The 50/50 Myth

January 20, 2008 | admin

The 50/50 Myth


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 gift.

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.

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