Marital Successes and Failures
My parents got married when my mom was 26 and my dad was 41. They started a family a year later. My mom and dad had very little in common, except for the fact that they were from the same country and belonged to the same religion. Other than these two, all other factors that went into the relationship were not exactly the opposite of the other but were very far apart.
My dad was much older than my mom. He was 15 years older. By that time my dad was already established in his career and he pretty much knew what he wanted in life whereas my mom was still trying to figure out was she wanted to do for the rest of her life. As my dad was older and was already established financially, he tended to take charge of the relationship and the family, which led to my mom leaving her career in order to pursue a full-time stay-at-home stint as a mother.
While earning was not a major concern for my mom but raising their children, the earlier years of the marriage did not exhibit complications. Problems arose during the latter years when my dad already had to retire from his career, which meant that no one would no longer be working to keep money coming in. Naturally, my mom who had no retirement plan in place, and who did not work for the past 25 years of her life found the situation difficult. This was when the marital inequity manifested itself. And my dad who was used to staying out in pursuit of his career, found staying at home and spending time with his wife and children peculiar. He found it peculiar to the point that he went out searching for work again, saying that he feels empty just staying at home.
Indeed it is true that adults who balance marital, parental and vocational roles are happier and more successful than those who function in only one or two of them. My parents thought best to divide the roles between the two of them to make sure that the family is well taken care of. But because of too much focus on the career, on the part of my dad, it was the only place where he found fulfillment. And because my mom focused on their children, she no longer had the chance to explore how to best who she is as a person, not just as a wife, not just as a mother.
While my parents were both mature at the time of their marriage, and while they come from the same religion, socio-economic status, nationality and religion, the problem at present of their relationship is the fact that as they endeavored to take care of the family, they did not endeavor to take care of themselves as individuals. If this had been addressed in the earlier stages of the relationship, they would not have been experiencing this at this later stage. However, it is not yet too late to make the necessary changes.