Does your relationship feel like it’s entirely one sided? Maybe it seems like you’re doing all the emotional labor for your partner, but they don’t show up to support you in the same way. Or, you may be one of those couples who don’t split the chores and duties of your lives and households equally.
That can get exhausting, and it won’t be long until the one carrying all the pressure gives out. You can’t carry those burdens forever. Make sure you act before you’re stuck forever in an unequal partnership you can’t escape.
The best ways to deal with a one-sided relationship.
If you’re tired of being in a one-sided relationship, then you need to take steps now to get what you want (and need). That won’t happen by osmosis, though, and it won’t happen by magic, either. You’ve got to be radically honest with yourself, radically honest with your partner, and prepared to act in the name of those things which can’t be denied.
Be radically honest with yourself
Start this process off by taking a radical dose of self-honesty. Layer-by-layer, peel back what’s going on in your partnership. Be brutally honest about what you’re getting, what you’re not getting, and how the whole thing is making you feel. You need this core perspective so that you can plan a course of action and a hard conversation that will be full of questions and (potential) chaos.
Take full stock of things
Next, take a full inventory of your partnership. You’ve got to dig to the core of your issues and get clear on what is and isn’t really happening. How has the partnership gone one sided? How do you need your partner to show up for you? Before you approach them and ask for more, you need to have a pure understanding of what they’re doing, what they’re not doing, and what you unquestionably need.
Start asking for your needs
With everything laid out clearly, you can approach your partner and lay it out for them. This is an unavoidable part of the process. You must be able to sit your partner down and speak up about your needs. If you feel like you’re doing all the work, tell them that. Avoid accusatory language, but make sure they understand how you need a partner to show up for you in order for the journey to be worthwhile.
Set yourselves a time limit
Once you’ve asked for what you need (and your partner has had the chance to do the same) you’ve got to set a time limit and make things happen. This is the action stage of the work. How long are you willing to wait for things to balance back out? How long are you willing to carry all the material or emotional weight in your partnership? Figure out how long you can go on just as you are, and communicate that time limit to your partner.
Make the right moves
At the end of the day, not every partner is willing to make the changes needed to make it work. (Nor are they always capable.) When that’s the case, it’s up to you to make the hard choice. If they can’t give you what you (reasonably) need, then you have to cut ties and find someone that will. It’s a hard truth and the only answer. You can either settle for unhappiness or get the relationship you deserve with someone who isn’t stumped by the work.
What you should take away…
No one deserves to be in a one-sided relationship. We deserve to be loved and honored, and we deserve to have the respect of our partners. Pouring yourself out into someone who doesn’t appreciate it feels awful. It can warp your view on relationships and it can even warp the views we have on ourselves.
Stop settling for subpar relationships. Don’t keep yourself small and burned out for someone who isn’t present, or isn’t giving as good as they receive. Love is great, but relationships take the work of two people who want to create something worth working for.
If your relationships is off-balance, then get clear on what’s gone wrong. Sit your partner down and communicate what you need, but be prepared to make hard choices. Your partner doesn’t have to change anything, but you do have to ensure you get the future and the relationships that you want.
© E.B. Johnson 2022