I have heard people describe marriage as 50/50. I’ve also heard it is “give and take.” And my least favorite that I’ve heard people describe it as a compromise. I disagree on all three accounts! Marriage could be 50/50, “give and take”, or compromise. But I doubt you would find your marriage to be truly fulfilling.
Your husband was not designed to complete you. It sounds very romantic, but if you look at it realistically, that is garbage. You are designed to compliment each other. We are not missing pieces of each other. If we are broken, there is only one true Healer. If we are not whole, there is only one that can complete us. God did not intend for our spouse to take his place. Yet, so often as wives, we want our husbands to perform roles that only God is capable of performing. Yes, our husbands can be our stability and support, encouraging us to be complete in Christ. But ultimately, our relationship with our Creator is our responsibility.
Instead of marriage being 50/50, I believe it is 100/100. When we said our vows, we told our husbands that we would commit to being a loving, faithful wife. We would give all that we are and all that we have to our husband and our family. Many women want their husband to fulfill this vow, yet act as if it does not apply to them. Let’s be honest- it is selfish of us to give anything less than 100% to our spouse. Why does it seem so easy for some to simply divorce their spouse? Chances are, they were not all in. Even if they were giving 90%, they were still 10% one foot out the door.
My husband and I decided we would stop focusing on our unmet needs and focus on meeting each others needs instead. IT REVOLUTIONIZED OUR MARRIAGE!!!! Marriages struggle when either spouse feels their needs are not being met. Think about this: what if you gave 100% to your marriage and you focused on meeting the needs of your husband instead of whining about him not meeting your needs? Was your first thought, “Ugh, that sounds miserable”? Even if your husband is incredibly selfish, if you are constantly meeting his needs- emotionally, mentally, and physically- he doesn’t have to worry about whether or not you can/will but instead he has the freedom to focus on meeting your needs.
The idea of marriage being “give and take” (at least from my perspective) means someone wins and someone loses. Marriage should never be win/lose. We are a team. We are partners. The goal should be win/win. But if one is giving and one is taking, both actually lose. When one spouse feels they are losing in marriage, the marriage suffers.
Compromise can be tricky. It can lead to lose/lose in marriage if we aren’t careful. When done right, compromise can leave both people feeling heard, valued and reach an agreement about situations. For instance, I want a duck. My husband is adamant that we do not need a duck. Of course, we don’t NEED a duck. I just want one! Through several conversations, we came to the agreement that the next house we buy, we want to be outside of city limits and have some property to it. That would be a better environment for me to have a duck. The compromise is that I am not getting a duck at the moment, but when we find the house/property we are looking for I could get a duck at that time. Compromise should not be used as means for one of you to always get your way.
Proverbs 31:10-12 Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.
Does your husband’s heart safely trust you? Can he be vulnerable with you, knowing you won’t abuse it selfishly? Do you purposefully do him good instead of evil (or harm, or hurt, or break his spirit)?
HOMEWORK: Over the next few days, put your spouse’s needs above your own. If you haven’t been 100% in your marriage, make the commitment to give yourself 100% to you husband.
Up next: The Collision of Two Worlds (Did I Marry a Barbarian?)