accomodating or doormat?
May 29, 2012 8:14 AM   Subscribe

I am trying to strike a balance in a romantic relationship between letting go and accepting a person for who he is, and not allowing myself to be taken advantage of. How can I find that balance?

I have been dating someone for several years, someone I care deeply for. It feels, however, that it is I who is always doing the compromising and bending to meet his needs and wishes. Because I love this person and wish to see him happy, I am fine with compromising; however, it feels that the compromise really only happens on my end. I know that in good relationships people must be flexible and accept differences and appreciate them. But how do I know when I'm simply just being used and this tendency to compromise taken advantage of? I guess I don't want to believe that I'm valued so little that someone would do this, especially when I care so much, but I am at the point where I need to be very honest with myself. Should I feel frustrated and at my limit, or should I look inward and become more patient? I am grateful for your thoughts.
posted by lucy40 to Human Relations (8 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
What happens when you ask him to compromise on something? Can you give some examples of times when you compromise past a point you think is okay, or examples when he is refusing to do so at all? It's a little hard to make a call as the situation you describe is so vague.
posted by griphus at 8:19 AM on May 29, 2012

I think it really depends on what kind of compromises we're talking about. But, usually, except perhaps in cases of abuse, there is no "should" - how DO you feel? It sounds like you are not okay with the situation, and that is enough. You don't need anyone to give you permission to want something more or different from your relationship.

Also, the thing is, do you consider yourself a reasonable and rational person? Do you think you have a good handle on what the situation is? If the only way to avoid asking for more from your partner is to convince yourself that you are unreasonable and irrational and don't know what you want or deserve, that's not a good thing.
posted by ohsnapdragon at 8:20 AM on May 29, 2012 [3 favorites]

(Keep in mind you can always contact the mods to anonymize this question and post an update on your behalf if you'd rather not get into specifics under your username.)
posted by griphus at 8:22 AM on May 29, 2012

Have an open conversation with this person about how you really feel. Based on what you said, you are doing too much giving while this person is doing a lot of the taking. People that give tend to be very patient, so I don't think you need to change that. However, what you do need to change is your assertiveness. You need to start sticking more to what you want so that the other person has to start making sacrifices in order to compromise with you.
posted by livinglearning at 8:32 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

How do you know? You can't really know, you just have to feel it, and go with how you feel without trying to rationalize.
Consider how you'd feel if a dear friend came and confided such a story to you. Would you be angry at her SO for how he's treating her? Would you be worried about her? Would you encourage her to work with him to improve the situation? to buck up and deal? to leave altogether? If she explained the situation and told you she was really okay with it most of the time, would it sound like she was making excuses for him?
posted by aimedwander at 8:36 AM on May 29, 2012 [1 favorite]

Have you asked him fo what you need? Have you gotten it? Have you asked him repeatedly for what you need and don't get it even though he knows that your not getting makes you upset?

The first part can lead to a good discussion and hashing out of things. I guess the second one can as well, but if he pushes back against something you've made repeated requests for, maybe it's time for you to reevaluate things.

Someone who really cares for you and is worthy of your love will respect your concerns and avoid actions or inactions that make you upset.

If you're doing things that are actualy his responsiblities and you were to stop, would he get upset or angry. Would the answer be different if you needed that time to do things for yourself that you haven't had time for?
posted by SillyShepherd at 9:24 AM on May 29, 2012 [5 favorites]

If you feel resentful, then you're being used.

Why would you want to be in a relationship in which you feel that you do all the compromising?
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 10:35 AM on May 29, 2012

I'm not really a frequent passenger on the DTMFA train, but judging by your question in September 2011, this relationship has been making you feel off balance, uneasy, unrecognized and unappreciated for a while, now. You clearly love this guy. You've clearly put a lot of good faith effort into the relationship. Just as clearly, you're not getting what you need in return.

There are so many men in the world. It would be easy (and true) to tell you that out there, somewhere, is a man who will return all of that loveliness in spades, and be an honest, open, giving, flexible partner. It would be easy to ask you, "Wouldn't you rather be with that kind of person?"

But instead, I'll ask this: Have you reached the point yet where you wonder if being alone would feel better, on a day to day basis, than dealing with this constant doubt and emotional uncertainty? If the answer is yes, then I think that, above all, is significant.
posted by artemisia at 11:11 AM on May 29, 2012 [4 favorites]

« Older Can nomads find love too?   |   Why is my home A/C suddenly weak? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.