Marriage Is Never 50/50
We’ve all heard someone say “Marriage is 50/50”. For years I believed this was true…until the honeymoon period wore off.
The older I get and the longer I am married the more I realize just how much we’re not prepared properly for marriage. We attended a pre-marriage weekend, read marriage books, and filled out the pre-marriage questionnaires that well, frankly, didn’t do a darn thing except we can say we did what we were told and attended these classes.
One of the things we’re told is marriage is 50/50. I know it sounds right but it’s not true. The 50/50 mindset believes you do your part and I’ll do mine. No one says it’s conditional but often that’s the attitude and expectation. What happens when the other person doesn’t show up like they said they would and doesn’t do their part? The truth is this will happen at times. Does that give us the right to not do our half? No. If we measure our relationship with each other in this way we’ll be disappointed and discouraged every time. Marriage isn’t 50/50 it’s 100/100. The truth is it’s the sweetest relationship there is and it’s the hardest sometimes. Why? Because it will require us to die to ourself and live for another when we don’t want, especially when we feel they don’t deserve it.
We take vows for better or for worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and in health and we genuinely mean them when we say them on our wedding day. Every marriage has its struggles, obstacles and weary seasons. Individually we each mess up, disappoint, and let each other down from time to time. No one is perfect. No marriage is perfect. Marriage requires us to show up giving our all even when our spouse doesn’t. Patrick and I have had seasons where one gave their all when the other gave nothing. It wasn’t easy but it was worth it every time. Your marriage and spouse are worth it too.
If you are feeling challenged or struggling in your marriage right now know you are not alone.
Five things you can start doing to improve your marriage:
1. Get support. It takes a village to live life. All marriages have challenges and I encourage everyone to get mentors and godly friends who will support, love, encourage, and speak hard truth to you when you or your spouse needs it.
2. Stay a student of yourself and your spouse. We all change as we get older. Are you letting your spouse change and grow or are you hoping they stay exactly the same as the day you started dating? Keep growing together and individually.
3. Communicate, communicate, communicate. If you don’t communicate you leave too much on the table for them to guess at. We can’t read each other’s minds. Communication is sharing. Share your heart and let them share theirs. Be present and listen as they share. You did this when you dated. You can do it.
4. Forgive. This is one of the hardest to do but this is the greatest gift you can give your spouse and yourself. (I’ll write about this more in a later blog.)
5. Laugh together. Life is hard but it doesn’t mean it has to be joyless. Laughing is good for the soul. Become friends again. Laugh! If you struggle in this area go try new things that are fun. Get out of that rut! There is life outside of kids and work.
We just got back from a long weekend away to connect together and our bill for lunch one day was $50.50. A perfect reminder for us as we reconnect. This is marriage—100/100. We chuckled as I took a picture of this receipt.
Oh and in case you’re wondering how lunch went. I 100% enjoyed it and he 100% paid the bill!