Women may not have parity in the workplace, but they rule the roost at home. According to a study from the Pew Research Center, women make the decisions around the house, and the men don't seem to mind. Of 1,260 individuals surveyed this summer, either married or living together, women have more decision-making power at home.

In 43% of couples, women made more decisions, almost twice as many as men, in the four areas Pew surveyed: planning weekend activities, household finances, major home purchases, and TV watching. The survey also found 43% of men don't have the final say in any of those decisions; they either share decision-making or defer to their partners.

This certainly was not true 40 years ago when I was a little girl. The man was supposed to be the head of the household, making all important decisions. In many families, the woman stayed home while the man brought home the bacon. Perhaps because the man made the money, he often controlled the finances as well. However, my mom disagrees that it was really ever that way. "The difference is back in those days, we let the man THINK he was making the decisions," she says. "In reality, we were really guiding every choice."

But one thing is clear, the woman is the emotional manager in most families. They book the social events, coordinate the family calendar, plan the Holidays, and send the birthday cards. They are the first one to spot if there is a problem and tend to be much more intuitive with the kids. They simply have more of a sense of what is going on. Sometimes we just make it so easy for men to sit back and let us take care of everything.

My mother puts it this way, "As you get older, men just want you for two things: a nurse and a purse."

Barbara Bartlein is the People Pro. For more tips to help you in your relationships, please visit: Relationship Tips. For Barb's FREE e-mail newsletter, please sign up at The People Pro.


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