Equal Partnership In a Marriage?

When I hear the words “equal partnership” I immediately picture this quote:battle-of-sexes-battle-of-the-sexes-29492491-284-177

 

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?

 

NaijaHusband

Welcome to the musings of the “not so typical” Naijahusband and his lovely Naijawife. Follow us on Twitter: NaijaHusband and NaijaWife

20 Comments

  1. “…respecting each other’s contributions, rather than quantifying them, in terms of percentages was the way forward.” I like this perspective. I think some maturity is needed to implement.

  2. I think your response to Huffpost was brilliant.. I learnt something recently, that leadership is ‘situational’ and an effective leader knows how to recognise situations when he should lead and when he should step back and allow a more capable person to lead at the time..
    I guess it’s important to acknowledge like you said in your article that in marriage its best to understand your individual strengths and allow each other to ‘lead’ on it and support each other in areas that are not your strongest points.
    PS Totally love your blog.. and going to look for your wife on twitter!

  3. I think I’m going to learn a lot from you on this blog. I came over after reading your post on Myne Whitman’s blog “How the Wife and I went for Preengagement Counseling.” Nice work. I’ll be following you from now on. Nice to have things heard from a male perspective:-) Plus, I love your wife – smart woman: “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?”

  4. I am not married or being close to marriage but I love your blog and the message it passes across. I love how you leave your wife to handle things that she is very good at and how you handle things you are good at. I like your answer on the issue of equal partnership. I will definitely follow you all the way, thanks for this.

    • Welcome! and thank you! Just checked out your site and am inspired to prevent what will soon become a pot belly if i’m not careful

  5. Giving 100 percent all the time & understanding that you are each other’s help mate is just the right term for partnership. Weldone!

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