Sometimes from the outside looking in we look at relationships and wonder what it is that makes some work and others not. Is there a secret ingredient of sorts that only some couples have discovered? How is she able to get past his messy ways and why does he seem to be so supportive when she is struggling? One of the main things that determines if a relationship is really going to work is the effort put in to making it work. There isn’t a key strategy so much as the desire to always give more than you get, to focus on what you can do for your partner over what you need your partner to do for you. It’s about asking yourself “how do I want to prioritize my relationship today?” Sadly so many of us focus on what we are going to get and what our partner is or isn’t giving. Not only does this leave you dissatisfied but it also causes fractures in your connection because the lens you are using is focused on taking not giving.
The belief that each person needs to show up for their 50% is dated and no longer supported by current research. Instead we need both parties to show up giving 100% of their efforts. There are times, of course when one person may not be able to give their full 100% (loss of a loved one, losing a job, health crisis etc) and we need to be flexible with this. All other times, however, I would encourage you to set the expectation that you both give it your all. Focusing on what you can give versus what you can get doesn’t mean you should become complacent with a partner who isn’t doing their fair share. It means instead of holding your partner responsible for creating happiness in the relationship, you hold yourself responsible and expect them to do the same.
Relationships are going to go through their ups and downs. The ones like look easy also struggle. You have times where you feel really connected and right for each other and times when you feel like you have nothing in common. It is in those hard times that you need to both commit to giving fully of yourself and talking about how you want to get back in sync. After every storm comes the sun so hold on and keep asking the question “what can I do for you today love?