Sunday, September 20, 2009


We often expect men to make certain sacrifices for the "good" of the relationship because in our "story" that is what love and commitment are all about. As women, we make certain concessions and go out of our way to prove our love. We demonstrate through our sacrifices that we are worthy of his love and we believe that he should do the same.

For a number of us women, one way that love and commitment are measured is by a man's willingness to do something that we want him to do even when it is clear to us that he doesn't want to do it. We get some kind of satisfaction in knowing that he has made himself unhappy to make us happy. Now this may not necessarily be the intention, but if we were to take away all of the superficial reasons behind why we have made his compliance meaningful, we would see how in some way our self-worth is tied to a story about how we maintain power in the relationship.

Of course, in love, there is sacrifice, but the distinction here is choice. The difference is in the person choosing how to express their love and commitment and our ability to accept that without making judgments about whether or not it is "good enough."

Where did the belief "if you love me, you'll do what I want you to do, even though you don't want to do it..." come from and why do we buy into it?

Why do we get tricked into thinking that sacrifice, as we narrowly define it, enhances the relationship? What role does obligation and sacrifice play in making the relationship "good?"


  1. I in no way feel satisfaction in making my mate unhappy. The satisfaction comes when they are happy to make me happy and vice versa. Sometimes that means making sacrifices. Aren't relationships all about making sacrifices/compromises?

    As far as your question about what role does obligation and sacrifice play in making a relationship good, I believe obligation and sacrifice are two very different things. Once obligation enters a relationship, I think it’s time for both parties to exit.

  2. From the male perspective, I like this article better than the other one because it's more relevant and less fluffy!