Leave Your Pants Behind When You Get Married

Marriage Always Involves Sacrifice

When two lives are joined together, there will always be some sacrifice. Even though we aim for equality, there is always a give and take process underneath our best intentions. Sometimes I have to give a little. Sometimes he has to give a little. We can’t both get what we want all the time. I realize that complete, true equality all of the time isn’t realistic.

Equality in a marriage does not equate to a marriage free of sacrifice. I know that.

Equality in a marriage, however, does mean that we are a unit, a team, and a partnership. It means that we both realize we have to sacrifice. It means that we both matter. It means that we make decisions for ourselves as a cohesive unit. We respect each other enough to make choices together.

Sometimes it seems like society can’t fathom a partnership where someone isn’t grasping for the power. In previous decades and even today in some relationships, men were automatically the head of household. Men had the final say because of their gender.

In recent years, it seems like it has, to some extent, gone the other way where women feel to be strong, they have to be in charge in the marriage. Wearing the pants is seen as an accolade. We seem to admire someone who can grasp the power even in a relationship that is supposed to be a partnership.

According to so many, pants are power, and power is strength.

I don’t believe that. I believe strength comes from the power to find equality in a marriage to the greatest extent possible, to make each voice count, and to communicate as a team. I believe a truly strong marriage involves two voices with equal say.

Is this sometimes more difficult than one person making all the final decisions? Absolutely. We are not always rowing the boat in the same direction, and we don’t always find it easy to stay on the same page. However, at the end of the day, I truly believe we are happier in our marriage because our desire for equal voices has enhanced our communication, our self-worth, and our union.

In the best marriages, no one wears the pants. Instead, when you say “I do,” leave the pants on the alter—metaphorically, for your guests’ sake— and walk into the future hand-in-hand, determined to avoid the power struggle we seem to think marriage has to be.

Lindsay Detwiler is a high school English teacher and a contemporary romance author. Learn more about her works by visiting her blog or Facebook page.