Power disparities discourage intimacy, which is based on honesty, sharing and mutual respect. For most therefore, attainment of the ideal of equality in marriage would seem to support the development of intimacy in marital relationships.
Yet the pluralistic society, and so we may expect to find varied visions of the future of marital power. Whether they reflect an egalitarian ideal or not, they generally take into account an egalitarian norm of marital power. We first sketch out this diversity, then look at some of the specific marriage models envisioned by scholars as they ponder the direction of change.
The Road to the future
One way to bring varied visions of the future together is to imagine couples driving along an interstate highway that leads to gender equality. Some couples are committed to getting there fast, and they take the express lane directly to shred and equal roles and power.
Most of the couples remain on the main interstate and are not completely sure if they want to travel all the way to the end. They keep consulting their maps to see if there is a stopping point, they would like better, a mix of equality and gender identity.
A few couples exit the interstate, looking for a setting. Perhaps a small town, where they can reproduce the more differentiated gender roles of the mid twentieth century, though with some respect for equality in the relationship.
Some couples pull into a rest stop to continue the quarrel that has sprung up she prefers a greater degree of sharing of power and household work than he does. After some negotiation, they reach at least a temporary compromise and continue on their way.
Finally, some couples have a complete breakdown and are waiting along the road for assistance, to return home and then move into separate lives.
If you are fighting with your spouse or if she is fighting with you, you are not alone. Speak up openly and try to sort out your difference or consult the elders & take advice. Sometimes holding on is beautiful!