Marriage is not 50/50…and that’s a fact!
We’ve been asked that question by some younger couples and we always go back to same guidance given during our pre-marriage class.
This class was taught by a couple who had been married about 30 years and had several children. Very early in the course it became clear why they chose to teach the marriage class…they had a good relationship and wanted others to have the same.
As they introduced new topics, the husband usually threw out a hard piece of advice and backed it up with statements like, “Because that’s the way it is!” or “And that’s a fact!”. The wife would smile kindly and nod. Then she would turn to the class and take about 20 minutes, explaining the point of discussion with an illustration or two.
After awhile, though, this pattern became somewhat humorous…although the counsel was sound.
Then one day, the husband said, “You are going to hear that marriage is a 50/50 deal. Well, it’s not. If you treat it 50/50 then you’ll always be keeping score and worrying about yourself. If you both commit to thinking about the other’s best interest and put their desires first, then both of you will get your needs met.”
He tapped the table with his index finger as he drove his point home. “Marriage is 0/100 and 100/0. And that’s the way it is.” Then he crossed his arms and sat back.
We smiled at the emphatic nature of this declaration, but 16 years later, we acknowledge that as one of the best pieces of marriage advice we were ever given. And we share this story frequently.
Over the years, we’ve faced some tough times…as all married couples do. And what the instructor said has been absolutely true. If I’m looking out for Grant to make sure he’s getting what he needs and he’s doing the same for me, then we find we’re both taken care of. We’re no marriage experts, but we do know this piece of wisdom has helped us along life’s journey.
“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others. In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 2:3-5