Great marriages don’t just happen. They are co-created—with each spouse contributing 100% to its success. Today I met a couple that has been married 48 years. They said the secret is that he gives 100% and she gives 110%. We laughed. But, they tapped a central truth. Great marriages go all in. These couples are rewarded with a deep sense of happiness and attachment that feels almost spiritual in nature. We all wish for this kind of marriage. Its what we dream about when we first say “I do”. But, for many of us it now feels unrealistic—just too lofty and expectation given where things are currently. But, what if it only took 20% to claim your great marriage? And, that 20% is well within your reach—if you want it.
Most of us are familiar with the well-known Pareto Principle (also known as the 80-20) rule. We’ve seen it applied to many contexts. You may have heard in the workplace that 20% of the people do 80% of the work.
You may have heard it in the church context where 20% of the people give 80% of the donations.
Have you ever thought about the application to your marriage?
In my experience working with couples, I’ve discovered a profound application of the 80-20 rule that is particularly encouraging for those who are losing hope that their marriage will ever be what they dreamed. Twenty percent of what you put into your marriage is responsible for 80% of what you get out of it.