When You Give Too Much - Helping Individuals Regain Equality in Their Relationship: Relationships mean sacrifice. We all want our partners to be happy, and sometimes that means choosing their happiness over our own. Occasionally this entails making some life-altering decisions: do we move somewhere to follow his job or mine, do we raise the children as members of my religion or his, whose family members will we name in our will? However, for most of us, the day-to-day sacrifices in our relationship are much smaller. Maybe you agree to go along to a movie that you really don’t want to see. Maybe you give in and have what your partner wants for dinner, even if you hate chicken and dumplings. Maybe you don’t mention the papers your partner has left on the table and just pick them up yourself.
Because you and your partner can’t always agree on everything, sacrifice is going to be part of life. It’s something everyone does – the two of you do what you want one day and what he wants the next – it’s the kind of give-and-take that is normal within a healthy relationship. But what happens when you’re doing most of the give, and your partner is doing too much of the take? Sometimes one person in a relationship ends of making a lot more of those little sacrifices than the other, and those little sacrifices add up to become a serious power imbalance within the relationship. It’s an easy trap to fall into, because the decisions are so small that many of us hardly notice them, and the pattern of imbalance takes shape very gradually. In many cases, even the partner who ends up with all the clout in the relationship doesn’t realize that he is taking advantage of a loved one. However, as the imbalance becomes more and more pronounced, it becomes extremely emotionally detrimental to the partner who lacks control and can cause behavior changes in both partners. When the balance of your relationship is starting to go in just one person’s direction, it’s important to recognize the signs and catch it early.