I know I'm not the ultimate expert on marriage but lately I have been reflecting a lot on the last 12 years. We have had ups and downs like any relationship. We have moved way too many times, had 5 children, changed jobs, homeschooled, private schooled and public schooled. We have thought we had the magic formula and then realized it was destroying us as individuals and making us religious Pharisees. I would say there has been a fair amount of trial and error in our marriage. As well as joy, success , and so much LOVE.
I think what we have learned is there is no perfect formula. There is no 50/50. Relationships ebb and flow. Sometimes one person can give more while the other needs to be carried along. Sometimes you work in perfect unison and other times you feel like you are limping along trying to find your rhythm. There are misunderstandings and hurt feelings. There are hardships and heartbreaks that are bound to happen. From job struggles and housing woes to loved one's with cancer and even death. At the end of the day what holds you together is not a book someone wrote or a set of predetermined roles, it is commitment. Commitment to love your other half when they are being unlovable. Commitment to serve and not be served by the other person. Commitment to say what you need and know that your spouse may or may not be able to give it to you. Commitment to hear one another. Commitment to say sorry and extend forgiveness.
At the end of the day there is no cookie cutter method to what all of these things look like. They will look different for everyone. Two working parents. One working parent. Homeschooling, private schooling, or public schooling. Lots of babies, one baby, or no baby. If you are committed to loving one another you will get to a place where you look back over years of commitment and see that your lives are truly becoming one. You won't have lost yourself along the way; you will have become a better you.
So if your struggling don't give up! Ask someone for help and to get some perspective. Remind yourself why you fell in love in the first place. And know when the tension is thick and you're feeling raw with emotion, that is where we grow the most. Dig deep, don't run, and you will see the beauty of commitment when you do it together.