C wrote:

I very very very often feel like the purpose of my life is only in service to her, her ideas, her plans, her wants. I help with her lift constantly. The only thing I ask her for some time is maybe $20.00 here or there but there is always an excuse. I help and have supported her dreams and the 3 kids, from being a nurse’s aid to now a nurse practitioner. I work at a collection agency; that does not bother me at all. Why is this so very one sided? I never ask her to help me ’cause she won’t now.

Dear C,

There are two possible scenarios in this situation. The first is that your significant other doesn’t realize she’s taking advantage of your kindness. Sometimes, when the people we love are naturally more giving, it can be easy to take advantage without even realizing it. In these scenarios, it’s often because the more giving partner doesn’t bring it up. If this sounds like your situation, then it’s time to have a talk. Sit her down, explain that you feel taken advantage of, and find out how you can work together to make your relationship less one sided.

The second scenario is that she’s deliberately taking more than she gives. This could be simply because you are allowing it, or it could be something deeper. My advice would be to have a talk with her anyway and see how she responds. If she becomes angry, then simply let her know that you are going to take care of yourself a little more, and that she will need to learn to live with that. And then, stick with what you say. If your partner is being deliberately overbearing, then you might consider attention counseling to resolve underlying issues.

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