“Know your role and play your position.”
I don’t know if that was advice passed on to me from someone or if I came up with it myself. Either way, for as long as I can remember it’s something that I’ve tried to apply to my relationships – romantic, platonic and familial. I think that life runs so much smoother when I know where I stand with someone and act accordingly and if I can’t act within the confines of the role they’d like me to play, then it probably means it’s time to bid that person farewell.
Todd and I had the roles and positions talk early on and were in agreement as to how things were supposed to work. And things went pretty smoothly. So when we got pregnant and made the decision to move in together, I wasn’t worried. We knew were we stood with each other and we knew what the other expected.
I didn’t anticipate how those roles and positions would change 1. once we moved in with each other and 2. once we added jobs and a child to the mix. It’s amazing to me how much expectations and boundaries can change when you go from committed boyfriend/girlfriend to live-in boyfriend/girlfriend. Things that were acceptable in one arena are no longer considered okay. Expectations that didn’t exist before, do now. We struggled (and are still struggling) with our new roles. If we didn’t like the role we suddenly found ourselves in, we refused to play our position. It led to a lot of arguments and fights and just plain stubbornness (must be the Taurus part of our parents’ genes coming out).
Over time, we realized that we didn’t have very many options, so we started accepting our new roles and learned how to play the position. There are very many ways to play the same position, but only a few ways work for each individual and each team. We’re learning the best way to play our position for what’s in the best interest of our team. And in those areas where we know our role and play our position, life is so much simpler and easier. There’s a lot less fights and we run like that well-oiled machine from early on in our relationship.
We still have a lot of kinks to work out and there will be new positions and plays added as our life together changes and additions are made to our family and other aspects of our life (social, work, etc.). But I’m confident that if we stay committed to learning what our role is in the midst of it all and playing our position, the correct one, then we can create an all-star team.
After all, you can’t spell Todd, Taija, Temi, T-Time or team without a “T.”