Take Up the Space That Is Yours in Your Relationship

You may have noticed that with some couples one partner takes up all the space and the other shrinks into the background. It could be simply that one partner is an extravert while the other is introverted. If that’s the case, the introvert may be happy to give the floor over to the more outgoing of the two. It may also be related to the couple’s cultural background. In some cultures, the male partner is viewed as “he who must be obeyed,” and it is not acceptable for the female to answer back or even to offer her opinion when it differs from his. But, a third possibility is that one partner concedes the floor because he/she either doesn’t know how to assert themselves or has given up trying.

If your relationship falls into the third category, you may find yourself in an unhappy relationship filled with increasing resentment. When one partner is subservient to the other while the other dictates the way things should be, it creates a master/servant dynamic. When one partner always seeks to be cared for while the other does all the care-taking, it creates a parent/child dynamic. After a while, such relationships begin to wear on one or the other partner, who may finally rebel.

When it comes to large and small decisions, allow each partner to weigh in. If you’ve been hiding in the background, let your partner know that you have something to say. And, make sure that each of you experiences your share of caring and being cared for. If you’re tired of always attending to your partner’s needs at the expense of your own, begin to ask your partner for what you’d like. Consider what your relationship would be like if you balanced things out and each occupied the space that is yours.

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