Wife Life Mantra #2: Divorce is 50/50, Marriage Keeps it 100!
I’m sure you’ve heard someone says that you have to give your best if you want to make your marriage work. But it’s not a 50/50 deal. That my dears, is one of those fantasies Hollywood or some romance novelist came up with. Divorce is 50/50, marriage keeps it 100! If you’re wondering what that looks like in a relationship, keep on reading.
Be willing to accept that not everything is going to be split down the middle.
There will always be times when one of you can’t uphold your side of things. Maybe your husband is overwhelmed by work and starts slacking off on his car care duties. You might get sick for a week and stop keeping tabs on your daily spending log. Heck, you both may be caught up in your own projects and forget to pick up after yourselves around the house. Whatever the case, when one or both of you doesn’t or can’t follow through with your usual responsibilities, you’ve got to agree to fill in the gaps some way.
Instead of letting things fall apart or getting upset with each other, try being a friend and picking up the slack for your partner. Allow them to take the reigns for you sometimes so you can focus on finding balance again. What is a marriage if you can’t lean on your partner for support? Just be sure that neither of you takes advantage of the other person’s trust.
Another way to keep it 100 in your marriage is through honesty.
When your husband or wife does something that makes you feel positive in some way, don’t keep it to yourself. Tell them, give them props and brag about it to friends. They need to hear your affirmation. Don’t assume they know how you feel, make sure they know. The same is true on the opposite end of the scale. If something rubs you the wrong way, even if it’s just a small offense, be upfront about how you’re feeling. Silence is oftentimes mistaken for agreement.
Your spouse may not even realize their actions are negatively affecting you. You don’t have to start a long discussion but it’s good to address things early. You also need to be honest about your own motivations. If you find yourself getting annoyed easily, it might not have anything to do with your partner’s efforts and more to do with you focusing too much on what they are or aren’t doing.
Keep it 100 but don’t start scrutinizing everything your partner does.
I personally am guilty of this. I’ve felt myself getting angry when Brandon didn’t do things the way I felt he should have or if he forgot about finishing something he started around the house. I convinced myself that he that he just didn’t care. Sheesh, even typing this makes me feel like a jerk. He felt and heard my criticism just about every day and started internalizing it. One evening he opened up to me saying he felt like he was disappointing me all the time. I was serving up judgement and it was tearing him up inside.
Talk about a wake up call. After that, I thought about the things I was holding against him and had to admit to myself that I too wasn’t measuring up to my own standards. Not only that, it was unfair for me to expect him to do things the way I thought they should be done al the time. Once I was honest about my own actions, I was able to change for the better.
Things got better when I focused on myself.
Since then, I’ve apologized and made it a point to encourage him whenever possible. Instead of bringing up something he did or didn’t do, I now make it a point to focus on my own actions and, as mentioned before, picking up where he left off without complaining. I can tell that it’s working because he’s much more relaxed around me now. He’s also more dependable and proactive in ways he wasn’t before. Moral of the story is, if you want to motivate your partner, don’t be critical. Be flexible, encouraging and accept that there’s more than one way to get things done. Chill out!