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Compromise: How Much is Too Much?

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I don't want to tell you that you're doing everything wrong, but your breath smells bad. When you touch me like that I can't get comfortable, I don't like that movie at all, and by the way, must we go there during the holidays?

Imagine saying all those things. This sounds like a relationship that's better off thrown to the wolves to devour. Being blunt and honest can become cruel and attacking. In turn, we try to focus on the positive aspects of ourselves and our relationships in order to keep the candle of love lit.

But just as honesty can morph into scathing criticism on a dime, cheery optimism and healthy compromise can turn into fake flattery, fake happiness and fake orgasms until, you disappear and are replaced by some large-eyed, flaxen-haired Disney character.

So the question arises, and fades: I want to be supportive but I'm exhausted. If I stop you from talking about your job, coming on to me and needing a foot rub I fear you will feel rejected and yet if I keep talking, kissing you, rubbing your feet I fear I will be faking it.

In the best of relationships, your partner not only cares that you have needs, he is also able to see when you are being critical or genuinely supportive. If you are having issues with knowing how much is too much when it comes to compromising with your honey, here are some helpful tips:

-Check in with yourself. I know it sounds simple, but do you? Especially if you are a mother, your self check-in period often may feel as though it checked itself out around the time of labor and delivery.

Leaving the check-in behind permanently, though, is a recipe for fake, inauthentic, resentment-producing relationships because you're not in tune with the things you truly need. I'm not talking about being spoiled or self-indulgent and needing. I'm talking about true needs like sleep, alone time and personal space.

- Communicate your needs when you are not feeling particularly needy. For example, it's a terrible idea to scream "I'm exhausted, can't you just leave me alone?" However, softly mumbling "I love you, I'm just so tired," is much better.

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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.