HomeUncategorizedThe Myth of 50/50 Marriages

The Myth of 50/50 Marriages

I’m not interested in a 50/50 marriage. Why? I don’t think they work.

Since I went through this experiment, and one question is almost always asked:

“Why should I do what I’m supposed to do
if HE won’t do what HE’s supposed to do?”

In other words, I’ll do my part when he does his part.
I’ll try and make more of an effort if I see him making an effort.
When he loves me “like Christ loves the Church,” then maybe I’ll c
onsider submitting to him “as to the Lord (Eph. 5:22-26).”

That’s what marriage is, right? 50/50? My husband and I as partners? He gives 50% and I give 50% and that makes a whole, right?

Kind of like this?

marriage circle


That’s a nice thought, isn’t it? Our better halves make us whole together, right?

But really, when we think about 50/50, most of us probably think something more along the lines of this:


We meet in the middle. He takes one side of the chore list, I take the other and boom, we get it done.

(Does your husband do this? Because mine actually wants to do each room together. Which drives me a little crazy when I’m all ready to divide and conquer.)

So we balance each other out. He is peanut butter to my jelly. I am cheese to his ham. He gives a little, I give a little, the see saw goes up and down, and it all works out in the end. We’re happy.

Aren’t we? Well, we are… until we aren’t.

My husband and I were texting the other day about this theory, this unwritten rule so many couples  follow. We were one of those couples for many years of our fifteen year (and counting) marriage. But we’re not anymore.

Because let me just say it again. 50/50 doesn’t work.

The reality is that what we believe about 50/50 and what we actually do with 50/50 are two different things.

Here’s our ideal again:

marriage circlemarriagebar


Here’s our reality.


Somewhere there’s a trumpet playing “wah, wah, waaaaahhhhhhhh.” And tulips wilting.

We don’t meet our spouses halfway. If we’re honest,  we’re often only willing to GO halfway. We do half of what we’re capable of doing because at some point, we get tired, and we don’t want our spouses to do half – what we really want is for them to do their half and just a little of ours as well. And then we get upset when they don’t, and we wonder why they don’t love us, and why they don’t do anything for us, and suddenly we turns into me, me, and me.

Read Next on Thriving Marriages  1 Surprising Predictor of Marriage Success

So, instead of giving all…we settle for half.

HALF effort.
HALF enthusiasm.
HALF-hearted tries.

When most of us say we have 50/50 marriages, we want to think of ourselves as partners but what we should be thinking is that we’re a TEAM…and I’ve never heard a coach declare to his players before heading out for a big game –



I’ve never heard a CEO, addressing her executive team the week before a pivotal product launch, shine her best smile, point to every single person, and demand for them to…




Have you?

So why would we think  that our heavenly Creator who first brought man and woman together –  both fashioned by His hand there in the Garden of His design, in all of His wisdom and wonder, why would we think that He wants us to live out our days in the most sacred commitment we will make only second after commiting our lives to Christ –  by only giving half?

Because what isn’t given is held back.

What isn’t offered is held in.

What isn’t shared can never be received.

Do you know what I discovered when I stopped believing in the 50/50 lie, and I started looking for ways I could pour myself into my marriage and my husband’s life fully and wholly – without looking for the answer to “what’s he doing for me?”

My husband found ways to pour into our marriage and into me, and both of us moved closer in our relationships with God.

Because here’s another picture you have possibly seen before:

marriage triangle

The closer you both move to God, the closer you move to each other. But if you only move halfway? Well, where does that leave you?

The word that came to my mind was “stuck.” “Limbo.” How about you?

Scripture tells us Christ would rather you be hot or cold than lukewarm, than just something in between. My interpretation of that? Stop doing things halfway. Stop treating your marriage as something to do halfway.

Two questions I want to leave with you:

1) What could happen in your marriage if you give everything you can?

2) What will happen in your marriage if you don’t?

Rethink 50/50. And think about what it looks like to put everything into your marriage. What does that look like? Come back tomorrow and find out. 

Still not convinced you can give more than 50%?
How about 1%? Read exactly what Simple Marriage means.