This episode discusses context within marriage. We talk about our family background, which includes parents and siblings, rules and chores, and traditions. 

016: The Timbre of Marriage—Context, Part 01

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Truly Equal is a marriage podcast created by Kyle and Christi Playford. Our goal is to talk about marriage from a fresh perspective. We tell stories about our lives, talk about how marriage is like a love song, and give practical solutions to the problems we've encountered.

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Context in Marriage

When two people get married, they bring many different aspects of themselves into the marriage. These differences are sometimes termed your "background", "how you were brought up",  or the "nurture" in "nature vs. nurture." For our series on marriage, we decided to use the term context, which according to Google means "the circumstances that form the setting for an event, statement, or idea, and in terms of which it can be fully understood and assessed." We believe that one of the best ways to figure out why you do something or believe something is true is to look at the context of your life.  This is one of the keys to understanding your spouse and yourself. This episode will cover three different aspects of context: family, religion, and culture. 


Family is the most immediate form of context that we discuss. Most people form their ideas of how a family works (and sometimes doesn't work) from their relationships with parents and siblings. For Christi, she had a close relationship with her parents and brothers. She was homeschooled, and her house was small so there wasn't a lot of personal space. I was also homeschooled, but I ended up going to public school for high school, and we moved into a larger house around the same time.  This created distance between my siblings and also my family in general. We both had one bathroom for most of our childhood, which created some unpleasant scenarios (but we looked back on them fondly, which I find interesting). 

Within the family, there are usually some rules and chores that are designated to each family member. For example, I emptied the dishwasher most mornings. My brothers and I also had to keep our room clean, and if we did our chores we could all do something fun at the end of the day. Christi's Saturdays were much more relaxed than mine. She also traded dish washing responsibilities with her brothers, since they didn't have a dishwasher.  Chores can get tricky in a marriage if one person is used to not doing something and then suddenly must do it. 

Traditions are an important part of the family context. These can be vacations, holiday traditions, or even birthdays. Christi's family went on vacation every year up to the North Shore, while my family got ice cream at a local place near my home. For holidays, Christi's family listened to Swedish music, while my family visited relatives in the area. Birthdays were somewhat similar for both of us. 



Question: How has your family context impacted your marriage? 


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