Guest Post by Martine Foreman: Love is a beautiful thing and with all great things in life come some level of sacrifice, right? After all, we have to be willing to give things up if we want to receive. But how much should you give up? And even more importantly, how much should you have to sacrifice in the name of love?
The Meaning of Sacrifice
I don’t know about you, but when I think of the word sacrifice I don’t exactly get a warm and fuzzy feeling. For me, a sacrifice typically means that there is about to be some pain involved, whether it be emotional or physical. By definition a sacrifice is giving up something you want to keep in order to have something else or help someone else.
So what do people do it? Why do we live in a world where sacrificing is something people where like a badge of honor? Well, it’s usually because we think that going through the pain will result in something good. But does it? And even is it does, is it worth it?
Sometimes it’s necessary, and undoubtedly worth it. How many of us can say that our own mother’s sacrificed so much so we can be who we are today? I know I’ve said that many times, and I wouldn’t change a thing about those declarations. Indeed, my mother made many sacrifices on our behalf, and I am eternally grateful to her for it. No surprise there, though. After all, she’s my mom. But, are all those sacrifices necessary in romantic relationships?
Do You Need to Make Sacrifices When You Are in Love?
So how much have I sacrificed in the almost seven years that I’ve been married? Not much to be honest. I’m not a huge fan of sacrificing. Does that make me selfish? I don’t think so. Although I may come up short in some areas, I am a great wife and mom. I have no doubt about that. But I also believe that I make choices that rarely leave me feeling like I am sacrificing much.
If I could be honest with you, my biggest sacrifice has been sleep. It’s the one thing I truly love and want that I am willing to go without so I can do things with and for my family. Aside from that, everything else just feels like part of the package. I don’t really feel like I sacrifice much to make things work for my family. I think I have to make choices all the time, but because I am clear on what I value and what matters, the final choice never really feels like I sacrificed anything. It just feels like I made the right choice—the choice that sits well with my soul.
Ultimately, it’s all about perspective and mindset. Sure, I can look at things differently, but what good would that do? Is it helpful to think of spending time with my husband instead of a night out with my girlfriends as a sacrifice? I don’t think so. I enjoy time with my husband, and I can find another time to chill with my friends. In my opinion calling it a sacrifice makes it seem like I’d much rather be with my girlfriends than with my man, but that isn’t true. I value time with all of them, just in different ways.
Why Compromise is Better
Am I suggesting that things always go my way and I never give anything up? Not at all. I’d be a liar if I said that. However, instead of looking at the things I give up as a sacrifice, I think of it as a compromise. I don’t think you have to sacrifice to have a happy marriage, but I do believe a happy marriage is impossible without compromise.
I’m sure you may be wonder, what’s the big difference, really? When sacrifice is involved it typically means that someone loses, but with compromise, however, both parties should feel at peace with the outcome. Even if it’s not ideal, it’s better than a loss. Compromising can leave you feeling like even though you didn’t get exactly what you wanted, you got some of it and you are cool with that. Or, it can even leave you feeling like you just have to wait a bit to get exactly what you want. Much better than a sacrifice, wouldn’t you say?
Should You Ever Sacrifice in the Name of Love
Despite my strong affection for compromising, I do believe there are times when you must sacrifice in the name of love. During challenging times—particularly when they come unexpectedly—you have to be prepared to make the sacrifice. If your spouse becomes ill, you may have to give up on a few things you wanted. If someone loses a job, sacrifices must be made so you can survive and thrive.
Maybe it would be nice to live in a world where sacrifice is never necessary—where everyone can always be happy with the outcome—but that just isn’t realistic. Although I firmly believe that sacrifice should not feel like a way of life when you are with the one you love, I also believe that the willingness to sacrifice when it truly matters is what makes a relationship strong. It’s what makes a relationship last.
Martine Foreman is a life + relationship coach, freelance writer, lifestyle blogger, and speaker. To learn more about her work and get great tips on how to create a life you love, check her out at CandidBelle.