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It’s been a tumultuous weekend, to say the least. One of my kids is angry at me, my BF and I had a huge fight and when I went to go cry it all out at my mother’s grave, I discovered that the rocks and other things I’d left on her tombstone were gone — removed, no doubt by the sibling who’s been bullying me.

So, I had a lot more to cry about than I originally intended; good thing I brought an extra tissue.

But then I had a great two-hour rehearsal with two of my old bandmates — until my voice, which I’d lost two weeks ago thanks to a super-hot piece of vegan sausage (don’t ask!) that fried my mucous membranes, gave out on me. But I hadn’t seen then in a while and when I told them about the crappy mood I was in and why, they commiserated. They have both been in long-time relationships, and the basic agreement was this — relationships are hard.

I was somewhat surprised — both are lesbians and I was under the admittedly naive impression that same-sex couples might have a better deal of it. Women understand women and men understand men, so it would seem that that alone would lessen if not totally get rid of the whole Mars-Venus mishegas.

Well, maybe not. Because despite all the lovely intimacy that can come with it, living together for years — man and man, woman and woman or man and woman — is not easy! There, I said it. Are you arguing?  

But they do indeed have one thing on the ball that we heteros do not — equality. We different-sex types often say we want an equal partnership (which doesn’t sound all that sexy or romantic), but we don’t act that way and as the saying goes, actions speak louder than words.

As my HuffPo piece today,”Why marriage isn’t an equal partnership,” illuminates, we still are stuck in the “Mad Men” era when men are the providers and women deal with the poopy diapers and dust bunnies, even if she’s CEO of a start-up. So why do gays and lesbians do it better, because “equal partnership” obviously isn’t an inherited trait. Blame marriage laws, because they encourage specialization.

Deborah A. Widiss, the associate law professor at Indiana University’s Maurer School of Law I interviewed and whose paper is the basis of my article, says it just could be that when more same-sex couples are able to marry, they, too, might decide to specialize — and there goes our hoped-for equality model.

So, as Wildess says, maybe we should stop idealizing marriage as something that’s equal and realize it’s more efficient to specialize. Either that, or change our marriage laws.

(Speaking of marriage, Susan Pease Gadoua and I worked on The New I Do this weekend and she got quoted by Elizabeth Bernstein in the Wall Street Journal; check out her new Changing Marriage website, and the link to the not-quite-ready-for-primetime The New I Do page. It’s been beautifully redesigned by our good friend and amazing graphic artist Belinda of Studio B. All of which means, things are moving along …)

  • Is your marriage an equal partnership?
  • Do you prefer to specialize?


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