-We love marriage just as much as we love weddings. Take a moment to prepare not just for the wedding, but for the marriage–
It’s not 50/50. But that’s what we always hear, so then what is it? On our wedding day the priest who spoke said (I’m paraphrasing) It’s not 50/50, its 100/100. Each person is called to give 100%, to give their entire self to their spouse. To give all that they have, regardless of how much they get in return. That’s what makes marriage work. We can’t give half and expect the other to give half. When we approach marriage as 50/50 we’re saying I’ll do my part and you’ll do yours, BUT if you don’t hold up your end of the bargain then why should I? That might sound OK until you hear the alternative, because really that’s not very romantic. The alternative is when we approach marriage as 100/100 we’re saying I’ll give you everything I have, I’ll give until I have nothing left, even when you don’t or can’t give in return. We’re saying I’ll love you unconditionally. I’ll love you all the days of my life. That’s romance. And that’s marriage. It’s like in the movie The Notebook when her husband gives up his whole life to help his wife in the hope that one day her amnesia may be cured and he might remember her! Ah! Don’t tell me you didn’t cry! Ok sorry for that girly moment, moving on…
I try to remind myself of this as often as I can: Marriage is not 50/50, its 100/100. Marriage is not 50/50, its 100/100. Because the truth is, as romantic as it is, it can be difficult to implement in the real world. I do something special for Paul and deep down I’m resentful that he doesn’t give something back in return, then I try to remember its not 50/50, its 100/100. When I take care of the baby all day and clean the house but don’t get a hand, not 50/50, 100/100. I have to give 100%, I can’t give only when I’m receiving. If I only give when I receive, what does that make my giving? That makes it a trade. Love is not a trade, its a gift. We trade with people we don’t care for. We give to those we love. Then there are other days where I barely get a shower in and I have to tell Paul there is nothing for dinner, and he isn’t bothered at all (or at least he pretends) and he willingly makes dinner, puts the baby to bed, and lets me pick a movie. And on those days I am so happy that marriage is not 50/50, because I would not be holding up my end of the bargain. I don’t love Paul because he mows the lawn and takes out the garbage, and I sure hope he doesn’t love me because I do laundry. I love Paul because of who he is, because of his heart. And I know he loves me because of all the things that make me me. Marriage is not a trading of services, marriage is a free exchange of love, no strings attached. It’s giving 100%, without counting the cost. Don’t get me wrong, I’m really not so good at this. Notice how I don’t have too many personal stories here? We’re all a work in progress. So I say my mantra and do my best to love unconditionally… and I try to be patient with myself.
ps – do you have a story to share about you or your significant other giving your relationship 100%? I know people are shy about commenting thinking they look like stalkers or something (which you totally do not) especially about something personal, but I genuinely would love to hear your love stories. It inspires others (me!) to love more.