Someone probably told you that you are loyal to a fault, or you heard someone use the phrase and you want to find out what exactly it means. Either way, you will find out what it means to be loyal to a fault especially as it applies to relationships.
The Urban Dictionary defined loyal to a fault as a behavior(s) that shows that you are taking loyalty to the extreme, and in the process, causing more harm to yourself than good. Being loyal to a fault in a relationship describes a form of extreme loyalty and solidarity that are unreciprocated, often expressed by a likelihood to being unable to see the shortcomings of the other person.
In other words, being loyal to a fault blinds you to the errs of your partner in measures that are beyond what may be considered normal.
For every attribute use side-by-side loyal to a fault, for example, being nice to a fault, it generally means that the attribute was a good one but is shown in dangerous and potentially harmful ways. Being loyal to a fault in your relationship, therefore means you are exhibiting loyalty in extreme ways that might bring you very significant hurt.
This extremity of loyalty may be hard to describe but in the next section, I will explain in detail what it means to be loyal to a fault in your relationship.
What it means to be loyal to a fault in a relationship
When does loyalty become excessive in a relationship? What does it mean when someone says you are loyal to a fault?
Sometimes, it’s hard to clearly distinguish normal loyalty from being loyal to a fault but it is important to remember that everything in this world can become excessive when the rules of moderation are defied.
When it comes to loyalty and love, the rules of moderation may be different from what you’d expect for other commodities. While commodities like, say sugar would be considered excessive if consumed in too high amounts, the excessiveness of loyalty is measured by how the other person responds to your gestures.
According to Robert Porter, at betterhealth.com, “There is no such thing as loving too much or having too much love in your life. However, it is what you do when you love someone that can sometimes turn unhealthy.” Maybe we could say the same for loyalty as well.
Love and loyalty are expressions of positive emotions. Another thing that is common to both of them is that they can easily become ‘to a fault’ if they are expressed in an unhealthy and detrimental manner. Loyalty to a fault, therefore, does not necessarily mean the loyalty is literarily too much but that it poses a high risk for hurt, pain, and distress for the one partner displaying it, especially because the other person does not give as much loyalty as well.
Here, you are going to see the signs that you are extremely loyal to your partner, as well as how they could describe you as being loyal to a fault.
If someone tells you that you are loyal to a fault, they might have seen some signs of loyalty that you exhibit towards your partner. They might mean it as a compliment, to express that you are very loyal indeed, or they might be sarcastic in a way that suggests that you are too loyal to your partner.
Whatever the case, we can only talk about being loyal to a fault by relating it to what normal loyalty is. Here, you will see 9 signs that you are very loyal to your partner, and with the description of what being loyal to a fault is, you will be able to draw the fine line between normal loyalty and loyalty to a fault.
1. You are very supportive of your partner
When you are loyal to your partner, you support and believe in them. You are ready to stand by them in whatever they do. Undying support is one of the principal signs of loyalty and love.
If you are supportive of your partner, you only think of motivating and encouraging your partner to be the best at what they do. You stick with them irrespective of their current stage of wealth or achievements. If you are committed to your partner and you have a strong conviction about them at all times, you are a loyal partner.
2. You are trustworthy and your partner can acknowledge
If your partner doesn’t acknowledge your loyalty, you are indeed not loyal. Loyalty does not hide, everyone notices. Being loyal to your partner stimulates them to trust you more and become loyal to you as well. And when they do, the love blossoms more in the relationship.
Contrariwise, if they don’t reciprocate your loyalty or never want to acknowledge it, that would be a perfect example of loyalty to a fault.
3. You are extremely honest
When you are loyal to your partner, you are honest with them, even when you may not be honest with other people. Honesty naturally follows loyalty, and when you love someone, you don’t want to give them any reason not to trust you.
4. You display optimism and hope in the relationship
If you were not committed to your partner, you would not be loyal in the first place. Loyalty is a reflection of the love, commitment, and optimism you have in your relationship with your partner. And it’s beautiful if this is reciprocated by your partner as well.
This display of confidence and optimism in your relationship with your partner might make your friends and family describe you as being loyal to a fault, especially when they think it might be too much, or if they don’t see the promises as much as you do.
If that makes you question whether you are loyal to a fault or not, remember to focus on your deep convictions that your partner deeply cares about you. Stay clear about your belief in your relationship, but if you couldn’t find convictions to hold on to, they might just be right that you are probably loyal to a fault.
5. You invest in your partner
Loyalty does not come without a desire to build your partner to become a better person. Loyalty makes you see the other person as though they are an extension of yourself.
Oftentimes, loyalty comes after your partner has proven deserving of it. It is, therefore, not strange that you find yourself investing your time and resources in your partner. They also invest in you, and this creates a cycle of giving and receiving support among both of you in the relationship.
6. You are very generous
Show me someone who is loyal without being generous. I will show you the greatest pretender of the decade. Undiluted loyalty is almost always accompanied by generosity.
When you are loyal to your partner, you give to their needs if within your means. And when you don’t have exactly what they need, you find other ways to support them until they get their needs met.
Just like I have mentioned earlier, there exists a very thin line between this loyalty and being loyal to a fault, so much so that it is sometimes very difficult to distinguish. However, you should carefully check if your partner acts the same way toward you.
7. You stand by your partner always
This is like the supportiveness we saw earlier. Standing by your partner here means that you are always on their side when there is an argument, or when they are being condemned. Even when your partner is wrong, you stand on their side because you are loyal to them.
For example, you can’t watch someone talk ill about your partner without saying something about it. You just can’t take it, and if you can’t actually do anything, you’d rather leave the scene than continue to hear someone blaspheme your partner.
That is what being loyal feels like. I’m sure you have experienced it at some point. Haven’t you?
8. You would never dream of being unfaithful
In an earlier post, I wrote about the three types of guys that are most likely to cheat. The post x-rays the major signs you can use to identify someone who would cheat even before they get the chance. But even the most potentially unfaithful person would experience an impedance to cheat if they truly become loyal to you.
Loyalty breaks the horn of infidelity or clips off a large chunk from it. If it ever feels impossible for you to cheat on your partner, it might mean that you are truly loyal to them, and vice-versa. The picture of you cheating on your partner does not always seem to come out clearly or does not even exist.
9. You see a future for the relationship
When asked this question, “Where do you see the relationship in 5-10 years”, what would your response be? If you see a future with your partner and you have begun making plans around that future, you are most likely going to be loyal to that partner. On the other hand, your lack of loyalty might mean that you do not see any future with them. It’s natural.
While this may be the last test of loyalty I would talk about in this post, there are many more signs that you are loyal to your partner in your relationship. Being loyal to a fault is just the same thing but in a manner considered excessive (read the previous section on what it means to be loyal to a fault).
What do you do when you are loyal to a fault?
Do you now believe that you are loyal to a fault? Several people had made you think that you are excessively loyal to your partner, but if by any chance they were right all along, you might need to look at this section closely.
Here is what you can do when you are loyal to a fault.
1. Re-evaluate yourself
The first thing you want to do when you realize you are loyal to a fault in your relationship is to re-evaluate yourself. What are you doing abnormally? When did all these begin? What did your partner do to spur an unhealthy loyalty pattern in you? These questions will help you find your bearing back to normalcy or get a break if necessary.
At the end of the evaluation which can take up to a few days, you should be able to determine whether or not your partner deserves your loyalty. You should also be able to figure out if it might be necessary to end things with him or her.
2. Examine your relationship dynamics
This is also part of the self-evaluation above. You want to know how your relationship has changed recently, and how both of you have contributed to the change. Being able to keep track of the recent and remote changes will help you know why and how your loyalty has risen to the way it is.
If your loyalty is heightened for good reasons, you should maintain that same tempo with your partner, but if not, it will not be out of place to put a halt to those occurrences.
3. Discuss with your partner
Is your partner making your loyalty feel excessive and abused? Do you think they are deliberately doing so because they are tired of the relationship and just want to torment you until you leave? Well! Discussing with your partner is the only way to absolutely find out.
Discuss your fears and concerns about the relationship with your partner. Give them enough room to express themselves respectfully and listen to their verbal and non-verbal cues. Sometimes you might discover that your partner does care about your feelings and does not intend to make your loyalty to them seem to be at a fault.
Only about half of all relationships or even fewer ends up in marriage and these are often all for good reasons. If your partner is firmly opposing the claims that they are making you loyal to a fault despite evidence in support of this, that could signal that they are no longer interested in growing in the relationship. This can be potentially more toxic to your peace now and/or in the future.
4. Subtly withdraw yourself shortly
What is the best way to test your partner’s loyalty? We established that it is best to discuss with your partner to find out the current position of your partner in the relationship.
Withdrawing from your partner can help re-awaken their sense of consciousness about the relationship if they still care about you. If your partner notices your withdrawal and it triggers them to want to do something about it, that could mean that they are willing to do what is necessary to keep you. This is some form of reciprocated loyalty that would change the status of your loyalty from loyalty to a fault to true reciprocated loyalty.
5. Consult a relationship coach
Finally, if you feel like you are loyal to a fault in your relationship, it will be necessary to consult the formal services of a relationship expert. As opposed to the ideas you get from unprofessional relationship advisers like friends and family, instructions by a relationship coach are unbiased and tailored to your specific situation different from what other people may have experienced.
Loyalty is an invaluable resource in any relationship, including romantic relationships. Being loyal to a fault cannot be easily distinguished from normal loyalty. There exist a very thin line between the two, and there is practically no way we can talk about loyalty to a fault without first talking about the signs of true loyalty.
However, being loyal to a fault describes a form of loyalty to the extreme, in a way that is considered unhealthy because it is unreciprocated or undeserving.
People would often suggest to you that you are loyal to a fault when they think you might be over-showing your loyalty for any reason. However, there are clear signs to confirm or refute that you are truly loyal to a fault. Once you find that they might be right about you, you need to re-evaluate yourself and the relationship with your partner, alongside other things you can do highlighted above.
Being loyal to a fault is toxic and disastrous. It is therefore important that you objectively access yourself for it and to act promptly before it becomes a big problem that affects your well-being and development.
I am a seasoned writer, not because I am some genius but thanks to many years of trials, failure, and near successes. I curate the most content on this website; all geared towards making you a better and happier audience.