There is no great 50/50 relationship

I am always suspect of people that tell me about their great relationships because both partners do 50% of the work or give 50% of the effort. I have found that when someone wants to make sure that people know that they are giving 50% to a relationship, they are the same people that want to make sure that the other person is doing 50% as well. It’s rather selfish. It is just another way of saying that I don’t want to have to do more than my fair share.

I have found that if I take responsibility for my own actions in a relationship than it will already be the best it can be. If I give 100% of my effort towards making it great, than I have done all I can. It doesn’t guarantee that the other person will do the same but it sure makes for the best possible situation to allow that to be. When I do this it gives my wife the safest environment to give all that she is and all that she can.

One thing to remember is that you cannot give with the expectation of receiving. Sure, we all hope that others will do for us as we try to do our best for them, but if you give with the expectation of receiving equal or better return, you will often be disappointed. Especially in your marriage, give freely without expectation. It is not about doing this so that you can change your spouse, it is about doing the right thing because it is right. Doing the right thing is always about you.

In your marriage, give 100% all the time. There will be times you are tired. There will be times that you are hurt. There will be times that you have very little to give. But give the best of what you have in that moment.

Trust that when you give your best your needs will be met. When you find that you need some help, when you need to be taken care of, tell your wife. She is not a mind-reader. Sometimes you will have to let it be known. Sometimes they will miss your signals. I remember a great saying about how women should tell their husbands what they need instead of expecting them to know, “Men read newspapers, not minds.” While I think women are a little better skilled at knowing what we need, sometimes they just need us to tell them as well.

From now on, don’t give your fair share. Give it all. Pour yourself out for her. Give her the best of who you are. Give 100% of what you have.


20 Responses to There is no great 50/50 relationship

  1. Wile E. Filipino says:

    Thank you for putting this into words. I actually had a conversation with my ex-girlfriend about this very idea. She insisted that our relationship should be 50/50, and I believed in 100/100. We never quite saw eye to eye on this, which is why she is now my ex.

    • Ken Kendall says:

      Thanks Wile E.

      Sorry it took me so long to respond. It is very hard to have a great relationship when both parties are not willing to do the work. But you are very fortunate to have found this out before you married.

  2. Cindy Holman says:

    Totally agree! Again – I am married to a saint of a man – no one compares to him in taking care of my needs 🙂 More men need to be like this. Thanks for posting this!

    • Ken Kendall says:

      I don’t know how I missed this comment Cindy but I am so thankful every time I read about your marriage. It is validation that it really works. You and your husband are a great inspiration.

  3. Andrea says:

    When I got married, our officiant said effectively the same thing, that 50/50 only gave each spouse the impression they were worth half the effort. In the vein of a 50/50 compromise, a person must give 100% so that the partnership is fulfiling to both parties, and the person giving 100% is more likely to inspire their partner to give 100% as well, and so no one is left the short end of the compromise.

    It’s worked well for my husband and I to think in those terms.

    • Ken Kendall says:

      Thanks Andrea. I am sorry it took me so long to respond. I am having a hard time keeping up with the comments. I love hearing of couples that have done the work and have happy marriages. All we hear about is the failures and you and your husband are a success. Thank you.

  4. corvedacosta says:

    I so agree with your piece here but sometimes you may think you are giving your best 100% but the other partner thinks otherwise.
    I agree with your tip for a successful relationship -give it all.

    • Ken Kendall says:

      You are so right corve. Sometimes no matter what we do, others don’t see it for our best effort. That is why we have to judge our success against what we set out to do rather than the response of someone else.

  5. anissastein says:

    I love this idea. When I think of hearing that phrase 50/50, I immediately wonder if they are keeping score. To me that is not love or friendship. There isn’t a score with people – who’s done more, less, etc. Thanks for sharing a great reminder for all of us.

    • Ken Kendall says:

      That’s it. That is what I wanted to say in this post and couldn’t quite get the right words. When I think of 50/50, I can only imagine reaching this goal if you are keeping score. But If I know that I am responsible for 100% of my best effort and love, than I am not trying to only give exactly the same as someone else.

      Thank you so much.

  6. hannahnow says:

    Excellent! Yes, one must give 100%. It’s not about finding the right partner, it’s about being the right partner!


    • Ken Kendall says:

      I love this Hannah. When we live life with the intent of being the right person, or partner, we will attract the right person or partner.

      Again, you all have given me a better and more clear reflection of my thoughts than the originals. Thank you.

  7. keewt says:

    I’ve always found from my experience that putting in my 100% usually would yield about a 80:20 ratio in terms of distribution between my partner and I. But then again, if you asked him he might say the exact same thing. Point is putting the effort in at least gets you something, waiting for the other person to do it just results in only that .. waiting.

  8. How pathetic! Women are the cheapest creatures on earth and most expect a man to pay for everything. Women claim to be equal and “independent” until it’s time to pay for something. there is no equality with American women. Only a MADMAN would marry one in the USA today.

    • Ken Kendall says:

      Hi Zero,

      I can only imagine what you have experienced to form such a negative opinion of women. The truth is that our society has destroyed the ideas and role models of great men and great women.

      But I can assure you that this is not a universal truth. Yes many women and men are damaged and are really messed up. But there are also a lot of great men and women that are working everyday to make great relationships and great families.

      I have such an incredible wife and she is better than anything I could ever have hoped for.

      Make a list of the qualities that you would want in a great woman and focus on those. With focus you will find a great woman.

  9. Travis says:

    @keewt – the best ratio in the world is the 75/25. Putting 75% into the marriage and 25% into yourself will make the 75% more valuable.

    @Zero Tolerance Man – way to dignify women. To refer to them as creatures is asking for whatever unhappiness that you expected. Money does nothing to determine equality. It just shows that your whole view to relationships is how much it costs you.

    Marriage’s value is greater than the sum of the parts.

    • WRONG! it’s women who create the money problems because they spend uncontrollably, expect the man to finance their lives and pay for everything even if they earn a 6 figure salary, and do so because pathetic wimps have spoiled them. You’ll find out when you end up in divorce court, that they whole thing becomes about money; the money your “loving” wife wants to take from you. Considering how high the divorce rate is, chances are you will end up there if you were dumb enough to get married. you can get everything as a single man that you can get by being married except a worthless piece of paper. You can be “loved”, have kids; whatever. there is no point in getting married to have some woman take half or more of your wealth, unless you are a complete loser. Marriage is for the dumb and the poor.

      • Ken Kendall says:


        When I began dating my wife, I would have been considered wealthy. Today, just a couple of years later, we are married and barely getting by. My wife love me more everyday and could not care less about how much money we have. Yes, money help sand some of the rough spots. Yes, it makes some things easier. But money will not make you happy. I have been happy most of my life whether I have had it or not.

        Take your eyes off the money flow and look for a great women. They are out there and the right one will make you the happiest man you could ever be.

        Thanks again for posting. I really hope you keep coming back. Read some of my other posts.

        By the way, did your parents have a good marriage? I am not analyzing you. I was just wondering if anyone in your life has ever shown you the benefits of a great marriage.

        Talk to you soon,

  10. Almost every woman in my life with the exception of 1 grandmother was abusive and selfish. I have dated over 500 women and there were a few good ones, but most were selfish and only cared what they could get from me. The Jewish ones from NY and NJ are the worst. They naturally migrated to Florida and I have to deal with them here. That’s why I am moving To an area with nicer people. All you have to do is look at the statistics. Marriage is a huge risk. If you find someone you love, why not just live together and not take the financial risk?
    In the past when gender roles were defined, this was easier. now, most American women don’t cook, demand dinner out, and don’t want to pay for a thing. You site should focus on what the woman should do for the man too. If focuses too much on the man doing things for the woman.

    • Mrs. Pilgrim says:

      Zero, how well, in your experience, is advice to a woman about how she should be and what she should do received from a man? I ask this because, as a woman, I have received a great deal of fury and hatred from my fellow women, when speaking of men and relationships.

      No amount of truth is received by people who don’t want the truth. Some people are quite convinced that they are “just fine the way I am, you [censored censored]”, and that every problem they encounter is someone else’s doing–because that whole category of “else” is innately evil or stupid or something.

      And then they will seek you out and vent their rage for your audacity to disagree with them.

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