Sacrifice in Love and the Martyr Mentality


Today I’m going to tell you about something I really dislike in the way that people think and what I used to strongly believe in before I experienced a Romantic Enlightment, namely about the mentality of martyrdom and sacrifice. Many believe that the idea of good and evil applies to dating and one can just “score better” in being good or decent (both relative terms) which will make him or her get rewarded and achieve what they want. It’s a strong conviction and quite a natural one. People desperately try to make sense of life and find a link between good actions and rewards and bad actions and punishment, which makes them label relationship behaviors. Sacrifice and martyrdom both seem to score very high in popular belief as a good deed, while in fact they can be harmful and in terms of reward are often futile.

Lets say that there’s a guy in our life and he hasn’t committed to us. We’ve been seeing him for a month or two but he sees us once a week and only texts every few days. Many people feel that if they steer clear from other gentlemen, we’ll be rewarded for our sacrifice and the guy will eventually commit. Even if he does, however, it won’t have to do with our “fidelity”. What’s more in most cases a guy after such time knows he’s not that into us and the contact will eventually seize. He isn’t to blame for this as he’s been quite consistent in his behavior of treating us as a backpocket girl. It was our assumption that our karmic brownie points will get us a guy that was being silly. What could have got us a guy was playing the field instead of wasting our time on someone who didn’t deserve our attention.

Another scenario in which the martyrdom technique is often used is a dying relationship. It’s just not working and we probably knew for a while that the man and us are not meant to be. Instead of letting it go when logic would suggest we keep kicking this dying horse hoping it’ll run. We make ourselves available, we clench our teeth when we’re upset to avoid fights and even when we really can’t do it anymore we still give the person a nice break-up reason. Because of this emotional protection with which we treated our partner he remains immature and we see him few months later in a new relationship that seems like a copy of ours. The reward for all the pain we suffered to save the relationship won’t come. Instead we’ll find ourselves emotionally drained and not ready for a relationship for longer than our former partner who didn’t invest himself so much into saving the sinking ship.

Last but not least, there’s just the everyday love entitlement. “I suffer therefore I deserve” seems to be a widely held belief. Girls who change partners without long periods of being single are judged harshly by these who first don’t let a relationship die and then dwell on a person when others have long forgotten that we dated them. Having it easy in love life is judged harshly as it “should not be this way”. We suffer, we cry, we struggle and we get nothing in return. It seems so unfair to see others leave relations seemingly painlessly and with ease entering a new one. One thing is that we only see the tip of an iceberg so our impression is probably not entirely fair. Even if it was, however, it shouldn’t bother us. Yet it does as the approach towards love as something that should be enjoyed isn’t popular. You’ll get much more supporters if you struggle. Don’t forget, however, that some people in a perverse way like to be unhappy and they will gladly see you in the same situation.

To conclude, sacrifice and martyrdom in love will take us nowhere. Relationships are supposed to be a source of happiness and not pain. If were drawn to the latter we may be a woman who loves too much. If our tears could fill a pool and our high moral horse made us remain a virgin till 30, it makes us less not more equipped for a healthy partnership.

What do you think, Dear Rinsers about the topic? Do people often glorify suffering? Do they believe it’ll bring them rewards? Does it ever? Share your thought in the comments section.


  1. what brought this subject on? At the beginning you said you dislike the way that people think and what I used to strongly believe in before I experienced a Romantic Enlightment, namely about the mentality of martyrdom and sacrifice. Why?


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