Marriage Enrichment

November 16, 2011

Play your Position

Have you ever waited patiently and sometimes impatiently for your wife or husband to do something that you thought they should be doing? What happens when they don’t do it or can’t do it? Are you disappointed, frustrated or a little angry? Are you asking yourself, now why can’t they do this, it’s not that hard? All of these are normal. You’re not the only one. Expectations of what you believe your husband or wife’s roles should be are natural. Your expectations could very well be based on traditions, what others have said a man or a woman should do or even what you saw your parents do. Where the issue comes in is when your spouse has proven either through words or actions that they really can’t meet that expectation, but you continue to expect it anyway. Has this ever happened to you?

What do you do in this situation? Do you continue to watch them flounder or do you begin to take over? Now what we mean by take over doesn’t look like, “I have to do everything. You just can’t get it right. You are just sorry.” What we do mean by take over is having a conversation about what roles you and your spouse currently play and really assessing what strengths you both have and then playing your position.

We suggest using the SWOT analysis for your family. SWOT stands for strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. This analysis is typically used in business for forging ahead on plans for the future of the company, but it can also be adapted for use in your marriage. Answer the questions from The Marriage Coaches Marital SWOT Analysis worksheet below and record them in the spaces below each box.


What are strengths that you and others describe as an asset?

What do you do well?

What can you do to help manage your home and move your family forward?

Weaknesses –

Is there something that you have handled in the past that hasn’t worked well?

Is there something that you and others have said you need to improve? What are some things that you’ve done repeatedly that has sparked disagreements or caused you to feel defensive?








Opportunities –

What opportunities are present that you could be capitalizing on if you let go of those areas you either don’t like to do or are your weakness?

Where can you provide the skills needed to move your family forward?


What are those things that cause a threat to the foundation of your family? What are those things that if not dealt with could harm your relationship? Could any of your weaknesses cause serious harm to your family if not improved?











 Ideally, where your strengths are your spouse may have weaknesses and this tool will help you see that and then assign duties accordingly. Of course, this will require some honest self-analysis. Yes somebody’s feelings are going to get hurt. Yes someone will invariably think they are doing a good job, however, you both need to decide truthfully and lovingly who can do the best job at particular tasks so that your family can move forward. The analysis is based on the premise that you have a plan or at least an idea of how to move your family forward. If you do not have a plan, please refer to a series of posts that were done to create a vision statement and a plan of action in part1, part2, and part 3.

Some examples of skills that should be set under the SWOT analysis are finances, planning, homework help with the kids, spiritual direction for the family, household chores and on and on. Ideally you would use this to discuss the major issues that need to be addressed first and then you can use it to help with others that may not need immediate attention at this time. Some skills may not be either of your strengths, so the one who is better at it should handle it, and you should seek outside support from someone else if needed.  Use our rules of engagement if the conversation needs conflict management, but make sure you are both honest and have the end goal of improving the ebb and flow of your marriage so that you can do away with some of the frustrations that you both have had. Use this SWOT analysis to help you discover what roles best suits you and your spouse, and discover where your strengths and gifts are. Marriage is a team sport and requires that each person play their position.



One Comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *