July 31, 2012

The 50/50 Marriage Myth

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When you first announce to your friends and family that you are getting married, all smiles and pure excitement showing on your face, it is much like when you announce you are expecting your first child. Well-meaning loved ones shower you with congratulations, and then they start giving you their two cents. They offer advice on everything from how to cook for your husband to tips on how to iron his shirts. The advice I heard the most when I first got engaged and then married was that each spouse should give 50% to the relationship, and as long as you do your part you will have a strong marriage.  So many couples not only believe this advice, but practice it, only concerned with their 50% or whether or not their spouse is giving 50%.

This popular 50/50 advice is a complete myth, and I’m sad to say has led to marital struggles in many marriages. The truth of the matter is that a strong and healthy marriage requires each spouse giving 100%, 100% of themselves, 100% of their love, and 100% of their trust. Both you and your husband have days when giving even 15% is difficult. Whether it’s stresses at work, a busy schedule, or a family issue you’re trying to work out, there are things in life that keep us from giving what we should in our marriage. But the goal is to have both partners striving to give 100% so that when one of you falls short, the other is there to make up the difference.

Part of giving 100% of yourself is also realizing that this requires you to ONLY worry about you and what you are giving to your marriage. Can I guarantee that if you give your 100% that he will do the same? No. You can not control how much effort your spouse is putting into your relationship, but you can control how much you are putting into it. So only worry about what you can control – you! Know that the extra effort you are putting in will be worth it! Make sure that you are striving to meet 100% of your spouse’s needs 100% of the time. This isn’t easy, and requires some serious unselfishness. Notice I said striving, though. Unless you are superwoman, you probably aren’t going to meet 100% of his needs 100% of the time. But if we strive towards that goal, we will always be putting all we can into our marriages. We all know the greatest rewards come from those things we have to work for, and marriage is hard work. The payoff is so incredible though, that it keeps us working hard to achieve our marriage goals.

That’s why the Dating Divas are here! We want to inspire you to put forth the effort, and help you reach that 100% with creative date ideas and ways to show your husband just how much you love him. Check out Wendy’s review of The 5 Love Languages book on marriage. It’s my favorite book on marriage, and has some fantastic advice on how to give 100% to your marriage!

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Recent Comments

17 Responses to “The 50/50 Marriage Myth”

  1. Dana says:

    This is a great point. Someone (after over 50 years of marriage) once told me that the 50/50 thing just isn’t true, and that some days one spouse would have to give a little extra to pull the other spouse through whatever they’re having difficulty with. For my husband and I, we’ve found certain aspects of our marriage that, because of character differences and differences in the way we operate, that one of us recognizes we have to give a little extra. As long as we communicate and express what we need from each other, it works for us! But the 50/50 thing isn’t great advice, and you should always give your best to your spouse.

  2. Nicole says:

    I did a blog post of my own a while ago about this. You are absolutely correct. Thank you for helping people to see that you can’t do your marriage half-way…its all in or nothing!

  3. Love it!!!! So true! Thank you for challenging me;)!

  4. Tara Tara says:

    I absolutely LOVE this, Angie! Fabulous post & I completely agree with everything you said. {And that is MY favorite book as well! lol}

  5. Wendy wendy says:

    Thanks for the great post Angie! Love it!

  6. Michelle Michelle says:

    Love it! Great advice for couples who haven’t quite learned this yet and for those of us who need reminders now and again! xox <3

  7. Candy says:

    Great post Angie!

  8. Felicia says:

    Such a great post, Angie!

  9. Candice Candice says:

    Great post, Angie!

  10. Kim says:

    Yes, marriage is an “all in proposition”, and it requires 100%. As you said, we may not be able to do that all the time, but it needs to be our mindset that we give it our all. I have seen so many married couples struggle over who owes whom for what: “Well, I did this, so you need to do that.” Ugh. Great points!

  11. AJ Collins says:

    This is so true! 100% all of the time from 2 people. :) Thanks for the good reminder!

  12. Rhiannon says:

    I used to believe that a marriage was 50/50. So I gave 50% and felt taken advantage of and resentful that my husband wasn’t giving his 50%. He may or may not have been, I’m not sure, but I felt like he wasn’t. Our relationship was filled with bitter resentment. That was years ago and I’m so happy that I learned that my relationship is 100% my responsibility. I can only control what I put into the relationship and I can only control the way that I feel. If I know that the relationship is 100% my responsibility, I take action to create a better relationship. It works so much better that way. Thank you for the great post.

  13. You are so right, Angie! 100/100 is the only way to get out of your relationship everything you desire (and vice versa).

  14. Alyssa says:

    Thanks so much for this post! It is right on. So many people have that skewed idea of 50/50, but that leaves you wide open to manipulation and selfishness.

  15. Kay says:

    Boy, I’ve actually never heard this one. But it kind of reminds me of the unspoken belief that your spouse should always make you happy and that it’s okay to split when they fail at that. Love the reminder that you can only control how much you put into it.

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