In some instances the whole does equal the sum of it’s parts. But there are other instances when the whole is either greater or less than the sum of it’s parts. Why does this matter, you ask? Well, to fully understand the scope of any relationship it’s important to know what each participant in the relationship believes about the whole.
Aristotle is first credited with saying the whole is greater than the sum of it’s parts. In theories of proximity the whole is equal to the sum. In relativity, Einstein is credited for saying the whole is less than the sum of it’s parts. His logic was that the sums are greater by themselves than they are with a whole. Think for instance about the Miami Heat. LeBron James makes less money being one of the stars as opposed to being “the” star. As an individual he is worth more than he is playing with Dwayne Wade and Chris Bosh.
So when it comes to relationships, there are some people who believe that the whole is greater than the sum. There are others who believe that the whole and the parts are equal. And still others who think that the whole is far less than the sum of the parts. If you are in a fulfilling relationship then it makes sense for you to believe that the whole is bigger than the sum of the parts because you and your mate both contribute to the relationship and sacrifice to make it work — for the greater good (the whole).
Someone in a not so good relationship may feel that the whole is not worth the parts. Many who have gotten divorced have already arrived at this conclusion. If you have a lazy partner, or one who does not handle his or her business affairs properly, it makes it difficult to keep focused on the big picture (the whole). If you are the one that handles everything, makes all the money, takes responsibility, manages all the problems and you view your partner as simply another mouth to feed, then your whole is definitely less than.
If you have recovered from a bad relationship and are on the rebound, you are now looking for balance in your life and relationships. You now begin to search for a relationship that will be equal to the sum of it’s parts. This new relationship is where the parts are “equally yolked” and you see your partner as an equal partner working in concert with you. You two are like-minded in thought and action and you share the same values.
We find ourselves in various types of relationships. Right or wrong should be determined by the views of both parties in the relationship. If you are struggling in a relationship, I encourage you to seek counseling. EVERYTHING YOU HAVE EXPERIENCED CAN BE FIXED, IF YOU REALLY WANT TO FIX IT. All fixes take time. And if you both have a desire to allow the whole to be greater than the sum of it’s parts, then commit to making it work and seek professional help now.