Marriage information and relationship information for better living. We all seek balance and a sense of being enough. We want to believe things are in working order and that we ourselves are basically ok. At times, though, stresses and difficulties can throw this off. When balance is lost, we try to find a way to restore it.

If we are single, we do this with the available resources. This may be self-soothing talk and thoughts, or this may mean reaching out to friends and family for support. We want to regain that sense of “ok-ness” and return to balance again. An example might be getting passed for a job you really wanted. You might tell yourself, “It’s ok. Their loss. They obviously don’t recognize just how perfect I was for the job.” Family and friends may offer similar reassurances as well. Whatever it is we tell ourselves, the purpose is to help ourselves get back up, feel alright, and keep going. It makes it possible for us to get through the day.

When we are fortunate enough to be in a relationship with a partner, we find that they are both a resource in our attempts for balance, and a reason we stumble. The closeness of the other to us gives them the ability to affect us in significant ways. Think of them as being tied to us by invisible strings. As they move, they pull us with them. If we reach out for them and they withdraw, we are pulled off balance. More than what they say, it’s the act of their being receptive or not that affects us most. In our moment of need or crisis what we need most is the sense that they are there for us. When we reach for them, they will reach back. This can help us both find some balance. It also helps us become a little closer to each other. On the other hand, if they are not there for us, distance results. Relationships don’t end from the problems we face. They die from the distance we create when we aren’t there for each other.

Takeaway of the day: You can offer that connection to the someone important in your life by how you respond to their attempts to connect. It seldom is as clear and conscious as saying, “Hey, I need you.” Usually it hides in a question, statement, or behavior that appears to have no meaning or purpose. (Let this be a clue, if you are asking yourself “What was that about?”, you’re probably looking at an attempt for connection). Examples can be the other person telling you about their day, about some part of their life, or asking you how your day was. They may sigh or make some other gesture to gain your attention. This is the key you may have been missing: THEY WANT YOUR ATTENTION. That’s the string that can bring them back to balance. You can respond by acknowledging them, which can build the relationship, or you can pull away by ignoring it or criticizing them, which destroys the relationship over time. Since I suspect you want your relationship to improve, work on noticing their attempts to reach out to you. When you notice it, even when the nature of the attempt may frustrate or anger you, and it will sometimes, be willing to reach out to your partner and show them you are there for them.