Mar 21, 2012

50/50 Marriage

Have you heard of the myth of the 50/50 marriage? It's when people strive to divide the responsibilities of a marriage right down the line 50/50. It's sounds good doesn't it? I have my responsibilities and my partner has his responsibilities. We each know what we are responsible for and we are sharing the load equally.

BUT, and you knew there was a but coming right?

What are you going to do when life happens to your 50/50 marriage?

Last weekend my husband hurt his back and he was in the hospital unable to move. He is now home and he can move a little, but he cannot help me with the kids at all. Not only am I taking care of everything around the house, but I also have to take care of him. Trust me there is nothing 50/50 about our marriage this week.

When I was pregnant with the twins I was on limited bed rest. I was also exhausted all the time and sicker than I've ever been in my whole life. It was everything in me to take care of our 1 year old daughter during the day. The second Brett got home from work I was off duty and I did nothing to help him out. And since I didn't get anything done all day he had all the housework to do as well. There was nothing 50/50 about our marriage during that time, more like 90/10

You see life happens. People get sick, work gets crazy busy,  bad days happen, and your partner has to pick up the slack. That's what a marriage is all about. It's not about being fair and balanced, it's about supporting the person that you love and committed your life to.

I think the notion of a 50/50 marriage is not only impossible, it's dangerous. How are you going to support each other if you're constantly keeping score? Brett and I know that there are times in our marriage when the other person is going to carry the majority of the work load and we are OK with that. Because that means there is someone there to catch us when we fall. There is comfort knowing that I have someone that will always be there for me to pick up the pieces and not make me feel guilty about it.

Don't get me wrong, I think that both partners need to do their part in a marriage, especially once kids enter the picture. It's not fair to put all the responsibilities on one person. But it's also not fair to keep score in a marriage and become resentful of your partner when he/she is unable to carry the load. And since there are going to be times in your marriage when someone can't carry the load, don't set your marriage up to fail by establishing a 50/50 marriage. Instead, establish a marriage built on love and support so you can be there for each other without feelings of guilt and resentment.

Brett and Allison attempting forever since 2004


  1. Very true. Wish that engaged couples could realize what they are REALLY in for.

  2. Great post!
    We personally strive for a 50/50 marriage, knowing of course that that isn't always feasible. We support each other through the highs and the lows, and like you, often times it isn't 50/50. I think that striving for that keeps us trying to keep things as equal as possible, and that works for us. Otherwise it's difficult not to be selfish with time...everyone's different I suppose!
    We do on some level "keep score" I suppose, but we haven't found that to be detrimental to our relationship, so perhaps that works for us?
    We've been attempting forever since 2004 as well =). Keep up the good work!

  3. Great post. Totally agree. And keeping tally is a dangerous thing in my opinion...mainly for my husband because I have the best memory ever! So I can remember exactly when I did "blah, blah, blah" and what I didn't get in return or whatever. Much healthier to realize that marriage is a pendulum, constantly swinging and sometimes the weight is going to be more on one partner's shoulders and vice versa.

  4. So true. I think you are right about 50/50 being a little dangerous. I can't think of a time in our marraige when we split anything 50/50. We both do our best, we are both busy all day long, and we do what needs to be done. It doesn't matter who does more work where, we are both working all the time.

  5. I think it's impossible to have everything be completely equal- and exhausting to keep track, too!

    I love the "attempting forever since 2004." So sweet!

  6. This is an amazing post. You are so right about 50/50 marriages being impossible, because life does happen. Love and marriage is about giving and receiving, but definitely not keeping track of how much someone has given or taken. Granted both parties do need to give equally, but its not always going to happen perfectly.

  7. We shoot for a 50/50 marriage. some weeks its 80/20 but the next might be 20/80. We figure it eventually averages out. We just work together and get everything done. If it didn't get done it must not have mattered that much in the grand scheme of things


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