Sacrifices of women and men in close relationships: the types and structure of sacrifices. The approach and avoidance motives for making sacrifices
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Institute of Psychology University of Silesia, Katowice, Poland
Submission date: 2020-05-12
Final revision date: 2020-11-06
Acceptance date: 2020-11-09
Online publication date: 2020-12-29
Publication date: 2020-12-18
Current Issues in Personality Psychology 2020;8(4):317–328
The aim of the study was to examine what is perceived as sacrifice in close relationships by women and by men. The goal was to find out what the structure of the sacrifices is, and whether they are related to each other. The motives of sacrifice were also examined in approach-avoidance motivation theory.

Participants and procedure:
The study encompassed 144 participants (93 females aged between 20 and 50) who were asked to provide casual written accounts on what constitutes sacrifice in close heterosexual relationships and the reasons why partners in those relationships would be willing to make sacrifices. The expert judge assessment method, frequency and factor analyses were used.

The sacrifices that were most frequently reported were those linked to an individual’s professional career, sacrifices made for family reasons and giving up one’s everyday pleasures. Females more frequently make sacrifices linked to their roles within the family, while males are likely to sacrifice in changes of their lifestyle. The most common motive for sacrifice is the love motive and the least common is pressure from the outside. Women named the motive of love more frequently, while men tended to point to the willingness to improve on the quality of the relationship, their personal benefits and sense of obligation.

Men and women are willing to sacrifice in close relationships by trying to alter their lifestyle from that of a single person to one that prioritizes their significant others.

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