I know it doesn’t align with today’s standards of what we as women (or men) are told to expect in marriage and a partner. However, it has taken me years to realize that a 50/50 marriage from the viewpoint of society, isn’t for me.

When Chris and I married, it started off as you take care of your stuff, and I’ll handle mine. However, I learned over the years that it’s not the best approach to anything, especially marriage.

When it comes to 50/50 and marriage, in my opinion, it’s a selfish mentality, and I am just not interested in having one.

I was a strong-willed and determined woman from an early age. But I will be the first person to admit it’s taken a lot of wisdom, growth, maturity, and lessons learned over 10 years of our relationship together to realize the depth of my selfishness.

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I’d also be lying if I told you I’m completely done growing and learning. I often have to step outside my comfortable bubble to learn what my husband needs and what he wants.

He works long and tiring hours every week to allow me to stay home and pursue the dreams I want. And while it has paid off (*breathes a collective sigh of relief*), it took a lot of sacrifice on both of our parts to get there.

This means when I know certain bills are going to come up short because he doesn’t have it, I jump in and take care of it. Unfortunately, it’s taboo to even say something like that out loud. As black women, we are often told this is called “pick me” behavior. (Which in my opinion, should be the least of our concern when there are actual issues like this affecting our community when it comes to marriage). ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

When in fact, it’s a husband and wife coming together as a team, taking care of our family just as it should be.

Our marriage is in fact 100/100 not 50/50, and it always will be.

Yes, I stay at home with the kids.

Yes, he works outside of the home.

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No, dinner is not ready every single night when he walks in. In fact, most nights he cooks dinner immediately when he gets home from work. His days off are spent doing family stuff. Would he rather be on the court playing basketball with friends? Probably, but he chooses us.

Throughout the course of our marriage, we have each given, and we have each taken. It’s not always fair, but it doesn’t have to be.

There will be days when he needs more time away than I do. He may need to decompress every night when he comes home, to just sit and not do anything. I am completely OK with that.

Likewise, there are days where I need him to take the kids the moment he walks in, and I just call it a night and he handles it. That’s OK as well.

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A lot of times I see people saying they just want their partner to be fair or for things to be even. Unfortunately, it just doesn’t happen that way. Someone will always get the short end of the stick. For both of us, there are times when we may be upset with one another because we may need time, but we can’t get it. But this is where the compromise comes in.

Is it sunshine and roses every single day? Of course not. My husband reminds me that it takes a lot of humility and understanding to see and acknowledge that your spouse is your equal partner and that it’s a joy and blessing to have them in your life.

If not having a 50/50 marriage means we have a healthier marriage, then so be it.

PS – They don’t tell you this in marriage counseling, but being married will never make you happy (but it’s probably not why you might think!). 

Originally published on the author’s blog

Natasha Brown

Natasha Brown is a former chemical engineer, turned SAHM mom of five. Her blog Grits & Grace was started to celebrate her southern upbringing and the belief that everyone deserves grace, sometimes we need a little help getting there. She currently resides in the Atlanta suburbs with her husband and children.