Women now hold a legal position that is deemed to be more equitable. As women become better educated and hold greater jobs, we may expect to see more evenly balanced relationships.
By: Natasha Morgan
People are most content when they feel that their relationship is a fair one. None of us wants to feel exploited by others; nor do we usually like to take advantage of others.
In any personal relationship people can have different preferences for their social activities, family income distribution and living accommodation, to name just a few. How we handle them, can make the difference between a harmonious relationship and a rocky one. Much depends on how much we share the same interests and goals. The wider the gap, the more effort is required to reach a compromise.
In the past, society conferred greater authority on men. Until recently, state laws gave husbands legal control over all family property and permitted husbands, as the “head of the household” to decide where the family should live.
Fortunately, this tide has turned and women now hold a legal position that is deemed to be more equitable. As women become better educated and hold greater jobs, we may expect to see more evenly balanced relationships.
However, we will always find couples whose balance of power is weighted to one side.
The partner who earns more money, has more education, has a more prestigious job is more physically attractive or socially desirable and so on has an advantage.
If on the other hand, these attributes are fairly evenly distributed, the couple live on a more even scale. Take for example the attractive police constable who marries an outgoing personable teacher. Each has a high regard for the other, and contribute evenly to the family budget. Dominance doesn’t usually appear in such equitable relationships.
Another factor that can affect equality in a personal relationship, is whether one partner has greater interest in maintaining the union. The person who is less interested, holds greater power. The more interested and dependent partner defers to the wishes of the other in order to ensure that the relationship will continue.
Regardless of the efforts to keep a relationship intact, ultimately, lopsided relationships usually prove unsatisfactory to both parties. If they begin to work toward a more balanced situation, the union stands a chance of surviving. However, resigning themselves to status quo, can lead to an unhappy result.
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