6 Signs You're Giving More than Your Getting in a Relationship


One of the biggest myths about relationships is that they are or should be 50/50. It just doesn't work that way. I've spent my lifetime observing my parent's 70+ year marriage. It's one of the healthiest relationships I've ever seen. It's never been a 50/50 proposition.

Most of the time both of them put everything they had into their marriage making it more of a 100/100 kind of arrangement. However, honestly, there have been times when one of them put a little less in the mix than the other. Neither of them ever fully checked out. However, over a lifetime on occasion, one of them has had less to give than the other, and when that happens, the other partner just takes up the slack, and they get on with it.

The thing that's made their relationship roll all these years is both of them are invested in some measurable way, all the time. Over time that investment has created balance and equilibrium. It doesn't have to be exactly 50/50 to be balanced when you're in it for a lifetime or even a long time.

That said, it needs to come close. The bottom line is, if you're investing more in a relationship than you're getting out of it for very long, eventually, that relationship will become unsustainable.

Here's the thing: energy is a currency, and you can't spend what you don't have for too long without paying the price.

Relationships require energy, but they should also provide energy. That's where the magic is. You might give more than you actually have, but you'll be getting more than you need in return in a healthy relationship.

What you might get out of a relationship is very personal. It varies widely depending on the circumstance and situation.
It might be appreciation.
It might be love.
It might be emotional support or an emotionally safe space.
It might help around the house or even money.
It could be anything, but it needs to be something of value to you.

I've been in relationships where I took more than what was given to me. Those relationships don't exist anymore. Go figure.

Recently, I've invested in a couple of relationships that haven't given me much, if anything, in return. I'm not digging those relationships. In fact, it's safe to say they are over. Those relationships have made me question all of my relationships and how I'm doing them. Those questions are important.

The problem is sometimes it sneaks up on you. You think a relationship is working in balance and then one day you look at yourself in the mirror and realize you're lost. Maybe you noticed you were giving more than you were getting back. Maybe you didn't. Sometimes you get so distracted by the giving, that you don't realize you're all tapped out until the relationship is either over or on the brink.

Here are the top six signs you're giving more than you're getting in a relationship. Any one of these signs is an indicator you've got a serious issue in your relationship. A combination of them or all of them means you need to take action now. That action might be a recalibration of the relationship, and it might mean it's time to let it go and move on.

1. You find yourself constantly trying to justify your worth when it should be obvious, either in your head or to the other person.

When you're spinning around in your own head about how much you are doing for someone or how often you are there to hold things together or pick up the pieces, that is a good sign things are out of whack.

This dialog, either internal or external almost always starts with, "But I'm__________________."
But I'm a good mother.
But I'm a good friend.
But I'm a good wife.
But I'm always there for you.

The "but" indicates you're worth isn't being valued or reciprocated. Anytime you're justifying your worth to anchor your value, a relationship is seriously out of balance.

2. You're fighting back the ever pressing drumbeat of resentment and irritation.

This feels like choking down a healthy helping of "f*ck you" all the time. You know you aren't appreciated, and you're finding it difficult like the person you're supposed to love.

They are irritating you. The fact that they breathe is annoying. And yet, you keep trying, and nothing you do is good enough to be satisfying for anyone, especially you.

Resentment is like the terminal cancer of relationships. Once it gets going, it's hard to stop, and it will eventually kill every good thing that was once there. The first sign of resentment is usually irritation.

3. You are tired, physically, emotionally, and psychically.

You look tired.
You feel tired, clear to the bone.
No matter how much you sleep, you can't shake it. You're exhausted. So, you take more vitamins, get more exercise, and take naps, but you're still tired.

Exhaustion isn't always physical. Emotional exhaustion happens when you are putting out more than you're taking in. You can't rest your way out of emotional exhaustion, but you will probably try.

You tell yourself "self-care" is the key. So you keep popping the vitamins and going to yoga only to look in the mirror and realize your body is sending you a message about your emotional state. That message is you're giving more than you have to give because you aren't getting enough in return.

4. You are anxious over everything for no particular reason.

You're afraid of your shadow. You've got a feeling of dread you can't shake. All signs point towards everything is mostly ok, but you feel unnerved about everything and nothing at all, all at the same time.

You find yourself wondering why you aren't satisfied when so many things are going well. You have a generalized feeling of concern over stuff that you know will work out. Maybe you feel anxious about your relationship, but probably it's more likely you feel anxious about everything.

You've ignored the voice in your head that's telling you something is very wrong in your relationship so long that the voice has started screaming at you about everything, just to get your attention. It's working. It's got your attention, but instead of focusing on what needs to be addressed in your relationship, you're spinning out on everything else.

5. You're stuck in almost every area of your life.

Your LOA practice has flatlined.
You've forgotten what your goals were.
Every area of your life feels like treading water.

You're not working towards that promotion anymore. You're just hoping you won't get fired.
You're not thinking about being healthy anymore. You're just at war with your body over that fifteen pounds you've put on.

There are a lot of distractions that are preventing you from looking at the one area of your life that really needs addressing. A relationship that is sucking you dry affects every area of your life, not just that relationship. Sooner or later you can't hide from it because it starts spreading itself out over too many parts of your life.

6. You are afraid to say anything about what's not working for you for fear the other person will unplug from the relationship.

Let's be clear, someone who really loves you or even cares for you passively is not going just to walk when there's a conversation or even confrontation to be had. If the power dynamic is that out of whack the relationship isn't much of a relationship anyhow. Either you've got some deep personal work to do around worth, or your partner is mostly already gone.

I've been there. I know how it feels to be fearful of rocking the boat. I've had someone I loved very much threaten me with disappearing if I asked for too much. I've also been in situations where I was afraid of asking for what I wanted with no particular evidence that it would go wrong. The problem was in me.

I know it's easier to say than swallow in real life, but if someone is going to leave you because you say the wrong thing, or ask for your needs to be met, good riddance.


Lisa Hayes, The Love Whisperer, is an LOA Relationship Coach. She helps clients leverage Law of Attraction to get the relationships they dream about and build the lives they want. Lisa is the author of the newly released hit book, Score Your Soulmate and How to Escape from Relationship Hell and The Passion Plan.

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