Throughout our lives we’ve often been told that relationships are hard. It takes patience, empathy and a lot of compromise to make a lasting relationship work. More than anything else we want to make our partner happy, which in turn makes us happy. But many of us compromise so much in a relationship that we find ourselves sacrificing a large part of who we are which can lead to unhappiness. There’s a little word we sometimes forget, scared of the outcome if we use it—that word is “no”.
Saying "no" is good for your relationship
Saying “no” to things you absolutely do not agree with is not a bad thing. In fact, it’s probably the best thing you can do for yourself and for your partner. If you continually agree with your partner on decisions you don’t actually support in case it prevents arguments or saves the relationship—it won’t. There’s a big difference between compromising and sacrificing.
We all go into relationships with some idea of what we want and do not want. We should never give in to what we feel deep down is wrong for us, whether it’s deciding to attend the same college, move in together or get married. What you want in life is just as important as what your partner wants. At the end of the day, you have to live with whatever decisions are made. For instance: your partner suggests that you attend their college and you agree. But you know in your heart this is not what you want. You’ve just made a bad decision not only for yourself, but for your relationship as well. Sure, the smile on your partner’s face when you said “yes” is a beautiful image, but does their smile make up for the unhappiness you now feel?
Unhappiness can affect your relationship
Saying “yes” to things you do not agree with can often lead to feelings of frustration and resentment towards your partner. Even though they’re happy, deep down you’re battling the opposite. Eventually, the unhappiness you’re feeling will surface and when it does, you’ll wind up with a very confused partner and a wounded relationship.
One of the biggest reasons we’re afraid to say “no” is because we fear the worst—a break up. But isn’t being in a relationship you’re unhappy with worse? If there is an issue that you feel is wrong, say “no”. This doesn’t always mean the relationship has to end. You might be surprised to find your partner is actually okay with your opposing viewpoint. Chances are, they’ll respect you more for telling them how you truly feel. Not every “no” will be an ultimatum. But if it is, wouldn’t you rather be with someone who wants the same things as you? And for your partner, too?
Yes, relationships are hard, but they shouldn’t be so hard that you find yourself miserable at the end of each day. Do not live in fear of the word “no”. It’s a small word, but a powerful one. You might not want to say it, but sometimes you need to.