Don’t be dismayed by my title, marriage is lit! If someone asks me, “How is marriage,” I hope that my answer would be the same twenty years from now. I am twenty nine years old and I’m approaching my second anniversary. He was and still is my college sweetheart. Our journey took six years to prepare us to walk down the aisle. Four of those years were spent long distance. Two of those years we were engaged. And one month before the wedding we finally moved in together.

But who needs advice?

The one consistent piece of advice people kept giving me about marriage was, that marriage is hard work. It would always be followed up with, “It’s a beautiful thing,” but somehow the hard work piece would come back around. I would say, “Oh yeah, I get it. I know.” I didn’t know diddly-squat! Now, that I’m married, loving it, living it, annoyed by it and inspired by it, I can confirm that marriage is hard work. Here’s why….

Let’s Keep it 100.

It’s easy to think that when two people join in a union with each other that marriage will be 50-50. Spoiler alert: that’s wrong! Marriage is no Arnold Palmer. You know, the half tea, half lemonade drink. Marriage is 100-100. Both parties have to give 100% of themselves to make the relationship thrive.  There will come a time when your 100% means, putting what you want aside. When you give “half” in a marriage, you’re holding something back and that’s selfish. Who wants to be in a half-assed marriage? When I gave only 50% in my marriage, Husbae and I both suffered.

Let’s take a deeper look.

I had a separate bank account before I got married. We eventually opened up a joint account but I still kept my personal account. I wasn’t putting money into it until one day I decided to change that. I set up a certain amount from my check to go into my personal account and I did not tell Husbae. Pay day comes and it backfired. Unbeknownst to me, the bank had closed my account months prior. Since my account was closed, my employer couldn’t process the direct deposit, which turned into my entire check being held. This happened on a pay week when we really needed the money. By me being selfish and not wanting to give a 100% towards my marriage; I hurt Husbae and sabotaged myself. Your 100% may not be in a monetary form, it may be emotional or sexual. You have to ask yourself and examine the areas where you’re giving 50 and not 100.

In marriage, there aren’t any scorecards!

Unless you’re married to Superwoman or Superman, there will be times when you and your partner won’t give 100 at the same time. Sometimes you’re distracted with work or distracted emotionally. Both of you will want to give your all but the distractions won’t allow you to. It will happen. So don’t keep score! It’s not about who washed the dishes last, who took out the dog, or who planned the last date. When you keep score, you lose. Keeping score can have you feeling neglected, which will lead to resentment. Times when your partner isn’t giving 100%, isn’t an excuse for you to slack off. This is when you have to communicate. Talk to your partner about the distractions and how the both of you can move past them. When you can, always give your all.

What does 100% look like?

Well. 100% in my household looks like Husbae cooking dinner and using the crockpot. It doesn’t sound like much. But when we started dating he had a total of 3 spices in his kitchen and he didn’t even use those to cook. Now he cooks regularly because I communicated that I felt overwhelmed by doing the majority of the cooking.

Giving 100 looks like me finally going to therapy. I could see the transformation therapy had on Husbae. He told me that he understood me better by talking to someone that didn’t have a stake in our relationship. So I started therapy at his suggestion to show him that I’m invested 100% in making our relationship better. My 100% also looks like me agreeing to get a dog because Husbae is an animal lover. Although, I had to put my foot down on getting a cat. My mom is allergic, sorry not sorry!

And last but not least, my 100% looks like me working out (begrudgingly) because Husbae is concerned about my health. His mom died of health-related issues and he doesn’t want to see that happen to me. So to quell his fear, I get my ass in the gym. Squats equal love.

Your 100% may involve kids, in-laws and date nights. I can’t tell you what your 100% will be but I don’t think marriage is give and take. It’s give and communicate; you give of yourself and your partner gives of themselves. You communicate so that you both are giving what the other person wants or needs. It’s hard work. But remember, you both are in this together, both giving 100%. No Arnold Palmers over here!

 

K. Sera makes a living producing.  Aside from her search for the days top story, she can be found re-enacting Beyoncé performances; or, spending quality time exploring her home of Brooklyn with her Husbae.