By Ilex Bien-Aime
Marriage is WORK, if you didn’t know before, now you know! It’s a full time commitment that never sleeps, it must be strengthened, and it must be nourished. Besides God, it is the most important relationship that you will ever have. This person has now become “blood of my blood and flesh of my flesh.”
We have been taught that marriage is a 50/50 venture. Some of us have heard that it will not always be 50/50 but sometimes it will be 60/40, 80/20, or whatever other ratios that you can come up with. Often times they teach that your partner will not always give you everything. They also tell you that you may not always give your spouse your all. This gets repeated so much that we really don’t question or challenge it, we just accept it as the gospel.
To me, a marriage that is not 100/100, is a marriage that is being short changed. Even if you are giving 99/1, you are not giving your all. Many of us are “Randy Mossing” our marriages. We show up when we want to show up and we take plays off. We say that if we don’t have things exactly our way, that we are going to ignore the needs of the other team member. To me this is a marriage that is not using it’s full potential.
Don’t get me wrong, we are human beings and as humans, we have to fight the urge not to lollygag. Let’s face it, 100 percent is not always an easy thing to give. Sometimes we wake up and we really don’t feel like going all out. There are times when we want to do our own thing and not have to worry about another person. For so long we have been individual players, and now we are team members for life.
Marriage in my opinion should be more like Magic Johnson and Michael Jordan. It’s like having a love and a passion that is so strong, that you always want the best. You never saw these guys take a play off and even when they put up great numbers, they were always thinking about what they could have done and should be able to do better. There was never a time that you could say that these guys short changed you. You should give the same to your spouse. They should always feel that you are trying and see that your are tirelessly working to make things right between the two of you.
Giving 100 percent does not mean that things will be perfect and that your marriage will be perfect. Magic Johnson, in his best year, shot 91 percent from the free throw line. Michael Jordan, who is considered by many to be the greatest basketball player ever, shot less than 50 percent from the field. Giving your all does not mean that you will make every shot or that you will never mess up. What it does mean, is that you play your heart out and you always seek for the best you have to offer. Your spouse will have no choice but to respect you, knowing that you are giving your all.
Between Magic and Michael, they played 28 years in the NBA. Amongst the two of them, they won 11 NBA titles. What does this mean? It means that even with giving your all, there will be some disappointments. There are always some Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons standing in your way. You just learn how to defeat them and never let them defeat you even when it seems as if they have won.
Let’s face it, even the best of us will face rough times and situations but that is not an excuse to give up. You owe it to the team to show up and be ready to play each and everyday. You owe it to them to give 100 percent. When you need a breather, discuss what can be done so that you come back refreshed and ready to reign victorious. If it is difficult to beat the Celtics with giving your all, you know you won’t win when you don’t give your all. The same can be said in a marriage!
My name is Ilex Bien-Aime and I live in Washington, DC. I write as a man who has seen women mistreat themselves and who have allowed themselves to be mistreated. I write as a man who wants to give my future daughters a guideline on how to deal with men. Lastly I write what I write because my female friends are always asking my opinion about these situations. Connect with Ilex at Iamsayingit.blogspot.com or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.