When you turn to your partner...

Lean On Me, But Not Too Much

Lean On Me, But Not Too Much

Yes, we all need someone to lean on. But aren’t there times when neediness can destroy a relationship? Of course, but so can too much independence! The issues around this dynamic challenge any relationship.

If I let you help me, do I become too weak? Will you be put off by my fears. Men seem particularly fearful of being too needy. Certainly separating from mom to become independent creates a fear of slipping back into that neediness. Nothing was more likely to lead to being labeled a “girly man” as seeming weak.

Couples who work out a sense of fair reciprocity build a stronger bond. If I know that when I am sick you will be there and if you know that when my life goes crazy at the office, you will pick up the slack, life seems to work. You want to have some sense that there’s a fairness about our trade offs. Relationships can go through a serious and extended crisis when one partner can be supported, if there also resides an inner sense that the other will do the same.

As a couple, review the fairness of what’s going on between you. When you recognize your partner is carrying a lot during your crisis, take time to hear your partner share “what it’s like to be me.”  This can go long way in bringing balance to the relationship. Sincere thank yous never hurt either, in fact gratitude works and heals many wounds.

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Dr. Jim Walkup, Director

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