Q: “I have been with my partner for 2 years now and it hasn’t been easy because when I met him, he was going through a career change. I have been supporting him emotionally, financially, verbally and in every way possible! But I feel so drained all the time because it just takes so much energy trying to keep someone happy and motivated. I love him so much, he is a good man, it’s just this period is really hard. I can’t imagine leaving him because he is the love of my life and I’m hoping he breaks past this phase…I know that love is all about being selfless and putting the other person first which is what I do. But Is there such a thing as loving someone too much? Is that a bad thing? I feel like my love for him is keeping me prisoner to this unfulfilling relationship.
A: The short answer is yes. When the love that you have for someone starts to take over the healthy self-love that you need for yourself, you need to step back and reassess. It’s true that relationships require you to be selfless and at times be the strong one, but they should not be a one-way street and leave you feeling drained. The thing is we can’t make out partners happy, we can only add to their happiness. Their inner peace and joy is essentially up to them. Just likes ours is for us.
It sounds like you need to set some new boundaries for the sake of yourself but also so that you can help him enable himself. When we love someone abundantly it’s easy to just want to give give give all the time. But you also need to have something in return. You can’t pour from an empty cup; you need to be refilled with their love as well. There is nothing wrong with being the one who chooses to express love more in a relationship. But it should always be done from a place that allows you to first have a full and whole self-love. By stepping back a bit, setting some boundaries and concentrating on taking care of your own needs as well, you should get more of an indication of where your relationship is heading.
photo courtesy of Sege Bertasius Photography @FreeDigitalPhotos.net
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