An issue that hasn’t gone away
How many men would eat food they don’t like because their wife likes it? Or wear clothes they don’t like because she wants them to look a certain way? Women do these things all the time. I did them with my former husband.
In my book Slaying the Mermaid: Women and the Culture of Sacrifice, which uses Andersen’s Little Mermaid as an image of the ultimate self-sacrificing woman, I investigated why so many women feel obliged to put other people’s needs first—even when they don’t want to. I discovered that the self-sacrificing impulse comes from women’s history, not their nature.
Recently a therapist contacted me to say that excessive self-sacrifice was a big problem for her clients, and I decided to revisit this subject. I did more research and reporting, and the result is a brief new ebook, Mermaid No More: Breaking Women’s Culture of Sacrifice, available for preorder at 99¢ at all ebook retailers (see sidebar) and in all formats.
Mermaid No more offers pragmatic, specific strategies for figuring out whether you too are a “modern mermaid” and for overcoming your own personal pull toward unhealthy self-sacrifice.
In the meantime, you can preview it by downloading my free tipsheet (see sidebar). Most women are prone to unconscious, involuntary, self-defeating self-sacrifice, due to our training in what I call the “culture of sacrifice.” See if you recognize yourself in any of the indicators.
And you can leave your own thoughts about self-sacrifice on the Mermaid No More web page.