Benefits of Equal Partnership
- An equal partnership benefits marriages as a whole and benefits husbands and wives individually. Happier marriages. Equal partnership fosters closeness between husband and wife, resulting in a stronger and happier marriage. Spouses feel better about themselves and each other, which makes them more likely to share their thoughts and feelings. This greater emotional intimacy leads to greater physical intimacy, an important element of a happy marriage. Couples with an equal partnership also report more stability in their marriage, less conflict, less dependency, and less resentment. Researcher John Gottman found that husbands who accept their wives’ influence are four times less likely to divorce or have an unhappy marriage.
Benefits to men. Men benefit emotionally from equal partnership because there is greater openness and they feel better about their marriage. They also benefit from the greater physical intimacy that comes with equal partnership. Physical intimacy improves physical health and reduces stress. Men in happy marriages also are more productive at work because they are less distracted by concerns at home.
Benefits to women. The closer communication and emotional intimacy in an equal partnership greatly benefit women. Research shows that having an equal say in decision making is the most important contributor to wives’ perception of their marriages as happy and satisfying. Wives are happier when their husbands appreciate them for the work they do in the home and when their husbands are copartners in home matters. They feel better about themselves, are less angry or depressed, feel their relationship is more fair, and are more happy with their marriage.
I am still puzzled at how Gottman's research has been used by Eggerichs to support hierarchy in marriage. If this is the case, then any advice that the wife does not need equal say is deliberately teaching unhappiness in marriage. The husband needs equal say also, BTW.