Sunday, February 17, 2008

Marriage Advice - The 50/50 Myth

Love at first sight is easy to understand; it's when two people have been looking at each other for a lifetime that it becomes a miracle. ~ Amy Bloom

Okay, so Valentine's Day came and went and I was not in the least bit surprised to hear some of my married friends lament that they did not do anything romantic on that day. Well, do you see the photo above? That's the bouquet of flowers that my hubby sent over to my office on Valentine's Day! I was sooooo tickled pink with it. I felt so loved and cherished. He took me out to dinner near the bay...just the two of us. And it was sooooo lovely to note that he can still come up with romantic ideas after ten years of being married to each other.

I received this in the e-mail a couple of weeks back and I thought I should write it down here for all my friends, married or not. This sure is an eye-opener!

Would you get frustrated after a long day at work and
as you arrive home you discover a house in total chaos
with your spouse sitting down with kids reading a book?
You've worked hard all day giving 100% to provide for
your family, can't she AT LEAST give 50% and keep the
house clean!

Would your response be different if your wife was
pregnant with twins and needed to rest most of the day?

Or have you ever asked your husband in a frustrated
tone to mow the jungle in the back yard only to
discover he had gotten up early that morning and spent
5 hours helping a friend in need move? Did you
complain that he's not doing his share in the family,
or quietly pitch in to help with the lawn?


Are We A Team?

When we participate on any team, the efforts are rarely
equally divided. For example, there may be 10 people
on a soccer team, but they all need to give 100% to win
the game, not a 10% effort.

The same is true if we work as a team on a project at
work. Based upon our skills and expertise, each team
member may carry a heavier or lighter assignment.
However, to be successful in the project, we each need
to give 100%, or our best effort, to produce the best
work product.

So it would be logical to assume that in marriage
relationships we would realize that it's never 50/50
just because there are two of us.

Sure it would be nice to draw a line down the middle of
the house and say "you clean that side and I'll clean
this side."; or do half of the laundry or mow half of
the yard. However, that is a bit ridiculous to try and
manage, let alone consider.

Then why do logical couples sometimes get caught in the
trap that marriage is a 50/50 relationship?


Give Your 100%

It's critical to realize that sometimes one gives 40%
and the other 60%. Other times both give 100% and so
forth. What may be a 100% effort for me on a bad day,
would be a 30% effort on a good day. The point is to
give all we can and communicate to our spouse if it's
going to be a "lean" or "queen" day.

On "lean days", our spouse will be better able to
understand their need to pull a bit more of the load,
or to not get frustrated if some of the load isn't
carried at all.

On "queen days", our spouse will know they can count on
us to accomplish certain things with ease. The key is
communicating if it's going to be a "lean day".


The Next Level

To take it to the next level, consider the peace,
contentment and appreciation that will flow in a
marriage where we are more concerned with the needs of
our spouse than our own needs.

I'm a mother of 5 kids, so my day starts very early
making lunches, getting my teenager to an early morning
religion class, having my personal devotional and
exercise time and then get the rest of the brood up at
6:10 a.m.

My husband gave me a wonderful gift a while ago. Since
I don't work on Fridays, he decided that Friday would
be "Mom's day to sleep in."

He gets up early to do all the "Mommy Duties", and
cooks a great breakfast for the kids. (Which Mom only
cooks on standardized testing days at school) They
wake up to the smell of sausage cooking and a dad they
don't normally see much of until the evenings.

The first week the kids were absolutely shocked...their
faces were indeed a sight to behold. As this special
day continued week after week, they began to get a
knowing smile on their face as they got ready quietly
so that Mom could sleep in and get much needed rest.
They not only saw, but participated in this family

Yet, this was not just a gift for Mom, it was a
wonderful gift for our children. It spoke volumes of
the love and care that husbands and wives desire to
show to one another.


What Gift Can You Give?

Not everyone has the time, or opportunity to change
roles on a weekly basis. However, there are many
opportunities to give both small and large gifts of the
heart to our spouse.

It's especially fun if you give a gift by doing
something that your spouse would normally, or
"traditionally" perform.

Ladies, the next time the shower drain is running slow,
how about getting on your rubber gloves, removing the
drain screen and getting the goo out of the drain.
(Especially since most of the goo is trapped because of
your hair.)

Men, when one of the light bulbs above your wife's
vanity burns out, take the time to notice and replace
it for her...without being asked. Besides, she's just
trying to look more beautiful for you.

Think of the welcome surprise by the person who
normally makes the bed each morning if they came out of
the bathroom to discover that the bed was already made
for them.

If you normally leave before your spouse, wouldn't it
be a simple, yet an appreciated gift, to scrap ice off
their car windshield?

These acts, though seemingly small, are HUGE in the
relationship bank and will pay great dividends daily,
weekly and for a life time.

So don't get sucked into the myth that marriage is a
50/50 deal. It's 100% all the time, and well worth the
effort. ~ Norie Hoover


alok said...

very good post! an eye opener indeed!
plz visit n comment on my all new blog at
I am also at

stillwaters said...

Wow, sweeet hubby! Hmn, a restaurant by the bay? I was by the bay too, on Valentine's Day, at Dencio's, just across PICC. But I was not on a date, I was just taking pictures heehee.

I hope you had a great Monday. Thanks for remembering me.

Sam said...

Wow!! Its so nice to read about people with happy married lives and such love and initiation for each other.. Gives me hope for a great tommorow.. thanks.. :)

Lena said...

:) i always wonder when someone expect their partner to do the same amount of work as they do?? Who will count? Why count at all?? You are not two.. you are the one and when you want the relationship to work, you should understand once that circumstances might be different and you should respect them. You are as a part of his life as he is the part of yours. Only together you are able to give this 100%. otherwise it will just not work out :)

Loved yourr post! :)
thanks for visiting me :) :)


Hello Lisa ... I wish I read about this during my 1st yr of marriage. We thought those pre-marital counsellings should be enough. The real life answer: NAH!!! :)

I liked when they mentioned "What gifts can you give" Too often I forget about this as well .. OPS ... :)

Have a blessed week Lisa. Take care there :)

HUGS for ya!
~ annita

Impressionist said...

this made me smile!
lovely post lisa!


Anonymous said...

lovely reading this post...this can perhaps save so many relationships...I agree with your thoughts....a relationship is beyond 50-50 & both the partners has to be entirely be dedicated to each other for an everlasting beautiful relationship...wonderfully written!

Sophiagurl said...

@@@Alok - Thanks and I did drop by your blog and left a comment. I am glad you liked it and I hope to see you around some more.

@@@Stillwaters - Gee! I was at the other side near the US Embassy. =) Hope you had a great week too!

@@@Sam - well, marriage is a work in progress... and it takes a lot of work too. I am sure you'd have a good one in the future if you don't already.

@@@Lena - I agree, why count at all? =) I loved what you said, "only together you are able to give this 100%" - that is soooo right my dear! Thank you also for visiting me. Hope to see you back.

@@@Annita - Hello!!!! wow lovely to see you visit. I hope you're doing great and I hope your family is too. Haha, well it never too late to start now on the gifts. Huggggsss back to yah!

@@@Impressionist - Thanks Jeevy, it makes me happy to have made you smile. How are you these days?

@@@Kalyan - Well I am happy that this article helped. I was surprised also to see marriage in a different angle. Glad you liked it! Happy Weekend!

*~*Sameera*~* said...

Oh dear!That was so sweet of him!

God Bless the loving bond you both share.I am sure it is cause of the beautiful heart you have and being your other half,he must be the same :)

Btw,please accept these awards from me :

*Breakout Blogger Award
*The Spreader Of Love-The Love Blogs-Award
*Biggest Heart Award

Please take them from my sidebar.


Hailey's Beats and Bits said...

hayyy, how true this is. i can truly picture situations in my mind when everything here applies.

jen said...

wow!!!! this is so sweet!!!! i'm happy for couples who manage to keep the sparks after long years of marriage... you deserve it!!!! stay in-love!

Marriage Counselor said...

Pastoral marriage counselor in my premarital counseling session said that the secret of a happy marriage is a short tongue. Instead of saying the first thing that pops into your head to your spouse in a heated discussion, bite your tongue, and consider the consequences before proceeding. I have been married to the same man for 19 years, and I am lucky to have him. I know that biting my tongue helps me to weigh my words more carefully.

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