The key to creating and maintaining a happy relationship can be summed up in one word: Balance. There needs to be balance in all things and one couple’s picture of balance will look different from another’s based on the strength of each individual’s needs. Each couple’s fulcrum will be placed at a different point on the balance beam. Knowing the Difference: Healthy Or Dysfunctional [EXPERT]
The first step to achieving balance is for each of the people in the relationship to recognize their personal needs—to know thyself, so to speak. Everybody is born with five basic psychological needs—the need for connection, significance, survival, freedom and enjoyment. At different points in our life, and sometimes even in our day, different needs will become more important to us, however, we have a general overarching need-strength profile which stays relatively constant throughout our lives. How Compatible Are You And Your Partner [EXPERT]
When two people with a high connection need get together, their balance will look different from a couple that both have high freedom needs, or a couple with one high connection and one high freedom person. This will dictate the balance of time—how much time is spent together as a couple and how much time is spent apart, either alone or with friends and family. This balance encompasses both the connection and the opposite freedom need. Why You Aren't Happily Ever After Anymore [EXPERT]
The survival need is one that also requires balance. A person high in survival doesn’t like risk, is more of a saver than a spender, places a high value on health and safety, and spends a lot of time planning for the future. On the contrary, a person with a low survival need is a big risk taker, a spender rather than a saver, isn’t overly concerned about health and safety, and lives for the moment. Having a happy relationship when one partner is high and the other low in the survival need requires some negotiation to find the balance in health, safety and finances. Will Money Ruin Your Relationship? [EXPERT]
Another area to balance is the area for significance. When two people in a relationship have a high need for significance, sometimes it can mean they find themselves in competition with each other. This, in and of itself, isn’t necessary a bad thing, depending on how they choose to compete with each other. You might be able to see how two people high in significance would have to balance how they meet their need so they are not stepping on each other to get to the “prize.” People high in significance tend to like power, control, being in the spotlight, making a difference and leaving a legacy.
Another area that will require balance is the enjoyment need. We all have it but some of us need more of it than others. A person with a high need for enjoyment may be seen by his or her partner as someone who doesn’t take life very seriously and has never grown up. A person with a low enjoyment need can be viewed as someone who doesn’t know how to have fun and is overly serious. And sometimes with this enjoyment need, couples have similar need strengths but the way they choose to get this need met vary drastically. For example, one person may love going to parties, dancing and playing sports, while the other person prefers reading books, taking hikes in the woods or going fishing. 12 Tips For Improving Your Relationship [EXPERT]
How do couples achieve balance in these areas?
The first thing is to know their own needs and their preferences for how they meet those needs.
Then secondly, they want to understand as best they can, what their partner’s need strengths are and how that person prefers to get his or her needs met.
The third step is to recognize three important principles of InsideOut Empowerment.
o The first is that the only person’s behavior anyone can control is their own.
o The second is that every person is responsible for meeting his or her own needs. No one else can meet them for you.
o The third is the sure way to create an unhappy or a miserable relationship is to attempt to get your partner to do things he or she doesn’t want to do or to agree to do things you really don’t want to do.
I know these ideas are simple and commonsense but their application is anything but common. These are the general reasons most people come to me for coaching. They are in an unhappy relationship being controlled by their partner or they are attempting to control their partner and sometimes even both!
When individuals understand what they need to be happy and pursue those things, they are being responsible as long as they are not deliberately attempting to hurt other people or to stop other people from doing what they need to do to pursue their own happiness. This is relatively easy when you are not part of a couple. Secrets of Happy Couples
However, when you are in a relationship, there is an added factor of wanting to help your partner get what he or she needs while you are pursing what you want for yourself. Sometimes you will prioritize what your partner wants, not begrudgingly, but because what you really want is for your partner to be happy that day. But make no mistake, your choices cannot “make” your partner happy or sad. That’s a choice they make.
You are ultimately responsible for creating your own happiness and getting your own needs met. In a wonderful relationship, this is recognized by each partner. You both accept each other exacatly as you are and encourage the other to do what he or she wants to do in the pursuit of balancing his or her needs.