Updated: Sep 6, 2021
We’ve all had moments in our lives when we felt that we must sacrifice for the sake of harmony or agreement in a relationship - this is even more evident in our closest relationships.
Let’s illustrate what this scenario might look like. When you perceive that you are making a sacrifice for your partner, you’re only seeing what you’re doing for your partner but you’re unaware of what your partner is doing for you and what you are doing for yourself. You log these moments in your subconscious mind and ”keep score” of what your partner owes. As everyday life goes on, you begin to think that sacrifices are “ok”, and you might even be proud of not putting yourself first. Each moment, no matter how big or small, stacks up and slowly breeds resentment over time.
Now, when you and your partner start having a heated argument, you’re under such pressure and all these stored moments bubble to the surface. You start comparing score sheets and uttering words like, “but I did this for you… you’re so unfair.” This leaves the relationship in cycles of deep strife and stress.
Balancing out your perceptions of sacrifice allows you to see the fair exchange that plays out. This helps you to neutralise intense emotional charges with your partner to build a sustainable relationship. Perceived sacrifices are a feedback mechanism that remind you when you are not engaging in a fair exchange.
Sacrifices are often symptoms of lack of creativity within the relationship. A long-lasting relationship is built on being fair with one another; achieving what you would like to as an individual, while also helping your partner get what they want. A win-win partnership.
You don’t have to make sacrifices for your partner. Get creative! Be in the journey of figuring out how each of your own individual values benefit each-other. After all, isn't that what a relationship is about? Fair-exchange is the greatest act of love you can do for your partner. It doesn’t have to be, “you win, I lose” or “I win, you lose”. Understand that you need to be in fair exchange, otherwise you are not building a sustainable relationship
Remember, the most important person you have to work on is yourself. When you are able to be the best version of yourself, you have the potential to bring in a more powerful and capable partner that will help build a growth-filled partnership. Here are 3 key elements to a thriving sustainable relationship
Knowing what you want.
Caring enough about your partner to know what he/she wants (ask him/her).
Getting creative with a strategy to execute something that allows you to both get what you want.
So ask your partner, “How can I help you get what you want, while getting what I want?”
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