Have you ever given up a part of your being to please someone? Oftentimes, this occurs with the people we love. Who else would we literally give up part of ourselves for, after all?
There have been times in my marriage that I gave up parts of myself to please my husband. I gave up maintaining some friendships because he didn’t get along as well with those friends. I gave up going to and hosting social events because he had quit drinking and those situations were hard for him. I even gave up drinking, but I did that for myself as well. I was wanting to be healthier and recognized that alcohol didn’t achieve that for me.
At first, when we make these sacrifices, we feel like martyrs, or maybe even heroes. After all, look at what we gave up for the person we love, we think. We must love them a lot, we think. But down the road, some resentments might come up. Some anger over having given up these things. If that happens, then we recognize that the things we gave up were a part of who WE are.
Giving up parts of ourselves to another is probably the biggest cause for divorce. For us, when I decided that I needed these things back in my life, certain friends and having people over socially, for instance, our own relationship had progressed enough that my husband was comfortable with these changes. So we were the lucky ones. We changed and continued to still grow together. I realize others are not so lucky.
I remember during therapy, the therapist told me that sometimes we have to do things that might hurt others, just to be true to ourselves. Those words stay with me all the time.
Is it more inportant to “get along” while giving up part of ourselves, or is it more important to be true to ourselves? That is the question.