Love isn’t always 50-50.
Often, it’s this thinking that love has to be equal at all times that trips many of us up. Even those of us with good intentions find ourselves wondering why relationships sometimes require more than half.
A few years ago, before our baby girl came into the picture, my husband, son and I all came down with the flu. It was the year the H1N1 was striking fear across the country. I was right on board with the frenzy and made sure both my son and I were fully vaccinated.
My husband decided to tough it out.
Even with the regular flu shot and the H1N1 strain vaccine, our family still caught the flu. Fortunately, for me and Blake, it was mild and only lasted a few days. Unfortunately, for my husband, it lasted over a week.
At that moment, 50-50 wasn’t possible. My husband can be a tough guy, but at that point I knew he was down for the count. He stayed in bed for five days straight. He was wiped, exhausted, spent.
There was no ’50 percent’ coming from that camp.
I was left, with a 101 temperature, caring for me, my son and my husband. I’d like to think I rose to the occasion, but no—I ended up in a heap by day two. But, somehow, I managed to muster enough energy to care for the family.
I had to.
And I would do it over and over again.
Years ago, a work colleague, who had been married for decades, shared his secret to a successful marriage. He said:
“Some days you’ll have to give 100 percent when your partner can give zero.”
His words stuck with me. Having been married for 12 years now, I see the wisdom in his advice. Whether it’s children, career changes, life changes or family difficulties, there will be times when you will have to carry the burden for both you and your partner.
And there will be times when your partner will carry the burden for you.
Of course my husband and I disagree and, even after all these years together, still debate about who should do what. But I know that if life offers me a curveball and I’m left in a ball on the floor, he will be there to pick me up and offer 100 percent.
That’s a whole relationship.
Love is like the ocean, it ebbs and flows.
Rarely do two people go through an entire lifetime completely in sync. However, one thing that is a constant in this world is unpredictability. One can never know what the next day brings.
But, there is comfort in knowing that the one you’ve chosen to walk this rocky road of life with will be there to hold your hand…even if you didn’t get a flu shot.
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Ed: Brianna Bemel