I’ve always heard the keys to a long-lasting relationship requires work in the form of patience, sacrifice and compromise. The longest relationship I was in lasted nine years. I honestly can’t say that either of us provided much patience, sacrifice, or compromise; not in a consistent beneficial way at least. If anything, we tried each other’s patience, sacrificed our peace, which definitely compromised our sanity. However, lessons were learned that I swore would be applied to my next relationship. I always told myself, ” My next relationship will be my last”. I vowed that I would approach future relationship difficulties with patience. Sacrifice and compromise would be a pillar upholding our bond. However, experience now begs the questions: “When is it too much? How do you know when to say when?”.
I’d finally allowed myself to be in a situation where I could attempt emotional vulnerability because, honestly, I craved that. I wanted so badly to be emotionally safe. What better way to prove my “worthiness” of emotional safety than to be patient, sacrificing, and willing to compromise? Now, don’t get me wrong. I’ve learned to do a better job of vetting potential partners so that I won’t feel foolish for even trying to be a “big girl” in a relationship. Yet and still, I eventually find myself conflicted on the amount of patience, sacrifice and compromise one is supposed to give before recognizing the efforts are futile.
It’s obvious that if one finds themselves in the position of needing to practice patience with their significant other then there’s likely an element of discontent at that point. With that being said; just because someone is prompted (whether internally or externally) to be patient, or compromising doesn’t mean they are necessarily the “good guy” or “bigger person” at that point in the relationship. They may actually be lacking in those areas at baseline. Therefore, when a relationship inevitably hits a snag, their default, unchecked, reaction may be to withdraw or act-out emotionally-compounding the initial issue. Unless, of course, they’ve realized the need for, and have chosen to practice patience, compromise or sacrifice. On the flip side, what if the receiver of patience, sacrifice or compromise doesn’t appreciate or even recognize the efforts that they are receiving from their partner?
In the medical world when a patient is actively trying to die a swarm of medical professionals come in with equipment and medications to attempt keeping the patient alive. Sometimes the efforts are successful and the patient lives. Other times, after many minutes of giving multiple doses of meds, performing CPR and the use of medical equipment the patient does not respond and the doctor will decide to “call it”, meaning: cease all resuscitating efforts and allow the patient to do what they were naturally going to do without those interventions. The patient dies and the doctor calls out the ‘time of death’.
Excuse the morbid tone but there’s a point I’m attempting to make. Knowing that there is literally no such thing as a perfect relationship, and understanding that you may have emotional flaws, as does your partner; at what point do you recognize that all the patience, sacrifice and compromise in the world will not help in times of trouble? How does one determine that the efforts are going to eventually pay off as you learn each other, or that the efforts are futile and it’s time to “call it”?
This post is a little different from other posts of mine that tend to be more informative in nature. This is meant as a means of opening up a dialogue. I’d love your feedback and opinion on this topic! So please leave a comment below and feel free to like share and even subscribe to the blog so you can stay up to date on future posts! Shalom.
3 thoughts on “When to Say When?”
I think you hit upon a really important point: There’s no such thing as a perfect relationship. If we go into a relationship believing it will be “perfect” we are doomed to failure. But allowing ourselves to take the time to find a partner with whom we share friendship and build upon that, to be emotionally vulnerable with each other, to allow time to build trust, and to both be willing to work through the hard stuff together. We create building blocks and by maintaining friendship, trust, respect, and intimacy, we can continue building a relationship. And if it doesn’t work out, it may feel like a failure, but it’s also an opportunity to learn more about ourselves, other people, interactions, life, etc etc etc, and we come out on the other side a little bit more aware, and a little bit stronger, a little bit more mature … (hopefully!) 🙂
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I truely believe and have seen through many years in my practice, that the underlying maintaining conflict or peace maker is found within selflessness. When two can be selfless towards one another without expectation the relationship tends to thrive. Of course there are times when one gives more than the other as is life and evolution. During trying times in a relationship, which every relationship will have, it is the effort to remain selfless together while also communicating ones own discomfort, concerns, and ideas rather than complaints without a resolution. Of course this is a short brief to such a complexity and subjective topic.
Thank you so much for this very insightful reply! I love what you said about selflessness without expectation and also the importance of having a resolution to voiced complaints. I can totally agree. Thank you Aamber!