Equality in Relationships

Equality in relationships

Equality is such a well used word in the English Language. We are all searching for equality in every aspect of our life. In reality, we are searching for something that is our right and everyone’s right. Our needs are just as important as anyone else’s. Each and every person deserves to be happy and have their needs met. Anyone who believes otherwise is taking away someone else’s rights unjustly. Equality, fairness, and justice are all concepts that support each other.

So how does this feed into the subject of relationships. As I’ve been counselling and coaching couples the common thread is that equality/respect is the foundation or bedrock of every strong, nurturing relationship. If a partner sees the other as equal, then there will be respect. If there is a lack of respect, this will lead to one or more persons mistreating the other on a regular basis.

If one person has more power in the relationship they are not going to want to give up their position unless there is something to gain. So there is the spin. How do we convince the person who is accustomed to getting their needs met first allow someone else’s needs to be met before or instead of theirs?

Some benefits are:

  1. Your partner will be more willing to meet your physical/emotional needs on a day to day basis
  2. Someone who is pushed down will not be happy or fulfilled. Do you want to live with someone who is sad, depressed, stressed, or angry much of the time?
  3. Constant stress in a relationship can lead to health issues.

Many couples who are having issues in their day to day life are really arguing over whose needs should be met. In reality, both people in the relationship deserve to have their needs met and the challenge is how can everyone’s needs get met when some directly conflict with each other. It is difficult if not impossible to take this on if equality, fairness, and justice are not used when determining which need is met and with what priority.  This is an activity for both partners, not just the person with more power in the relationship.

I encourage you to take an honest look at your relationships and ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do you find you are fighting/arguing quite often and you are not sure why?
  2. Is my significant other happy or fulfilled?
  3. Do I feel we are equal? If not, why?
  4. If equality is lacking, then what can you do to change this?

Love that is not nourished and fed regularly will start to fade.. and fade… and fade… until there are major divisions in the relationship. A person cannot and should not put aside ALL of their needs so that another person is living their ideal life.

It does take work to make a relationship stand the test of time. How well you compromise with your significant other on a day to day basis will decide how long the relationship lasts. You do have the power to control how healthy your relationships are.

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Gail Goncalves
Counselor, RPC
Gail has an experience of over 30 years in training and mentoring individuals. She supports them through difficult times and encourages them to take control over their lives.
She got her diploma in Professional Counseling from Vancouver College of Counselor Training in 2013. She has been practicing counseling for more than 2 years now.