A relationship can not be a 50/50 split.
Hey there Beautiful!
When my husband and I picked January 7th as our wedding date it wasn’t because that date held a special meaning to us.
It was because the Catholic church we were getting married in would still be decorated for the Epiphany which meant less money for us to spend on flowers to ensure the church looked nice. It wasn’t until after we picked the date that my mom told me that January 7th was also the wedding anniversary for my paternal grandparents.
I then thought, “Well it was meant to be,” since Fate helped make that decision rather than us solely trying to keep costs down for our wedding budget.
Nothing like planning an entire day down to the individual minute when someone says, "Oh I'd like to say something."
My husband and I asked each of our grandfathers to participate in the wedding ceremony by giving a reading.
On the day of the wedding, the ceremony was going well until my grandfather decided to go off script. He finished his reading and then said, “And I have a piece of advice I would like to give my granddaughter and her husband today.”
I kept the smile plastered on my face and glanced at my husband to say, “I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what he’s about to say!”
There is NOTHING like the panic you feel when you‘ve spent MONTHS planning every minute of a single day for someone to go off script.
I held my breath . . .
As my grandfather stood behind the podium, wearing his red silk jacket with black lapels, looking like he had just stepped out of a Rat Pack movie, he looked out at our guests in the pews and said, “My wife and I were married 57 years ago also on this very day. I have learned that in order to make a marriage work each person can not only give 50%. You each have to give 51% in order for the marriage to work. At times, it may be more but that is a part of being married and knowing that everything doesn’t work out to be exactly even. I hope that my granddaughter and her new husband will remember this since it has worked well for myself and my wife for the last 57 years. Thank you.”
At least my grandfather knew what he was talking about.
I then let out a breath of air that I didn’t know I was holding onto since I had NO IDEA what my grandfather was going to say.
My husband gave my hand a reassuring squeeze and the ceremony continued. I had many, many people come up to me at the reception to say what a lovely thing to say, like it had been planned.
All I kept thinking was thank goodness he didn’t talk for too long, his advice was solid, and he didn’t embarrass me in front of 150 people!
Give more than 50% in a relationship.
I’ve tried to keep his advice that a marriage is not a 50/50% proposition but more like 51/51% and also use this type of thinking with other relationships, such as with my children, with my friends, and with jobs that I’ve had.
Yes there will be times where I’m giving 93% and the other person is giving only 3%, and the missing 4% is just not getting done. Like when my husband had ACL surgery and then complications arose from that surgery where he was out of work and lying on the couch intermittently in pain for over three months.
It takes a lot of work to keep the tallies straight on the imaginary score card.
Any relationship will not last if you believe that there is an imaginary score card and you’re tallying up the points every day.
I cleaned the house so that’s at least ten points. Then I cooked dinner and that’s two points. He only mowed the lawn today so that’s two points for him. So today I lead by ten points which means he needs to do more tomorrow to make up the difference and then we’ll be even.
That’s NOT how a relationship works. By constantly comparing what you do against what someone else does or does not do will not help a relationship last long term.
Because I bet that you will always come out on top since you’re the one keeping the score card updated with limited input from the other person.
Rip up the score cards and look at relationships as investments.
In a business sense, I like to look at relationships as investments.
Everything you do in a relationship is a pure investment in that relationship. You neither get nor deserve anything in trade for what you do. As with any investment you may or may not get a return or the return could show up several years later.
Here are some ways relationships are like investing money:
Be in a relationship that you understand.
If you don’t understand how your money is being invested how can you make smart decisions?
Same thing with relationships. If you don't understand why you’re in a relationship, then how are you going to make smart decisions?
If a friend always asks for your help, but is never there when you ask for her help, ask yourself, “Why am I in this relationship?”
If you don't really know how a relationship works, how can you expect a relationship to work for you?
If you are always giving this friend 95% effort but get 0% in return, then it’s okay to let them go.
Diversification is the key.
When investing your money long term it’s recommended to be diversified in bonds, mutual funds, stocks, real estate, etcetera.
It’s the same thing with relationships. If you don’t have different types of relationships your world may be very small and limited. You should diversify relationships in order to thrive.
If you only have your spouse to talk to you may need to branch out and find new friends. You may need to break up your routine of wake up, eat, go to work, eat, come home, eat, sleep and repeat.
If it’s one thing that the Coronavirus has shown us is that being limited to what you can do gets boring very quickly and increases feelings of loneliness. So when you’re ready to meet new people and develop new relationships, it will help you thrive in the long run and will help with your overall happiness.
Separate your emotions from the objectives.
If you use emotions when you're investing your money it can have a disastrous effect on your overall portfolio. When the stock market drops, many people will pull their money out in order to preserve what they have left. Investing your money is a long term commitment and should not be ruled by your fear.
Just like in a relationship, if you allow your emotions to rule your decisions instead of facts, you will most likely lose.
Think of the last disagreement you had with your spouse and remember what emotions were running through your mind and body at the time. Then think about the words you used to communicate your feelings and thoughts.
Did those words help to dampen or did they fan the flames of anger even higher?
Were you using a score card while in the argument in order to ensure that you would win the argument?
Listen to the words that are being spoken instead of anticipating what will be said and already thinking about what your answer is going to be. You’re not truly listening to the other person if you're thinking about your response before they’ve even finished speaking.
Have love be the cornerstone of all your relationships.
Just like stocks can be the cornerstone of your strategy towards investing your money, love should be the reason behind all of your relationships.
You need to see relationships as long term and also know that you may or may not see a return on your investment.
When you have a stock underperforming, there does come a time that you should get out of it and accept the loss.
The same can be said about a relationship. There may come a time when you decide that the relationship is underperforming and you should get out of it and accept the loss.
But until that time comes, you need to do everything in your power during that relationship to be from a place of love.
I’ve been lucky enough to be shown what unconditional love looks like and be the recipient of unconditional love.
And because of this, I’m able to give unconditional love to my family and friends.
It's impossible to keep everything even.
Life is not even. It’s too hard to make everything even.
Rip up the score cards that you’re keeping with your spouse and especially the score cards that you’re keeping with your children. You know the ones that have what you’ve done for one child on the left side of the card versus what you’ve done for another child on the right side of the card. It’s taking up too much of your valuable time trying to keep everything straight and EVEN.
Now if you decide to help one child with the down payment for a house and do nothing for the other child, I’m not saying that that won’t have an impact on the relationship.
Because it will.
Stop keeping tabs on all the little things.
It will even itself out in the end.
There’s an ebb and flow in any relationship with one person giving more at one time and the other giving more at a different time.
You have to believe that it will all even out in the long run. If you feel that you’re giving more all of the time, look at the relationship logically and truly look at why you’re feeling that way.
Maybe stop giving at an 87% level and dial it back to 64% to see if it makes an impact.
Always give freely instead of thinking, “What’s in it for me?” You never know when an investment will pay off in the future.
I’ll talk to you later, Beautiful!