Is your relationship unbalanced?
Do you give too much in your relationship?
Are you the only one putting out energy to keep the relationship on track?
Do you sometimes wish that your partner gave to you half as much as you give to them?
If so, your relationship is out of balance.
An unbalanced relationship
If you feel that you give too much in your relationship, resentment will build.
An unbalanced relationship can only last so long until you either explode or implode.
Exploding may lead to a fight that feels out of control, or even to you abandoning the relationship in a fit of anger and pent-up resentment.
Imploding may lead to withdrawing, telling your partner half-truths or being passive-aggressive.
You can avoid both exploding and imploding if you attend to your feelings of doing too much before it gets too late.
Attending to your feelings of doing too much requires you to do two things:
- Talk with your partner about your feelings
- Get curious about your own behavior
Talk with your partner about your feelings
When you talk with your partner about what’s going on for you, try to not speak in absolutes like “I do so much and you don’t anything!”
Also, try not to accuse them of being selfish or lazy. This will just put them on the defensive.
Instead, focus on your feelings. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, burnt out or resentful from doing too much, talk about those feelings, not about what your partner is doing or not doing.
Get curious about your own behavior
Do you know why you give too much?
Try to gently inquire into why this pattern has developed in your relationship, focusing on the part you play.
It’s easier to point your finger at your partner and blame them, but as the saying goes “It takes two to tango.”
So what role do you play in keeping the relationship unbalanced?
The reasons why someone finds himself or herself giving or doing too much in an intimate relationship vary.
Sometimes, people give too much because they don’t feel quite worthy of being loved if they aren’t always proving themselves.
Or they do too much in the hope that their partner will do the same for them – trying to lead by example instead of asking directly for what they need.
Other times, people who feel they do too much have a hard time relying on others. They take care of their own needs preemptively and anticipate the needs of their partner, never really allowing their partner to step up and do more.
Whatever the reason, it takes time to unlearn patterns of doing too much in a relationship.
It also takes time to learn how to talk to your partner about what’s going on in a way that makes things better, not worse.
Need help balancing your relationship?
Call 415-310-5142 for a free phone consultation and learn more about couples counseling.