The 50/50 Relationship Myth


It was from an excerpt from InStyle magazine, that I read where Cameron Diaz said:

Marriage is certainly hard, and it’s a lot of work. You need somebody who’s willing to do the work with you, because there’s no 60–40 in marriage. It’s 50–50 period. All the time.

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No 60–40 in a relationship? 50–50- period? All the time?

I call bullshit Cameron.

Let me get ahead of anyone who might think my perspective is to let off any man or woman- no. My perspective comes from my humanity.

Let’s say chores, shall we? Split down to the middle. Does 50–50 account for illnesses?

Let’s say contributing to the finances. Does 50–50 account for illnesses? Job loss? Mental health issues?

These are just 2 examples.

I am not saying 50–50 relationship sharing is impossible. I am saying- that is an ideal. The reality will not often match the ideal because LIFE HAPPENS.

Somedays, your partner may be too tired to speak your love language. They maybe too consumed by a big project to be as emotionally available as you will want them to be. The kids may distort your expectation of being prioritized. Life happens.

Give grace to your partner. Show your heart. Show empathy.

What I am not suggesting is that you set yourself on fire to keep another person warm. I am saying that when you feel like you are pulling the bigger weight in your relationship, before you go off or throw in the towel:

  • Is it a constant or a phase?
  • Have they done the same for you?
  • Are you overreacting?
  • Are they trying really hard to meet you halfway?
  • Is it time for counseling or time to walk away.

Marisa Howenstine on Unsplash

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Sometimes the stars may align and for many moons, 50–50 will happen in your relationship. Other times, life will get in the way.

My suggestion: Step back and take in the whole picture. Is it a phase or a constant?

In the wise words of Michelle Obama who has been married for over 30 years:

Marriage isn’t 50/50, ever. Ever. There are times I’m 70; he’s 30; there are times he’s 60, 40. But guess what? Ten years; we’ve been married 30. I would take 10 bad years over 30 — it’s just how you look at it.

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Thank you for reading.

My name is Adaobi Okwy. I am excited to hear from you. Have something you want me to read? Please let me know.

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