When You’re the Only One Pulling Weight in Marriage


one sided relationship

Up until our wedding day, my relationship with my husband was a solid 50/50 give and take. It wasn’t a one-sided relationship, but I’d give half of myself with the expectation that my husband would also give half. Together we’d be whole.

But this changed the day we got married. Something our officiating pastor said during the ceremony left us dumbfounded. These words changed us for the better (and they’re NOT that marriage is 100/100).

He looked at us and told us that most couples stand at the altar with the idea that their relationship is split 50/50. But the most successful marriages are actually 0/100. Even when the other is giving 0 percent, we should give 100 percent. The most successful marriages aren’t 50/50; they’re 0/100. When the other person is giving 0 percent, we should give 100 percent. Easier said than done! The truth is we both have gone through certain seasons when we needed the other to carry the load. If you feel like that’s you, and you’re in a one-sided relationship, remember these things.

It’s temporary.

The widely known phrase “this too shall pass” doesn’t usually offer the hope we so desperately want when we’re in the middle of the tunnel. But the truth is that this season will not last forever. I can’t promise that the circumstances will morph into something less hard. But you do have a choice either to stay the same or come out stronger. We can’t control what a spouse is doing, but we can choose our attitudes. Remind yourself that this season does have an end and you can see it through.

It’s not about you.

The hardest and most prevalent lesson I’ve learned from marriage is how selfish I am. When my husband decided to go back to school, I wanted to support him. But I didn’t quite grasp just how much I would have to sacrifice. Likewise, when I went through a bout of postpartum depression, my husband graciously stepped up and held our family together. We both at times felt like we were in a one-sided relationship. When we stop long enough to see how much our spouse is doing rather than just how much we are doing, we make room in our marriage for compassion and understanding.

It’s not about being right.

We can’t get angry about our husbands not doing their part if we aren’t willing to do ours. The problem with retracting our part is that it also encourages our spouses to retract theirs. Eventually, there’s a full disconnect between us. There are times that my husband or I have to take a look at the offense we are holding onto and decide what is worth more: proving ourselves right or our relationship. For a marriage to work, one person must choose to be a little more generous with themselves than they think the other deserves. Keep the big picture at the forefront.

How do you encourage yourself when you’re in a season of bearing more weight than your spouse?

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