Does Love Blur the Lines Between Sacrifice and Compromise?

How much would you sacrifice for love? The greatest love stories touching our hearts are full of sacrifice. From Mark Antony and Cleopatra to Queen Victoria and Prince Albert.

This week my attention was drawn to a previously published InStyle article about Meghan Markle. The piece explained some of the things the Duchess would need to relinquish upon marrying Prince Harry. The lifestyle changes she would agree to affecting her fashion and career choices, as well as privacy, right down to her freedom.

Some may argue that these are sacrifices the Duchess had to make for the sake of the man she loves. Others will instead label these as compromises to fit into his world. The article got me thinking about the things we give up in relationships. What compromises or sacrifices do women make in the name of love? Even more, what is the difference between the two?

During the course of any relationship we work to balance our needs with our partner’s. It takes practice to work out an equilibrium that brings happiness to both people. The best case scenario is figuring out just compromises on both sides. Compromising offers an opportunity to level up with someone to a place where there is a give and take. We agree to make trade-offs in exchange for getting something in return that will add comfort, joy or satisfaction. During marriage I tried my best to juggle the cooking, cleaning and caring for our daughter. I held full-time employment adding to the pressures of everyday life. The increasing level of stress became quite noticeable to my husband at the time. We agreed something had to change to give me room to decompress a bit. He offered to take on the laundry, cook one day and we’d order out another day. Sharing some of the responsibilities was a relief that made me breathe easier long term. It was a fair deal that helped me and didn’t take too much away from him as he would still get his downtime.

Sacrifices are also common in many unions. Women are born nurturers willing to do everything possible for the greater good. Whether for a man or child we want to ensure they’re taken care of no matter the cost. Usually, the sacrifice can lead to betraying yourself in some way. We may end up relinquishing our identity, dreams or what we want in exchange to make someone else happy. I know this type of love all too well. Sacrifices ensured my marriage remained intact. In the end, I gave so much of myself that ultimately, there was no more of me to give. Over time the work depleted my  energy. The relationship began to crack under pressure destabilizing the foundation.

What we need to remember in our quest for love is that power should not be the price of admission into a relationship. It isn’t necessary to negotiate who you are to have your needs met. Your gut is a wonderous tool that will send signals if you’re losing too much. The uneasy feeling draining your spirit will be a clear indication that you’re hurting yourself.

Compromises are expected in all relationships but they leave a sense of satisfaction on both sides. Sacrifices are not mandatory especially, if they make you feel as if you are in total surrender.

I’ve learned the significance of understanding the difference between the two. It helps me make better choices in relationships. Hopefully, my thoughts will plant a seed for you today.

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