In writing about what makes a successful marriage, family systems scholar Edwin Friedman said, “In reality, no human marriage gets a rating of more than 70%” (Friedman, Generation to Generation, 1985, p. 69).
In other words, even the most successful marriage will only be symptom-free about 70% of the time – about five out of seven days.
After decades of marriage I asked my wife, Patsy, what she thought of Friedman's observation. She said, "That sounds about right to me."
I said, "Yeah, I thought so too."
And we both think we have a great marriage!
What's the implication? It's not strange to feel like you have a great marriage five days a week, but then question your judgment for ever getting married in the first place the other two days!
What's the application? Use this to encourage your men (and yourself) to manage expectations. Tell them they don’t have to be symptom-free 100% of the time. 70% is about right – five days a week.
Cut your marriage some slack. Five good days out of seven is pretty much the best we can do in a fallen world.