Many people, especially women, get taught throughout their lives that they owe things to other people, particularly their significant others. But to maintain your autonomy and independence in a relationship, it's important to keep sight of the things you don't owe your partner. Our primary allegiance is to ourselves, and we shouldn't feel pressure to do anything for someone else if we have to sacrifice our own happiness or mental health in the process.
"Sometimes, it's OK to advocate for yourself, even if that is incongruent to what your partner wants at times," licensed marriage and family therapist, sex therapist, and IntamacyMoons Retreats founder Marissa Nelson tells Bustle. "It's always important to communicate and be open and upfront about how you're feeling about a certain situation, while still being respectful of where your partner is coming from. Putting yourself first sometimes is good self-care, and you may not always agree with your partner's choices, but it's how you communicate and get to a place of understanding that shows the resilience and strength of a healthy relationship."
Here are some things you should never feel pressured to give your partner if you don't want to, because feelings of obligation will only lead to resentment.