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The 10-Minute Role Clarity Playbook for Optimizing Modern Relationships

We're shifting our format for this week's 80/80 Newsletter.

We want to start with the exciting news of our recent segment on the TV news show The Los Angeles Times Today

The subject?

We talk about the gender gap in marriage and how clarifying roles can help mitigate inequality. To watch, click here.


The 10-Minute Role Clarity Playbook

And now for a practice that relates directly to the subject of roles. It's a practice we recommend all couples do at some point and, ideally, every year or so.

Why might you want to do this?

Well, role confusion is the perfect recipe for constant conflict and crippling inequalities in marriage. And it turns out that, when it comes to roles, most couples just "wing it." They let gender norms from the 1950s and random historical accident determine who does what, an unconscious system perfectly designed for resentment.

How can you shift to role clarity?


Step 1: Write out your current roles.

Take out two sheets of paper (one for each of you) and spend a few minutes writing out your current roles. Some common examples include: cleaning, laundry, cooking, yard work, vacation planning, social planning, taking out the trash, doing finances, kid logistics, etc.


Step 2: Evaluate your current structure of roles.

Take a moment to reflect on what's working and what's not. And remember to do this from a place of radical generosity and curiosity. The goal isn't to make this fair but to create a clearer, more intentional, structure of roles that helps you win together.


Step 3: Create a new structure of roles.

Now for the big moment. Take out two fresh sheets of paper and write out a new structure of roles. As you do, consider the following questions:

  • What am I good at?
  • What do I enjoy doing?
  • Where are my standards higher than my partner (a good indicator that you should take this role)?
  • What roles could we outsource?

If you want to dig deeper, be sure to check out Chapter 9 -- the Roles Chapter -- of The 80/80 Marriage.

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