This is an interesting article in the NYT about the differences between gender roles in same-sex and heterosexual relationships. Money quote:
“The findings suggest that heterosexual couples need to work harder to seek perspective. The ability to see the other person’s point of view appears to be more automatic in same-sex couples, but research shows that heterosexuals who can relate to their partner’s concerns and who are skilled at defusing arguments also have stronger relationships.”
I think this premise is hard to argue. It does seem to make sense that when a couple doesn’t contend with the differences in gender, they have less of an obstacle in relating to one another but I would also add that it’s far from “automatic” for any couple. This rings true to my own experience. I find that when I’m being a more supportive and loving husband, it’s usually because I’ve consciously avoided the inherent emotional obstacles that come standard in my man-ness.