Is Love About Sacrifice?


A client asked me, “Is love all about sacrifice?”

It’s an interesting question and one that got me thinking.

During relationship counselling, clients often say “You have to do this for me … and you would if you loved me!”

Ouch! That’s a big demand.

And one that will often require sacrifice.

To get a hold on what’s best, let’s first define ‘sacrifice’.

According to the internet, it means “to give up (something valued) for the sake of other considerations”.

The word is often associated with sacrificing an animal at a religious event.

Related to a relationship, it means one person giving up something for the sake of the other.

This is often demanded when one or both partners need to get their own way in order to be happy.

Result: the sacrificing person feeling resentful.

Resentment leads to conflict – either with their partner or within themselves (like, stewing on things).

When a couple feel secure within themselves, they are keen to contribute to help each other.

Where they differ in opinion, there is compromise (give and take) so they both feel happy with the outcome.

Great relationships are not based on what I can get, they’re based on what I can happily give.

And this often comes back to attitude.

An example. Julie and I can be discussing seeing a movie. She wants to see Elvis (Presley) while I want to see Top Gun 2. If I sacrifice what I want and watch Elvis, I will feel resentful, and this will create conflict.

Alternatively, instead viewing it as sacrificing what I want, I can compromise and we can watch Elvis this week and Top Gun 2 at another time.

If Julie definitely didn’t want to watch Top Gun 2, we could decide on another movie to watch that we are both interested in.

If Julie really wanted to watch Elvis and I was 50/50 on it, I would watch Elvis with the attitude of “I’m going to enjoy this”.

When it’s all said and done, our relationship is much more important than any movie. Both of us are happy to forgo watching a movie to ensure we remain happy. Our aim is to enjoy things together.

As a footnote, in case you are interested, we are keen to watch both movies :-).