When I hear the words “equal partnership” I immediately picture this quote:
Recently, the Huffington Post asked its married readers to give advice on how to maintain an equal partnership in marriage.
I submitted my thoughts and fortunately they published it (they cite me as “Naija” as opposed to Naija Husband). Here’s what I said:
“Though we both desire an equal partnership in terms of our commitment to each other and our family, we also understand that life doesn’t always place us in equal circumstances. We won’t always have jobs that pay the same exact amount, or have the same physical capabilities or even be in the same stages of life. Regardless of what circumstances we may face, we both strive to dedicate 100 percent (not 50-50) effort to keeping our partnership equal by planning our days together and dividing tasks. Under today’s standards it would appear that our parents’ partnerships were not equal, but we understood that the circumstances they found themselves in back then called for it. Now, in a post-financial crisis society, my wife and I have had to face the reality that one of us (or even both of us) may not be able to bring much money or time to the table but we both respect and support each other for the contributions we can make (whether equal or not) towards our marriage.”
You can read the article at Huffington Post
My answer seems a bit long-winded though compared to one commenter who stated simply that:
Equal partnership in marriage means understanding things may not always be 50/50.
I think that sums it up nicely.
My wife made it very clear to me before we started dating (sometimes a bit too often) that she would be “no man’s slave” when she married. As she put it, she didn’t want to end up working more as a married woman, than she did as a single person. She knew that everyone considered a wife to be a husband’s helpmate but wanted to know “don’t women deserve a help mate too?”
Of course they do. We help each other and as a result, life is actually better for us as a married couple than it was when we were single. I married an extremely talented woman (@naijawife) who has a head for things that I don’t. She’s the communicator in the family (She even edits my blog posts). I’m the task oriented one. Some days, we’ll be faced with challenges that she’s better suited to take the lead on and other days she takes the back seat. Same goes for me.
Once we understood that our marriage wasn’t a competition (and that took a long time) with a prize of “most dedicated and useful partner” awarded at the end, we decided that respecting each other’s contributions, rather than quantifying them in terms of percentages was the way forward.
What do you think?