Imagine your relationship is a vehicle where you and your partner travel in. Imagine you just found a partner, you are head over heels and you get in that new van to begin your journey with him/her.
The tank is full and you start driving. Things run smoothly as you take turns both in refueling and driving. As your traveling continues and the relationship grows, you get to know each other better and start helping each other out; one takes the wheel more, other refuels few times in a row or handles service arrangements. That is fine and benign, partners in life ought to help each other unconditionally yet in the long run, this practice reveals a thin line between conditional & unconditional contribution. Once the line is blurred you find yourself counting refills, drive turns and service costs in frustration. It’s then you need to reassess the situation and redistribute responsibilities before the blurring line disappears completely. Sometimes you even need to repurpose the whole bigger picture for the relationship to balance out and the line to appear again.
The most common mistake couples make is spending too much time in the blur area which translates into day-to-day situational frustration that results in harboring negative energy. Then a random and usually insignificant event triggers a car crash, your vehicle/relationship is broken and you gotta fix it to continue. At that point, more contribution from both parties is needed, at an already difficult time. Few couples manage to fix their vehicle and continue the journey and even fewer manage to continue in the same spirit they had before the crash.
Avoid crashing the car, acknowledge the situation and act before it escalates.
Image by Charleston-based wedding photography