;

The Modern Day Rule of a Marriage/Family Operating Model.

This should be valid for a couple that has committed to live their lives together, be it in a long term relationship and especially for marriage.

There is one true rule which I feel should be the default way of dealing with the decision to work, or to quit.

(A Very Fair) Rule of Thumb:

For cases where one earns more than the other, the decision on whether or not the lesser income partner need to continue working or to resign should be and only be made by the individual that is to resign.

It should not be a decision made by the bread-winner of the family. This is to ensure that we keep a fair, respectful and power-balance dynamic within the two. The bread-winner however can open up the discussion to suggest that, respectfully. Example:

“My dear, recently I realized that I have made enough to cover our family expenses. So, if there is by any chance that you feel you would like to be a stay-at-home mom/dad, do know that I am supportive of any of your decision.”

In the case that the individual has chosen to resign, the bread-winner shall ensure the resigned partner is compensated on a monthly basis, a salary (of half his/her last salary, or full of his/her last salary, or an amount mutually agreed).

The reason why the bread-winner is to match or at least agree upon an amount to be paid to the resigned partner on a monthly basis is to ensure the individual is given a personal freedom.

Otherwise, the resign partner will always have to request for permission or money which will then lead to unnecessary stress. This indirectly puts control that have not been there before, or never will be (should they choose continue to work), which may lead to resentment or even stress-induced diseases such as depression.

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Now moving on. We have 2 stages in a committed relationship; otherwise called Marriage.

Stage 1: Committed, without kids

The two individuals in this marriage can choose to let both of them to pursue their career, chase after their dreams, whether or not it involves living apart (such as being a weekend partner where you need to fly over the weekend to meet the other half).

That will then need to be managed between them; of what is acceptable and what is not; of how often is the visit; how is the cost management between them. It has to be mutually agreed upfront. Compromise will need to be a strong factor to make this long distance marriage to work.

Otherwise, the Rule of Thumb can be brought forward if neither of the two is willing to live apart.

Stage 2: Committed with kids

Essentially with current era, both of the individual in the marriage very much prefer to work. It is only fair if the chores within the household is equally shared between the two.

Better yet, if the children are of capable age, get them to start helping out early to teach them the lesson on life, cooperation, and living/working as a team player.

When it comes to bringing up the children, the Rule of Thumb is especially true. This is to ensure a healthy partner and a healthy parent for the children.

Once the children has reached the age of living apart; off to college or moved on as adults, the dynamic within the couple then recycle into Stage 1 again.

Ideal case after the children has grown up into adults with their own lives is when the couple will use this time to further bond and pursue their dreams together.

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Remember, sometimes our priorities changes with time and circumstances we are in. The ultimate goal is to be happy, better yet; to spend a lifetime of happiness, together. Never let anything ruins that goal. Keep it near to your heart and mind, always.

Now that is the modern day rule of a family/marriage. It is the current era’s working operating model.

I hope it helps you to foster better perspective on working on your relationship at hand. Let me know what you think?

– IC

Infinitely Curious is now on Instagram!

Curiously thinking whether I should have a Snapchat or an Instagram account for Infinitely Curious. I have finally decided to go for the latter.

The idea behind it is to share moments which have inspired me with my life journey being constantly curious, enticing you with gastronomical posts and whispering to you my ambitious goal to do a quick routine of leg lift, butt lift for 20reps per day to keep up with my foodie-guilty pleasure which I have to battle daily.

I think that is quite a wide range spectrum of things I want to talk to you about on my Instagram. But we all know it is a quick chat, while the deep conversations will still be going on through this site, aye?

So, what are you waiting for? Follow me at:

@infinitelycuriousme

Let me know when you come by!

The Principle, Circumstances & Greater Force

I remember a principle I hold closely;

A relationship can & will work, provided both side of the party wants to make it work.

Having this engrained in me, makes “leaving” not even an option. So I remember the struggle I had for years when I was with my ex-beau. Unraveling things that I found as red flags but my principle was so strong I fought through and make exceptions until it was beyond the limit. Even then, I still ask myself multiple times; do I really want to be the bad guy here, to end it all, all that we have built for almost 7 years?

I read. I read. I think. I think. And I asked myself;

What do I really want? What do I really need? With all that I know now, would I regret it if I did not act on it? Do I want to make the change now when I am presented with a foresight, or do I want to be forced to change by circumstances?

If I don’t take care of myself, who will?

That is when I manage to trust and follow my gut to push through. At the very beginning, swallowing the idea of leaving the relationship was just way beyond terrible.

I felt like I failed. I felt like I have broken up promises to stay together. I felt like I am going to crush this person’s feelings that I could imagine how hurtful that would have felt. I felt like the evilest person on earth. I felt like I am about to ruin a person’s life; knowing I am this person’s everything.

It was hard. I know now being on the receiving end is not as bad as being the one deciding to end this (because I have been on the receiving end). I know at that point when I decided that night, I will not be able to walk on this earth without carrying that guilt deep inside me. I can only hope that slowly, the weight will get lighter. I can only hope that slowly, this person will see the genuine caring reason why I chose to leave – it was for the better for the both of us. I can only pray that this person will recover, and the both of us will be able to live well, and not look back in hope that things were to work out.

It took a lot of me, this decision. It took a lot of me because I felt that I was going against my own principle. But I take a lot of time to myself. To understand the “why”. I realized how true it is when people say;

Things happened for a reason.

Things work out for the better.

You can only connect the dots looking backward.

It took me almost 2 years to truly breakfree from my guilt. I don’t know if it would be the same for you, but it did take me 2 years with a lot of thinking, self-convincing, reflecting and writing. Within that 2 years, I have had thoughts of returning. I have had nightmares of the person only going downhill after that. But if I have the opportunity to tell myself then what I know now, is to be okay with all that thoughts and emotions; to let myself be. It is a natural thing to be feeling that way. But what you do need to know, is to always (try) see it in a positive light;

You are doing this to take care of yourself. You know all this while you tried to fix things, but it didn’t work out. You cannot keep on devaluing yourself by making exceptions for things you clearly know is not supposed to be. Know your value, and hold on to it.

Again, if you don’t take care of yourself, who will? And if you don’t take care of yourself, you are the only one to be blamed. You are responsible for your own happiness. No one else but you.

It helped me. It did. Having a short strong line to convince myself regularly helps me to pull through and remind myself why I made the decision at the first place. That was the key to the recovery. That was ultimately the catalyst to being whole and fine again.

To me, the principle is still true. I will try my very best to stick to it when the time comes for me to have another chance in relationship. But I know now, self-value is also something that should be of priority; to not make an exception for red flags. And that everything is a combination of different dimensions in play: the principle, the person, the circumstances. And that there is always a greater force at play, which is the Almighty, who knows and aligns destiny. Trust your gut, have faith, make the decision, let go and follow the flow.

I hope that with what I have experienced & shared, this will help you through it all.

Till next time, take care.

– IC