Many people when looking at the Female Led Marriage lifestyle consider it to be very one sided. The wife gets all the benefit and the husband gets nothing. For those of us actually in FLMs we know different. A FLM is really just a different way of differentiating work.
Think about it this way; in a typical egalitarian marriage there are a set of tasks that need to be completed in the home. Both individuals in the marriage theoretically divide the work equally between them and they each do their chores. Sex is viewed the same way, both should give equally and receive equally. I can tell you that in reality THIS NEVER HAPPENS!!! There are a lot of very practical reasons why. People's schedules vary, their mood varies, their energy levels vary. People go through busy seasons at work. One may work more hours than the other. Then children come, and everything gets thrown into a tailspin. Inevitably the division of work either ends up unequal, or the perception of the division of work by one of the individuals in the marriage is that the work is divided unequally. Psychologists refer to this as cognitive dissonance. It's the mental tension that exists when a person senses a difference between their expectations and their reality. This tension often spills over into the physical life affecting the whole marriage.
The reality is that an egalitarian marriage is largely an ideal that can never be achieved. The cognitive dissonance felt by a great many in their marriages is the cause of a great deal of unhappiness particularly among women in married relationships.
Now think of a factory for a moment. What if every morning all of the employees showed up to work at the same time in the same room. All of the executives, engineers, accountants, secretaries, line workers, and cleaning people all on the floor of the factory. Now the CEO steps forward and says, OK people I want everyone to put in a good days work. Make sure that you all do the same amount of work. Now everyone goes to work but no one has a role, so the accountants are working on the line for one hour while the cleaning people are trying to work the CAD program on the computer. The secretaries are preparing financial statements, and the accountants are placing want adds in the newspaper. After one hour they all rotate jobs and for the next hour they have a new role.
You can see from this silly example that trying to run an egalitarian workplace is really impossible. If this fictitious company actually tried this, it would end in disaster. So why do we try to hold our marriages to a standard that they could never possibly meet?
The CEO of a company has a role, and ultimately one of their primary roles is to make decisions. The decisions they make will determine whether or not the organization has success or failure. No one looks at the CEO and says, I don't think you did your fair share of the work today, even if its true! The reason is because you cannot measure a CEOs work in the same way you measure the output of a line worker in a factory. If a front line worker makes 1000 widgets today the company might make $10,000. But if the CEO conceptualizes a new product that catches on, one decision, the company could make millions of dollars. Both roles are critically important, both roles are necessarily different.
We need to stop making our husbands and wives into equals trying to split hairs all day and keeping score of who's doing more or less. In my home, my FEO, makes the decisions, I work the line. Its that simple. Could I be the FEO? Well, I was for many years, and it didn't go so well. But since Ellie took over the FEO role, our home runs more smoothly than it ever has before. It's easy for us to see that this is a better path for us.