My oldest daughter was the first to raise the issue of how I'd shown it, and it's been sitting back there in the back of my mind like an itch I couldn't scratch. It was quite an issue of discussion when my critique group reviewed the full novel.
As I went through all the critiques and made changes, I attempted to fix it.
When I read those changes to hubby, I didn't like them.
Trying to find that balance was starting to grow from an unscratchable itch into a pebble in my shoe. The kind that's more than a minor irritation. The kind that's starting to hurt whenever you walk, that invades your dreams (nightmares).
And then my firstborn son (David) makes the same kind of observation the others have made but in a brutally honest (but hilarious) way that cuts right to the quick of the problem.
What did he notice?
I'd completely emasculated the hero / love interest.
Never once had I considered that. It certainly wasn't my intent. As I stewed (and chuckled) over his email (and our subsequent Skype chat) and thought about it in terms all the things my other critiquers had noted and suggested, I realized what I had to do.
Not mention it at all. Let the reader's imagination fill in the blanks.
No more balancing act needed.
Does it sometimes take you a while to see the obvious? Or do you need the right pieces of the puzzle to come together before you can really see the picture?