The 50-50 Trap

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The 50-50 proposition is a trap of epic proportions! The idea may sound good, but there’s nothing about it that makes any sense in any healthy relationship. Many single, good-minded people have the most skewed notions about marriage. When I was single, being around other single people gave me some not-so-good ideas about marriage (thank God for the Bible)! One of those ideas was the 50-50 trap. You must have heard of this, too. The 50-50 concept is simple: if you want a successful marriage/relationship, you and your spouse must give 50% to each other on everything. You and your spouse meet in the middle; going half-way, all the way. Sounds good, right? Ehhh! Wrong!

Let us get away from marriage for a minute. Imagine a business organization where the partners of the business only gave 50% effort: 50% of their talent, 50% of their time, 50% of their interest, 50% of their (budgeted) money, 50% of their commitment, yaddayaddayadda–you get what I mean, I think. Would this business succeed? There is nothing worth doing that can be done successfully and as intended when the concerned parties are only giving 50%. Now back to marriage. Though it seems like the math would add up (2 people giving 50%=100%) this is actually not the case. Two people giving fifty percent only gives half attention and no one will ever find out which half. If the 50-50 proposition is a bad decision, then what should couples do?

Let’s speak of it!

1. Stop thinking “50-50”.
It’s a trap. Frustration will run rampant in your 50-50 marriage because over time one of you will almost always find “your side” of the deal looking so much more than “his/her side”.  Over time someone will feel that they’re giving “75%” thus feeling that they are bearing the weight of the relationship. Unless someone carrying your marriage on their back is okay with everyone, that weight will eventually deteriorate the love and challenge the commitment. A full commitment is needed in any healthy relationship. Businesses require full commitment, careers require full commitment, education requires full commitment, and marriage is not different. Make a full commitment to your spouse and your marriage. Get rid of your 50-50 thinking.

2. Think And Give One Hundred.
Like #1 mentions, it takes full commitment for successful relationships. If failure is not an option, then both of you must think “100”! Knowing that everyone is giving 100 percent will give you the edge to try as hard as you can to do what needs to be done to keep your marriage healthy, happy and satisfying. When it’s 100 everyone is carrying the load, everyone matters, every idea is concerned, every action is of benefit. Though there would be obvious times when one of you will think you’re extending more than the other, this thinking will be offset by the fact that both of you have committed to one hundred. When tough times come, thinking and giving one hundred percent will help you transverse the rocky conditions with hope and positive expectations.

3. One Hundred: Everything, Every time.
Thinking and giving one hundred percent must run through your whole marriage. From emotional investments, sexual intimacy, decision making, financial planning, raising family to time spent or house work–everything must be 100%, every time. Yes, there will be areas of your marriage relationship that one of you will be better at than the other, this does not mean that that person bears the responsibility alone. Remember: both of you will be affected by what one of you may do so make sure that even though one of you may be responsible for an area, both of you have to give 100% in helping it succeed. 

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Well, that was simple but it doesn’t mean it’s going to be easy. If you entered your marriage feeling like you are carrying the weight of the relationship, it’s going to take some time before you can get to the place where everyone is giving 100%. If this is frustrating you and even if it seems okay (right now) with you, make an intentional decision to make you and your spouse committed at one hundred–in everything, every time. If you’re just getting into a would be marriage relationship this is a good time to make sure everyone is at the same commitment level: 100%. If this is not the case right now, make the adjustments to ensure you have a successful future together. Every relationship deserves a chance to flourish and if both parties are giving one hundred percent in everything at all times then you can expect happily, daily after.

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