Sandberg dedicated the book to her parents and to Goldberg -- thanking him for "making everything possible." But the egalitarianism of their marriage is not the norm for most Americans, where women are often pulling more weight around the home than men.
In her book, Sandberg urged women to look for someone who puts a priority on sharing responsibilities: "When it comes time to settle down, find someone who wants an equal partner. Someone who thinks women should be smart, opinionated, and ambitious. Someone who values fairness, and expects or, even better, wants to do his share in the home."
Sandberg seems to have learned this the hard way: Her first marriage was to a man she met within a year of graduating college. She divorced him at age 25 -- something that left her feeling like a "massive personal and public failure," she wrote at the time.
But finding a man who embraces equality on the home front may be easier said than done. A recent survey, published by Maria Shriver's A Woman's Nation, found that 30 percent of men in the United States thought women taking on greater responsibility outside the home had a "negative effect on the confidence of American men."
And while women's share of housework has been on the decline, women are still doing the bulk of domestic duties.
Just 65 percent of men spent some time doing household activities such as housework, cooking, lawn care, or financial and other household management on an average day, compared to 83 percent of women, according the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics time use survey.
Break that into specific duties and the data paints an even more imbalanced picture: Just 19 percent of men did housework--such as cleaning or doing laundry--compared to 49 percent of women on an average day. In the kitchen, 42 percent of men did food prep or cleanup, compared to 68 percent of women.
What's more, women are also committing more time to household work: "On the days they did household activities, women spent an average of 2.6 hours on such activities, while men spent 2.1 hours," according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
This imbalance isn't fully offset by the amount of time men are spending at their jobs. Women are committing more minutes per day at paid jobs and unpaid work -- such as childcare and household chores, according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.
Things might not look too dramatic based on this chart: It's only an extra 21 minutes of paid and unpaid work per day. But it adds up. Over a week, that amounts to women putting in an extra two and a half hours of work, while over a year that totals nearly 130 hours. Meanwhile, men are spending nearly 280 more hours a year on leisure activities than women.
The imbalance at home is bad for marriages: According to a 2007 Pew Research report, the sharing of household chores was among the top three high-ranking issues associated with a successful marriage -- below only faithfulness and a satisfying sexual relationship. Perhaps unsurprisingly, academic research shows that more balanced housework divisions are tied to women feeling less depressed and more satisfied in their marriages.
And it seems that these domestic imbalances can also hurt women in the workplace -- especially in the fight to get to the top. “Many of the women C.E.O.’s said they could not have succeeded without the support of their husbands, helping with the children, the household chores, and showing a willingness to move,” Richard Zweigenhaft, a professor of psychology at Guilford College in North Carolina and the co-author of a book about women and minority chief executives, told the New York Times in 2011.
Sandberg was frank that her marriage wasn't always equal in her book. When their first child was still an infant, Goldberg was commuting to work in the Los Angeles area while she and her son stayed in the San Francisco Bay area.
"Since I was with the baby full-time, the great majority of child care fell to me," she wrote. "The division of labor felt uneven and strained our marriage[...] After a few short months of parenthood, we had already fallen into traditional, lopsided gender roles."
Even at the time the book was written, Sandberg said she was "sometimes bothered" by the way their domestic duties lined up with traditional roles. ("Dave pays bills, handles our finances, provides tech support. I scheduled the kid's activities, make sure there is food in the fridge, plan birthday parties," she wrote.) And Goldberg said at one event last year that Sandberg did more like 60 percent of the domestic duties compared to his 40 percent.
But Sandberg also explained that equality between a wife and husband didn't mean an exact split at all times, but rather a "pendulum" that swung back and forth between them. And it's worth noting that Goldberg and Sandberg were obviously in a much different economic position than most American couples -- they could afford the nannies and housekeepers that made it easier to divide up domestic responsibilities and still have high-powered careers.
While such details matter, Sandberg's book helped promote the broader concept of equality in the home as a key component for women's success in the workplace. "True partnership in our homes does more than just benefit couples today; it also sets the stage for the next generation," she wrote. "The sooner we break the cycle, the faster we will reach greater equality."