Do you ever feel there’s an imbalance in your relationship?
A degree of imbalance often makes a relationship work. You and your partner are good at different things: you complement each other, you’re a ‘good fit’. You’re pleased that you’re able to do some things while your partner can to do others. One of you may be an extrovert and the other an introvert — the former may bring fun and activity into the partnership; the other a more calm, nurturing environment when needed. Far from creating issues, this sense of fulfilling one another’s needs makes you happy.
Of course, this imbalance may change during a relationship. Someone who has been the primary breadwinner might find it difficult to adjust if their partner begins to earn more money than them. A partner who has always been the stable, emotionally intelligent one might find it troubling to realise they need support after going through a difficult time.
Sometimes, however, imbalance leads to abuse — where one person’s reliance on ‘being in charge’ results in them deliberately keeping their partner down or trying to control them — such as by always checking up on their partner, telling them what to do, or generally making them feel intimidated or controlled.
How do we adjust our imbalance?
If you feel elements of what’s called ‘co-dependency’ in your relationship are an issue, you may want to do something about it rather than let it drift. Left alone, such problems often get worse.
We’re talking about adjusting what you expect from your relationship and your role within it. In trying to talk about this with your partner it’s important to understand and accept that the nature of your relationship may change over time, but you’re still ‘on the same team’ regardless.
You might say something like: ‘I want to have more of a say in how we organise our finances. I know I haven’t always wanted this, but I’m beginning to feel that this is more important to me’.
It may be that you feel you’re the more dominant person in the relationship, and you’re finding it difficult to adjust to your partner becoming less dependent on you. You’ll want to understand your partner’s perspective: how they’re feeling about things, how they’re experiencing the change — whether they think it’s a good thing.
This kind of issue can be difficult to talk about. It can also be difficult to accept that your relationship isn’t the same as it was — or that you or your partner aren’t quite the same people as when you first met. Being able to adjust to change is an important part of any stable relationship and it’s only by practising that we get better at it!
If you need some support you may find it useful to talk with one of our counsellors, individually or as a couple. Our friendly appointments team would be happy to help – 01234 356350.