Should an intimate relationship be 50/50?
Many believe that for a healthy relationship, both partners should give and take in equal amounts.
But that’s not always easy because life (and, therefore, relationships) are naturally uneven.
Everyone has different needs and expectations, and the amount of effort one puts into a relationship can differ from what their partner might put in.
However, once we let go of perfection and focus on balance and fairness, we can get a lot closer to the 50/50 ideal.
While we can’t expect our relationships to be perfectly equal all the time, we can try to ensure everyone is doing their fair share in a relationship.
We can achieve a better relationship balance by following a set of simple guidelines.
These tips for fostering a 50/50 relationship will help you have more empathy, patience, and understanding.
The best part?
You’ll get more of what you want out of the relationship while helping your partner to do the same.
- What Does It Mean to be 50/50 in a Relationship?
- What Are the Benefits of a 50/50 Partnership or Marriage?
- 11 Ways to Foster More of a 50/50 Relationship with Your Spouse or Love Partner
- 1. Establish Ground Rules
- 2. Make Joint Decisions
- 3. Be Open to Changing Things Up
- 4. Take Time for Yourself
- 5. Get External Support
- 6. Thank and Reward Your Partner For Showing Up
- 7. Ask Your Partner What They Need
- 8. Ask For You Want
- 9. Apologize and Admit When You Haven’t Been Fair
- 10. Enlist a Couple’s Therapist for Help
- 11. Let Go of Perfection
- Is It Possible for Couples to Maintain a 50/50 Balance All the Time?
- Can a Relationship Be 100/100?
- Final Thoughts
What Does It Mean to be 50/50 in a Relationship?
Being 50/50 in a relationship means that both partners are contributing equally to the relationship.
Each partner is making an effort to show love, respect, and understanding to one another while also considering their own needs and desires.
Here are some signs that your relationship could use more balance in it:
- Your partner isn’t reciprocating your efforts.
- You feel like you’re giving more than you’re getting.
- Your conversations are one-sided, with your partner not taking the time to actively listen and understand what you’re saying.
- You don’t feel like your voice is heard or your opinions are respected.
- Your partner isn’t willing to compromise.
Of course, all of these signs could also occur in the opposite direction, and your significant other isn’t feeling a lot of fairness.
If any of these signs sound familiar, it could suggest that the relationship needs some work to become more balanced and equitable.
It’s natural for relationships to fall out of balance regularly, so don’t feel bad or take it personally if you’re in this situation.
Instead, focus on being curious, open, and compassionate as you work towards creating more balance in your relationship.
What Are the Benefits of a 50/50 Partnership or Marriage?
A 50/50 partnership or marriage can take a lot of work to maintain.
So why do people do it?
Because it strengthens their relationships, of course!
Here are some of the main benefits you’ll experience by creating more equality in your marriage or partnership:
- Fewer fights: When a relationship has less imbalance, there is less tension. Having more understanding and fairness can lead to fewer arguments.
- More appreciation: When each partner does their fair share, it’s easier to show gratitude for what your partner does for you.
- Greater respect: Showing respect for one another goes a long way in relationships. When both partners make an equal effort, there is more respect for each other.
- Improved communication: Communication is key in relationships, and when both partners are on equal footing, it’s easier to get your point across without any misunderstandings or hurt feelings.
- Better productivity: When both partners are engaged in the marriage or relationship, it boosts productivity. You’ll both get more done, leading to more free time for fun!
It’s always helpful when both partners are on the same page and feel like their efforts are appreciated.
We all want to feel valued in our relationships; a 50/50 marriage or partnership can help make that happen.
11 Ways to Foster More of a 50/50 Relationship with Your Spouse or Love Partner
Ready to learn how to approach marriage or a relationship more equitably?
Here are 11 tips for fostering a 50/50 marriage or partnership.
1. Establish Ground Rules
Sit down together and decide on what roles each partner will play in the marriage. This will help create clearer expectations of one another, which can go a long way in avoiding misunderstandings.
Some examples of ground rules might include taking turns doing the dishes, splitting up grocery shopping duties, or cleaning the house.
There are plenty of ways to split up tasks to make marriage more equitable.
2. Make Joint Decisions
Another critical part of having a 50/50 relationship is making joint decisions. Both partners have input in how things are done, from the small stuff like which movie to watch on Netflix all the way up to major life decisions.
When making a decision with your partner, make sure to listen carefully to their input and consider it. You may have relationship rules around this, such as “we always make decisions in person instead of texting each other” or “if it’s a car decision, you always have the right to make the final call.”
3. Be Open to Changing Things Up
Sometimes, the roles that you and your partner have settled into may not be working. That’s OK! It’s natural for relationships and their responsibilities to evolve, so don’t be afraid to make adjustments as needed.
A good way to manage responsibilities and keep an eye on when they need a change is by having regular meetings with your significant other to discuss how things are going. You may be pleasantly surprised to find that you both had the same idea regarding taking on different roles.
More Related Articles
4. Take Time for Yourself
It’s important to remember that marriage or a relationship isn’t all about work and responsibilities.
Everyone needs time away from their partner, so make time for yourself and your interests. It will help you stay balanced in the marriage and keep things from getting too one-sided.
5. Get External Support
When your relationship isn’t feeling fair, it isn’t necessarily your partner’s responsibility to pick up the slack. We all must have diverse and supportive relationships outside of our partners.
This support helps us avoid co-dependency and gives us a way to meet our needs if our partners are burnt out or unavailable.
External support can look like a friend, family member, or professional therapist.
6. Thank and Reward Your Partner For Showing Up
It’s important to show your appreciation for your partner when they are taking on extra responsibilities, even if it isn’t quite 50/50. A simple thank you or a small reward can go a long way in reinforcing positive behavior and reminding them that their effort is valued.
When people know that they’re appreciated for their actions, it’s easier and more likely that they will continue the positive behavior in the future.
7. Ask Your Partner What They Need
It’s hard to balance marriage when you’re unsure what your partner needs. One way to make a partnership more equitable is by asking them what they need and working together to find a solution.
Maybe your partner needs help with the housework once in a while, or maybe they want more quality time together – whatever it is, try to be open-minded and let your partner guide you to the best solution.
8. Ask For You Want
Partners aren’t mind readers. And if you don’t communicate what you need from them, it’s hard to expect them to provide it. So don’t be afraid to ask for what you need, whether that’s help with a task or just some quality time together.
Even if your partner can’t give you what you need at the moment, it’s still important for them to understand what’s important to you.
9. Apologize and Admit When You Haven’t Been Fair
At some point, you will make a mistake or overlook something. And when that happens, it’s important to own up to it and apologize.
When we admit our mistakes, it helps us learn from them and can even bring us closer together. It shows your partner that you recognize their worth and acknowledge the relationship isn’t just about you.
Plus, it allows you to forgive yourself for not always being perfect and encourages you to put in the work to make your marriage more equitable.
10. Enlist a Couple’s Therapist for Help
If you and your partner are struggling to find a balance in your marriage, it might be time to enlist the help of a couple’s therapist.
They can help you and your partner figure out how to better communicate your needs and wants, as well as provide an outside perspective that can help you evaluate where the relationship’s balance currently stands.
11. Let Go of Perfection
Stop keeping tabs and instead focus on the bigger picture of marriage. Remember, marriage isn’t all about achieving a 50/50 split but rather building a partnership where both people feel respected and loved.
Letting go of rigidity and perfection will help you to better navigate the partnership, from moments of disagreement to times of understanding.
Marriage isn’t a one-size-fits-all equation, so let things get messy from time to time and focus on the bigger picture of love, respect, and understanding.
Is It Possible for Couples to Maintain a 50/50 Balance All the Time?
Of course, we all want to lead lives where everything works out according to our plans and efforts. But marriage is not 50/50 all of the time. There are periods in our lives when we may be going through extreme circumstances and will need more help from others.
On the other side of the coin, we also need to put in extra effort for our loved ones occasionally. Here are some of the most common scenarios where your relationship may not be a 50/50 situation:
- Illness or Injury: When one spouse deals with a serious illness or injury, the other spouse must take up some slack. It could mean taking on extra responsibilities at home, taking care of medical bills, and providing emotional support.
- Caring for Children: Caring for children can be a full-time job that requires both spouses to put in the extra effort. One spouse may work outside of the home while the other takes care of the kids, or both could share parenting duties. Either way, there will always be a random factor that makes the equation off-balance.
- Financial Difficulties: When one partner deals with financial difficulties such as a job loss, they need to work together to get through this tough time. This could mean one partner takes on more financial burden while the other provides emotional support.
There’s no problem with temporary imbalances in relationships. However, if any of the above hardships are chronic or last for extended periods, it’s perfectly reasonable to discuss this with your partner and ask for additional support.
Can a Relationship Be 100/100?
It’s hard to create a marriage or partnership that is 100/100 all the time. Life can throw unexpected curveballs, and each partner has distinct needs and wants, making it impossible for both partners to be equally satisfied at all times. Because of this, it is hard for anyone to show up 100% of the time – for themselves or for someone else.
That being said, there are some strategies you can employ to make sure that your marriage or partnership has enough support.
Instead of aiming for a 100% balance, try a 60/60 or 70/70 balance. In this relationship, both partners are still putting in an equal effort but are being realistic about their efforts. This can help ensure that your marriage or relationship doesn’t become too unbalanced over time and helps both partners take more responsibility.
In the end, having a marriage or partnership is grounded in respect, communication, and effort. So make sure to do your part in maintaining a balance throughout your relationship. Down the line, you’ll be grateful for the effort you both put in.