THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN EQUITY AND EQUALITY IN YOUR RELATIONSHIP.
I’m not a Relationship Expert by any means, but I do know what doesn’t work within my model of the World.
I was subject to an abusive marriage by contrast to the relationship I am in right now – more on this in later posts. Knowing something to be right, you could assume the opposite to be wrong… but that isn’t the case. Black isn’t an opposite to white, forward to backwards, good to bad, or right from wrong.
This is topic for conversation now, as within recent ‘lockdown’ Covid conversations there appears to be a solid and accepted shift where more and more partners are turning their attention to matters of equality, removing the typical Victorian approach despite historically believing their relationship to be fairly liberal and equal.
While in my opinion this has been long overdue and it shouldn’t have taken a global lockdown to identify the lack of true equity/equality, it’s important to remember the difference between “equity” and “equality” and why you should know the difference, before defining what you are aiming for, if you are making some positive changes in your relationship.
Many couples are struggling in their relationships because their attention is focused on making everything equal, which, in turn, leads to scorekeeping, contempt, and other corrosive thought patterns and behaviours.
“Equality” is defined as “the state of being equal, especially in status, rights, and opportunities”.
“Equity”, on the other hand, is defined as “the quality of being fair and impartial”.
On first impressions it might seem that both these words mean very much the same and both something that we should be striving for and, in most of our daily language, they are.
However, in terms of what to strive for in our relationships, the two are strikingly different and therefore something worth considering before you opt to focus on just one or label your relationship.
Equality in a relationship often makes individuals aware of the measurable, like trying to balance two inputs and then justifying the lack of the other party. Often the “equality” measuring stick is used to determine how much each person is bringing to the relationship, which means, we’re focusing on things done or achieved rather than the person as a whole. The focus then is measured by what we do not rather than what we do.
A personal example of this would be my DIY ability, “despite being competent in a number of other things within my marriage; the lack of home repairs was often a source of debate, attack and ridicule. Measuring on what I could not rather than would I could”
Equity is an attempt to make things “fair and impartial” and is a very different perspective in terms of relationships.
Rather than keeping score on what the other has ‘done’, equity means creating a greater sense of fairness, accepting the other to be themselves without measurement, it also allows us to remove our ego and selfishness, looking at the strengths and abilities of our partner. The equitable approach also understands fairness in terms what feels right, rather than always focusing on what is on either side of an equal.
So what is it? Equity or equality? Personally, I believe that a combination of both equality and equity is fundamentally key if things are to last in your own relationship. Seeing your partner as an equal, with equity, supports them to freely move as they wish, rather than how you’d like them too, this in turn supports:
Work to listening twice as much as you speak.
Of course this is not an exhaustive list and as I said at the beginning, I’m no expect but I do know the difference between what works and what doesn’t! Now could be a good time to work on your relationship and re-establish what you BOTH want.
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