10 Men And Women Describe The Biggest Sacrifice They’ve Ever Made For A Relationship

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“I didn’t have a boombox with me playing ‘Lady in Red,’ but I definitely pulled one of those Say Anything moves to salvage a relationship. We were having problems—not big arguments, but things had cooled down a lot—and he was considering a job offer in Connecticut, and he went there for a whole round of tests and interviews. I panicked at the thought of losing him, so—wearing nothing but pajamas and slippers—I drove from rural Pennsylvania through Jersey through New York to Connecticut to beg for him to come back. I knew the hotel where he was staying, so I drove over 250 miles without stopping in the pounding rain until I got to his motel and ran out of the car up to his motel door soaking wet and crying. And he took me back and said ‘no’ to the eventual job offer. That was ten years ago. He’s not my boyfriend any longer. He’s my husband.”

—Patty, 33



“Me and my girlfriend that I’d been dating for a year were going to finally move in together, so I sacrificed an adorable little scrawny knotted howling snaggletoothed mutt of a cat I’d had for six years. My girlfriend is allergic to cats, or at least she claims to be. I’ve seen her around a half-dozen cats at other people’s house parties and she doesn’t even sniffle, so I’m a little cynical about the whole ‘allergic to cats’ thing. Not sure if she was just jealous that the cat got some of my affection. I made sure it had a good home. But yes, I gave up a cat that I loved for a girl that I’m not even sure is allergic to cats. Do I regret it? Kind of. But if I had neither of them, I think I’d miss my girlfriend more than I miss the cat—I think.”

—Derek, 26



“My girlfriend would drink with me socially, but never to the point where you could even tell she was drunk. I, on the other hand, was drinking a LOT. I mean, blacking out and waking up and not knowing how I smashed the driver’s door of the car kind of drinking. I gave it up for her because I got drunk once and said some stupid, unforgivable things about her family members. I didn’t need to go to meetings or anything—I just knew it was wrong, and I stopped. It’s tempting sometimes, but she’s so cool and good that I’d hate myself if I ever broke my promise to her.”

—Ian, 24



“I’d just gone through a bad breakup with an abusive boyfriend who was not ready to have a kid—and I guess he was not ready to wear condoms, either. So I was pregnant and alone when I met my current boyfriend. He was everything the previous guy was not—caring, understanding, sweet, smart, everything. But he sat me down one night and, choking back tears, he said he’d feel weird raising some other guy’s kid and that if I wanted to be with him, then the least emotionally complicated thing to do would be to abort the baby I was carrying. It was the hardest decision of my life, but I did it. So it was a choice between an unwanted child and I guy that I wanted. I chose the guy.”

—Yolanda, 24



“I’ve long since gotten over my attraction toward spoiled mommy’s boys, and this is why. I’d been seeing a guy for a few years who was handsome, manly, charming, and completely fucking sick in the head. He never needed to work a day in his life, and I guess this mutated—or metastasized?—into a sick need to have everyone take care of his every need like he was still an infant. This finally manifested itself in the form a year-long mindfuck of a charade where he pretended he had cancer. I fed him soup—with a spoon! I even wiped his chin! I bathed him with a goddamned sponge! I took him to doctor’s appointments, not realizing he was just getting his Xanax prescription refilled while I thought he was getting chemo. But it turned out it was all some sick mind game. I gave up parties and shows and movies and vacations, all to take care of him. The minute I found out it was all a lie was the minute I stopped making sacrifices for him. The asshole still texts me!”

—Daphne, 29



“I had a life that most women would envy—I lived in a beach house in Malibu with all expenses paid, and all I had to do was take my benefactor’s two kids to school, make everyone dinner at night, look pretty, and maybe blow him twice a month. But along came this guy—a musician, of course—who was way more exciting and we had way more fun and the sex was so much better I could almost laugh cruelly thinking about it. Somehow I dove into it knowing it was doomed from the start, because, c’mon, he’s a musician, and only about one musician in a thousand is successful and not a perpetually fucked-up overgrown baby. But I gave up my life as a ‘kept woman’ just to absorb some of the sweat and excitement of living on the road with a musician. But the whole scenario in Malibu made me feel cheap anyway. I’m not so sure I gave up something so much as I fled from it. And now it’s two years later. I’m still on the road, still having fun, and still with the musician.”

—Renae, 29



“It’s not what I sacrificed as what I would have been willing to sacrifice. I’d been dating a guy long-distance for the better part of the year. We saw each other a dozen times—half of the time he flew here, and half of the time I flew there. We used the ‘L’ word and the plan was that he’d eventually move down here and we’d get married. Then one day I get a text from him—that’s right, just a text—that he has pancreatic cancer, that he loves me, but that he doesn’t want to put me through the pain of seeing him die. I told him I’d give up everything to come and be with him—my job, my family, my friends, everything. He told me to find someone that would make me happy and that he didn’t want to drag me down and that he was going to go softly into that good night by himself, just like a man should. I think I cried for a straight month. I don’t know if he’s dead or not. I was ready to give up everything, but he wouldn’t give me the chance.”

—Sandra, 29



“There comes a point in a relationship where you either go ‘all in’ or you go your separate ways. And even though love is supposed to be lofty and romantic and above pettiness, there’s always a power struggle involved—someone has to give up at least something in order for you to both get along. I had a best friend who’s a guy, and for years it had caused problems when either one of us got romantically involved with someone else. He’d always tell his girlfriends, ‘Hey, it’s not my fault that my best friend has a vagina!’ But suddenly, out of nowhere because I wasn’t planning it or expecting it or even hoping for it, this guy came along like in the fairy tales and just swept me clean off my feet. And it’s not like he offered me an ultimatum, but I knew that if I was going to be with him—and I wanted to be with him, desperately and more than I’d ever wanted anything—my best friend would have to take second place. But my best friend was cool about it, which is why he’s still my best friend. It’s just that he’s not the type of guy that girls fall in love with, and my boyfriend is. (That wound up sounding meaner toward my best friend than I intended.)”

—Sarah, 29



“I did something stupid because I was having a crisis of conscience and I thought I was in love. I left a wife that loved me and a newborn baby girl just to be with a girl from work that I’d been banging on the side. And then, the minute I decided to leave them and start a whole new life, the girl from work dumped me. She said the fact that I’d betrayed my wife and kid meant that she could never trust me, either. With nowhere to go, I rented this cheap dingy plastic weekly motel room for a few months. Five minutes after checking into the room, I fell to my knees and started bawling. I gave up one situation for another, and I’d lost both. Now I’m basically a wage slave paying child support with no love in my life.”

—Jack, 30



“It wasn’t until it was long over that I realized what I’d sacrificed. I gave up my friends, my family, my opinions, my taste in music, in movies, in food, in politics. Everything. Because I thought that’s what love was. I thought it meant that you lose yourself in somebody else. But he left me crushed, and I’m still gluing the pieces of myself back together.”

—Molly, 24  Thought Catalog Logo Mark

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