The University of Bamberg studied 181 couples who had been together for an average of eight years and found that those who were the happiest had some things in common.
Researchers found that the happiest couples “were those in which both partners reported a high sense of personal power.” What’s that mean? That the feeling of equal opportunity is important – especially when it comes to deciding on issues that are important...rather than the balance of power.
One of the co-authors of the study, Dr. Astrid Schütz, elaborates, "Maybe this feeling extends to different aspects of the relationship. Whereas the woman might want to decide on where to go on vacation, the husband chooses where to go for dinner."
The study did also acknowledge that despite gender roles changing over time, men were found to still have more positional power, such as a higher income. The “need” to make decisions was also found higher in men.
The authors wrote: "With respect to positional power, an imbalance was observed," the authors wrote. "Men reported having significantly more positional power, operationalized as educational and occupational qualification as well as higher income, than women."
Women reported more happiness with their relationship when they felt like their partner was more in charge.