One of the most important areas where balance is necessary is in our personal relationships. I discussed this a little bit in my first discussion about balance, but here I want to focus on romantic/family relationships specifically.
In a relationship, it is vital to maintain good balance in all areas. That doesn’t mean you will be perfectly balanced on each individual day, but overall, it is important that one person isn’t doing way more than the other person. When that happens, an imbalance occurs that makes both people feel a bit awkward. The person that is doing more tends to become resentful that they are doing more and may even feel some entitlement from the the other person (i.e. feel that they deserve more power in the relationship). The person doing less may feel resentful as well because they feel that the other person has power over them or is “better” in some way and that creates opportunities for conflict.
In a family/romantic relationship, keep in mind that BOTH of you are equally responsible for the relationship and the day to day maintenance of that relationship. I have more today and you may have more tomorrow, but in the long run, both people feel equally important and equally responsible for what happens in the relationship.
When I see couples in my office, one of the primary issues that things are way out of balance and usually have been for quite awhile. If this situation is allowed to exist for too long, then one or the other tends to give up and decide that this relationship is beyond repair. Now, to be brutally honest, no relationship is beyond repair unless the people in it decide it is beyond repair. Once someone has checked out, it is a real challenge to get them to check back in. The truly sad part is that this could usually be avoided by making sure that there is balance in the relationship. Don’t get me wrong, there are other issues that occur, but even then, the majority of them can be traced back to a lack of balance that was allowed to continue.
Check your relationship balance with your partner/spouse. Are there things that are out of balance that you can get back in balance? The sooner you do that, the better the results.
If you are not currently in a relationship, but are looking for one or are starting one, keep balance in mind. If you start with balance, it is easier to maintain than it is to develop. If with balance, all relationships may not work out, but I am willing to bet more of them would be successful.