Today we have mixed messages about what sacrifice is in relationships.
Today we have mixed messages about what sacrifice is in relationships. Sometimes we hear that sacrifice is harmful because it is a way of “giving up” or “losing power.” Other times we are told that sacrificing our own wishes for the good of our partner is “the right thing to do.” Recent research shows the same confusion by showing sometimes that sacrifice is good and sometimes that it is bad for a relationship, so a team of researchers in California wanted to discover the difference between the two positions, and we believe their results may change your lifetime.
The study explored two different motivations: sacrifices for approach and sacrifices for avoidance. Likewise, he found that the reasons for the closeness increased the well-being and quality of the relationship, while the reasons for avoidance hurt both members of the couple. And you, can you differentiate when you are using reasons of approach and when of avoidance in your relationship?
Reasons for approach
We know that we are using an approach motive when we have a desire to develop the relationship with our partner. For example, we could sacrifice time with our friends because we want to spend more time with our partner and allow that time to strengthen the relationship.
The reasons for rapprochement usually lead to healthy relationships, because when we make these types of sacrifices we feel that we have a choice, we feel that the relationship is more important than what we leave behind, and that our partner is more likely to see the sacrifice as a sign of how much we care.
If you are trying to improve your relationship and you make a sacrifice to show your partner that you are committed to him or her, and to the relationship, there are chances that both you and your partner will benefit from your decision, as will your union.
The reasons for evasion
We use avoidance reasons, however, when we have a desire to avoid some form of punishment, such as criticism from our partner, or for them to stop showing us affection. Using the same example above, this motive can lead us to sacrifice time with our friends, just because if we don’t, our partner will treat us coldly for a day and be upset about it.
Avoidance reasons don’t help relationships. Instead, we feel like we don’t really have a choice about what we give in, we’re more likely to resent our partner, and he or she might start to use threat more as a way to get what they want.
When you wonder if something is worth sacrificing, ask yourself if it will bring you closer to your partner, or if you are only afraid of what will happen if you don’t give in. This doesn’t mean that making sacrifices to reassure your partner is a hundred percent wrong, but if it becomes the only reason you make sacrifices, your relationship quality and personal well-being are likely to suffer. (Note: The study found that the avoidance motives for making a sacrifice were particularly difficult to sustain in a long-term relationship.)
If you want to read more about it, read: Stay away: That man is not for you
Translated and adapted into Spanish by Myrna del Carmen Flores from the original article: 2 Ways to Tell if You Make Too Many Sacrifices in Your Relationship by Dallin