When Is Giving In The Same As Giving Up?

Last night a friend made a bold statement making me reflect and ponder: "When does giving in become giving up?"

Completely beaten down he declared he no longer was going to ask for sex, expect it or even want it. That if him and his wife engaged in the act then they did and if not he was going to just accept that was what his marriage had become.

With clarity I remember reaching that frustrated and defeated point with my ex. The more I longed for intimacy the more he withdrew and resented me. There was this insistent seductive tug of denial that it would not always be this way. I thought I could give in to keep the peace, learn to be grateful for when he did want me because after all at least every now and then he did.

It took awhile for me to realize I was not compromising or giving in to his wishes but that I was being asked to silence an immutable part of who I am. I deserved to be loved wholly and fully and giving up and accepting what he gave me was accepting less then what I deserved.

I was not just trying to appease him but to learn to conform more to what his idea of a wife should be. I gave in to his way of thinking because I did not want to lose him or all that we had but with every passing day that my needs and desires were quieted the more I disappeared.

Another friend separated from his wife about a year ago for reasons I am unsure of, but recently I found out he had moved back in. When I asked if things had gotten better he responded not really but she was threatening to move out of state with his children. He moved back for his kids which I can understand and respect but how awful to be manipulated back in to a situation that he had obviously left for a reason.

The sacrifice of your own happiness for another eventually wears on a person. There is only so much one can take before they break, snap, or disappear. Giving in to these kinds of extremes is beyond trying to compromise but should be classified as giving up.

Accepting less then what you deserve in the long run will not make anyone happy, you are simply squandering your life away and theirs.


cjn said...

What a loaded question!!!

Being part of a whole is what being in a relationship is all about... accepting each other's faults, while cherishing the things we love about them.

Understanding that to be in a relationship means that we have to, at least some degree, sacrifice... but the real question is, how much should one have to sacrifice?? When are one persons needs and desires more important than the others? How do you know when you have taken to much from someone else or given too much to another?

I adore my husband. We know each other inside and out. We know each other's downfalls, but also what makes the other tick. We know what they want, both in life and simply within our relationship... but sometimes, it gets tiring... it gets difficult. I know we both love each other, but when does it all become less about love and more about obligation... it's not about sacrificing my own happiness, but it's about letting go of an idea.

This idea is so overwhelming to me right now, for various reasons, but you are beating the nail right on the head and making me want to scream out to HIM.... why can't you hear me???

B said...

This is the place of the ultimate inner battle. There is a time and place for each one.

Giving in can be the most passionate moment for our very core and we give all that we are to show how much we care, love, and respect the person we give to.

Giving up is a sign of defeat and sometimes pure exhaustion. We give up so we do not have to fight anymore. Yet then when we give up what else is there to fight for.

No matter what we do in the end the fight needs to be worth fighting for because we can do both give in and give up all for the right reason sand sometimes even the wrong ones.

Big Geek said...

Your writing is like a soap opera. I can leave for a long time and come back and it is still just as beautiful and relevant and poinient to my circumstance as ever... you and Fruit. And today cjn you take the words right out of my mouth!

ChinaCat SunFlower said...

I have been in this situation more times than I care to count. Interesting reading it from another person.
The only solution that I have found that has maintained my sanity was learning to fall in love with MYself.
If no one will give me the love that I deserve, then, by damn, I will give it to myself!!!
I will treat myself with the respect and dignity that I wished others would treat me with.
And as an odd side effect of this new found liberation...I began receiving the adoration that I no longer craved from a certain someone.
For once, the ball is in MY court... the world is my oyster! Muahahaha! (that was an evil chuckle)