Are you a supporter or saboteur?

Are you a supporter or saboteur?

Marital friction

Are you a supporter or saboteur?

Women’s economic empowerment and professional clout have transformed traditional gender roles in marriages. So, are male partners able to step up and provide support without feeling threatened or dethroned?

“Not always! Very often a partner may verbally say that he supports her career but often behaves like her work is in his way. He may be resentful when she has to work late or postpone a date. Bringing work home may also cause deep friction in a marriage or relationship,” says marriage counsellor Nancy John.

Metrolife talks to couples to find out how supporting they are of each other.

Sunil and Aarti Rao met as ad professionals and got married. They shared a passion for cooking and with Aarti being a professional artist and singer, decided to open a restaurant-cum-music club together. They juggle Aarti’s singing and art career, home and business successfully.

“Programming, is handled by Aarti. I step in only where the financial and other logistical support is involved. I try and support Aarti’s singing career by taking on additional responsibilities at home. This involves staying out of the way and taking care of our daughter. I also help out with her singing gigs, outdoor rehearsals and shows,” says Sunil.

“The house runs smoothly because we both chip in. Sunil takes care of our daughter when it came to rehearsals with my band or sitting up nights painting before an exhibition deadline. At the restaurant I help by taking over the things I can do well, like choosing  bands, organising gigs and interior decor. That takes a huge weight off Sunil’s shoulders and he can concentrate on things like handling staff and running the show,” adds Aarti.

Rupa and Vikram are sales and marketing  professionals working for different hotels. “In the ten years we were married, both our careers went through good times and bad. But I soon noticed that if Vikram had a bad day at work he would become resentful at home and insist that I quit my job to take care of our young son full time even though I got  promotions at work and he didn’t,” says Rupa. This constant clash led them to call it quits and move in separate directions.

Nishant and Priya have two very separate careers. He is in the wholesale business and she is a fashion brand consultant. “Nishant's involvement in my career is much deeper than mine is in his. Because my business depends on extensive generating of creative ideas, we often spend time together,” she tells, while admitting, “I'm sort of detached from Nishant's industry as I can't relate to it. On the other hand, he always gives me emotional and if necessary financial support. He never misses my events and is there to pick up some of the slack if necessary. I can also bounce ideas off him and get the best possible advice.”  

“High-achieving women should not sacrifice their own advancement to protect their marriage, as it’s usually counter-productive. It will lead to deep resentment and that can only be bad for any relationship,” opines Nancy.