I recently stumbled across this article, which I found interesting but not that surprising. Actually, I was surprised that so many men thought an egalitarian marriage was the ideal! What I was not surprised at were the fallback positions of men vs women, if an equal relationship was not possible. It looks like about 70% of men would want a woman to prioritize household duties and children over her career, but over 70% of women would rather be self-reliant than fallback into traditional roles.
Right at this moment, the Husband and I enjoy (I use this term pretty loosely) an egalitarian marriage, meaning that we share rights, decisions, and responsibilities as equally as we can.
I work. The Husband works.
We both enjoy our jobs most days and need to get out of the house consistently to feel fulfilled. The Husband works as a solutions architect and I work in a business analyst/project management role for a digital agency. We sometimes discuss technology at home (much to my chagrin) and attend happy hours and team dinners and lunches and generally enjoy the benefits that being in the corporate world brings.
I’m not going to lie, I really, really like having about four paychecks per month to play around with. We have very separate bank accounts still. We check with each other before we spend over $300 on one shopping trip, but not for small purchases. Actually, sometimes the Husband ‘forgets’ this threshold and then I react in disbelief when he shows up with new hockey skates and tells me what they cost. But I digress…
The point is, we spend our money how we want to, without having to check in with the other person unless it’s a larger-than-usual chunk of change. While we have separate accounts, the Husband pays for all household expenses (including rent) and I pay for everything ‘fun’ and discretionary.
We divide ‘relationship tasks’ in a way that makes the most sense, but not at all based on gender. For instance, I’m generally in charge of finances, and will be almost solely in charge once we consolidate account. This is because I have a small-but-existent finance background and am awesome at living frugally and saving. It just makes sense.
On any given day, we share chores pretty equally. However, I don’t take out the trash, EVER. One time I had to when the Husband went out-of-town on a work trip and left old asparagus in the trash can and I opened it to throw something else away and almost died from the smell.
I also don’t like vacuuming. He doesn’t like cleaning bathrooms. I bake. He cooks. He walks our little monster (the dog). I plan our trips and travel arrangements and am in charge of coordinating most social events to make sure we see friends and family. He does the grocery shopping. I keep the apartment organized.
When (and if!) we have children, the expectation is that we’ll both work outside of the house, but will hopefully have jobs that allow the flexibility of working some days from home. I feel confident that we’ll share parenting and other decisions, similarly to how we make decisions now.
It helps that we’re on the same page about so many ‘life’ things and that the Husband is exceptionally laid back about life. (This is quite the opposite of me, I take life far too seriously most of the time.)
So, I think we have this egalitarian thing down, at least for now – and I wouldn’t have it any other way.