Are you changing yourself too much for your partner?

  • Collin Rodrigues, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Mar 06, 2016 13:30 IST
It’s common for people in relationships to conform to what their partners want. But, say relationship experts, when the demands impinge your ethics and values, you need to take a stand and discuss the situation with each other. (Shutterstock)

In a recent interview with us, while answering a question about whether her new movie had changed or affected her as a person, Sonam Kapoor spoke about her personal life. Without naming her ex-boyfriend, the actor talked about how she used to go to great lengths to please him. “There was a point in my life, when I was in a relationship, where I was desperate to be somebody else and make somebody happy. I broke up with that person because I realised that I can’t change myself to be with somebody,” she said.

It’s common for people in relationships to conform to what their partners want. Also, expectations are inevitable. But Neha Shah, psychologist, says one should know where to draw the line. “Fulfilling expectations, and requests for love and kindness can enrich a relationship. But when expectations become demands that impinge on one’s ethics and values, and violate one’s self-respect, an individual needs to take a stand, and politely discuss the situation with his or her partner,” she says.

Partners, relationship experts say, should discuss their definitions of ‘too much’ and ‘too little’ and reach a mutual agreement. (Shutterstock)

However, at times, drawing the line becomes difficult. Sometimes, not doing what a partner wants could affect the relationship adversely. “In some situations, even when the expectations are innocuous, partners refuse to fulfil them due to trivial ego issues. So, it is important to be aware of one’s own thought process –– are you refusing to fulfil an expectation because it violates your ethics and self-respect, or is it out of ego? If it is the former, discuss it with your partner. If it is the latter, some self-reflection may be needed,” says Shah.

Read: Relationship mantra: Fight for self respect, not ego

There can also be situations, in which a partner may not speak to the individual about crossing the line, purely out of love. Relationship expert Mary George Varghese says that in such cases, the partner, who is at the receiving end, may end up doing something drastic. She adds, “In several cases, people who do everything that their partners want, just end the relationship without any warning.”

Read: Good sex and communication key to a lasting marriage

Also, at times, even if too many demands and requests don’t end a relationship, they eventually put extra strain on it in some way. Shah says partners need to decide what they want from each other in a relationship. She says, “Firstly, the definition of ‘too much’ and ‘too little’ must be mutually agreed upon. Also, multiple demands could make one feel like he or she is putting in too much effort, time and energy into fulfilling another person’s needs. If this is not reciprocated or appreciated, the relationship becomes more of an obligation.”

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