It sounds like your families have very similar generational patterns of power distribution in their respective marriages. This in itself is pretty interesting. I also find it interesting that the gender power balance shifted so dramatically between your grandparents’ generation and your parents’ generation. I guess this gives the two of you a lot of options.  Every pattern has its advantages and disadvantages. The same power distribution might work well and be very satisfying for one couple and not work well at all for another couple.  The form of the power arrangement is not as important as whether it meets both people’s needs and desires.

I would encourage the two of you to talk openly about how those arrangements have worked for your individual families.  My guess is that there is a mixture of positive and negative aspects to each arrangement. More important, talk openly about how you each feel about these different patterns. You might find that your feelings are very similar, or that one pattern feels better to one of you and a different pattern feels better to the other.

More common these days is the option of equitable power sharing in female-male relationships. This can look many different ways. It doesn’t necessarily mean that both people participate equally in every household duty, but rather that both participate in the responsibilities associated with their home, finances, and other aspects of living together. The assignment of duties is distributed by mutual agreement according to the interests, skills and varying levels of desire (or aversion!) each partner has to doing a given job.  Jobs are not necessarily distributed along traditional gender lines. Usually in such relationships big decisions, like the decision to move or the decision for one partner to go back to school for an advanced degree, are made jointly with honest input and negotiation by both partners.

Regardless of what the two of you decide, there is one thing I would strongly encourage you to do: tell your parents and grandparents that this is your decision as a couple and that their well-meaning advice is appreciated but not needed. Best wishes in joining your households and your lives!