Marriage By the Numbers – What are you willing to give?

Marriage Dynamics InstituteMarriage Health, Patience

When you get married, there is no question you are in for a lot of work. But how much, exactly? Having just an average marriage takes a lot of effort, but what if you want an exceptional marriage? Let’s take a look at it by the numbers.

Is Marriage a 50-50 Proposition?

You may have heard that marriage is a 50-50 proposition.  Let’s think for a moment about how effective that is likely to be. Is meeting your spouse halfway the best strategy?

There’s no disputing the fact that every marriage involves compromise. That is not really what we’re talking about here. What concerns us is communicating “I’ll only go as far as you will.” Holding each other hostage with an I’ll-give-this-if-you-give-that philosophy leads nowhere. It results in a stalemate. No one is willing to make the first move for fear it will not be reciprocated.

If you are at this place, be convicted. Did you get married to get what you want, or to give what the other person needs?

100-100. Can marriage be an all-out effort for both husband and wife?

It’s ideal when both of you give everything you’ve got to your relationship. If you get there, you experience something many couples never do. So if you find yourself at the 100-100 place, enjoy it while it lasts. The truth is, sooner or later the realities of living in our fallen world can pull one or both of you off course in a hurry.  One moment things are fine and dandy; the next moment the bottom falls out.

Both of you being on top of your marriage game all the time is just about as likely of finding a news station you can trust.

100-0. Sometimes marriage involves you doing all the giving.

There will be times in your relationship when you need to pull all the weight. Whether the challenge is physical, spiritual, emotional, professional, financial, or some combination of these things, are you ready to carry the load for your spouse?

The load might be heavy, but it might be light, too. Even if your spouse is just in a little funk will you keep your best foot forward? Will you stay positive when they are in a less than pleasant mood? When they don’t do their fair share of work around the house, will you still do yours – and perhaps even theirs? If their words to you are short or full of anger, will you respond the same way? Or will you be patient, kind, and loving?

Giving everything you’ve got when your spouse isn’t contributing much at all may be the best way to get things back on track. Giving up when they’re not in the game isn’t going to lead to a win.

Marriage is a lot of work. Most days you’re working together, but some days it may all fall on you. That’s not the way a lot of people in the world would see things, but it’s part of our vision of developing an exceptional love.

Find other great tips by downloading our Seven Foolproof Ways to Build an Exceptional Love pdf. It’s completely free, and may just take your marriage to a different place. Find other great resources, courses, and workshops at

About the Author

Marriage Dynamics Institute

Marriage Dynamics Institute (MDI) wants to cultivate healthy families, churches, and communities by helping create marriages full of joy, meaning, and purpose. Having served more than 75,000 couples since 1994, MDI offers workshops and seminars for marriages at every stage, including those in crisis.