Family Perspectives


Equal partnership in marriage—or equal relational power—develops as each spouse improves their ability to influence each other in personal needs, interests, and goals. Power is an inescapable part of romantic relationships and the way power is distributed impacts many aspects of the marriage including marital quality, stability, and intimacy. Couples who struggle with unequal power can benefit from developing and practicing mutual attunement and mutual decision-making. Healthy levels of attunement allow spouses to become more connected as they show awareness and interest in what matters to their spouse. Seeking equal decision-making power for both partners can also lead to increased perceptions of equity and trust. This literature review will discuss how equal partnership in marriage increases as couples practice both mutual attunement and mutual decision-making.