People say that relationships are 50/50, but this is not always the case. Sometimes it is better when that isn’t the approach. It does not make sense for everything to be split exactly in half. Not everyone wants it to be that way. Relationships are about compromise and figuring out what works. That may mean some stuff is 70/30 instead. You may be causing unnecessary conflicts in your relationship if you are using the 50/50 approach. It really will leave at least one person, if not both of you, feeling mistreated.
EACH PERSON HAS DIFFERENT STRENGTHS
Every person brings their own contributions to a relationship. Each of those contributions are unique. These strengths should be taken into consideration when dividing responsibilities. I am not particularly physically strong. I do not do many of the more physical tasks around the house. If it requires lifting more than 20 pounds, there is about a 95% chance that my better half is handling that. We are both fine with that because I would rather not be injured. Then I cannot do anything to help.
Maybe one of you is extremely patient so that person takes on the task of having to call customer service if the need arises. Maybe you have a background in business or accounting so it makes sense for you to handle more of the finances. Whatever the strengths may be, it is important to consider them when splitting up responsibilities within your relationship. In this instance, 50/50 could be doing you a big disservice if not.
FOCUS ON OVERALL BALANCE
Though each task should not be split in half, there should be an overall balance when looking at the big picture. Sometimes a person is going to have to be responsible for some things even if the other person may be better suited to keep things equitable. Go through and make a list of the tasks you believe you would excel at and have your partner do the same. The ones that overlap may make sense to do 50/50. The rest may make sense to let that person handle completely. Taking this approach will let both parties feel more in control of what they will be spending their time and effort toward. That leads to less resentment. No one really enjoys feeling like they are assigned to do something in their relationships.
There are of course tasks that both people really are not great at or just really do not care for that also have to get done. Like scrubbing toilets. Maybe you can strike up a deal where you switch out those tasks every other time. Or maybe there is something you hate doing more that your partner is willing to handle so it is worth the trade. Get creative to create a balance both people are happy with. These are the tasks that really make people resentful if they are the one stuck doing too many of them.
You may be doing all of the house chores while your partner does all of the outside chores. You may be managing all of the household finances while they manage the things that are theirs individually. There is no wrong way to divide. Happy balance is key.
CONSIDER OUTSIDE CIRCUMSTANCES
Sometimes things outside the home play a role in how other responsibilities are decided. If you work 50 hours a week and bring in significantly more money, and your partner only works 30, it makes sense that they do a little more of the chores. Do not discount the things you or your partner do outside of the home. If it is work related, it benefits the relationship too. Again, there has to be balance between not just home responsibilities, but all commitments for a person to not feel they are being treated unfairly. Asking the person working full-time with an hour commute both ways to do 50 percent of all other responsibilities if you stay home is likely not going to make your relationship function well.
Sometimes the circumstances outside the home may not be other work, but possibly issues that are causing extra temporary stress. Does your partner have an ill family member? Did their car break down and now they are having to try to solve their commuting issues? Consider pitching in a little extra during these times. It will not go unnoticed and the favor will likely be returned when it happens to you in the future.
Consider this also when it comes to finances. I understand that in newer relationships a couple may do 50/50 because finances may still be mostly separate. However, once you are in an established relationship it should be considered if diving all finances down the middle is working. You could instead consider each person contributing a percentage of each income to mutual relationship expenses. This may work better when there is a significant income difference. That way one person does not always have fun money while the other can barely pay their half of the bills. You also need to think of this if you are the person paying for everything. You need to communicate with your partner if you are no longer comfortable supporting them financially.
Remember this is an option to discuss and consider, not to try to force on your partner. Finances are a particularly touchy subject for many people so if you have been living with 50/50 route for years, it might be best to just leave this particular division alone.
TRIAL AND ERROR
In order to figure out what works, use trial and error. Split things up in a way you are comfortable with in the beginning and then adapt as you go. Go through the above points and take everything into consideration. There are going to be some points that you feel like work and your partner does not and vice versa. Be willing to compromise on those things.
Do not get upset if you start to feel that you are facing more responsibilities at times. Just communicate your feelings with your partner so it can be resolved. Do not let it make you go back to just splitting things down the middle. It may have seemed better at the time, and in some instances maybe it is, but there is likely a better way. Once things are divided they can be reallocated at any time. The best fit will likely change and it is best to be willing to re-evaluate and adapt regularly.
If you are a person that has more time than money, consider outsourcing some of the tasks that neither of you want to do. There are lots of people out there looking for houses to clean, yard work to do, etc. People are willing to do almost any task you can think of if it leads to getting paid. Consider letting outside people assist you if that fits into the way you are both happy dividing responsibilities.
The key is really to make sure everyone feels like things are split fairly at least majority of the time. You don’t want to make your partner feel taken advantage of, nor do they you. Sometimes 50/50 can lead to feeling that way. That is why you have to be willing to think outside of that for the betterment of your relationship. Now go have a talk with your partner and see how they are feeling to see if it is time to restructure your current approach.