Are You a Marriage Partner or Employee?

Team of rock climbers.What do you want to be in your marriage – the partner or the employee? Don’t see how either one relates to your marriage?

Relationship Perspective; Employees Vs. Partners

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.

You Choose Your Role in Marriage

In the 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.

Don’t like Making Decisions? You’re Probably the Employee

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.

Employees Risk Losing their sense of SELF

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.

Did you Choose Your Role or Was It Assigned?

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.

Reclaiming Your Personal Power

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:

  1. What would you have to be and do differently?
  2. What would your spouse have to change?
  3. Are you both willing to redefine your roles?
  4. How will you handle your new roles…especially when one of both of you unconsciously slip back into your old roles?

Transition to a Five-Year Marriage®

Want to learn more about transitioning from a traditional marriage to a Five-Year Marriage®? Here are your next steps:

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What is the Five-Year Marriage®?

Created by Annmarie Kelly, the Five-Year Marriage® is a concept of restructuring marriage agreements every five years to take into consideration external and internal changes happening to each person in the relationship. This periodic assessment of each person’s happiness, fulfillment, obligations and goals creates a safe space for each person to grow and change, together. The result is a relationship that grows stronger and more intimate over time. This collection of articles is a dep dive into the  different concepts proposed in the book, The Five-Year Marriage® and deserve a space for additional exploration and discussion.

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