Life TherapyTM
Psychotherapy & Coaching + Mindfulness & Meditation

The Him/Her Balance: Keeping the Relationship on an Equal Footing

I have a friend named Kathy who lives in Los Angeles and commutes to work with her boyfriend. Everyday she drops him off at the front door to his office, and she drives another half mile or so towards her office and parks the car for the day. She heads to work and afterwards she works out from 6-7PM. Her boyfriend gets out of work around 6:30PM on most days. Here is where it gets messed up.
The boyfriend has an extra set of Kathy’s car keys and will drive to his apartment for the night and she’s expected to TAKE A CAB then walk to his place after she’s showered and ready to go out and get dinner, or even just relax.
My friend Kathy is in a relationship where the power balance is WAY out of alignment.
A healthy relationship is about both partners feeling as though they’re winning something by staying together. In Kathy’s case she’s giving and giving, and her boyfriend – who is actually a sweet guy – just keeps taking and taking. Were it a healthy relationship with a balance closer to 50/50 then they’d find that there were compromises to make and that one person’s schedule is almost never that much more important as to necessitate the type of time and money sacrifices of women like Kathy.
Balance means making compromises and expecting your partner to do the same. We live in a faster world than we did even ten years ago and that means we have more stresses pulling on us. We want to stay fit, do well in our jobs, raise healthy families – and through it all we want to make sure that we experiences love and commitments. That’s a lot to keep in check, but with a partner that works with you to alleviate the stresses and responsibilities your life can move forward and be more fulfilled. You can find better avenues of communication.
Kathy won’t make it very far with her boyfriend unless they work to recalibrate the balance of the relationship. He needs to respect her time, to see the things that she does not as an inconvenience to his schedule, but as a boost in her life, a part of the things she needs to do to live a happy, healthy and fulfilled life. Outside of having the balance they’ll never find a long term and sustainable partnership that can grow into a loving and caring family life.
Men and women should enjoy an equal footing and finding the time to stand up for yourself is key. Don’t accuse, don’t get passionate, just state your needs then pursue them without being harsh. If your partner understands they’ll make an adjustment, if they don’t then it’s time to think about a new partnership.

Ready to meet me?

Schedule your initial session.