How is it that one person in a couple who was always reasonably responsible becomes a complete Type A driven control freak, while the very open relaxed partner becomes so irresponsible that he/she can’t be trusted to take out the garbage on trash day or walk the dog if the other is away. They each, in effect, become a caricature of what was formerly an outstanding, but not all-consuming, trait.
The laid back one will stake out their territory – “I have a right to relax!” While the other will stake their claim to their over-responsibility by declaring, “Some one has to do it!”
Of course, they are both right in their statements, but, in protecting these traits in themselves, have allowed themselves to become those traits instead of those traits simply being a part of them.
The cure for this is for each of them to be able to drop their defensiveness and accept that each of them need what the other has. This may be one of the things that attracted them to each other in the first place.
This cure requires not only a degree of acceptance of the other, but also, a degree of acceptance of oneself. It takes a secure person within a relationship to realize that they will not become the “hole in the doughnut” by adapting strength from their partner to themselves.
To realize this together is the ultimate in intimacy.
Chuck Markham, LPC