September 15, 2006, Newsletter Issue #118: Healthy Relationships: Equality

Tip of the Week

Real love happens between equals. Neither partner is considered inferior or superior, though you may assume different roles. Your wants, needs and fears are no more or less important, though they may at times be more or less urgent, than those of your partner. You both deserve time, energy, and resources.

That doesn't mean everything has to be 50-50. If you work from home in jeans, while your partner's job requires a professional appearance every day, it's only natural that one of you will spend less on clothing. If you love gardening and stay-at-home hobbies while your partner likes going out to parties, it's reasonable to compromise on plans that include some of each.

If you're noticing problems with equality in your relationship, start by cleaning up your side of the street. Are there ways in which you aren't treating your partner as an equal? Without trying to change your partner's behavior, act in an equal and positive way. In a secure attachment, partners show love by each other not as divine beings on pedestals, nor as playtoys to be used and thrown away, but as equals, capable of independent feelings and choices.

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Barbara Gibson