Opinion: Equality Of Contributions In A Committed Relationship: An Illusion Or A Reality?

I use the term ‘relationship’ loosely to encompass people in a committed legalized union, those who did the traditional dowry payment/acceptance or those who have no legal backing but are in a defined union of recognized partnership.

With this type of relationships, there is always the issue of how much each partner should contribute to the growth and development of everything within their circle of commitment which are mainly in the much debated areas of finances, household chores and child care mainly.

So, the cogent question is, how do you measure equality of contributions in a relationship?

I have often heard debates on how husband and wife or significant partners should contribute 50/50 to the household based on earnings and needs of the family and this 50/50 is usually defined by the partners in the relationship. Some of the equality sharing ratio arguments stem from the opinions of some gender equality advocates and feminists that since both genders are equal partners in the relationship, none superior over the other, they must share responsibilities and contribute equality.

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In our article today, we would be examining the concept of equality and its tenability in a relationship where each partner has to contribute according to their strengths, capabilities, availability and willingness.

First of all, in a credible, worthy and truthful relationship, there is no superiority of one partner over the other; each partner is a unique entity made up of strengths, weakness and originality of personality and their combined resources should be for the good of their union. In this regards, equality is the unique contributions of each partner to the growth of their exclusive entity.

When two people come together having the purity of purpose to bring out the best of each other for the growth of their relationship, whether or not kids are involved, the contributions from each should reasonably be based on a number of factors amongst which are:who has the greater capacity in an areas? Who can contribute more in a field?Who has more time or can create more time to take care of certain stuffs?Who has the better personality or greater gift or skill for a task?And who is more likely or willing to do certain things?

Committed relationship is not meant to be a competition,but a peaceable loving union.

Usually when it comes to financial contribution, I believe most women have a default setting that the man should contribute more (we have been bombarded by this mindset from so many things around us that it has unconsciously permeated our minds, and furthermore, most women see men who contribute more financially as better and more loving partners) irrespective of his earning(s) and financial strength.

Also by default setting, most men believe it’s the job of the women in the relationship to take care of the kitchen, household and the nurturing of the kids, since they are mostly likely the main financial providers.

One thing is sure now: the line of divide between what a man must do and what a woman must do has been blurred because of the new challenges couples face now.

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If you want your family to progress because of its uniqueness which is determined by specific vision and objections, then having a yardstick for measuring quantitative contributions at every time, I believe, would suffocate the freshness and joy of partners doing things, out of love for each other. Always measuring the performance of your partner against what is expected of them or yours may be unavailing, asphyxiating the effort of the partner in the long haul. I am of the opinion that if two committed people, in a relationship, with the highest purity of purpose and regard want the best for one another, they must contribute, not 50/50 but 100 % of everything they can, per time.

As the traditional roles of what men and women must do in a committed relationship are mostly now blurred, so the contributions of each partner towards a sustainable union development would sometimes be intertwined.

Each should contribute according to their capacity to jointly create a union of warmth, love and trust.Each must contribute according to what she/he has the higher capacity and willingness to do and not what some traditional roles stipulates.

However, partners must respect each other’s contributions and input without reserve. Gratitude for what is done must be expressed as some couples may have the tendency to belittle what the other is doing without understanding the efforts behind such contributions.

Instead of striving for equality in contributions in a committed partnership, I believe each partner should strive for respect, faithfulness, trust and build a foundation of trust where each would contribute according to their capabilities for the greater good of their union.


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Busayo Madariola
Please make welcome, the latest writer to the ‘Eko Hot Blog’ family, OluwabusayoMadariola! Busayo, whose articles would be featured every Friday, is a trainer, writer and published author. Her work experiences span the field of banking, teaching and business consulting. She would be bringing her wealth of experience to our readers through her weekly contributions which would be centered mainly on female gender empowerment.