Gemeinsam an der Beziehung arbeiten

Are you pulling in the same direction?

In the content I have shared on my blog so far, values such as responsibility, trust and respect are repeated. In my opinion, these form the basis for a healthy relationship.

If both parties take responsibility in the conflict and there is mutual trust and respect, then we can speak of a healthy relationship. Of course, this is easier said than done. One of the most complicated aspects of maintaining a relationship is that you can only speak and act for yourself. You have no control over whether your partner is willing to do the same.

Who comes to the consultation?

I often see cases in counseling where someone tries to work on him/herself to save the relationship. Their hope is: "If I change, my partner will change too" or "If I finally find a way to explain my point of view in a way that is understood, then we'll solve the problema."

There are situations in which we have to undergo therapy or counseling out of personal responsibility in order to work on personal aspects, which can then also have a positive effect on the relationship. However, in the situation described, such a process is mistaken for an attempt to take responsibility for both parties by one. This is imposible.

Your willingness alone is not enough for a healthy relationship

In any partnership, it is crucial that both parties are willing to take responsibility and make compromises. Your willingness and commitment are commendable and important, but alone they cannot sustain a healthy and balanced relationship. On the contrary, if you take responsibility alone, this can lead to the situation becoming entrenched. It creates a dynamic in which your actions result in your partner not acting.

Recognize the signs of a lack of reciprocity

There are clear signs that there is no reciprocity in your relationship:

  1. One-sided efforts

You have the feeling that you are the only one actively working on the relationship to resolve conflicts. You suggest going to therapy or counseling, read books or seek out exchanges to discuss problems. Your partner may join in, but the initiative always comes from you.

  1. Lack of interest

Your partner shows little to no interest in your needs or concerns. He or she may not understand what your problema is.

  1. Imbalance in compromises

You are usually the one who gives in or compromises, while your partner is rarely or never willing to adapt.

  1. Lack of support

In difficult times, you often find yourself alone, without the emotional or practical support of your partner.

What are your alternatives

It's important to be clear about what role you want to play in the relationship. Do you want to continue this way or are you aiming for a truly collaborative relationship? Here are some steps you can consider:

  1. Communicate your needs clearly: Tell your partner honestly and openly what you want from the relationship and what you need.
  2. Set boundaries: Where do you notice that you are being left alone? Make it clear that you are no longer prepared to carry this burden alone and remain consistent.
  3. Observe your partner's reaction: Pay attention to how your partner reacts to your communication and the boundaries you set. Does he or she show a willingness to change and move?

Wait and see

If you stay with yourself, how will your partner react? Does he become active and approach you? This could be a sign that your relationship has the potential to become healthier and more balanced. However, if no change occurs or conflicts even intensify because your partner misses “the old you”, then you need new approaches: Counseling or separation?


If you are looking for more clarity on this topic, professional guidance can help shed light on the subject.