Being the One
Are you the one in your relationship? Is it possible that your partner is the one?
Do you feel like your roles are imbalanced? Sometimes we each just do what we are good at, and some of us are better at doing relationships than others.
In my relationship, I am the one.
I am the one who will make sure we stay on track.
I am the one that will make certain we have date nights and add creativity to our relationship.
I am the one who will learn new things to keep our lives from getting boring.
I am the one that keeps our love vibrant.
I am the one.
Feeling like your relationship is one-sided can be painful and upsetting. It can make you feel like a spare part in someone else’s life - as if you aren't as important to your partner as they are to you. But is it one-sided? Answering this question is where the rubber meets the road.
Being the one has often seemed like a burden for me. I sometimes hated having to keep us engaged. I would often think of myself as being taken advantage of and would express my resentment, sometimes in a passive-aggressive manner.
It’s a lot of work.
Or is it?
The first thing to say is that feeling like your relationship is one-sided doesn’t necessarily mean your partner doesn’t care about you as much as you care about them. Perhaps, like me, you find that you’re the one doing all the planning while your partner seems to be a passenger. Or perhaps it’s just a general feeling that you’re putting the relationship first in ways that they aren’t.
“What if your perception is wrong?” This was the question I asked myself years ago. I invite you to ask yourself too. It may be that your partner has trouble doing some of the things that you deem important. It could be that they simply don’t understand that these are the expectations that you have – and it hasn’t occurred to them that you’re finding this upsetting. They might know you’re upset but they pin it on something else.
What the question uncovered for me was startling because I simply couldn’t believe I missed it. With the things that I take on in my marriage, my spouse could never win. He will almost always fall short. Imagine being him and wanting to do some special things, and always being one-upped by me. Not intentionally, but I see things he doesn’t.
All of us want to do what we do best and we want to excel at those things that matter to us. But if you are married to someone that is an overachiever, someone who is always up to something - where might you find yourself?
As I continued my inquiry, I looked back in my history and recognized that the relationships that flourished in my life were the ones where I was the one.
And then I had a revelation!
I noticed that the relationships where my partner was “the one”, I didn’t enjoy quite the same way. I felt controlled and generally not satisfied. Those are the relationships that didn’t last. And as I interviewed others like me, what I uncovered is there are two kinds of being the one.
Being driven, having a goal, an interest in things being a certain way.
Fear-based, feeling like if you don’t do it, then you will have nothing. It is a kind of compensating for the feeling of something missing.
I fall under number one and I now consider it a privilege, an honor to be the one. I get to have my relationship be exactly as I would have it be. As I look at my spouse through this lens, I notice all that he contributes to our relationship. He has his eye on our home, the decor, our yard, making it inviting and an incredible place to be. He likes to look good for me, keeping healthy and in shape. He honors me, appreciates me, and lets me be the one - even if I bitch about it.
I have the perfect partner for who I am and I bet you do too.
If not, then you might fall under the second kind. This one is a bit more complex and might take more soul searching. Talk to your partner about it. Gaining an understanding of why it is that your partner doesn’t participate will guide your future direction.
Love, Honor, and Respect