After the initial butterflies have faded and you have been together for some time you may find yourself feeling like the relationship is one sided. You may feel like you do more for the relationship than he does and you may begin to resent him for it. Maybe you do more of the housework or do more things to show you care. Maybe you have done bigger things for him like support him (emotionally and/or financially) through a work layoff, family emergency, or school.
While that is fantastic that you were such a great girlfriend/wife to do those things for him; he still doesn’t owe you anything.
Here’s why. The reason you do things for your significant other is not solely because you are such a selfless individual and you live for helping others. No you do it for yourself as well.
You, at this time, want to be in your relationship. You have chosen him amidst all of your other options out there. You didn’t chose him because you felt sorry for him and thought “gee he would sure like to have a girlfriend, I think I will help him out and start dating him.” Nope you fell for him because he was what you wanted; a boyfriend, a lover, a friend.
Everything you have done after that point you have done for yourself as well; for the betterment of the relationship. You want him to be great so that the relationship can be great. You want him to have a job, go to school, and not be depressed; so that you can have a partner that makes money, is educated, and has a good attitude. Of course this comes from a loving place but if you two weren’t together you sure as hell wouldn’t be helping him write his resume.
Now that we have covered why you do the things you do for him, I am willing to bet you are still not satisfied with my answer. That’s good because this isn’t just about you accepting all his bullshit and feeling terrible about it. It is also about what you can do to make things not feel so lopsided.
I remember reading a woman’s blog about chivalry being dead. She talked about being upset that her boyfriend didn’t show he cared about her by surprising her and taking her out on proper dates. She then proceeded to describe how she did that kind of stuff for him all the time. She would pick up little gifts for him for no reason, surprise him with nights out (on her), and other romantic gestures. When he didn’t reciprocate, she would yell at him about how she did everything for the relationship and he did nothing.
That is a terrible cycle… but very easy to fall into.
Here’s what she did:
- I would assume in the beginning of the relationship he did nice things for her and so she fell for him.
- Then they got comfortable and he got lazy.
- She let him get lazy because she kept rewarding him for nothing.
- She continued to pay for their dates, buy him gifts, and wear sexy lingerie; while he sat back and thought this is great! I’ve got this girl wrapped around my finger and I don’t have to do anything!
- Then she yells at him, he continues to do nothing, and she continues to do nice things for him.
See the cycle?
At the end of this cycle is another bullet point
If you feel like you’re doing too much in the relationship, stop doing so much! Pull it back a bit or altogether because less really is more. Give him space to actually do things for you without feeling like it is an obligation because you did something nice for him.
I know you love him and you like showing you care (there is also a little bit of wanting the praise from him for the gift/dinner/lingerie/whatever), but would you give candy to a child that was throwing a temper tantrum?
That is exactly what this woman did.
She thought she was being a good girlfriend and it made her feel good to do things for him. When he didn’t reciprocate she felt terrible and would initiate screaming matches. She could have yelled at him until she was blue in the face and he wouldn’t have changed, because her actions contradicted her words.
The secret about men is they want to work for it. They are the hunters. If the food is too easy to catch they get lazy (and in some cases fat).
Today’s Anti-Princess Lessons:
Ditch the entitled attitude and maintain positive and confident (see. way less stressful) one.
Then take control of your situation and level the playing field.
If you want to keep your prince, stop acting like a princess.