Why thinking a relationship is 50/50 ends in divorce

You clutch your chest. A pain shoots through your arm as your brow drips with sweat. You hit the ground, and before you know it, it feels like an invisible weight is crushing you into the earth. You fade from consciousness as your partner runs screaming to your side.

You’ve just had a heart attack. Would this shock you into a lifestyle change? The doctor tells you it’s bound to happen again if you keep living the way you are. You make the change. Your diet improves, and your walks to the television are replaced by the park. The shock of death has changed you, but not completely. Your friends still enjoy their food, and naturally, you loosen the reigns in their company. Your wife and kids still stock the pantry with their favourite foods, and you find yourself pilfering a few from time to time. A few can’t hurt. 

Morning dawns, and you head out to grab the paper. You blink your eyes, but when you open them, the sun’s glare blinds you. Only a moment ago, you were standing. Now you’re on your back, clutching your chest as the pressure builds. Your partner screams and reaches a hand towards you, but it’s too late for you to feel it because she’s touching a corpse. 

Are relationships 50/50

We are always told that relationships are a partnership; like every partnership, this means equal effort. If I asked you what’s your responsibility in a relationship, what would you say – fifty-fifty? It is a partnership, and any good partnership requires equal effort.

What about our heart attack? We see people around us enjoying good food, so we join in from time to time. It’s our heart attack, but we only take half the responsibility. We value our lives yet play roulette when doing something about it. 

Relationships dance to the same tune. No matter how important they might be to us, we only give 50% and take half the responsibility. Here’s the thing, anything of value deserves our complete effort – 100%. Someone who values their life won’t risk it in the company of others. If you value your relationship and your partner, flipping a coin isn’t going to cut it.

Won’t you get taken advantage of?

It’s a fair question. If you give 100 per cent to your partner, what happens if they take advantage of you? Something is missing when you ask this question. Before you give 100% to anything, you first decide if it’s valuable. If you look at your partner and see someone who inspires you and makes you want to be better, that’s value.

But it’s not always like this, and that’s the power of giving 100%. If you see someone who takes advantage and drags you down – that’s when you leave. You don’t give them 50%, not even 10%. You give them nothing and get out of there. Overall, your partner is adding to your life or detracting from it. There’s no in-between. 

What if the relationship ends

It might. To watch something end that you invested 100 per cent in is going to hurt. You’ll feel like you lost something. Like your effort was all for nothing. But this isn’t true. Any relationship worth the effort is going to leave you a better person. Otherwise, what was the point of it all? 

You can grieve for what you’ve lost, or you can reminisce on the good times and experiences you’ve gained. It’s no different to your job. Life happens, and maybe you find yourself redundant. Life delivers these blows, but was your job all for nothing? Did you not learn, earn and grow in the process? Was it not better to have a job and lose it than never have had one at all? 

When we look back over life, it’s often not the things we’ve done that we regret. Instead, it’s the unknown that we regret the most. The job we never took, the person we were too anxious to ask out, the opportunity we turned down out of fear. When a relationship you’ve given 100 per cent to ends, you spare yourself that regret. You did everything you could do. We are only responsible for what you can control. Beyond that, all we can do is smile and accept what life has for us. We played our part well, and for that, we are free of regret. It’s the relationships ended by our own faults that keep us up at night. Never play chance with the valuable things in life.

Published in Premium Stories, Uncategorized
Stoicable

Stoicable

Exploring the wisdom and lessons of Stoic philosophy

Get Your Guide To Stoicism

Explore Stoicism with our free foundational course sent to your email. Subscribe below for access.

>
small_c_popup.png

Ready to begin your Stoic Journey?

Get access to
All of our Stoic
Guides.

Copy link