Q: Is A Marriage Ever Truly 50/50?

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Over the weekend The Man and I had a lot to juggle and we knew the only way we’d get it all done was to work together as a team. Teamwork has never been a problem for us but sometimes division of labor is. We both want to do what we’re good at and the things we’re not so good at sometimes tend to be the tasks we put off or avoid altogether. Ideally a marriage is said to be a “fifty-fifty”, but is it really? There are so many moments where someone in the partnership is giving or doing more than the other, and sometimes these “moments” turn into weeks or months. It really all depends on the circumstances.

For instance, my husband is a better cleaner and has way more time on weekdays to cook, so he does more of both during the week, and ultimately overall. I feel a lot guilt over this but then I think about my career and how much time it takes away from my marriage. It’s not that I don’t want to do those things; it’s really that I can’t seem to find enough time in the day or week to get to them all. In those moments I feel like my husband’s doing 70 percent of the work needed in our marriage and I’m online doing thirty. Then, on the other hand, I think about the times when my husband’s working two jobs (like now) and because of it is exhausted most of the time when he’s not at work. When he’s sleeping, I’m knocking out what needs to be done (grocery store runs, dog walking, etc.) Those days I feel like I’m the one giving 70 percent to compliment his thirty.

Yes, they say a good marriage is 50/50, but I don’t agree. I think a healthy marriage varies between being 70/30, 60/40, and all the other combinations, and ultimately what matters instead is that together your efforts make 100 percent and the scale shifts often. No one should bare the heavier side of things for too long at once, that’s just not healthy or smart!

What’s the percentage breakdown in your marriage?

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13 Responses to Q: Is A Marriage Ever Truly 50/50?

  1. fahmi says:

    yeah, it's never 50/50. Whenever someone says it should be, I am reminded of that scene in Joy Luck club where one of the daughters has a relationship where they divide everything straight down the middle. "I don't even like ice cream," I think. I think the important thing is to always remember that sometimes someone will do more. the trick is to make sure that one person is not always doing more.

  2. nylse says:

    Who said that? its 50/50 because you're a partnership and a team, but not in the division of labor or the nitty gritty of life. For example when the wife is pregnant, she's carrying a child and there's nothing he can do that matches the effort of being pregnant. what happens, as you so well noted, is that he compensates in any way he can so it doesnt feel as if you're in this by yourself – and that to me is the essence of marriage – always being aware of your partner and doing what you can to help.
    My recent post 9/11 – A Crisis of Faith

  3. Quiana says:

    Before I got married my dad who's been married to my mom for 33 years explained to me that it's give and take throughout marriage with the % shifting back and forth. After two years I've found that to be very much the truth. I don't think it's anything to get upset about – I just recognize it as reality and we deal with it. Each of us deal with different struggles and challenges over time and we can't always give equally but I know we're supportive of each other 110%. Reminds me of the story of Moses when he needed his helpers to hold his arms up during battle. I feel like that's what we do for each other sometimes.
    My recent post My Top Tip for Efficient Living

  4. I.White says:

    I do not think it is exactly 50/50! Maybe that is just a term we use to make ourselves feel better. I know over here, it is more like 70/30 range once I think about it. I think we and most married people are happy knowing we have a real partner. Someone we can count on and turn to when needed. I know that what I lack at, my husband will pick up. We complement each other….As long as things get done, I am happy. Once you start focusing on all the things that "I" do or all the things he doesn't do, there is a problem. Why keep a running list of what you do? It is a marriage isn't it? Teamwork!
    My recent post JOY to the World

  5. kita says:

    It’s more like 80/20 in my house. I don’t complain to much about because I don’t work so I take on the load of doing everything all I ask for is a little help or at least an hour to myself everyday but of course I don’t get that. I think 70/30 is fair with me being the 30 …..yeah I knew that was asking a lot.

  6. It's definitely not 50/50, as much as we would love it to be. Division of Labor in our house has been 80/20. As of recently, it's become 60/40 which isn't bad. It's just something to get used to definitely. I'm reading Spousonomics and they were talking about comparative advantage: whoever's good at something should do that task. That'll help a little bit.
    My recent post Is It Them or Me?

  7. Ashlee says:

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  8. i think you're right. it totally varies. there are times when i'm all over everything and there are times when my husband seems to do it all. we seem to know when we need to step up and do more and it works out somehow.
    My recent post Working Mom Blues

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  10. myloverswife says:

    If you consider a percentage split of who is doing what…someone is bound to be upset. In our household, we both do what needs to be done. Of course, there are things that each of us are better at but we’re more like a get it done kind of couple.
    My recent post The entire world is on Twitter.

  11. CaliGirlED says:

    People who expect to always have 50/50 in any relationship are setting themselves up for major disappointment.

  12. Marcella says:

    i agree with you CaliGirled, it's definitely not 50/50. we shouldn't be thinking of that in the first place. it's like we are allowing to win the negative thoughts instead of the positive one. Anyone who believes that a marriage is 50/50 believes in an illusion. A healthy relationship will fluctuate with the ebb and flow of life.
    My recent post Tips on removing black mould

  13. Pingback: What Marriage WAS Designed For! | Black and Married With Kids.com - A Positive Image of Marriage and Family

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