Don't be the Dead Battery in Your Relationship


I have really been working hard to make sure I am doing all the things I tell others to do. Part of that is sticking to my goal of cleaning the living room nightly. Something about heading out the door in the morning and passing the mess bothers me (it must just be me because the kids don't seem to be in any hurry to pick up after themselves).

Anyway, I was cleaning my living room for the hundredth time this particular day and I heard the familiar noise of a talking toy dying.  Unless you are a parent or have children's battery powered toys in your home you may not recognize the noise. When a toy is dying the voice is fake scary deep and it drags on like it is being chopped and screwed.

Before I get to the point I just want to ask why is it when a battery powered toy is dying the toy talks/makes noise when no one is playing with it. Like it is randomly calling out for help. How is this even happening? Ok back to the point.

As a parent, I can hear a dying toy a mile away. I immediately thought to myself “where are my batteries”.  I went to the battery bag (I am a parent, and there is a bag for everything) I only found one in the size I needed. Since children have some sort of innate alarm that goes off when you are moving or otherwise bothering the toy they have not looked at in months my son comes running in the room. Of course, since I am holding his toy it is now the best things ever and he wants it. As I looked into my son’s beautiful brown eyes I knew what I had to do.

I only changed one of the batteries. I knew when I put the good battery in the toy with the dying battery it wouldn’t last. I really only wanted it to last until he lost interest again, or until I could get to the store for more batteries. No, I couldn't go right then I was cleaning remember. The day went on and I eventually forgot and like clockwork two days later there is the toy sounding like a bad remix again. I knew when I forced the good battery to do all the work the toy would not last.

Now, why would I tell you this story? To set the stage for what is next because the whole post couldn't be about batteries right? As a relationship expert, I see the world and most activities in relationships. Simple things like the battery incident made me think of my clients and some of the relationship issues they are experiencing.

They are having these issues because one if not both of them is the dead battery. In a relationship, you need two whole, happy, healthy people for it to work.  If not the relationship is doomed. Sorry, I aint sorry. If one person is the dying battery the other person ends up doing all the work, and eventually they become drained or sick. Now you have two “dead” people in a dysfunctional “relationship”. Life is hard enough and we all have our issues. The stress of carrying our load, and adding a second load with no help is just too much work.`

What is a “dead” battery in terms of relationships? It is a person who is not pulling their weight for whatever reason. This person has not addressed their own issues, whatever the issues may be. This can be financially, emotionally, spiritually, and even physically. To be clear I am not saying a person on a journey is “dead”, as being on the journey indicates life. We all have to grow, and we should allow our loved ones the space to do the same.

I am talking about the people who are deep in their issue and not looking for a way out. For example, a person who may have had a bad relationship in the past and is not making any effort to heal and are also bringing their old baggage into their relationship would be considered a “dead” person.

Think about your last relationship, why did it end? Were one of you giving your all and the other not so much? Who was the dead battery in that relationship, if there was one? Who was not carrying their weight? Who was not growing in the relationship?

Life is about change and growth. When you refuse to grow you die. Do you want your 10-year-old acting as a 5-year-old? Hopefully, the answer is no. You want them to grow, learn and expand their thinking. The same applies to you. When I told you the story of the dying toy it was easy to identify the issue. The dead battery drained the new battery. Why is so hard for people to look at their lives with the same simplicity? If you are not in a good space mentally how do you expect to sustain a relationship? Grow, learn and do not attach yourself to dead batteries. Most importantly don't be the dead battery.

Have you ever had to end a relationship because it was too draining?