“Bending over backwards does not bring you the love and attention you crave, but having your own life, your own goals, and a backbone will.” – Sherry Argov
HOWEVER……. bending for the sake of balance with a partner is often what keeps a relationship in harmony.
In the beginning of all new relationships couples try to please one another. Often what one admires and likes is a quality or many aspects that seem positive.
In time, these same attributes may be just what you really do not like.
It is extremely important to gather information in the beginning and test out what you are getting into. This is difficult because the drive to be together and show affection and passion can cloud what is really there. Sometimes the need is so strong all else is pushed aside or apologized for or even denied. The truth may be there in your face in living color but you refuse to acknowledge it.
With time the real person shows who they are and how they behave. Whenever I counsel a couple who tell me that one of them is so and so but comes back and apologizes and promises to do better or never have whatever, happen again, I am skeptical. In nine out of ten cases not only does the negative behavior reoccur but it often is the case that it escalates and becomes a more frequent pattern.
This is often the case when alcohol or drugs are part of the situation.
Now, compromise is absolutely necessary in any relationship. The questions are; over what, and how often, and who is doing the bending?
Usually the giving in is done mostly by one party. It is frequently seen as weakness or giving up control. As a result, we see more females doing it as opposed to males. There are to be sure many men who do make the adjustment and will accommodate their partners; sometimes at a cost to themselves with getting ill, or taking it out elsewhere; sports, other females etc.
Females also can get sick over making too many compromises. Headaches, back pain and things like gall bladder problems often have at their root suppressed anger.
If you are selling your soul to the devil you will pay a price at some point. Everyone’s tolerance level and ability to mask real feelings is different.
Who you are and how you value yourself will not be put aside.
It is important to look at who is doing the bending. What issues are involved, and how often is this occurring.
There was a client of mine who told me every morning before breakfast he says, I’m sorry, Darling, and that gets his day going. Humor helps.
Making up in other ways is also a pattern of behavior.
You did this for me and now I do this for you. Gifts are used in this fashion. Sometimes things are seen as ‘favors’ and that can also work.
If however, sex is used as a bargaining tool here that is not a good sign.
Love and affection and sex in particular, should be freely and willingly shared. It is not a ‘commodity!’ In mature working relationships that are really loving, doing for one another to please one another is the norm. Always? No!
We all have ‘moments’ and bad days but then it is even more important to be understanding and maybe more amenable to a partner’s wishes.
If a partner takes advantage, or uses false reasons to get you to bend to their desires you will soon be aware of that pattern. Then it’s time to evaluate and deal with the reality.
There are people who like being in control and commanding. There are others who like to do another’s bidding. They find one another.
The others also find one another and the basic needs show themselves pretty early. If you find yourself disliking the way you are treated be aware and speak up.
Sometimes bending CAN lead to breaking!!
“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” – Bruce Lee