Best Friends, Not Bookkeepers

A coworker recently got married and, before the weekend of the ceremony, we held a small
party for her in the office. As these things often do, we had snacks, games, and there were also
cards for others to fill out with well-wishes or advice for the newlyweds. I considered this for a
moment before urging them never to “keep score.” Marriage, and other intimate partnerships,
should be equitable to partners, their needs, and desires, but this rarely results in a 50/50 split in all areas at all times. These types of relationships are not business contracts.

I started dating my wife Lauren in 2007 and we were married in 2016. Through the years we
have both had many times where, for whatever reason, one of us fell short. This is going to
happen. I am thankful that Lauren is caring, generous, and compassionate enough to be by my
side when I am down, sick, overwhelmed, or otherwise not my best self. I believe I have tried to
do the same for her, but I know that I do not always succeed. If we said each person had to
cook the same number of times each week, each had to pay exactly 50% of the expenses, each
had to walk the dogs the same duration, we’d be bookkeepers, not partners. There are seasons
where one person gives more. That gift of generosity should be freely given to strengthen the
relationship, not held in a mental ledger to cash-in later.

~Ian Van Sice

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1 Response to Best Friends, Not Bookkeepers

  1. katrina P yurko says:

    Well said Ian ! and even more worthy of notice because this is the default process that many couples go through, and you are looking beyond it. Bookkeeping leads to division not collaboration if done with a mental/emotional check off list. once you have to bring up a certain “shortcoming” to your partner it turns the issue/event into an obligation , not an act of compassion or love. It’s wonderful when both partners act out of mutual respect and mutual interest. Those are the qualities that endure.

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