Journal, Marriage

Marriage Isn’t Always 50/50

A few weeks ago, one of our younger coaches was getting married. While at lunch he took the opportunity to ask several of the coaches’ wives our best marital advice. When it came time for one wife to speak, she said something profound that had been told to her once:

“Marriage is not always 50/50.”

Our young coach looked at her with eyes wide open and said, “Can you explain that a little more?” So we did.

When you go into marriage, you’re in love and think everything is going to be wonderful. We are going to share everything. We will share the chores. We will share the cooking and the cleaning. We are so in sync right now and always will be. Then, after the wedding, the real world sets in, and it’s not as perfect as you’d dreamed. You’re not sharing everything 50/50.

But that’s ok.

Marriage is not always 50/50. Sometimes it’s 60/40, 75/25, and yes, there are times when it’s 99/1. And again, that’s ok.

When your coach is in season and dealing with all that goes on at school, in the gym, or on the field, it’s a challenge for him to hit that 50/50 mark at home. Your percentage starts to grow as you deal with all that’s going on in your job, with the kids, and at home. We all know if something major is going to break, like the car, the air conditioner, the water heater, etc., it will break while he is in season and it’s going to be our job to deal with it on top of everything else. You may feel that he’s at 1% … and you’re at 99%.

This is part of marriage. It’s not as if one of you is choosing to only be 20% or 50% or whatever percent. The percentage may be dictated by what’s going on with your job, with your children, or with your family.

In our house as his season begins to wind down, my busy time at work starts to pick up. Here’s where are scale starts to slide in his direction and begins to even out. As his hours at the field house get shorter, my days at work get longer. My job recently shifted a bit and while he’s in the midst of regionals and state for track and beginning spring football, I’m also in a busy time. Neither one of us are hitting our mark of 50%.

By now you’re probably reading this thinking, “This is not ok.” But hear me out.

It’s ok because we work together to make it ok. My coach and I make it a point in the midst of all our craziness to stop and take a time out with each other to connect and talk. We share what’s going on at work and at home. We share with each other that one of us is frustrated and that our scale is starting to get a bit out of balance. We listen to what the other one has to say and then find ways TOGETHER to reset the scale.

Did you see that word in the last sentence? TOGETHER. That’s the key ingredient. You have to work together to reset the scale. This may mean locking yourselves in your bedroom away from other distractions or taking a walk around the block but do whatever you need to do to have that conversation to reset. Long before frustrations build, take a moment to reset and refocus.

Refocus on the important things in your life. Refocus on your spiritual life. Are one or both of you out of balance with your relationship with God? If so, make that a point to rebalance that relationship first and you’ll be amazed at how fast other things start to balance themselves.

Refocus on why you fell in love with your spouse. Concentrate on those attributes. Talk with each other. Pray with each other. Pray for each other. Focus on the good. When the scale is out of balance are you saying things that will build your spouse up or are you saying things that will tear them down?  What are you doing to help reset that scale?

Marriage isn’t always easy, and it’s certainly not always 50/50. But it can be one of the best blessings of your life.