Whose more selfish men or women?

This is the question we are all asking ourselves thanks to the Daily Mail and l couple, Caroline and Toby.

They seem to have worked out their marriage based on what Caroline wanted which was to have kids, give up her career as a solicitor and take up hobbies such as tennis.

Toby has been able to enjoy a full career as a writer and has the freedom to work late three nights a week and leave all the childrearing to his wife.  The couple have a full life and have not given up their identity.

What makes this relationship work is that they had pre agreed their roles, they agreed that Toby would be the breadwinner and Caroline would be a full time mum.  They both get to do what makes them happy and this is the foundation of a successful relationship.

Its way to easy to get married without firming up roles only to find out too late that things are not quite how you thought it would be and then resentment builds.

We can say that men are more selfish and have that natural tendency and science has proved that women have an inbuilt alarm to care for people around them. Women can be very selfless and give up their identity to have kids and be left not even knowing who they are.  This makes of a very sad lady and a resentful marriage.

Men going to work full time and taking on the responsibility of financially supporting the family is no small feat and there will be many more personal hours and free time that is given up in order to take on this role.

There is nothing wrong with either roles, unless it is not a conscious and joint decision that is spoken about, regularly reviewed and boundaries are set in place.  For example, what are you going to spend your family income on beyond the bills, who gets to have free time and hobbies, where do you step in and look after each other making sure you both get a bit of what you need?

Toby and Caroline seem to have this balance right and are a good example of defined roles and fulfilled individuals.  I hope that the fundamental decisions this couple made early on are taken on board by young couples everywhere thinking of embarking on family and marriage.

As for selfishness, both men and women have an inbuilt ability for being driven by the ego.  This is the desire to want for the self alone and our lives work is to rise above our own needs and make a conscious choice to put others first.


Jo Barnett

Relationship Coach

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