“Work” should not be split 50/50 in relationships

IMG_20160501_202148In our society we have been conditioned to look at things we are required to do (but don’t necessarily want to) as “work”. It’s true. Has the cat box been cleaned out? Do I want to clean it out? Eh… it needs to be. Are the dishes in the dishwasher? Do I want to rinse them and put them in the dishwasher? Eh… they need to be. Let’s face it, we have TONS of these scenarios going on in our lives but my question is… when it comes to “work” why as a society do we feel we are obligated to split the “work” 50/50?

See… in my strange-way-of-thinking mind, when I hear people say this my thought process is… let’s say a couple has 10 things that needs to be done in the household or in their relationships (with each other or not) when they expect one person to do half of the “work” how is it determined who does what half? Wouldn’t there always be one person waiting to see what the other person is going to do before pulling their own weight? What if both individuals are doing the same thing and suddenly those 10 things are just sitting there… idle?

I’m just saying… if we’re going to talk percentages… what is wrong with one person doing 70% of the “work” and the other person does the other 30% but also invests their time/funds/attention to other things that could benefit their relationship/life experience, e.g. plan vacation, weekend outing, restaurant/movie date night, etc. I think most relationships are strained when the individuals involved are just focusing on the “work” and they forget about fun/leisure the very thing that brought them together in the first place (time, attention, fun).

What if we stopped looking at relationships as a 50/50 type scenario and just focus on doing 150% of quality time/effort together? Just a thought.

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Why do people get married?

IMG_20150626_211017I was having a conversation with some people the other day about the Supreme Court’s decision on gay marriage.  Naturally, there were those that pulled the “It’s not right, it’s wrong, the Bible says so” line and I tried to get them to elaborate more on why they opposed gay marriage they disappeared from the chat.  People who oppose gay marriage are quick to throw that line.  It seems to be a difficult concept for everyone to respect each other. Just because one person doesn’t believe in the same thing the immediate reaction seems to be condemn them from society.  My friend Blake posted a message on Facebook yesterday that I thought was just PERFECT and I wanted to share it with you:

“Look people, reality check. My timeline is littered with political diatribe over this same sex ruling and in the spirit of fair-play allow me a moment to explain my point of view. I’m a man of faith and I’m also not perfect, and as such I do not judge (God’s job, not mine ) Despite my disagreement with today’s judgement I don’t hate nor do I wish any ill-will towards anyone. Furthermore, it is my right (as much as it is yours) to believe in traditional marriage (man and woman). Media and Progressivism would have people believe that to have an opinion that differs from anyone else’s is blasphemy and that those people should be ostracized. It is my firm belief that nothing is further from the truth, and that , if anything it’s our differences and varying points of view that allow us to learn from one-another. Moving forward, if today’s judgement makes lives for others easier , than I’m not beyond saying that, I’m happy for you. However, let’s remember that as many people who are wanting to preach equality, that courtesy extends to all, not just those who support your argument.” – Blake

It seems like many people have so much passion in opposing gay marriage; and many gay people have such great passion in defending it.  After reading various articles; it’s hard to ignore the hateful comments. Can’t we just be OK to respect one another’s opinion? At the end of the day this ruling by the Supreme Court, who is it hurting?  What I’m wondering is with gay marriage being allowed in all 50 states now – how will this affect the divorce rate?  Will it increase? Will it decrease?  I think regardless of your sexual orientation it is important that you don’t take marriage lightly. Marriage is a choice.  Both people involved in the marriage must have mutual understanding that they are devoting themselves to one another.  Unfortunately, people give up when it gets hard or when it gets hard they remain together but do not take the time to iron out the problems.

What about divorce?
My question is, why aren’t more Christians against divorce?  If you feel so strongly against gay marriage why aren’t you as passionate about divorce? Why are you not standing outside courthouse with your signs protesting a couple getting a divorce when the divorce is by mutual agreement that they simply don’t love each other enough to stay together?

“But I say that a man who divorces his wife, unless she has been unfaithful, causes her to commit adultery. And anyone who marries a divorced woman also commits adultery.” Matthew 5:32

Now I’ve been actively reading the Bible myself.  Right now I wouldn’t describe myself as very religious but I like the idea of being in a position where if I was going to reference the Bible I want to be able to do so accurately.  I’m not going to lie it’s been difficult but I’m getting through the text.  I’ve heard that the Bible is not meant to be read alone but I want to try.  I’m not as much interested in hearing others’ interpretation of the text – I want to attempt to read it for what it is and find my own truth.  Anyway, back to the topic at hand… why do people get married?

So we can go with the obvious reasons
– You really love each other
– You can’t stand the thought of ever being without your significant other
– You don’t want other people to try and take your partner away and marriage solidifies your union
– It is the obvious next step to your relationship; you’ve been together long enough
– You want to have children (or maybe you both agree not to have any children).
– Your family would be so happy

Then there are the unspoken reasons
– They are really good in bed (or I imagine they are very good in bed for those that don’t believe in sex before marriage)
– They are financially responsible (I don’t have to worry about them)
– I want someone to find me if in case I die after falling in bathtub or something.

But seriously, why do people get married?  Perhaps it’s the ‘forever’ commitment to each other and somehow announcing it front of a witness(es) makes it all the more real.  It’s a great reason to get both families together and announce that you’re married now so please excuse us if we can’t visit as often. It makes tax time so much easier.

I say… if any of these are/were your reasons then GREAT.  It’s ok.  Your reasons to get married are between you and your partner. It doesn’t matter what anyone else says or their opinion about marriage.  They are speaking from what they’ve experienced and/or what they’ve heard.  I say, look at your relationship and yours alone don’t base your relationship on anyone else or their views.  You know why? Because expectations happen; and expectations are disastrous in a marriage when both people are not on the same page.

Marry each other or don’t marry each other but for the sake of your happiness TALK TO EACH OTHER.  Get on the same page about your relationship and make your relationship PRIORITY.  Even before money/finances and even before children; put each other first.  When you don’t, when you let other details get in between you and your significant other that is when the questions start happening: “Do I still love you?” “Do you still love me?”  “Is this even worth it?”  Squash the doubts and every day say and prove that you love each other.

I don’t know if you guys know this already but everyone receives/gives love differently.  Most of the time we “show” how much we love another person by how we’d like to receive love but that shouldn’t be the case. It should be our mission to find out how our partner wants to be loved.

IMG_20150626_212049
The 5 Love Languages

  1. Words of affirmation: compliments or words of encouragement
  2. Quality time: their partner’s undivided attention
  3. Receiving gifts: symbols of love, like flowers or chocolates
  4. Acts of service: setting the table, walking the dog, or doing other small jobs
  5. Physical touch: having sex, holding hands, kissing.

Marriage Counseling
I learned these from our couples counseling before we got married.  (Which I HIGHLY recommend to anyone considering getting married).  My results were clear that I mostly receive love through Quality Time and Physical Touch.  Jared likes to make fun of me from time to time and say “Oh yeah I have to touch you or you’ll die!” as he enthusiastically bearhugs me or throws me over his shoulder.  His results were a bit more difficult; in the test, your love languages are ranked from highest to lowest and he scored evenly on all of them. So sometimes I find myself asking “So, what is your love language today?” Anyway, seriously though if you’re planning on getting married take the class.  You’ll love it.  If you’re not already on the same page about things this class will make it clear that you need to be.  Oh yes, and if you’ve in Texas they waive $60 of the $81 fee for the marriage license.

I know I covered A LOT in this post and it was just one of those moments where I HAD a lot to say.  I would really appreciate your feedback if you agree with me and even more so if you disagree with anything that I’ve pointed out.  If you feel compelled to hit that “like” button please take a moment and tell me why you like my article. I really want to know your opinions on the matter.