On sacrifices

I was talking to a friend of mine today. She is smart, intelligent and a warm person. A girl who can keep her head and handle the most difficult of situations. She recently got married and since I couldn’t attend the wedding I had called her to ask how the wedding went and how married life was treating her. We were generally talking when she came out and told me how the guy she married was not someone she liked or respected but someone whom her parents had thought was best for her. Now this might not be a very shocking information, but I was a bit startled when I heard this. On further conversation she told me that this was a small sacrifice she did in order to make her parents happy. I wished her well and after a brief talk ended the call.

This phone call got me thinking. How many girls out there are actually marrying a person they like and respect? Sure not everyone has the chance to fall in love with a guy and then marry, but I would like to think every girl at least has a chance to make sure she ends up with someone who is compatible to her and someone who likes and respects her. This is when the concept of sacrifice never appeals to me. How can a sacrifice be a good thing when it’s going to make you feel miserable and unhappy? Do people really think they can make others happy by a sacrifice that makes them unhappy?

I have found out that I am not capable of making my loved ones happy as long as I am, to an extent, happy and content with my own life. Does that make me a selfish person? I hear some people talk in length about how much meaning gets added to their life when they sacrifice for others. Sure a sacrifice for others can make you happy, only if you are satisfied and happy to make it. If making the sacrifice is going to haunt you for the rest of your life I would say you are better off not doing it.

I had a colleague at work that would never come out for any movies with us. On asking her why she said that her parents had asked her not to go out for movies with friends and she said it was a sacrifice she was making for them and that it felt great to sacrifice something for the people you loved. I would have accepted this and even appreciated her if she had been happy with this decision. But she felt miserable not being able to come out with us and always used to ask us with a puppy dog look how the movie was when we came back.  Is this a sacrifice that’s good for her or even for her parents?

In every walk of life I always see people, especially women making sacrifices for someone, be it parents or husband or in laws and convince themselves that it’s a great feeling to sacrifice for your loved ones when in reality it makes them more unhappy. So why do we do it? Do we think that makes us nurturing and caring human beings? Or do we think we as a woman have it in us to sacrifice all our happiness to keep our loved ones happy? Or are we just succumbing to the label that making a sacrifice and adjusting is what makes us a true woman? I would love to get some answers!