By Susanne Hazen and Josianne Zwart (Hey Joos! Virtual assistant & projectmanager)
Various events that happen while being in a relationship have an impact on that relationship. This can be an affair, the loss of a job, the passing of one of the parents, or a disbalance in giving and taking. In the following few blogs, I’ll tell you everything about the different levels of impact. Today I’ll describe the first level: what happened in the current relationship that didn’t get any attention?
The feeling of being incomplete
Attraction is the driving force behind the start of a relationship.
Everyone has, in their subconscious, an image of what he/she finds attractive. But we mainly look for someone who makes us complete. We look for someone who has qualities that we appreciate or that we haven’t yet developed ourselves.
In a relationship, it is important that the needs of both partners towards each other are equal. The man or woman wishes that his or her partner needs him or her as much as she/he needs him/her. This requires the feeling of ‘being incomplete’. A feeling that many people have.
If each partner sees the qualities in the other person that he/she wants, then he/she can see the other one as the one who makes him/her complete or who complements him/her with the qualities that he/she wants so desperately. This forms a good start for a relationship. It makes space for gratitude.
What if we look for qualities about status, like money, wealth or an important position in society? This is when a power complex arises. The ‘richer’ person in the relationship has power, but the other person doesn’t. In many of these cases, the relationship won’t develop and won’t be everlasting. The same goes for relationships in which partners have a significant age difference (>15 years). The danger that one person will take up a parent role or the risk of repeating a parent-child pattern sneaks around the corner. We have read that in this blog as well.
If there is a mutual balance – equality in the relationship – then we have the right conditions for equal power distribution and intimacy. This will strengthen the relationship in the longer term.
But what if that mutual balance isn’t there? There can be times when one person gives more than the other. This has to be acknowledged, and the balance has to be restored at a later stage. One time one person gives, another time the other person gives. This makes a relationship grow. It grows when one person gives a bit more than the other. Because the other received more, he/she will feel ‘guilty’. The need to give back arises in order to let go of the ‘guilt. This is how the bond between partners grows.
However: from this perspective, even every misstep has to be compensated. In that case in a lower dose. Compensation must take place in a way that both partners win back their dignity and share their guilt. From this perspective, any harmful act has to be answered with some sort of revenge. The other person also does something painful, but it has to be less painful than what the other person has caused. I will give an example later.
In the interest of love, we have to restore the balance, even if this asks for a harmful approach. Reconciliation means that the two partners create a new starting point, fed by the wish of staying together.
Each couple has its own balance
The skill of giving and taking is taught at a very young age in the family that we are born into and is strongly related to our relationship with our parents. Furthermore, each partner can only give as much as the other can receive and ask as much as the other person can give.
Each couple has to find its own balance. We tend to look for someone who matches us. If you’re good at giving, you’ll probably meet someone good at receiving. This is how you create balance in some aspects. Actually, together you create a disbalance by which both of you feel happy. Of course, in this case, the couple has to take care that the disbalance won’t grow too big. It is good as long as both feel happy with it.
A significant disbalance in giving and taking can disturb relationships.
As an example: It can be that one of the partners made a huge sacrifice for the relationship: leaving a country and family behind or breaking up a career.
Especially in those cases, there must be acknowledgement and gratitude for this sacrifice. Sometimes the disbalance in giving and taking can only be acknowledged because the other person simply can’t restore the balance. The only solution here is gratitude towards the other. If there is an overwhelming disbalance, gratitude is essential to the solution.
In this blog, I described level 1 of the systemic impact on relationships: what happened in the current relationship that didn’t get enough attention? Each couple has to find balance, but what if there is a significant disbalance? In the next blog, I’ll describe several examples of such a disbalance: the difference in sexual needs, but also the impact of an abortion or miscarriage, an affair, infertility or mixed families.