The 50/50 Rule

Nothing is perfect. Life is messy. Relationships are complex. Outcomes are uncertain. People are irrational.

-Hugh Mackay

I don’t know everything about relationships, nor do I claim to be an expert, but I like to think that I do have some things figured out – and relationships are one of them. I also don’t sit behind my keyboard thinking I do relationships perfectly. I mess up. We all do. The money is when you can find value in those imperfect moments. The thought process that I am about to introduce can be applied to any type of relationship, but I will focus on one between a married couple.
I also must preface this post by admitting that I didn’t just wake up and have this concept figured out. A very good friend told Sarah and I this once, and it has stuck ever since!

OK… * drum roll * here it is: 

Relationships can be 80/20. They can be 70/30. Hell at times they can be 90/10. But what they can’t be is 100/0, nor can they be anything other than 50/50 for very long. 

Let me unpack this, ok? There are going to be times when a party in the relationship needs to be weak and not carry their weight. Thus, there are times when the other party is going to have to carry all of the weight! That. Is. Ok. What is NOT ok is when one member of the relationship is forced to ALWAYS carry all of the weight. 

Like the moon, relationships will wane and wax, but they must always become whole again for things to work out!

Like I said this concept can be applied to any type of relationship. Take a platonic friendship for example. Let’s imagine that you are the friend that always invites the other person to do things, or always initiates the conversation. You are giving 100%. The other person rarely accepts, and sometimes doesn’t even answer! They are giving 0%. Zilch. Notta. Nothing. 

I bet Mr. 100 sure feels pretty shitty. This type of relationship will never work. Eventually Mr. 100 will give up and move on. 

I’ll also bet that it didn’t take you long to imagine yourself as Mr. 100. I’ll raise my bet by saying that you could also play the role of Mr. Zero. We all do it. 

Now Sarah and I are more than friends so let’s get back to that. 

There has been plenty of times when one of us is weak and has to be carried by the other. There are also times when we are both weak and are just barely holding each other up. 

Again – That. Is. Ok. 

The scales of a relationship can tip in anyone favor periodically, as long as they come back to center eventually. 

Now don’t be fooled into thinking that Sarah and I are just the perfect couple and have it all figured out. Hell. No. 

But as I said in the beginning – The money is when you can find value in those imperfect moments. Those moments of weakness. Those moments when you have to carry your partner through hell, holding on to the thought that they would do the same for you. 

This Too Shall Pass

I’m writing this with a very heavy heart. 

Those that I love and care for dearly are going through the worst of times. 

Siblings and spouses are passing. Relationships are ending.

Hearts are breaking. 

But this too shall pass. 

You feel as if your life is over. 

But this too shall pass. 

One friend said to me “I feel like I have to completely start over with my life.”

Wouldn’t that be nice if you could?

I explained to her that your life isn’t over, you don’t have to go back to the beginning of the game board. You are merely taking a detour. 

I have come to learn that life is a never ending winding road of highways and byways. Detours and dead ends. 

Planning for life is important, sure. But being prepared for the detours is even more important. 

My 5 year plan was derailed 2 years ago and it still continues to change, just as the seasons do.

I firmly believe that everything happens for a reason. Now, you may not know what that reason is for a while, but be patient!

Eventually the reason will be revealed and your pain and strife will all be worth it. 

There is no growth without change, no change without fear or loss and no loss without pain.

Rick Warren

Keep your chin up for this too shall pass.