Savage Love and the Price of Admission
November 5, 2012 8:15 AM   Subscribe

I'm struggling with some issues in my relationship that I'm realizing are unlikely to change. I love him very much, and they are not dealbreakers, but they are definitely things that drive me crazy. I've never been in a healthy relationship before, so I don't know how to think about these things, especially if they are never going to change. Most of my friends are single or in hookup situations, so that's not very helpful.

Dan Savage has a theory that every relationship has a "price of admission" -- the thing you have to put up with that drives you crazy but is still worth it.

Most of the examples I read about this are stupidly trivial ("He doesn't put the toothpaste cap back on! Oh noes!") I'm sure there are some real concerns that people have to deal with, but still stay in the relationship because it is awesome in so many ways. (The original -- but completely NSFW -- example given by Dan Savage was about someone whose partner was unwilling to have a particular type of sex, ever, while their partner really loved it. This is the level of "price" I'm talking about.)

So, I'm wondering what the "price of admission" is in your relationship.

- Do you think about it in those terms?
- How did you make peace with it?

(Btw, I'm not looking for Too Good to Leave, Too Bad to Stay. I've read that book and, for some reason, none of the examples resonate with me. I think it might be because most of them are about long-term marriages that have hit a crisis point, and it's hard to extrapolate back to a non-20-year marriage-on-the-rocks example. Also, I'm not looking to DTMFA -- these are not dealbreakers -- just to see what other real, non-glamorized relationships are like.)
posted by 3491again to Human Relations (23 answers total) 9 users marked this as a favorite
The language and cultural differences in my marriage (me NYC, him Alexandria, Egypt) sometimes drive me NUTZ.

Besides language weirdnesses, my husband grew up with live-in help. He now loves to clean and organize in our home, yet, he has no skills or training for this. As a result, everything I need is misplaced or unfindable, and there's bleach in the dark laundry load.

Bottom line? I have the best husband on earth, even if sometimes when he speaks it just sounds like gobbly gook (other times his accent is incredibly sexxxy!), I can't find that paperwork I need, and my favorite black shirt has bleach stains - - Is this what you mean??
posted by jbenben at 9:11 AM on November 5, 2012 [3 favorites]

Have you thought about the possibility that the 'price of admission' undergoes a currency exchange rate when it gets transferred into your relationship? This may or may not work out in your favor, but either way it makes for difficult application to your problem, I think.

If you're willing to share some examples from your own experiences the community here might be better at helping you come up with some thinking strategies that are more useful to you.
posted by iamkimiam at 9:15 AM on November 5, 2012

You ask this question a lot. Just DTMFA.
posted by asockpuppet at 9:21 AM on November 5, 2012 [23 favorites]

Given your history, 3491again, we've gotta ask: Is this the same guy that you've been posting about all along, or are these different relationships that you're asking about?
posted by SpecialK at 9:28 AM on November 5, 2012 [4 favorites]

For what it's worth, when I thought about it in those terms A LOT, the relationship ended. The other person ended it, in fact. I always thought it was worth the price of admission, but it was not, and I was wasting his time as well as my own.

But this is a very general question. For me, there is always a "price of admission" in the sense that I will never have as much private time/space as I would like while in a serious relationship. Which, to any partner I have, is probably always a "price of admission" in dealing with me. There are always going to be drawbacks, but is the relationship a plus for you overall, or is it not? Is there a power differential in the relationship, or not? (Again, something there probably always is, by definition, but if it's palpable, maybe too big a price.)

I also love the "currency exchange" idea.
posted by BibiRose at 9:29 AM on November 5, 2012

I don't have any serious issues with my boyfriend (now fiance, I guess). I was just talking about this with a close friend recently -- that I feel I haven't had to compromise in any way with this relationship and don't feel like I'm "settling" at all. He's kind, considerate, handsome, super intelligent, reads a LOT, very honest, fun to be around, family-oriented, affectionate, does more than his fair share of chores with no complaints or resentment or reminders required... I could go on but you'd probably barf. The only thing I can remotely think of is that he is somewhat more introverted than me and doesn't really like bars (he doesn't drink). But he encourages me to go out with my friends without him and will also accompany me to a bar and drink cranberry juice while I consume cocktails. So it's more a situation of me wanting to sit around and be cosy with him on the couch rather than go out.

So I guess this is my long-winded way of saying -- you seem to have long-standing issues with this guy. I know you say none of these are dealbreakers, but I promise, it's not supposed to be this hard.
posted by peacheater at 9:44 AM on November 5, 2012 [5 favorites]

I'm struggling with some issues in my relationship that I'm realizing are unlikely to change.


Also, I'm not looking to DTMFA

Is this the same guy you've been with since April-ish? That you asked about twice in May, then again in June, July, August, and October?

He might be the greatest guy in the world. But the pattern that seems to emerge in your question history looks to me like he's not the greatest guy in the world for you, at least not now. His behaviors and your behaviors seem to combine to create something that isn't making you very happy. You keep asking how to be happy with this guy. The answer is maybe you can't be.

Everyone has (a) dealbreaker(s) in a relationship, though that dealbreaker may be different in different circumstances. You're open about not really knowing how to function in a healthy relationship - indeed, about not knowing what a healthy relationship really even looks like. From your question history, it doesn't look like you're in one. You seem to often feel misunderstood, unheard, uncared for. That's not what a healthy relationship looks like.

My partner is much more outgoing than I am; I go to some things with her but not all, and neither of us gives the other one any shit about how this works out. Sometimes she doesn't do the dishes as often as I like; I grumble for a minute while I do the dishes/empty the dishwasher and then forget about it. If we had big, difficult communication problems, I suspect that these particular issues would loom much larger and I would be all "She doesn't listen to me when I tell her I'm upset she doesn't do the dishes!" But because I do feel heard, understood, and respected, the dish-doing thing barely appears on the radar of mild irritation.

Please try to look at your posting history as if it belonged to someone you love and care about (best friend, sister, whatever). What would you tell them? What would you think?
posted by rtha at 10:00 AM on November 5, 2012 [15 favorites]

I wonder if you're not being truthful with yourself.

All of your relationship AskMes have in common a serious reluctance to give details about your relationship - your questions are far more vague than the average relationship question. I suspect that this is because you know exactly what we would say, but you don't want to hear it.

It sounds like you've been struggling with serious issues in this relationship for months now and things show no signs of improvement. Except, instead of recognizing this and leaving, you're asking for justification for putting up with these issues.

You don't need to be with this person. In fact, it sounds unhealthy for you to be with this person.
posted by zug at 10:03 AM on November 5, 2012 [11 favorites]

Hi there.

So, I'm wondering what the "price of admission" is in your relationship.

Some (but not very many) sexual things, and the realization that probably no one will ever make me laugh the way a particular former partner did.

- Do you think about it in those terms?

Yes. I came to accept that there are a few things I will probably have to do without, and that's the price of admission.

- How did you make peace with it?

If done right, this is never a question of your ability to come to terms with these things; it's a question of the relationship. Either it's worth the sacrifice or it isn't. That may sound simple, but it really is that simple. In a bit of time, you come to be aware of which things you'll have to sacrifice for the sake of this relationship, and you decide that they are or that they aren't, and you go from there.

You will never get every single thing you want out of a relationship, but you can get most of them, and if it's a good one, it'll also come with some things you didn't think of but are delighted by. Everything else is a question of whether the sacrifice is worth it.

But look.

It's time to take a good hard look at your approach to these situations and ask yourself what you could be doing differently. I say this because I'm noticing a couple patterns and themes in your questions on this site - and please understand that I'm not bringing this stuff up as some kind of gotcha, but instead to try to help with a clearer and more comprehensive answer.

The pattern that leaps out at me is that you tend to ask questions about how other people do things; you're convinced that your lack of experience in a healthy relationship makes you unable to gauge what a good relationship looks like, and that you should model your behaviors after whatever turns out to be the norm. You need to abandon that line of thinking, and start asking yourself: Imagine the relationship you want to be in. What does that look like?

Never mind anyone else. Never mind unhealthy relationships of the past. There is here and now, and there is what you want here and now. That's enough for you to ask for, and if you don't get it, you can negotiate or you can take your awesome self elsewhere. You need to quit second-guessing yourself because I get the impression it's causing you to put up with way more bullshit than you ever, ever should. I agree with zug - I get the strong sense that you avoid describing specifics because you already know what you'll hear if you do.

You keep saying this relationship is a good one so you won't consider leaving, but you also say that you can't communicate, that he's self-centered, he doesn't care to hear about your day, et cetera.

Look, I know this is really unlikely to get a lot of traction as an idea, but - The relationship you've described is kind of a crappy one in which he treats you disrespectfully and doesn't give you what you need. Your response to this - in keeping with the patterns of anxiety you've described - is to second-guess yourself and wonder if you just don't actually need those things, if it's actually okay for him to treat you in such a self-centered way.

You say these things aren't dealbreakers, but they've been causing you months of trouble, so maybe they should start being dealbreakers, and if he can't give you what you need, there are countless other awesome dudes out there.

Value yourself as a person who deserves happiness, love and satisfaction; as a person who deserves to be listened to. Figure out where you can be happy compromising and where you can't. Communicate that to your boyfriend. Until you break the pattern of second-guesing, until you start to trust yourself and treat yourself with love and kindness, you're going to keep going around this mulberry bush, asking Metafilter how the people you think of as normal do (whatever thing).

You are better-adjusted than you think. Trust yourself and countless doors will open, inside and out.

Good luck.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 10:26 AM on November 5, 2012 [29 favorites]

Oh, yeah, if this is all the same guy, let him go. Take some time alone and figure out what you really want in a relationship.
posted by BibiRose at 10:31 AM on November 5, 2012 [1 favorite]

I was gathering links to make the same post rtha just did. You do not describe in any of those questions a happy or healthy relationship.

I love him very much, and they are not dealbreakers, but they are definitely things that drive me crazy.

Deal-breakers are singular red flags. Individual things that no amount of countermanding evidence can overcome.

You are equating a perceived lack of deal-breakers to a successful relationship....

That is a super low bar to be setting for yourself. A relationship should not be adequate.

Also, I'm not looking to DTMFA -- these are not dealbreakers -- just to see what other real, non-glamorized relationships are like

My relationship does not have a price of admission. We don't fight. There is not some critical (or even minor) thing I am giving up so that I can be in my relationship. I do not feel that my life is in any way limited it. She does nothing that 'drives me crazy'. I work hard every day to make sure she feels the same way.

As a tiny data set: none of my other relationships were like this. That is why I am not in them.

And for the record I don't believe she and I have some magic or our situation is unique. It's just a good relationship.
posted by French Fry at 10:39 AM on November 5, 2012 [7 favorites]

My ex was extremely introverted. I am a middle of the road extrovert. We got married at a time when we had a lot of mutual friends. But he joined the military, we moved and we soon had separate friends. When he came home from work, if I had friends over, his reaction convinced them to rapidly find an excuse to leave. Thereafter, they tried to be gone before he got home. He wasn't being intentionally mean or anything. He was just introverted, had been with people all day and needed his space, very obviously so. Over time, we all (kids included) learned to mostly meet friends elsewhere and not bring them home.

I found the situation very socially isolating (as a homemaker, I had few opportunities to meet new people compared to my employed spouse) and I had a hard time getting my social and emotional needs met. However, even at the time, I recognized it as a form of social quarantine to help me heal and change. I didn't like it but I viewed it as a necessary thing, for my own good, and something I would not have done for myself based on sheer willpower and the knowledge that I needed it.

So even at the time, I felt it was a jagged little pill but also one of the benefits of the relationship. When I was later diagnosed with a compromised immune system, I realized the social isolation had also helped protect me from illness when I should have been sicker than I was and helpehd keep me alive when I really should have died.

So, as crazymaking as my marriage was, I felt we did really love each other. Ultimately, we still parted ways. But it was what I needed at the time, a time when that song "You can't always get what you want, get what you need" resonated strongly with me.
posted by Michele in California at 10:39 AM on November 5, 2012

Best answer: Interesting question. The "price of admission" is a pretty useful way of framing your dealbreakers and expectations about the quality of your life. So here is how I would frame my rules for relationships in my life (not just romantic) in terms of price of admission:

The price of admission cannot prevent me from achieving the goals I want most for myself.
The price of admission cannot make me feel like a bad, weak, or stupid person.
The price of admission cannot make me feel like I am compromising a fundamental value I hold.
The price of admission cannot cause me to harm or neglect other people I care about.
The price of admission cannot cause me several hours of worry a week.
The price of admission cannot be the source of recurring, draining arguments that damage my ability to trust the other person.
The price of admission cannot be contempt for the person I'm with.
The price of admission cannot be taking responsibility for the emotions and failures of the person I'm with.
posted by rhythm and booze at 10:45 AM on November 5, 2012 [76 favorites]

Best answer: I agree with FAMOUS MONSTER. Trust yourself.

Try to stop caring about how other people do things. I used to be like this. I was convinced that there was a correct way to live, how to conduct relationships, how to parent the most effectively, etc. I thought the "answer" was out there somewhere and I just had to find it. There is no such answer, or a "right way" to do things.

I am more confident today and I don't "search" like I used to. Therapy, age, and experience helped me with my insecurity and self-esteem issues. I also focus less on others. My husband and his "behaviors" used to occupy my thoughts. I thought if he could just be like this, life would be better. When your are constantly scrutinizing others, whether it be your partner, or whoever, it's a major red flag for serious insecurity and self-esteem. Since you are constantly beating on yourself in your head, you're looking for others to whip, judge, and scrutinize. Work on yourself.

My advice: Relax. Relax with a capital R. If you aren't interested in DTMFA, practice accepting what is, concentrate on YOU (not how you can be sweeter and nicer and better for him but how do you want to live your life? Not, how can I change him.)

If you're going to stay with him, stop complaining about him. There is something sad about the person who is constantly finding fault with their partner and criticizing, overtly or covertly, and then remaining with them. When you criticize him and continue to stay, your'e kinda criticizing yourself. There are all sorts of reasons why people leave and relationships don't work out. Everything from "conversations falling flat" to "he doesn't like to make plans". What are you going to do to accept this if you won't leave him? What can you do to perceive things differently? What can you do to make your own plans?
posted by Fairchild at 10:54 AM on November 5, 2012 [4 favorites]

Try to stop caring about how other people do things.

This is useful, but it's also a double-edged sword if you really don't know (or don't think you know) how things are "supposed" to be. A lot of these "supposed" to be things are pretty subjective and/or laden with archaic social crap - like, many people still think that the man is "supposed" to work outside the home and not have anything to do with cooking or shopping, and the woman is "supposed" to stay home and make cookies or something.

But in terms of the inside-the-relationship stuff that isn't always visible to people not in that relationship, it can be helpful to get some outside viewpoints to kind of self-check your own expectations and assumptions.

Do you want to keep asking essentially the same question every month or so, for the next umpteen years? Or, as Fairchild suggests, do you just want to find a way to suck it up and remain in a relationship that doesn't seem to make you very happy?
posted by rtha at 11:39 AM on November 5, 2012

It sounds like you are willing to pay just about any price -- why? Intimate relationships are supposed to enhance your life. They are not an essential ingredient. I think you need to stop examining your relationship and start examining why it is that you feel like you need to stay in one at such great cost. You're clinging to it like it's a life raft, when it's clear from your posting history that it's a weight that's dragging you down. What's wrong with being single?
posted by Wordwoman at 12:30 PM on November 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

Most of the examples I read about this are stupidly trivial

Well, that's because generally happy relationships do not necessarily have any huge notable problems, AND because people in happy relationships who do have to sacrifice certain things generally avoid saying what those things are in public because they don't want people saying "wow, you have to go without THAT? Not worth it" or because they're private or whatever.

Anyway, the price of admission for me in any relationship is always going to be freedom; that's just something I bring with me no matter who I'm with. Even in non-monogamous relationships you have demands on your time, where you live, etc. and that is always a significant thing for me because I like to do what I want when I want.

However, in a happy relationship I don't notice it or consider it a huge issue that I then shove down inside of me and cope with etc etc--it's just sort of an occasional bummer. In an unhappy relationship it's a BIG BIG DEAL, and that's what you're running up against.

You're noticing these issues because the relationship is not happy. You're not unhappy because you're noticing these things. You have the order wrong.

Good luck.
posted by the young rope-rider at 12:31 PM on November 5, 2012 [7 favorites]

In any relationship, especially with that of a wholly compatible spouse or significant other, my ideal is to be in a consistently fueled relationship, where each person is dedicated to making the other person happy. There is no tally kept, but instead each person has the best interests and the happiness of the other in mind in every facet of life which impacts the couple. This obviously only works when both people are doing this, but when achieved, I believe that this leads to those fairy tale romances.

That said, delineate your requirements from your expectations. Expectations cause me to be bitter, angry, and constantly let down. Requirements allow me to hold myself in esteem, yet force me to be open-minded on them. I know that I will always be let down while I have expectations, but when confronted with an unmet "requirement" I have two options: 1) Find another person/situation or 2)Adjust the requirement, and in doing so, admit that it isn't really one.

Find your requirements, find those qualities you are unwilling (currently) to waver on, and stick to your guns and/or think very carefully when someone special crosses those. Make it clear that these are required elements in your life, and give the person an opportunity to discuss what they require. If you don't know what you want, make a list of things you absolutely cannot live with or want as a part of your life, and write the opposite.

The caveat is, of course, that this is dependent on one's capability to be honest with oneself.
posted by Debaser626 at 12:31 PM on November 5, 2012 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I've been in the same position as you. I've dated many drama-ridden men, and honestly, it was very very hard for me to figure out if I had it good or not, because many of them had similar traits, and I would always convince myself that the next one was better than the last one.

Minus all the sub-text, what you are really trying to determine is whether you have it good or whether you have it bad with your current boyfriend.

You aren't going to like what I am about to say, but it is impossible for you evaluate whether you have it good or bad, at least in your current state. You think you might have it good, but you wonder that you don't, or you don't know if you're putting up with his behavior too much, or if you are being run over by him. You don't know because you haven't experienced anything else in your life. Make sense, right?

It really took me finding a great boyfriend to really realize that all the other boyfriends I've had were crap. There is no way my younger self could have possibly known what was a good or bad relationship without being the wonderful relationship that I am currently in. The difference between who I used to date, and who I am now dating is stark. It's like night and day. The guy I'm currently with is amazing, listens, is smart, acts mature, and treats me well. We still fight from time to time, but not *nearly* as much as some of my previous relationships. The reduced amount of fighting and bickering in my current relationship was a very clear indicator that I had found someone special. I also found that I didn't think toxic thoughts as often. In my older relationships, we would have good moments, but they were far out compenstated by moments where I would get so frustrated and think, "Ahhh! I can't put up with this. I want to break up with this guy!"

These thoughts would happen at least once or twice a week. I thought that was normal, until I met the guy I'm currently with. In my current relationship, those toxic thoughts have reduced significantly. Sure, we still fight, but the good moments are definitely more frequent. So on days when I do get super frustrated with him, I think, "Ahh! I can't put up with this." ...and it just kind of stops there. There's really no desire to break up anymore. It took several months of being in this good relationship to actually not want to break up since thinking about breaking up was a natural thought process for me for many years..

You said that you are aware that you have been in some bad relationships, right? If you haven't felt that stark difference between those bad relationships and what you have now, then I don't think you have quite been in a great relationship. Trust me, it will be as clear as night and day. If you are still wondering about it, then I don't quite think you've found it yet.

Let me just say this. If you leave your current boyfriend, it won't be the end of the world. In a healthy relationship, it's okay to wonder about dealbreakers from time to time, but if you are doing it as often you are making metafilter posts about it, then that's not a healthy relationship at all.
posted by nikkorizz at 12:59 PM on November 5, 2012 [5 favorites]

The young rope-rider is totally right: the reason you're only seeing those examples is because you're no longer dealing with a "price of admission" scenario, you're dealing with a big red flag, dealbreakers, probably need to end the relationship scenario.

And I second nikkorizz. I'm 26 and in the first healthy relationship of my life. I had NO CLUE that this is what a healthy relationship was like before I was in it. I had spent most of my time with drama-filled dudes who picked fights, ignored me, made me feel like crap, etc. I genuinely believed that that must be what all relationships are like. Given your history of posts about this gentleman, you may be in a similar situation.
posted by anotheraccount at 1:41 PM on November 5, 2012

Now that I've had all day to think about it, I can answer the other half of your question.

Here are my prices of admission and how I dealt with them, organized roughly by level of seriousness. I did consciously think these things through while deciding if I wanted to date him seriously. I also did think of them as "prices of admission", although I didn't use that specific phrase to describe it.

$ (Fairly trivial)
-He is easily distracted. Our dates generally start with "Let's do X" and we end up doing J, K and L instead because those things looked more fun along the way. This is okay because a) that was really fun and b) I know if I put my foot down about it, we will do what we planned. He is not like my ex who was easily distracted from remembering to be considerate of me.
-He is overly optimistic at times and does not always think ahead, which often puts me in the role of being the gatekeeper. This is okay because he has shown himself capable of being practical and taking on responsibility when called upon to do so.
-He is allergic to cats. I am finally in a position to have a kitty or several kitties if I so choose, except I can't choose without making him taking meds or basically be miserable when he visits. I am okay with this because I like him better than cats. That's a lot! Also he does silly voices for me and sings me songs and asks me for help with his problems and worries and makes me feel loved and safe. Cats can do zero of that.

$$ (More serious)
-He does not, fundamentally, understand what it's like to be introverted or depressed. This is okay because he is extremely supportive and understanding about my needs. It is also good because he always provides a very different take on a situation from me, which sometimes results in better solutions to problems I've had in the past. His extroversion has also made him very good at communicating, which tends to nip a lot of problems in the bud.
-He knows without a shred of doubt that he wants kids. I have never dated anyone like this before. I was also on the fence about having kids at all. It adds a weird extra dimension of feeling like there's more than two people in the relationship. Being with him means committing to having children. This is okay because I know raising kids with him would be pretty awesome.
-He is a spender, not a saver. I am cautiously okay with this because I am a saver and prefer to be in charge of the finances as long as I know he will respect my decisions.

$$$-$$$$ (Might have to take out a loan to pay for it)
There is nothing in this category because anything in this category would by definition not be a good relationship. My ex did things that fell into this category. I'm still paying this debt back in terms of my ability to trust people to like and respect me.
posted by rhythm and booze at 8:13 PM on November 5, 2012

I think the reason that a lot of the examples are trivial is because in a healthy relationship the 'price of admission' is also 'working together'. I'm an extreme introvert, I value quietness, I also seem to have this odd wanderlust and I do not have an attachment to family beyond my partner and my daughter; he is an extreme extrovert, who values gatherings with people, hates moving, primarily because he wants to live close to his family (or with!) forever. But those aren't 'prices', those are ways we balance ourselves and each other and work as a team. Without him I would never form roots in a place and never engage fully with anything or commit fully to anything; without me he would stagnate happily in orbit around his siblings. Together we are awesome with adventures behind us and roots below us and a whole lot of positivity about the future (even when we were both unemployed because I came too close to a work-induced breakdown and he ADD'd through six months of should-have-been-looking-for-work). That's why it isn't a price of admission into the relationship, it's the price of admission for being who we are.

I have anxiety issues, he has (probable) ADD. He helps distract me, I help focus him; it can sometimes also be he doesn't take me seriously and I dominate him, or he has to take care of me and I have to do everything. Except that the last two are negative readings and entirely unfair because we do love each other and we do support each other and we work as a team, as partners.

I can't use any of our big disconnects or points of friction as 'prices' because we both compromise, we both make choices and we support each other with and through those points.

I pretty much universally loathe Dan Savage's relationship advice because it is so black and white, so sex-focussed (obviously!) and leaves no room for anything but a practical and soulless Ledger of Obligations: Sexual or Other. It is classic advice columnist bullshittery with added edgy sex positivity.
posted by geek anachronism at 12:21 AM on November 6, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: My real, non-glamorized relationship has involved both of us leaving our own countries for a third country new to us both just so that we could be together. I left my job, and am now looking for employment - my partner is providing for both of us until I can find something good. And you know what? It's all worth it, a thousand times over, because the time we have together each day now is that good.

It takes a lot of commitment, a lot of being willing to challenge yourself to be the best partner you can be, but none of it is work, and none of it drives me crazy. I feel loved and appreciated, and I get to love and care for my partner. Even when times are tough, I know she will be there for me. We mesh. We talk, communicating endlessly, and I'm beginning to learn how to open up and share my thoughts and feelings instead of stifling them until they explode out of me.

Having been in a relationship where there was quite a lot of settling (on both sides)... yeah, it's not great. There were things about my ex that drove me crazy - the "price of admission", I guess - which is why he is my ex, and why I am happy together with a person whose flaws and foibles don't affect me in any negative way. It really, really is not worth staying in a relationship where you're having to fight for every scrap of happiness - or where you're numbing yourself to your wants and needs so that you can keep the partner you're with. Been there, done that - am exceptionally grateful to be better off now.
posted by harujion at 3:48 AM on November 6, 2012

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