The Deceptive 50/50 Relationship: why it doesn’t work

A 50/50 relationship doesn't work in marriage. The deceptive "you do you'll part and I'll do mine" always falls short. A 50/50 relationship doesn't work in marriage. The deceptive "you do you'll part and I'll do mine" always falls short. 

Our Need

Marriage, many believe, is a “fifty-fifty” relationship.  That belief sounds good and seems to make sense.  There’s just one problem – it doesn’t work.

Here’s why: Thinking our spouse must do his or her 50 percent leads us to focus on the other person’s performance. 

But once couples start measuring each other’s performance, disappointment follows close behind, and a deadly cycle begins:

“you do your part” leads to “unmet expectations” leads to “disappointment” leads to “anger or silence” leads to “distance instead of harmony” leads to “increased pressure to perform”.

God’s Principle
 on 50/50

The basic problem with a “fifty-fifty” approach to marriage is this: it does not understand the nature of biblical love.  A “fifty-fifty” approach is selfish at its core. 

Biblical love, however, is self-less at its core.  “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the Church and gave Himself up for her…” (Ephesians 5:25). 

The very nature of a husband’s love for his wife is defined by self-sacrifice.  Or again, “Love…is not self-seeking” (1 Corinthians 13:5). 

Biblical love does not ask, “How can I meet half of the needs in this relationship while waiting for you to meet the other half?” 

Biblical love says, “How can I meet your needs?  How can I serve you?  How can I put you ahead of myself?”

Our Response to the 50/50 Relationship

Look again at the cycle above that the “fifty-fifty” approach leads to. 

Are there ways in which you can see this cycle impacting your marriage?  What part can you play in breaking this cycle?

The biblical definition of love is found in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8.  Prayerfully meditate on this passage and ask the Lord to show you how to manifest this type of love in your marriage.

Do you ever use the 50/50 approach in your marriage? How can you move away from performance into faith love?

A 50/50 relationship doesn't work in marriage. The deceptive "you do you'll part and I'll do mine" always falls short. 

Learn About Christian Family Life

Christian Family Life is a marriage discipleship ministry. We are here to offer resources and support no matter what condition your marriage is in. Our passion is to Build, Enrich, and Reconcile Marriages.

Meet the team!

Connect With Us!

Two Becoming One

No matter where you are in your marriage the Two Becoming One resource will improve your marriage.

Get the book now!

Leaving an Unforgettable Mark

Leaving an Unforgettable Mark

The world today runs at breakneck speeds. The demands on every aspect of our lives can exhaust us. This weariness can lead to a feeling of emptiness and ingratitude that spirals in such a way that our overall well-being is compromised. However, gratitude can make a...

read more
Water Your Own Garden

Water Your Own Garden

When Ryan and I were newly engaged, I remember being so excited to be married and swooning over my new and shiny ring that I couldn't help but stare at it all the time. I guess it was obvious, because many people were kind and noticed my ring (or possibly me staring...

read more
What Are You Thinking?

What Are You Thinking?

Have you ever thought about something long enough that it basically became true to you? Have you ever thought that you told your spouse something, only because you had thought about it so much? Then defended yourself, standing firm on what you believed in that moment,...

read more