1 John 3:16
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.
Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.
Perhaps one of the biggest mistakes that can be made in a relationship is failing to realize or forgetting that love is a two way street. When you are in a relationship, it’s no longer all about you. This works the same way with parents who have children. Responsible parents understand that they have a child to look after and they can’t go out partying every weekend while someone else raises their child.
The idea of making sacrifices in love goes back to the golden rule – do unto others as you would have them do unto you. We shouldn’t and can’t expect our spouse to make all of the sacrifices. This doesn’t mean that the sacrifices are necessarily split 50/50 but there is some give and take. Perhaps you spend every Christmas at your in-laws because they live four hours away and it’s the only time of the year that you see them as opposed to your parents who are in the same town.
What sacrifice does mean is that you can’t always get your way. If you are unwilling to make sacrifices, then your relationship is in trouble. Now, you might be thinking that you make sacrifices all of the time but your spouse is the one who is unwilling to budge. It could be possible that they don’t realize this or maybe they need reminding of the sacrifices that you make.
Obviously there are better ways of approaching this than others but when a touchy subject comes up, perhaps you can find a polite way of addressing it. “I know that we always go for Chinese on Thursdays but I was really hoping that we could go to a nice Italian restaurant this week.” Or maybe it will sound something like “I know the faucet is dripping but I just worked 60 hours this week. If you don’t mind, can it wait until next week or can we call a plumber?”
In many cases both people in a relationship will believe that they are making sacrifices. What you might consider trivial – picking the restaurant all of the time – your partner might consider a major concession. On top of actually making the sacrifices needed for your relationship, look for ways that your spouse is making sacrifices as well or even ask them what they consider to be a sacrifice for the relationship. You may discover that you are both making sacrifices that the other doesn’t even realize.