Because pizzas are 1) delicious, 2) cheap and 3) easy to split in two. The latter reasoning is the topic of today’s post.
Marriage is not like a pizza because marriage is not, nor will it ever be, half and half. In our household, all pizzas are 1/2 veggie-meat combo, 1/2 meat only. I’m the meatatarian and the Ninja likes rabbit food with is meats. However, a marriage is not half and half in the sense that one person is always giving more than the other.
Read that again – one person is always giving more than the other. Meaning one person is also taking more than the other. Keep in mind, I did not say “the wife is always giving more while the husband takes all” or vice versa. Marriage, in itself, is all about compromise and communication.
If you go into a marriage believing that everything will be equal you are in for a real disappointment and a lot of arguments! It’s unrealistic to expect that the finances, decisions, family obligations and workload will be split evenly down the middle. Equal is not possible. I was at a generational planning session for ranchers when one producer, when discussing how his land and business will be divided when he hands over the reins, said, “It’s not ever going to be equal, but it needs to be fair.” And I think the exact same thing can be said for marriage – fair, but not equal.
The Ninja is a PhD swine nutritionist and I only have a M.S. in animal behavior and welfare. He is always going to make more money than I do – and that is something we have both accepted. It doesn’t hinder us or affect decisions – I pay for many of our household bills, groceries and social outings while he covers bigger ticket items such as down-payments, new (to us) furniture and equipment. My contribution is smaller but I still pull my weight by helping us budget on utilities, groceries and other daily expenditures. That’s how I can make it fair. We can’t get hung up on whether or not I am contributing as many funds to our goals as he is – that would be counterproductive to our personal and business plans.
Another way in which we deal with “fair but not equal” are the household chores. After cleaning houses for cash when I was in high school and several years of fast food servitude, I now despise cleaning bathrooms. But I don’t mind vacuuming, dusting, dishes, sweeping etc. We made a deal when we moved into our glorious ranch house that I would do all the cleaning except the bathrooms. Is this equal? Not at all, but in my mind it’s fair because I don’t have to clean our 3.5 bathrooms (!) ever again. I’ll take that any day.
You’re probably thinking that my outlook on marriage is depressing and that is your right, but I have to disagree. I’m being realistic and if you are looking at your marriage as a competition with your spouse to see who is getting their equal dues, then personally I think that is depressing. But if you are coming into your marriage, or going down a new path, with prayer, communication and compromise as guiding tenets then I think you’ll be surprised at how easy it is to be happy with giving more than you receive occasionally. Of course, marriage is like a pendulum and momentum can swing back and forth quite easily. Sometimes I am traveling for work a lot – last summer, I was on the road 62% of the time between April-July. The Ninja did all the chores and household duties, handled maintenance, repairs and general “honey do” things. He was great and helped keep me sane while on the road because I knew things were in great hands at home. Similarly, when he started up with heavy travel in the fall and now extending into the spring it’s on me to make sure the stalls are clean, the horses and cows are fed and to line up appointments with the banker/fertilizer sprayer/doctor etc. We both are capable of handling the household while the other is gone and we also both trust the other to do what needs to be done to keep the clock ticking.
Trust. Communication. Compromise. Give and take. The pendulum will swing back and forth as we conquer each day in this truly awesome life. Because we are not a pizza.
God is good, y’all.
Until next time,
~ Buzzard ~