question

Here’s what I’ve been thinking about today …

How much of what you want in life or with a partner do you give up when you love someone?

Like say you really want to have children but you’re in love with someone who is infertile?  Or you want to buy a house but the person you’re in love with is completely fiscally irresponsible?  Or you’re religious and the person you want to be with is an atheist?

How much are we supposed to give up in order to be with someone?

Or is there actually someone out there for whom you don’t have to give up anything?

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3 thoughts on “question

  1. I think about this all the time, having married someone who is so vastly different from me in most ways. (The religious thing you mentioned being one of the biggest differences). For me, “giving up things” for the other can’t be the working vocabulary for what happens between us. Instead of sacrifice, it’s more like a balancing act. We’ll do a big thing for me and then a big thing for him. Our wedding was full of Jewish stuff “for him” and equally full of feminist stuff “for me.” In the process, we figure out that our supposedly separate stuff is more compatible than it seemed, but never wholly so. I guess my answer to your question is this: reciprocity is the only way to live with choices that aren’t necessarily the ones that you would make on your own. Mat doesn’t have a partner who is ever going to really give a shit about the religious aspect of Jewish holidays, as he always thought he would. I don’t have a partner who picks up on any kind of subtlty (from myself or others), as I do. Both are, in some ways, equally important to us and therefore there’s a kind of equality of loss that balances out and prevents us from resenting eachother. Does that make sense?

  2. I agree w/ Lena. I’d never phrase it that way either, ‘giving something up’ I think of it more as compromise and balance. The only ‘dealbreaker’ I could possibly think of is the children thing – which is hard to compromise on. Although not the way you phrase it in your example, it would be more an issue if one wanted kids and one didn’t, being infertile doesn’t pose the same issues (could always adopt) After thinking about it, I’d give up having kids for the mr. I guess I knew that already though, since we got married w/out knowing for sure that was in the cards. But I’d rather be w/ him w/out kids than w/out him with kids. Luckily I don’t have to make that choice ! Everything else though, I look at as a compromise. As long as its both people’s highest priority to make things work, you can balance out the differences.

  3. I definitely understand what you’re both saying. I guess that the problem is that I don’t see any forward motion, no change, no improvement, no compromise. The concept of compromise has never existed in our relationship, so it has always been giving something up.

    And I guess I’ve just finally reached the point where my highest priority really isn’t to make it work. I’ve been trying for 8 years to make this what I want it to be, trying for 8 years to make it work, and I think that now I’m done.

    I’m interested in living the life I want to live, in doing the things I want to do with my partner. I know that no couple can ever be interested 100% in the same stuff, but I guess I’m interested in having a partner who’s at least interested in doing SOMETHING that I want to do.

    I’m willing to compromise, but compromising is a 2-way street. I’m tired of trying and being met with a wall.

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