We have all been fed images by the media of the happily married couple with two kids who are enjoying the sunshine together. For many of us, these images raise a nagging doubt that perhaps our own relationship is not quite as wonderful.
The very first step to having a better love life is to understand that these fairytale relationships do not exist. Real relationships and marriages do not come as good or bad packages. In fact, real love stories are only as happy as we are ready to work at them.
In my work as a marriage counselor and specialist in soul mate relationships, I have found something that immediately improves any relationship. However, I should warn you that this “secret weapon” is not very romantic. It’s something I call “the law of an even deal.” Simply stated, it says you will only be happy in your relationship if you make sure you get as much out of it as you put in it.
Many people respond to this advice with aversion because they do not want to go about their romantic relationships with a calculator in their hand. Women are particularly fond of unconditional love, and the idea of selfless giving without expecting something back turns them off. However, in my counseling practice I have found it is exactly these women who get angry over time and complain their partner is lazy and selfish.
How did it come to this? The answer is that many women have lofty ideas about love, and forget to take into account their unconscious mind. In other words, at the beginning of a relationship the woman – being swamped by honeymoon hormones – overcares and overextends herself and believes that this will lead to eternal happiness with her partner. Unfortunately, after the first blissful honeymoon period has ended, particularly when children have arrived, these women get more and more bitter because they feel taken advantage of.
Do men overcare as well? Sometimes they do. But in my work as a therapist I have found that the majority of my female clients act in this way. What can you do if you find yourself in this predicament? The answer is to sit down with your partner and openly discuss the idea of an even deal, and whether you and your partner feel that you both get as much out of the relationship as you put in it. An even deal is only achieved when both partners can say a wholehearted ‘yes’ to this question.
In order to get to a better deal with your partner, you need to take everything into account: household chores, money, and affection. Then work out a plan that feels good for both of you. I can promise you, as soon as you feel that you get more of an even deal in your marriage, you will feel a lot better.
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