I meant to write on this New York Times piece earlier but I forgot.
Notably, same-sex relationships, whether between men or women, were far more egalitarian than heterosexual ones. In heterosexual couples, women did far more of the housework; men were more likely to have the financial responsibility; and men were more likely to initiate sex, while women were more likely to refuse it or to start a conversation about problems in the relationship. With same-sex couples, of course, none of these dichotomies were possible, and the partners tended to share the burdens far more equally.
It's this paragraph that gives me pause. I do worry about my coming role as a wife, and how that new title could affect the power structure that Groom and I have developed over the past 5 years. Right now I believe we are mostly on equal footing. I take care of all of the bills and house stuff right now, but that is because Groom is on the road for a few months for his job. I'm sure we will come to some sort of decision on how to rebalance these things when Groom moves back after his "little work project" is over, but I wonder if we will, despite both of us being brought up to be aware of gender roles, still revert to some traditional behaviors.
The findings suggest that heterosexual couples need to work harder to seek perspective. The ability to see the other person’s point of view appears to be more automatic in same-sex couples, but research shows that heterosexuals who can relate to their partner’s concerns and who are skilled at defusing arguments also have stronger relationships.
We have spent more than half of our relationship doing the long-distance thing, and because of this we have been able to develop really good communication skills. It has also made us each independent people outside of the sphere of a relationship. I would like to think that it is this mutual respect for each other's careers and our highly-tuned verbal abilities that will allow us to work these things out.
As it stands, I'm on dishes and Groom does laundry. Maybe there is hope for us yet.