Where do you sit in the majority of your adult relationships?
Give too much?
Take too much for granted?
Before I got clean and sober back in 1995 I was most definitely a “taker” in the majority of my adult relationships. Yep, a ONE-WAY RELATIONSHIP Queen Bitch!
I deliberately ask this question with a focus on “adult” relationships, for the relationships we have with any children require adults to do the lion’s share of the giving of emotional stability, nurturing and patience. That is the deal, adults parent and model healthy adult life for children. Not the other way around. Children are not equipped to do the majority of the emotional giving or to parent, be friends and confidants to adults. They of course will out of their little hearts give loyalty and love if it is demanded from them. But children being bought up as “the givers” with adults as “the takers” sets up a habit of emotional imbalance.
Children require healthy adult modelling on partnership with other adults from their caregivers. The need to see firsthand how to master the art of compromise, giving and receiving with grace and without guilt nor shame. Too few of us were gifted with this consistent modelling of two-way adult relationships to learn from in our childhood.
When we feel emotionally robbed from our childhood years or from an imbalanced ONE-WAY adult relationship, it is easy to want to seek emotional revenge. If we tire from doing all the giving to the emotionally needy and greedy to doing all the taking in adult life, we become the very problem we are running from.
Because a healthy adult partnership was not modelled for me, I had to learn the hard way, as many of us do. I floundered, stuffed up and got it wrong, often. ONE-WAY RELATIONSHIPS end ONE WAY in adult life. They turn to shit.
If we only give or only take in adult relationships one person gets complacent, emotionally fat and lazy and the other person gets resentful, fatigued and eventually emotionally checks out. Many ONE-WAY RELATIONSHIPS continue for a lifetime if neither party has the skills to learn a new win, win two-way partnership.
So I went from being an excessive taker in my active addiction years, to being an excessive giver in recovery. Still a ONE-WAY QUEEN though, emotionally out of balance. You see some of us flip to being so very guilty in our recovery, needing to make amends for all the shit we caused.
Healthy adult partnerships, however, are something completely different. They are a win, win relationship. Sure we lean on our partners and friends from time to time when one will give more and the other take more, but that is the exception not the rule.
So perhaps it’s time to review our adult relationships with lovers and close friends.
How are you going in the win, win two-way partnership relationship stakes?
Are there still too many ONE-WAY adult relationships in your life?
It took me years to become brave enough to let go of lovers and friends that were happy to allow me to do the lion’s share of giving.
Are there people in your adult life that if you stopped initiating connection and invitations they would not look for you?
If there are, these are ONE-WAY RELATIONSHIPS that are draining your life and feeding the belief that you have to work for love not just sometimes, but all the time.
I love that Jeff Brown quote that reminds us that …
“If we have to chase it, it’s not love. Love meets us half-way.”
A win, win healthy adult relationship with lovers and friends involves healthy giving and receiving. Us recovering excessive givers often reject receiving in the fear that we will incur an emotional debt. If takers in our past have only given with emotional hooks intertwined with the gift we become reluctant receivers. So let’s untangle ourselves from the ONE-WAY RELATIONSHIPS once and for all, starting with ourselves, right now!
Let us ensure we work on our Emotional Fitness, deliberately flexing our win, win heart muscle just a little more. Why not open up our hearts and give ourselves a little more kindness, patience and compassion?
Why not couple this workout with allowing ourselves to receive compliments, hugs, invitations and smiles with a more open heart?
Lotsa love Cynthia xxx
© Copyright 2016 Cynthia J. Morton Emotional Fitness™