Balance Your Unbalanced Relationship

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When you give your all in your relationship and it feels to you like your partner is giving less. It’s feeling a little lop-sided or one-sided to you. What do you do? 

The good news is that your relationship is not doomed. All relationships got through periods of time when one partner is asked to give more than 50%. All things being equal is certainly a good relationship goal, however, life circumstances dictate sometimes that one or the other partner may have to step up and shoulder more of the responsibility or take up slack for their partner in the relationship at any given time. If your commitment is 100% true to your partner, you’re willing to do that when necessary. 

It’s a fallacy to think that all of your life together will be a smooth road or you will be complete equals in the relationship and share the perfect life. Life may have other plans for you.  There will be bumps in the road and you won’t react equally. There will be work stress, and financial concerns, illness and bereavement. All manner of challenges will confront your relationship, that’s just the reality of life.  

I talk a lot about having each other’s back . Watching out for each other, and picking up the slack when you’re needed. This is the give and take and the true balance in your relationship: that when one partner is not able to give their 100% or even 50, the other partner steps into the gap and takes on that additional burden for their loved one. 

If you feel like you’re giving 100% and your partner is not, don’t assume the worst. Talk to your partner about what is going on with them. Find out what they need (they may not know how to ask for it), and be prepared to give what is needed. Bring the balance back to your relationship by helping your partner solve what’s going on with them and lift them up. When your partner is able to count on you , this will help them to deal with their issues and bring your relationship back into balance. Don’t be afraid to have difficult conversations. This is your person, your partner and you should be able to talk with each other about anything.  These difficult conversations are necessary to solving the challenges you are facing. 

If the problems seem overwhelming or involve outside circumstances beyond your control, the power you have is in each other and how you react and respond to them. Get the help of a professional counselor if you find yourselves in a situation you don’t know how to deal with. An objective third party is often what is needed for you to see another way through your relationship challenges. 

Above all, be open-hearted and willing to go “all in” with your partner no matter what it takes, for both of you to be happy and healthy and strong together. 50/50 is not the balance in your relationship. 100/100 is the goal.


About the Author:

Stuart Fensterheim, LCSW helps couples to overcome the disconnection in their relationships. As an author, blogger and podcaster, Stuart has helped couples around the world to experience a unique relationship in which they can feel special and important, confident in knowing they are loved deeply and that their presence matters. The Couples Expert Podcast consists of weekly provocative conversations offering the perspectives and insight of experts from a variety of relationship related fields. Stuart also offers daily relationship video tips on The Couples Expert YouTube channel and by subscription in Stuart's Daily Notes. Stuart is happily married and a devoted father of 2 daughters. His office practice serves the greater Phoenix, Arizona area including the cities of Scottsdale, Chandler, Tempe, and Mesa.