I have spoken with a lot of men and women on the topic of relationships. Something I hear all the time is "my partner does not treat me the same way I treat them" or "I seem to be the one towing the boat", or "my partner does not compromise as much as I do" Any of these statements relates to you ? Maybe you have statements of your own. Whatever the statement the underlying message is, there is an imbalance in the relationship ie it's not an equal partnership and therefore not a fair one. My question is what is fair?
I recall this very conversation some months ago with a friend and he made the point that he seems to be doing all the work in the house ie he is the higher earner, makes most of the decisions and feels his partner is overly dependent on him. Sure she gets the children ready for school, picks up the kids from school and ensures dinner is on the table but as far as he was concerned their relationship was not fair.
My question to him was simple. How difficult is it for you to earn money? to which he responded not difficult at all, then I asked him how difficult is it for you to step up and make the decisions in the house? again he responded, its easy as I make decision based on facts in front of me. Then I asked him, how easy is it for you to get the children ready for school, he responded, wow that's hard, the boys never want to get up in the morning and they scream and shout. At this point he suddenly realized his definition of fair was not actually correct.
Equal partners does not mean tit for tat, Just because something comes easy for you it doesn't necessarily come easy for another person. I believe only when you start to come out of your comfort zone can you start to think about inequalities in the relationship.
I for instance am not the best cook in the world, During my previous marriage I spent a fair good time teaching myself how to cook, this took a lot of energy, and for me I was at the time outside of my comfort zone.
My husband on the other hand was a very good cook. He could easily give Gordon Ramsay a run for his money. If he had judged our relationship on the fact that he did most of the cooking in the house, that would have been an unfair assessment, because whilst he was doing something which came natural to him ie with little effort, every time I cooked, I was climbing a very steep curve which I was willing to climb for the sake of our marriage . Likewise, I had other abilities which he struggled with.
Some people are naturally more romantic, more playful and even more talkative than others. This is why its never a good idea to compare relationship notes with your friends.
All too often we forget that common sense is not that common. We have all been given different skills and must seek in others the skills we lack. This is what makes you compatible and this is what helps to keep your relationships balanced.
Everyone has a list of what they want in a relationship, but many of us make assumptions, we assume the man must be the higher earner or the woman must cook and clean. What then happens when you meet a man that earns considerably less than you but loves to cook and is great with the housework ? would you moan or would you realize how much of a blessing your relationship could be if only you change your way of thinking.
Take sometime to consider your relationship. If your partner complements you and you complement them, then in my opinion you can't get any fairer than that and everything else becomes a bonus. The more bonuses you give each other the more enjoyable and fulfilling your relationship will be.