Relationships are rarely a fifty-fifty exchange of give and take. The reward of a solid relationship is the understanding that at any given time, one of the partners may be carrying most of the load. But giving of yourself in excess abundance, does not mean your partner “owes” you. It is not a transaction that will eventually require payback.

     Julie and I have been through countless variations of this scenario, where one person is down and the other is keeping the ship on course, making sure the day-to-day obligations are met, the kids are fed, etc. Sometimes these situations can stretch out for days or even weeks, as it has lately with all of the moving preparations necessary to get our family from Pennsylvania to Oregon. It's been particularly difficult for me, having lived in the same area for the last 52 years.

So we both have been employing self-care techniques to keep ourselves sane and keep our relationship as healthy as possible.

  1. For myself, I've been lacking the spiritual energy and support that I usually rely on to get through both the good days and the bad, I realize faith and gratitude are actions that I sometimes neglect and that this is a large reason for the funk that I've been mired in. Therefore, I start every day with a new attitude and I make a fresh attempt to find my way back to the positive outlook and joyous embrace of every day.

  2. For Julie, she has been doing everything in her power to lend me the support that she knows I crave, on a daily basis. But at the same time, she has been guarding her own spiritual energy, protecting her sense of serenity and calm from the negative vibes that I have been emitting in copious amounts and with few breaks. She walks a fine line between reaching out a helping hand to her partner and letting herself get sucked down into the negative spiral.

  3. As a couple, we respect each others’ spaces in our lives. We each accept that there is a lot of negative energy being felt and experienced. Neither judges the other as to how he or she is experiencing this difficult time. We merely try to honor the challenges that come from a life experience for which we both were unprepared. We realize that, although one person’s experience may be less painful than the other’s, there is a lesson to be learned for both of us.  

We welcome you to be aware in times of transition or just a hard day that you can honor yourself while lending support. There is a balance but it is not always 50/50 and recognizing that is an invaluable tool in having loving exchanges with your partner even during tumultuous times.

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