Have you ever blamed yourself for giving too much in a relationship? If you have, you've probably felt resentment for not getting back what you feel is owed for all your effort. On top of that, if the man you gave so much to has moved on to someone else, it feels like that woman is now getting the benefits that should have gone to you.
Thinking about how you gave so much can keep you awake at night, beating yourself up for being so foolish.
But a better use of that time would be to ask yourself why you let yourself give so much and get so little in return? What drove you settle for crumbs when you were feeding him the whole cake?
The answer is simple. You were in a "pay as you go" relationship.
How does that happen? Most likely the relationship started out strong and it seemed like he really cared. But most relationships (unless you're with "The One") start to fizzle and burn out and that's when we women panic. We start to feel that it's up to us to get that "loving feeling" back.
We might suspect that this man isn't our Mr. Right, but the fear of being alone or starting over again drives us to try and make it work. We get the crazy idea that if we show him how much we love him and how good we can be, they'll naturally respond back to us in kind. But it doesn't work that way, in fact it's the opposite.
So how do we show them how we feel? We start "to pay" for love. For example: we'll do laundry, clean the house, shop and cook, buy presents and treats, give money, or generally go out of our way to tend to their needs. None of these actions are wrong, but it's the intention behind them that counts.
We put effort, time and money into getting a man's interest back but we're killing ourselves in the process. We pay and pay, and pay, and get little to nothing in return.
In a healthy relationship both partners have to give their all. They have to be 100 percent invested. If you're "paying as you go" you've tipped the scales and not in your favor.
So ask yourself if you're feeling resentful that you're "owed" something in your relationship. If you are, it's a good indication that the feelings between the two of you are no longer mutual. If you keep "paying" that feeling is just going to get stronger and things will get worse. It's a signal to stop giving and pull back.
If stopping causes him to step up and start giving back, the balance is restored. But if nothing changes, it means you're still in a "pay as you go" relationship. It's a sign that what you had is no more and it's probably time to walk away.
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