What is equality in a marriage?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
What is equality in a marriage?
67
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 9:57am
This has been discussed in another thread.

Is equality in a marriage based on the money each partner brings in?

Is equality in a marriage based on the division of household tasks?

Is equality in a marriage based on who controls the checkbook?

Do you worry about equality in your marriage?

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 10:10am
Here is my answer: I don't really worry about equality in my marriage. We are dependent on each other and money is just a small factor of that dependency.

I have never really worried about who makes more money because that it is one small part of our whole life together. We have gradually become a team in the five years of marriage and there is no one partner that is dominant. It is truly a partnership.

I have put my career second to him for right now. I can not work full-time and take care of the children and of him. I worked full-time when he was undergoing chemo and radiation and I was nursing a newborn. I was exhaused and suffered migraines constantly. Does that make him more equal? No, I just realized my limitations. He carries our insurance and he works full-time. I depend on him for that. He depends on the income I bring in and he depends on me to deal with insurance, medications and doctors. We just have different tasks. We both care for the children.

Of course, my situation is quite different.

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

Avatar for cindytree
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 10:37am
Is equality in a marriage based on the money each partner brings in? (Not in mine.)

Is equality in a marriage based on the division of household tasks? ((Not in mine.)

Is equality in a marriage based on who controls the checkbook? (It could be if the person is a dictator with it. In our home, we have one income and we each have our own checking account at different banks. I get part of hubby's paycheck and am responsible to pay certain bills out of it. He pays other bills. I also get discretionary income out of his check that I don't have to account for to him. He gets part of his check to spend as he wishes as well. It's all within our budget.)

Do you worry about equality in your marriage? (Not at all. Our marriage is based on mutual goals and trust, not keeping tabs as to who does what and how much.)

Cindy

Avatar for mjdphd
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 10:38am
Truthfully, I don't think that anything can be exactly equal. Someone is always going to make more money, one person is always going to do more housework or child care, one person may be more giving, etc. What is more important is whether each party feels that the power balance is the same. Namely, that one person doesn't get to make all of the decisions all of the time just because they do more of a particular thing. Equality will also be different in every marriage due to the dynamics of the relationship and the difference in personalities. A marriage will only be unequal if the partners feel that it is unequal or conversely, it will only be equal if both partners feel it is equal.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 11:08am
Well, after reading on and on and on and on (it is getting a little confusing in that thread) in the thread you mention, I have come to think a few things. One, I think that the two "sides" are talking about two different types of equality. One side is talking about having the same rights and priviledges, being an "equal" partner in the marriage. The other side is talking about being "equal" in contributions. At least, that is what I think from what I've read, and I'll admit I'm about 250 messages behind in that thread, and am pretty sure I've decided to just ignore it from here on out b/c it is too long at this point.

Referencing the side who is talking about being "equal" in contributions, I really think it depends on a lot of things. First is the issue of what makes you equal. Do you split EVERYTHING evenly? Another words the two partners do half of everything in the family/household? Half of the wage earning, half of the housework, half of the childcare, half of the cooking, etc etc. Or, is it okay for one partner to do 100% of something and 30% or something else and 70% of something else and 0% of something else, and it still come out equal with their partner? Even though they aren't doing exactly the same amount of the exact same things. Or does it depend on how much "weight" you give to one responsibility or another? Maybe one person gives more "weight" to wage earning, while another gives more "weight" to providing childcare to keep from using daycare. Most of this is just opinion, and all that really matters is that whatever your belief, you find a spouse who has similar ones.

And in the grand scheme of things...does it really matter if you are "equally" participating? Very few things in life are truly "equal" all the time. Sometimes one person may give more, and sometimes the other person may give more. As long as it is give and take, and everyone is happy, who the heck cares?

As far as the other kind of equality (same rights and priviledges), I would hope that ANY spouse would have the same rights and priviledges as the other, regardless of work status and/or household contributions.


Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 11:18am
Law school is calling you. You think and articulate beautifully. Then again, maybe you should teach - isn't a teacher more valuable to society than a lawyer, after all ?

I think you are exactly correct.

I'm so sorry about your home situation. I don't know what to say.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 11:27am
You are so sweet! I really missed your input while you were away. Where were you anyway? Did I read correctly that you were on vacation? BTW...I think I'll e-mail you in a bit.

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 11:36am
Nope, business, on the West Coast. I'll look forward to your mail.

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iVillage Member
Registered: 12-12-2002
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 11:47am
you have mail

Okmrsmommy-36, CPmom to DD-16 and DS-14

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 11:56am


>>Is equality in a marriage based on the money each partner brings in?

no. Unless the money is being used in a controlling manner (i.e. one partner must ask the other partner for money)

>>Is equality in a marriage based on the division of household tasks?

no. Household tasks are trivial, not worth getting worried about.

>>Is equality in a marriage based on who controls the checkbook?

no. However, the use of the word "control" in this sentence would make me think there are some equality issues.

>>Do you worry about equality in your marriage?

no, never.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Wed, 06-18-2003 - 12:07pm
Well, there are some issues with the checkbook. When I first met DH, he was horrible with money-bounced checks constantly. I always did our finances but he had equal access. When he was going through chemo and radiation, I did not invovle him and wrote all the checks. I am still trying to readjust and let him in again. It has been really hard.

I also get aggravated with him because we will sit and budget. Two days later, he will call and say I need to get goggles for my triathlon or new shoes for my marathon. Its not budgeted and he did not tell me. It throws everything off. I am getting mad just thinking about it. It is just so much easier to do it myself.

Sharing of the checkbook has been an issue lately. I am going to try to sit with him Friday and budget. I am going to try to ask pertinent questions: Do you have any medication to pick up? Do you need any thing for the sports acitivites? Do you have any doctors appts? I hope it works.

Kristi

"I do not want to be a princess! I want to be myself"

Mallory (age 3)

      &nbs

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