7. The Equality Myth (and other myths about sameness)
Myth: Equality should be the prime goal of your relationship or your marriage.
Truth: Striving for equality breeds comparing and criticism and it may produce more competition than compatibility. It is better to work for a marriage of synergistic oneness that breeds cooperation and compensates for one another’s weaknesses.
Sub-myth 1: You have to be the same to be equal.
Truth: The best kind of equality is oneness, and it thrives on different but equally important roles.
Sub-myth 2: The key to a good marriage is for both partners to go 50 percent and meet in the middle.
Truth: You may have to go 90 percent to meet your spouse’s 10 percent sometimes, and your partner may have to go 90 percent to meet you other times.
Sub-myth 3: Feminism is about eliminating all differences between men and women.
Truth: Feminism is about women and men being different but equal.
We give equality a lot of lip service and praise, but when applied to marriage, the concept has problems. Insisting on equality can be like trying to make every game end in a tie. If we are constantly worrying about equality then somebody is always a little ahead or a little behind and we have to keep compensating and adjusting. There is an element of competition in equality, and a certain amount of comparing and judging.
Maybe the best marriages are not about equality. Maybe they are about oneness.
In our definition, oneness brings two halves together in a merger that allows for synergy, for specialization, for different abilities and skills, and for mutual appreciation rather than mutual competition.
For more about this myth and the truths we should replace it with: