Balance in a relationship. How to give and take without suffering
A healthy union between people ideally involves partnerships. In which there is a constant exchange of energy. The mechanism of “taking and giving away” is the basis of interpersonal relations, and it is unfair to expect buns if you do not offer something in return. Maintaining such a balance is one of the most important conditions for a good climate in relationships. And if the balance is broken, problems begin, and one of the participants feels that the value he actually gets from this partnership is very small.
The most serious problem here is that such situations are not always obvious. If this is a union in which people really have warm and positive feelings for each other, it can be very difficult to recognize imbalances. The less giving partner can be in frustration, after all he sincerely loves this person, considers him remarkable and wishes all the very best. It seems to him that he gives enough. But in fact, he does not make his loved one happy enough, does not add significant value to his life.
And one day a partner who gives and gives, without receiving much in return, will feel drained, dried up, depleted like a dead battery. And sometimes it is very difficult to compare your contribution to the relationship on time, while you still have energy to make a conversation and try to change the situation. Only when there is absolutely no strength to endure all this, the eternally giving side begins to express his sadness and anger. And it is very hard to stay away from holding account. And potentially this is a quick flight to the abyss, because we all make mistakes sometimes, as we do good deeds, but counting and remembering each and every flaw and mistake of your partner is unlikely to bring anything other than a new quarrel.
Another difficult point is the difference in let’s call it ‘production capacity.’ The truth is that each of us has a different charge. Someone can give at their maximum, and this still will not be enough for the other person. And you can never really understand how much effort is required for another person to perform a certain activity, whether it is cleaning the house or expressing some words of support. And if these are the very relationships that for some reason you still want to preserve, both sides must correctly assess their capabilities and accept them, recognizing that the situation might never change. In other cases, no matter how hard it is, it’d be better to end the relationship before one of you has burned out completely and had a total mental breakdown. In the TV-series “How I met your mother” there was an episode in which each of the friends talked about a man who sucked the powers out of them, being unable to give warmth in return. All these relationships, unfortunately, ended.
What can you do in such a situation, to stay in the relationship and avoid some sad consequences?
1. Listen to your partner
In a relationship between a fruit supplier and a supermarket there is a contract, and a bunch of checks and acceptance and transfer acts. And each of the participants in the process is aware of all their debts every moment. Unfortunately, in the personal relationships things are mostly not monetary or even material. And you can perceive the situation quite differently. But if a loved one says that he is tired and can not do it any more, believe him. Awareness of your role and recognition of imbalance is the helthiest possible reaction, but even if you do not realize or do not want to admit that you are the receiver in the relationship, just believe him. You may not understand why a partner considers himself to be deprived. You may not be delighted with this. You can disagree with this. But stil — just accept it. And ask what you can do to make his life better. And in fact ↓
2. Ask regularly how you can make his life better
It’s so easy to do on a daily basis. Even if you are angry with him, even if it seems to you that his anger is unfair. Ask yourself, did you bring a value to your partner’s day? Did you show your love to him today? If you answered positively, ask about his opinion. If your answer is negative, act quickly! A kiss, a call, some words of support — the little things create a general perception of your relationships.
3. If you are the one who is tired of giving, talk to your partner
I still consider the silliest of my actions that I remained silent when I was feeling hurt. And my negative experience shows that in any case your relationship will suffer from such silence. Your partner has the right to know the truth about what actually happens in your relationship. And your step is to inform him, and then his move would be whether to take it into account or not.
4. Do not give more than you can afford to give
Understand the partner, evaluate his capabilities. If you clearly see that he is simply not “charged” at your level, lower your contribution to his life. Reduce the speed so you don’t crush. It is your responsibility to give at a level that does not drain you. If you constantly exceed your limits, you might want to work to a therapist.
5. Consider if this imbalance is temporary
Definitely it is not healthy to let the other person always be a receiver. But the current situation can indeed be due to some external circumstances. “Give and take” should not be exactly 50/50 at any given time. Consider your relationships more globally, it is important that you both feel reciprocity in general.
6. Keep trying
Surely, there are things you are able to do more easily than others. Pleasant words, calls before going to bed, help with some housework, buying food, listening to problems. Find your strengths and exploit them in full, most importantly, do it with joy.