“Does that mean saying his name 50 times more a day than I say my own? Does it mean worrying about him and his needs before me and mine? Is it all about the other person? Is that love? “Samantha Jones’ character asks in the film, Sex and The City. One of the ladies answers, “No, that’s marriage. “
Is it all about Him? Is sacrifice a part of a healthy marriage?
Is marriage really about sacrificing your needs and desires, to make your partner happy? Are you saying your partner’s name all the time, or are you still You, with your own needs, dreams, and plans? While you may think you are being noble, gracious, or, being an extremely supportive spouse, by focusing on your partner, you are not. There is a real danger of losing yourself, and the “spark” of your relationship if you do this.
Is it all about Her? Happy Wife, Happy Life?
They say, over time, that couples start to look like one another. In fact, “Happy Wife, Happy Life,” has become such a popular catchphrase that you hear it all the time, and you may even think it is a universal truth, but, it spells danger though, for any marriage. Neither spouse’s happiness should be prioritized over the others. The reverse, then, is equally, untrue – Happy Husband, Happy Life.
While you may have found your soulmate, and be perfectly happy to go along with all their plans, and ambitions, you really should not. There is a danger, in any marriage, of losing yourself – your unique and amazing self – that you need to be aware of!
We Mirror Our Partners
In part, it can’t be helped. They say, over time, that couples start to look like one another. There is a natural tendency to mirror, and copy, even at an unconscious level, people we admire and are attracted to.
The same applies to your spouse. Are you still You, or, are you merely a mirror, reflecting someone else? What does this mean? What effect can this unconscious mirroring have on our relationships? What effect does it have on your marriage, your sense of well-being, and, ultimately, for your sense of personal identity!
Are You still there?
The vibrant, challenging, and exciting, Individual, that your partner first fell in love with… You. Not We. Or him. Or her. Just you.
Learn To Say No
Do you share the same hobbies, interests and take part in everything, together? Are they things You really want to do? Are they your shared interests, or your spouses’?
While compromise is healthy, and a part of any marriage, you need to make sure that You are not being compromised – that Your interests are not being diminished, for the sake of your partner’s happiness. The price is too high. For your own happiness, and ultimately, the health of your marriage.
Secretly Unhappy Spouses
What is the danger, you may ask? Well, the danger is that resentment, and feelings of discontentment, could bubble away rapidly, beneath the surface. If you find yourself going to yet another yoga class – which you secretly can’t stand – maybe it’s time to assess your own role, in this situation.
What about Team: I… Me?
Yes, you. While you are a proverbial “We”, and a ‘team’, and ‘partners’, and, as much as you might share a common bond, values, beliefs, and dreams for the future, you need to make sure that You are not morphing into your partner. Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but, it is not healthy for any relationship.
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The quirky attributes, the fights, the differences of opinions – the parts of yourself that should, remain, uniquely “you” – need to be safeguarded, treasured, and cherished.
Nobody is advocating being difficult, or contrary, for its own sake but it is also our differences, that compliment, and make our conversations, and relationships, interesting, unpredictable and dynamic.
Is there enough Sparkle in your marriage? Romance? Passion?
Ask yourself if You may be part of the problem. Are “you”, the amazing person, your future spouse fell for, still there? Every marriage and relationship has its own unique challenges – strengths, communication style, and, “ups” and “downs.” Don’t let one of them be losing your own identity. Be. You.