Napaisip ako sa 100%, less than 100%, at 200% levels of giving in a relationship.
I talked to my dad some months back and he told me he stopped weighing how much he loves my mom compared to how much my mom loves him. Actually, he stopped noticing anyone's level of affection altogether. Why? Because this liberated him from
- giving what's "expected" of him, and
- the depressing feeling that he doesn't get loved (or loved as much as he deserves) in return.
Sabi niya, "lumaki na ang puso" niya enough to accept that my mom may not love him as much (or at least make him feel it), kasi pag umasa pa raw siya na papantayan yung love niya sasama lang ang loob niya at baka ikamatay pa niya. Eh 77 na siya! Hindi malayong mangyari talaga yun. Katakot diba? So, unconditional, unrequited (to some extent) and indefatigable love ang drama niya.
Hindi naman sa pa-martir effect siya (dahil malayo ang personality niya dun, I'm sure some of you know him), pero siguro ganoon na lang ka-encompassing yung love niya sa mom ko. hindi niya iniisip na wrong match sila dahil 27 years din naman sila at kung ayaw talaga nila sa isa't-isa, matagal na dapat tinapos sa sobrang daming hindi swak sa kanila. And I believe it's not just "because of the children". Basta ang importante sa tatay ko, tunay at wagas yung pag-ibig niya at hindi na siya naghihintay ng kapalit dun. *sniff*
So, for me, being unfair or selfish by not giving as much love as the other does is more of an observation based on one's perception than a fact. If you're the one who gives less, you may feel guilty but the other may not feel, uh, "offended" (for lack of a better term) but may just accept it as part of being in a relationship. In fact, the one who silently realizes s/he's getting less than what s/he deserves is the selfish one, kasi diba when you get into those things you don't really impose anything other than truth, fidelity and love which should be a given? (or "givens" kasi marami? hehehe) so dapat mamahalin ka niya despite that, at idededma mo ang guilt mo unless talagang napapaisip kang hindi mo na siya mahal at dapat naman sabihan mo siya. Pero syempre, may maaapakan kang feelings unless malaki yung puso niya. :)
Natuwa rin ako dun sa isang old entry ni Jen-C sa blog niya about unrequited love.