Marriage or a relationship is about two people coming together and making a life together. From living life your way, you look to live a life together.

Emotional Equity Is A Must In A Relationship: Dr Bhavi Mody Speaks

Dr Bhavy Mody, Communication, Emotional equity in relationship

This week on Expert Voices at Baely, we have health evangelist and homeopathic specialist, Dr Bhavi Mody interacting exclusively with senior journalist Mahima Sharma on ‘What is emotional equity and why it is essential for any and every relationship.’ 

A Homeopathic Specialist and Nutritionist, Dr Bhavi Mody is the Founder of Vrudhi Holistic Health Care and a health evangelist. Let’s take a read to know what her life’s experience as well as case studies have to reveal to us about EMOTIONAL EQUITY driven from the various interactions she has had with women patients, whom she provides holistic health care.…


MS: What is emotional equity in a marriage or relationship?

BM: Marriage or a relationship is about two people coming together and making a life together.

From living life your way, you look to live a life together. The word "together" is very important.

It's how one makes small adjustments and makes it work. Your upbringing, habits, and family environment are all different. You also may have your own thought process and values that may not match those of your partner. So if you have to come together and make the marriage or relationship work, it will need fine tuning and some adjustments. And this is what we call emotional equity when it happens from both the ends. And marriage or relationships are a two way street; both parties have to be equally invested to maintain a balance in the relationship.

I had a young girl come to me, she was married into a different community than hers - Love Marriage. Her family had never consumed or cooked food with onions and garlic, whereas at her in-laws home every evening there would be some food like pav bhaji, bhel, etc. that was made with onions and garlic. She was not comfortable with the whole situation, but she could not do anything about it. I explained to her that she was well aware of the fact that they consume onions and garlic, and as part of their lifestyle, the entire house can't and won't change for her. I also asked if anyone forced her to eat, to which she replied in the negative. She understood that a few adjustments and compromises are inevitable. Her husband was very supportive, as were her in-laws- she was not asked to chop or make food with onion or garlic after her husband told his family that she was finding it very difficult. Fast Forward 5 years, she is happy and mom to a sweet daughter, who she feeds pav bhaji with onion and garlic! What worked was her acceptance of the family’s food choices and their support for her.

MS: How do you create emotional equity in a relationship?

BM: Think of this relationship as a plant that you love- how would you make it flower?

You would water it, nurture it, and add the needed nutrients to the soil, right? You would do these everyday and wait till it flowers and blooms. There is a time for everything. And you wait till the right time comes. Do you expect the plant to flower the very next day? Or do you stop nurturing the plant because it didn't flower the next day? To create emotional equity both partners need to stay invested and nurture the relationship.

 Recognize and respect each other's likes, dislikes, wants and needs. Accept the person the way she/he is. Be supportive of your partner.  Give each other space and stay committed. A relationship is about ‘US’  over You and Me.


MS: What are the signs of being in an unbalanced, un-equitable relationship? And how do you communicate the same to your partner?

BM: I had a young girl come to me for her PCOS treatment, she had a recent breakup and was shattered. She told me that she had been very open about her life and shared everything with her fiance, but he was not so open with her. She also felt he was not giving her enough time,when she spoke to him, he said work is keeping him busy and there is too much pressure. She found out that he was on calls with his friends and spoke to them for more time than he did with her. She also mentioned that he always wanted things his way. This made her feel that it was all about Him and she was nowhere in the relationship. This seems like an unbalanced relationship where the girl is overly invested, trying to understand the partner, give time, and make it work, while on the other hand, the boy is very casual, takes her for granted.

If you: 

  1. Feel your partner is dominating, never keeps your preferences in consideration, doesn't make any compromise ever or its always his way or the highway
  2. Feel the relationship is one sided, you feel lack of commitment and you constantly keep questioning is this working, is something wrong, am i really good enough, does he even care
  3. Or you are constantly told that you demand too much, when you actually don't
  4. Feel Unhappy 

Communication is the key to every successful relationship. If you Don't communicate how and what you feel, the opposite person can't fix it, because they just don't know about it. How You Communicate is equally important.  

  1. Sit down with your partner and exactly let him/her  know how you feel. It is important not to blame the other, just voice out your feelings.
  2. Be Clear with what would make you feel better.
  3. This is the time to also ask the partner about their concerns.
  4. Ressaure your partner that you love him/her and acknowledge that it is your fear and that you are willing to work on it.

Once both of you know the reason and are willing to work towards bettering the relationship it works.

MS: How to move from conflicts to compatibility in a relationship?

BM: A conflict is a situation where there is disagreement on some issue at hand. In every relationship that we have, isn't this normal? If we have conflicts (differencese of opinion) with our parents, siblings, friends, then isn't it normal to have the same in a marriage or relationship?

A few reasons I have noticed in my practice are 

  1. To prove authority or power, that I am right.
  2. One is always criticized for everything from sense of dressing, to food choices or work and more. He/She is encouraged or made to feel good enough
  3. Too many expectations from the partner 
  4. Lack of Communication

If you look to resolve the conflicts and get into the compatibility zone 

  1. Always put yourself in the opposite person's shoes. Understand where he/she is coming from, why the partner is behaving or responding in that way.
  2. Be supportive and encouraging. Try to compliment your partner’s efforts genuinely. If he looks after you well enough, express gratitude, If she makes a special meal, appreciate her for her skills. Daily appreciation and thanksgiving is very essential. 
  3. Communicate with your partner. I will keep repeating, communication is the key. Kindly do not stonewall your partner or try to punish him/her. Stonewalling means either you or them turn deaf to the communication totally. This lack of two-way communication which results in no resolution of conflict is very harmful, emotionally to everyone in the house as the anger and resentment keeps simmering inside. I have often seen that when there is a disagreement and conflict is not resolved, the person withdraws. This creates more rift in the relationship.
  4. Rather be open and discuss. Be calm and respectful,have a heart to heart talk. Be open and transparent.  Identify the issues that need to be worked upon and come to some middle ground and look for solutions. 
  5. Sometimes if all this doesn't help, don't shy away from taking professional help

MS: How do you retain individuality and independence even if you work in the same business or are fiercely financially independent spouses?

BM: It’s pretty common for spouses to work together! In fact, I have myself worked with my husband for a long time, so most of this comes from my personal experience, though I have a few patients, who work together as a couple.

The first thing everyone would tell me is, "Oh wow, it's so nice that the two of you work together!" You get to spend so much time together.

Yes, you do spend a lot of time together, but it's not all roses. The rose is beautiful but comes with thorns, so we will work together. It has many perks and challenges.

Over a period of time, my take home lessons were: 

  1. Keep your Personal and Professional life separate. Difficult but doable. There were times when work was discussed at breakfast and eventually it started to consume us, so we decided no work talks at home unless very urgent. We were running a startup so urgent issues did come up.
  2. Define your roles and responsibilities and don't cross that line. It’s important to respect boundaries and respect each others work
  3. Understand each other's Strengths and leverage that, it becomes an asset. 
  4. Get Money home individually. That's very important. At the end of the day you want your efforts to be rewarded.
  5. If You are not working together, but want to have your individuality, the above pointers should be helpful.
  6. Manage your finances well. Set a goal as a couple and then work around it.
  7. One of my patients likes to have a common account where both partners pool in money and the common expenses are met from that account. The rest of the money is individual and they invest, spend it individually. Initially I could not resonate much with this, as I am a little old school and we never had labels to money, it was our money over my money. But this trend is increasing and I do respect it.

MS: How do you make your wife's journey an emotionally equitable one, when she has just gotten married to you and is going through an emotional upheaval and adjustment?  

BM: This is a huge one. It's a very challenging phase for the husband and the wife.

The wife has left her home, her loved ones and come to your house, she is new to everything in and around and is already stressed about it. In this situation, a supportive husband can help the wife settle down and feel at home.

My mom always told me, "Give five years to your marriage, and things will work." She said any marriage needs that time for couples to understand each other. I wondered why she always kept telling this, however I do understand that in those five years you actually get to know all family members and they get to know you better.

The family often fails to realize that the new person in the family will need time to adjust and adapt. She’s been uprooted and planted in new soil, which requires more care and nurturing for her to bloom.

The expectation is that she needs to adapt to the culture, way of living, food everything in a jiffy

She often wants her husband to support her, but he may not understand this as he is at his own home, in his comfort zone. So again, communication is very important. Unless you tell him, he will not know. Keep communication doors always open.

At times, I have seen that the mother-in-law goes through a phase of insecurity. The kitchen, which was her kingdom, will have a new entrant. Though there are expectations that things should be done a certain way, there is no communication, and if it's done in a different way, the saga starts. Here, I think one should remember the famous TV series - Kyunki Saas bhi Kabhi Bahu Thi. And if you remember, empathize with the bahu and don't make her go through what you went through. In this power game, Bechara's husband doesn't know what to do, uptil now the mom that he adored and who was always available for the Raja Beta suddenly can't change. He can't accept that his mom or other family members are not supportive.

Again, I say, keep communicating. Don't complain, but do communicate.

As a supportive husband, ensure that you let your wife know you will always be by her side. You don't have to take sides; just be there for your wife. If need be, do speak up for her. Support her in her decisions.

MS: Emotional equity also means standing up for what's right, standing up for the spouse. How do you ensure that without creating a lot of friction in the family?

BM: As I just mentioned above,  standing up for your spouse is very important. That brings stability to the relationship. As a couple, you both need to understand each other well and stand by each other.

You have a wedding on your in-laws' side of the family and your best friend is getting engaged the same day. What do you do? The expectation is going to be to attend ‘chacha ki beti ki shaadi’ (a cousin’s wedding), but you want to attend your best friend's engagement.

I actually want readers to let us know what they would do, how they would handle this tricky situation. This is a real life example! 

What we did - we managed to attend both as it was in the same city. First we went to the wedding, then the engagement. We gave the after engagement party a miss and attended the reception. Phew, Mahima, it was a daunting task! To avoid friction, you need to find a middle ground.

MS: My last question to you Dr Mody would be, ‘Why is it necessary to consistently communicate to create an equitable relationship?’

BM: I think in each of my answers I have stressed the need for communication. When the doors to communication are open, it's a healthy relationship. Your relationship gets stronger when you communicate. To communicate does not mean only speaking your point of view; it also means understanding the other person's views. Make decisions as a team, be it about your house, kids, or parents. This makes your relationship a balanced one. A balanced relationship always wins over a compromised one.

About Dr Bhavi Mody

Dr. Bhavi Mody, is a health evangelist and homeopathic specialist. Founder of Vrudhi Holistic Health Care

She works relentlessly for women's and children's health. The BFit and Fab Programs are the essence of her knowledge and experience as a doctor, and her  Diploma in Diet and Nutrition and Mindful Eating lend her the expertise to develop this hybrid program that helps women to be their best versions without fad diets and painful exercise. Her work in the healthcare and mental health domains led her to develop a holistic approach for her homeopathic patients and BFit and Fab clients. 

She has multiple awards and features to her credit, notable being her feature in Sheroes & Chitralekha and the WeAreTheCity Rising Stars Award. TOI, HealthSite, and many other portals have reached out to her for expert input. She was recently selected as the Mentor for the WomenWill program by Google on the Sheroes platform. 


The opinions expressed within this interview are the personal opinions of the protagonist/protagonists. The facts & statistics, the work profile details of the protagonist/ protagonists do not reflect the views of Baely or the Journalist. Neither Baely nor the Journalist hold any responsibility or liability for the same. Few ‘Symbolic Images’ have been used inside the body copy of this interview to make it more relatable for the couples.

Image by Freepik

About the Interviewer
About the Author
Mahima Sharma
Mahima Sharma is a Senior Journalist based in Delhi NCR. She has been in the field of TV, Print & Online Journalism since 2005 and previously an additional three years in allied media.
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