One of the biggest myths about marriage is that everything will be 50/50. That’s not only false but in my opinion, it’s one of the #1 expectations that often lead to divorce.
Think about it, everyone thinks sharing is half and half. “I take one side and you take the other.” I like to think that marriage is like two people carrying a sofa. One person is going to be stronger than the other. Therefore, the sofa will never be balanced. One side will be higher than the other, one person will move faster, as they walk their path and once the sofa is in its place, one may set it down in a spot that is more comfortable for them. While the means to get there may be different, the destination should be the same.
I struggle with the imbalance in marriage. It’s unfair, but it’s real. I didn’t expect the lack of balance. While I didn’t expect things to be 50/50, I expected things to be pretty damn close.
We all have our strengths and weaknesses in a marriage (or any relationship for that matter). My husband is 5 years younger than I am. I also make more money than he does. I love to spend money as fast as I make it. I have expensive tastes. I also have something like an A-type personality. I can be seriously obsessive over perfection or things being in order. I run a business so professionalism is everything to me. In my free time, I curse…A LOT…(helps my anxiety 😉)
My husband on the other hand is more laid back, he likes to save money, not spend it, he doesn’t curse, he prays more than I do, he doesn’t care about things being in order, as long as they are when he needs them to be. He’s not confrontational, and outside of his work schedule, he will not be pressed for time about anything.
I hate it!!
We sound almost incompatible don’t we? The truth is, we balance each other out. I’ve learned that marriage is most successful when two people take their differences and make them a strength. If a person is stronger in the area of being more assertive, let them do the talking. If a person is stronger in knowing when to be still, let them be silent. Respect goes a long way when it comes to differences in a marriage.
There will be times when the roles in marriage reverse, and one person will find themselves doing more, saying more or loving more. I’ve learned that this type of unfairness is natural and it may occur in stages.
If somehow, a couple finds that their differences are hurting them, and that the unfairness in their marriage is constant, then it is likely that the issue is bigger than a trait and should be discussed with a therapist or someone who can objectively help figure out what the problem is.
In the meantime, make a list of your differences. If you find that the differences are hurting the marriage, get help. If the differences are not hurting the marriage, make them your strength. A couple can easily turn their differences into teamwork…