- Egalitarian marriages are often more intimate than traditional marriages. Most egalitarian marriages are deep and true friendships, as well as romances. Emotionally bonded spouses are likely to achieve equality in their relationships. Research conducted in Scandinavia by Thagaard (1977) showed that "close emotional ties between spouses are linked to the interpretation of the relationship in terms of equality. The perception of equality is based on the ability to influence the relationship beginning with one's values" (p. 373).
Aida and Falbo (1991) found that partners in egalitarian marriages used fewer dominant power strategies than partners in traditional marriages, perhaps because they could influence each other without using power plays. When they want to influence each other, partners in equal, independent relationships use more diverse and egalitarian influence strategies than do traditional couples (Witteman & Fitzpatrick, 1986)
Partners in traditional, unequal couples, in contrast, are more likely to use blatant power strategies such as verbal aggresson and less likely to use compliance-gaining strategies (Witteman & Fitspatrick, 1986). They are also less likely to engage in open communication.
Among couples with troubled marriages, inequality is likely to be associated with depression symptoms in the less powerful partner (Bagarozzi, 1990). Even people in troubled marriages who have an equal power structure are less likely to have severe mental or emotional problems. Halloran (1998) suggested that inequality in close relationships is a cause of both debression and low-quality marriages.
Close Encounters. Laura K. Guerrero, Peter A. Andersen, Walid A. Afifi