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Why is Balance Important for Peaceful Relationships?

Dolls on scalePHIL: Is your relationship a town with safe streets, no-go areas and places you might stumble and get hurt? We don’t live there. We simply don’t clash on things.

It is totally improbable that we make the same choices time and time again. Some areas obviously match – our politics, our Netflix choices, our commitment to this blog – but there are places where we are different that never cause problems. (Some areas are still unclear, like end-of-life issues around health and money, but we have no doubt that we will be able to reach agreement.) So what are we doing to create such harmony?

There’s no insistence that we do the same thing. I need a walk and Maude wants to read? No problem. In our opinion, spending time apart is very healthy for our relationship.

Sometimes it’s something that affects both of us. Should the kitchen be renovated? How much? What style? There must be 20 consequential decisions for a project like that. Here is where our process of exploring what we want and why we want it works well, going deeper and deeper until we find a point of agreement.

It’s the decisions between these two levels of seriousness that appear to be magical to us. There is no sense of compromise, though maybe that’s achieved by non-attachment. There is no ledger – it’s your turn to wash up; I took the trash out, so you should make the bed. An equilibrium like that does occur, but it is based on doing out of love, not being owed out of obligation.

The upshot of all this is that our relationship is a place of peace and calm. That may sound like improbable good luck, but it’s not. It is because each of us brings to the relationship a sense of balance, and I think this can be learned. Remember learning to ride a bicycle? You fell off and you fell off and you fell of until one day you made it five yards down the driveway, and the following day to the end of the street, and after that, you never fell off again. Balance in a relationship is a sense of fairness and empathy that, once learned, becomes second nature.

MAUDE: We often talk about successful relationships in terms of the peace they bring. We have been discussing this extraordinary experience of peace within our relationship and wondering what goes into making it so. We are not the same and act very differently in many areas. Yet, in terms of our choices, decisions and solutions, both on a superficial as well as a more meaningful level, they match so frequently as to cause us to ask, what are we doing, what is going on?

In examining this mutual resonance, I realized that there is a deep similarity in what we are both attracted to, what we value. We both naturally seek balance. This is not done consciously, but rather in response to an inner pull. This is not keeping score or counting up who does what and trying to keep it all even.

Rather, there is a sense of balance in how we each act and feel and relate. There is an equilibrium from which our choices emerge, and so, the unlikely becomes reality, and we frequently find ourselves easily on the same page.

We do, of course, have areas where we start out at two different places. When this occurs, we can apply Our Process to find solutions, points of agreement and mutual satisfaction. More often than not though, the attraction toward balance pulls us toward peace in our exchanges without the need to search for agreement. We find ourselves choosing very similar solutions often because they are the ones that come from this place within each of us.

There is a sense of fairness, of justice, of equality, of rightness in balance. It is a place of respect, of gentleness, of kindness.

Is this of any use to you? Can you apply this to create an experience of peace for yourselves in your relationships? Can you cultivate this within yourself? I hope so. I wish it for all of us.

Photo credit: Phil Mayes; dolls by Nicole Turofsky

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Successful Relationship Reading Corner


Books on shelfThis week we wrote about the importance of balance in your relationships. It was difficult to find articles discussing the issue as we did, but these three look at it from some interesting viewpoints.

4 Things You Can Do To Build a More Balanced Relationship "I like to sit in the park and watch couples interact. I note who puts a blanket down, who says thank you, who acknowledges the other person before picking up a phone or putting their head into a book. I do this because I’m interested in observing healthy relationships or catching parts of interactions that I like and want to apply to my own relationship."

How to Create Balance in Your Relationships "today, we want to talk about the importance of balance in your relationships, and how to create and maintain healthy, balanced relationship dynamics. Perhaps you’re trying to navigate a new relationship, support your partner through a hard time, or make more time for yourself and set boundaries. Regardless of if you’re feeling overwhelmed or underwhelmed in one of your relationships, here are some tips to help you feel like you can still be yourself and keep your relationships balanced with the rest of your life."

Interpersonal Relationships "A number of theories have been formed to understand interpersonal relationships. There is merit to looking at relationships from the perspective of each of these theories. To believe exclusively in one theory and disregard the other theories would limit our understanding of social relationships."

Spreading peace one relationship at a time
Phil and Maude
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