A couple of weekends ago my youngest sister got married. I decided to give a toast despite the fact that I hate public speaking. I had no idea what I would say but when I got the microphone, one of the best advice I have heard came to mind and I shared it. It is that marriage is not 50/50, but 100% giving ourselves to one another.
When my husband and I first got married, I entered marriage with the idea that we had to meet half way for everything; from chores to finances, to responsibilities, communication and everything else. Especially because we were both working full-time jobs, I expected everything in marriage to be 50/50.
Without realizing it, there were times I was even expecting more than 50 percent of him while giving much less. Other times, it felt the opposite way-I was giving more of myself than he was.
Though I can’t say we give 100% of ourselves every single day of our marriage, I can say it became a focus. When we once thought marriage was about meeting each other half way, we now see marriage as giving ourselves completely to each other and we take full responsibility of being the best person possible for one another.
We are still learning to practice this daily. It’s not easy to become unselfish and think more about the other person than ourselves, but it is possible. If we want to have a successful marriage, we need to think about the needs of our partner and seek to please them 100 percent of the time.
How can we give 100% of ourselves to our spouse?
1. Everyday think of something you can do for your spouse that will make them happy.
You know that phrase, “The way to a man’s heart is his stomach” ? In my marriage this is the case. When my husband has a long and tiring day at work, I know what he most loves is getting home to a nice dinner. It makes him happy. There are other things that make our spouses happy. Time spent together, small gifts, sex, listening to each other, respect, surprises, doing special things for them, are all things that can make your partner happy. Think about what your partner likes and find ways to please them. My husband knows I love to travel and he doesn’t really care for it much. To make me happy, he finds ways to make travel possible. Maybe your spouse likes surprises. Come home with something they aren’t expecting. Maybe your partner wants you to spend time watching a show with them. Put everything down and go sit with them. Leave the chore for later. Come home with flowers, cook a delicious meal, bring them a random gift. You’ll notice that when you start seeking their happiness, you will have a partner who loves to come home to you.
2. Everyday find ways to serve them.
When we decide to serve our spouse, we are showing them they are a priority in our lives. We make sacrifices because we love them and seek to please them. It’s a way to become mindful and do things for them to make their load easier, especially when they are tired. In complete honestly, I don’t like to cook much. I do enjoy it sometimes and my dishes come out good, but it isn’t my favorite thing to do. Like I said earlier, having food makes my husband happy so I try my best to have food ready for him when he is home from work daily. My husband has done the same thing. He will take the responsibility of cooking when I come home later than him. Some ways you can serve each other is by helping each other with chores, helping with the kids, doing special things for one another, and taking responsibility of things to be done. Serving is when we put their needs ahead of ours because we love them and want to make life easier for them. (Think washing the dishes.) It’s about doing the things neither of you enjoy doing like cleaning the toilet or whatever comes to mind that you both don’t like, and doing it so the other person doesn’t have to. Serving is helping them do those things even when you don’t want to. Gender is not even an issue here. Women can take out the trash and men can clean the toilet.
3. Be ready to be the only one who gives when one of you is going through something such as an illness, health issue, depression, etc.
My husband and I have both been through times when we couldn’t give our all in our relationship. At one point, my husband was going through anxiety and I had to seek ways to make his life easier. I learned to not expect much from him during this time. When I was going through depression after my miscarriage, my husband didn’t expect me to have a clean house or to even make food for him. On the contrary, my husband would baby me and come home with ice-cream to lift up my mood. When one of us has a cold, we will serve each other by bringing medicine or brewing tea. Be ready to give more than your partner during hard times and don’t expect their 100%. Instead, find ways to lift their spirits and work hard at making them feel happy. Knowing that these situations are temporary will help you fight for your marriage despite the stresses that your relationship may be going through.
You won’t always give your 100%, because situations will arise. Sometimes you will be tired, sick, or upset. But if we stop expecting a certain amount from our partners and instead choose to give our 100% as much as we possibly can every day, we will be much more happy. When we give our all for our partner, will be setting ourselves up for a successful marriage! Decide to walk hand in hand today by serving each other and seek to give the best of you every day.
I would love to know how you find ways to give 100% in your marriage. How has it helped your marriage be successful?