It’s true to say that in many cases, you owe no one your time or goodwill. But that’s certainly not true all of the time. For example, you might not “owe” your children your time to play while you’re trying to earn a living to keep them under a roof and well fed, but that’s a good way to stunt their development, and besides, why wouldn’t you want to build a bond with your child? Most parents would agree that yes, owing their children their time is the wonderful price of bringing them into the world.
There are gradations to this, of course. For example, you might be in a relationship with a loving partner, but that doesn’t mean you “owe” them intimacy if you’re otherwise disinterested, even if this can be part of the foundation of a healthy relationship. Striking that balance, maturely, is key.
This begs the question – what do you actually owe the other person in a relationship, and how can that lead to a healthy outcome? Let’s consider this, below:
You Owe Honesty
Honesty in a relationship isn’t a resource you offer, it’s an essential and grounding principle for their to be any worthwhile communication at all. That doesn’t mean you have to bring up any irritation you have, or dump everything you’ve ever thought on a new romantic partner, but it does mean being vulnerable, saying what you think, and when you need to, being assertive. After all, if you’re not honest, you begin connecting with someone who likes you for who you’re not. That’s never a good way to start.
Support & Emotional Presence
Ultimately, it’s important to be supportive of your partner, even if that support comes through disagreement and a careful explanation of why a choice in life could backfire. This might involve supporting them through family disputes, building their confidence, helping them develop as a person, and accepting this love back in return. The word “co-operation” is absolutely the grounding principle here, because when you invest in your partner, you invest in the connection you both share. In other words, you’re both on the same team and it’s important to act that way.
Ultimately, it’s important to share the load when it comes to managing your life and its administrative tasks. You can divide this pie how you believe it’s most suitable to do so, but that doesn’t mean you should disconnect yourself from all tasks. For example, while your partner might be better at financial management, that doesn’t mean you should be completely shut out from the financial planning, as those who help couples with a quick divorce will tell you imbalance is often one of the main predictors of a lack of co-operation.
It’s also important to be clear and accepting of that shared responsibility – perhaps you’ll work as the breadwinner and your partner will keep the household, for example. But that doesn’t mean only they take care of your children. Ultimately, a relationship is not about what you take out, but what you put into the mutual bond that counts.
With this advice, you’re sure to provide what you owe in a relationship, and expect the same investment from your loved one too. It’s how couples thrive for decades.