I think most of us have heard the saying, a partnership is 50/50. The truth of it is, many days it is not 50/50. There are times when either our partner, better half, significant other, spouse, best friend, etc or ourselves are not able to pull our weight in the relationship. There are times when it is more like 70/30 or maybe even 90/10. There are times when the other will carry the bulk of the relationship on their shoulders and will likely feel stressed by it, but should remember that sometimes it’s the other way around.
A true partnership has many ups and downs. No relationship is perfect, no matter how wonderful some make theirs look to their loved ones, every relationship has its issues. All of the posts about flowers they got from their boyfriends or husbands, the amazing meals and gestures their wives or girlfriends made them, the romantic nights, the terrific family vacations, or how perfectly happy they appear in pictures, there is always more to the story then the rest of us see or yes, more than we ourselves share when we’re the ones gushing about our amazing partners and “perfect” relationships.
Growing up, many of us have fairy-tale relationship expectations. We think we will find our prince or princess and ride off into the sunset together, living happily ever after. Happily ever after does exist, but not in the perfect state of bliss we imagine it to be. There are sleepless nights, arguments over petty stuff, short tempers, illnesses, financial struggles, death of loved ones, loss of a job, differences that are hard to overcome, lies, grudges, rough days that lead to one or both taking it out on their partner, issues with the kids, and so much more that get in the way of perfection. They say, “don’t go to bed angry.”, but the truth is, sometimes it happens. Sometimes we are too hurt or angry in the moment to talk calmly, sometimes we need moments to ourselves to calm down, sort things out. None of that means that a couple is unhappy or that their relationship is failing. Every relationship struggles from time to time.
Does the good outweigh the bad? Do you trust your partner, do they trust you? Do you respect one another? Do you make one another laugh, smile, and enjoy life? Do you love one another? If so, then you know that the bad will come, but it will pass and until it does, you work together to get through it. It won’t always be 50/50 through those tough times, but that’s okay. Expecting 50/50 all the time is unrealistic and unfair. What should be expected is that you give your best, whether it happens to be 10% or 90% at any given time will vary, but always give the best you can. When you’re the one pulling a lot of the weight, try to remember the shoe will be on the other foot and when your partner is the one lifting you up, be thankful for that and do the same when they need you to do the same for them.
A true partnership works together daily, giving the best of themselves each day to make it work. Whether you’ve been together one week, a year, or 50 years, nothing changes that it is a daily effort to make your relationship last. If it is worth it to both people, then both must give of themselves. It won’t survive on the efforts of just one. We may not be able to give 100% of ourselves each day, but we can give the best we have each day. I urge you to look at your partner in a new way today, to see them the way you did in the very beginning. Think about how they have changed over time and about how you have changed, the good and the bad. How have you inspired one another while together? Let’s face it, partners habits, ways of thinking or doing things, and so on rub off on one another. Have you helped your partner become better throughout the time you’ve been together, have they done so for you?
Let today be a day of reflection about our relationships, our partners, and ourselves. May we work on lessening the weaknesses and making the strengths even stronger. May our relationships grow, may we get closer to our partner, and may we find more love and compassion for ourselves as well. We can be our own worst critics, so I also urge us to find ways to see us the way others see us, especially those who see our beauty, strength, and worth. When we love ourselves, let go of guilt and regret, we can be better partners and also better parents, children, friends, and so on. May today be the beginning of changes, healthy ones. Our relationships will benefit from them, as will we and those we love.