Anything worth having requires a little sacrifice. If it didn’t, we wouldn’t appreciate it like we should. That includes marriage. Sacrifice is very important in a marriage-type relationship. Two lives are moving forward as one. Things cannot be as they were.
It Can’t All Be About You
Since it is two instead of one, it can’t all be about you. All activities can’t be the ones you enjoy. You have to share nearly everything. Giving in will become part of your relationship. You are not alone anymore. Sharing is now critical.
I remember that this was a shock after the first few months of marital bliss. I couldn’t just make plans anymore. I had to think of another person who was impacted by my actions and decisions. I couldn’t just go out with friends. Someone else had to know I wouldn’t be home and he would have to get his own dinner. It wasn’t about me anymore. It was about us.
A marriage is a partnership. It is two people living together, two people eating together, two people moving through life together. Very little can be done alone anymore. Even if one of you is not actively participating in something, the support is there to enable the other to follow dreams.
Partnerships come in all forms. Some are active. Some are supportive, but marriage is the ultimate partnership. There is more than just a business interest present. Emotions are involved. Trust is needed. This kind of partnership is the most personal. It is because of that sacrifice will be needed periodically.
What to Sacrifice
Let’s get something clear before we go on. When I say that sacrifice is required in a marriage, it doesn’t mean complete sacrifice. Yes, there can be arguments for that from a romantic standpoint, but from a sanity standpoint not everything should be sacrificed. A marriage requires certain sacrifices.
Time — You need to give up some of your time in order to be with your marriage partner. You can’t spend every evening with your friends. Being in a marriage puts your partner before your friends. Quality time with your spouse is very important.
Selfishness — This is revisiting the fact that it isn’t all about you. You shouldn’t press to only go to the restaurants you love. Don’t demand that your partner give everything up to make you happy. This is the partnership aspect. Give a little.
Other things might need to be sacrificed in order to create a strong marriage. That might mean plans, goals, or even material items. But there are limits.
How to Know When Not to Sacrifice
With all that being said, you should never sacrifice everything. When I say everything, I mean your heart and soul as well as everything else around you. That is not a partnership. You become codependent and lose yourself in your partner.
Many married people, especially women, find they have sacrificed too much. They give up their dreams and eventually themselves. I found myself doing just that. I gave up jobs I loved so we could follow my husband’s dreams which entailed moving out of state. I gave up hobbies, friends, and my own dreams. Years went by before I faced the ugly reality that I didn’t know who I was. My husband didn’t swallow me up on purpose. He didn’t even realize he was doing it. Everything appeared as though I wanted to sacrifice it all.
Don’t sacrifice something that gives control to anyone else. Don’t sacrifice what will hurt you. Give only what will strengthen your marriage and what will make you stronger in the long run.