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What Moms Give Up for Love

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Guest blogger Rabbi Sherre Hirsch asks: Would you give up your religion, hometown, friends, career, or the possibility of having children for "Mr. Right"?

We make all kinds of sacrifices for the ones we love. Those decisions are often applauded by the people who agree with us and condemned by those that don't. For instance, leaving your career for a man may make perfect sense to your mother, but not to your employer. Also, we can be applauded or condemned due to cultural and social norms. Converting to Judaism if you are Catholic can cause havoc in your family but celebration in your fiancé's. Ultimately, we have to rely on our intuition, instinct, and our inner voice to make the choices that are right for us.

To help you decide whether you should let go of "X "for love, ask yourself the following questions:

Am I the only one making sacrifices?
Couples can fall into dangerous patterns whereby one is the asker and the other is the accommodator. The danger is that it can create feelings of long-term resentment which ultimately create trouble in the marriage. For example, if you had to move, convert, and give up your career, there needs to be some sort of acknowledgement by your partner. All things are not equal in a relationship but appreciating and valuing the other's choice goes a long way.

If I am not willing to make this sacrifice, is my relationship over?
All too often, couples make one issue a deal breaker. Often that issue is symptomatic of a larger problem that is hard to discuss. For example, "I want you to move to Singapore, but part of me doesn't because I cannot guarantee the relationship will work out." Can you use this point of disagreement to find a deeper discussion?

Is money always the determining factor?
Often you defer to the partner who makes more money in the relationship to make the career decisions. Making decisions based on money is not necessarily the recipe for making a life with another human being.

Is this sacrifice a deal breaker?

There are things in life that we are entitled to draw a line in the sand over. If you absolutely want children and he does not, he may not be the right person for you long term.

I often offer couples five crucial pieces of advice.

• There is no shame in ASKING your partner to make a sacrifice. Remember, our partner is not a mind reader. They do not instinctively know what is at the center of our souls. We need to tell them explicitly and let them decide.

• Don't think that there has to be a reasonable or logical reason for every sacrifice we make for another person. We do all kinds of things for love and much of them are not rational at all.

• Nothing is a guarantee. You may make a sacrifice and the relationship still may not work out. That's why it's so important to follow your own heart, and be ok either way.

• There is always a risk involved. But as they say, nothing risked, nothing gained. Remember: Many times, a sacrifice opens a door to an opportunity you may have never considered before.

What sacrifices have you made for love?

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