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Losing yourself for your partner, doing everything with your spouse – it all sounds very romantic. But unless you love yourself first and do things for yourself, you’ll no longer be the person they fell in love with!
“Do you love me, Varun?” wept Shilpa.
Varun could not find a solid reason for what was happening in their relationship, and why were they losing interest in each other.
He came close to Shilpa who was lying on the bed, spooned her and said, “Don’t you know I love you the most and look out for you all the time? But I understand that we both lack something in this relationship; might be our priorities have changed babe. The last time we made love was 3 weeks ago and I know for sure we were not crazy like before. I guess we need to talk. I guess we need to rekindle this relationship. I believe we need to fall in love back again with each other. But before all of this, I want my Shilpa back who loves to dance, and who is crazy about food, friends, and road trips.”
Those honest words from Varun warmed up Shilpa. Shilpa was relieved as their feelings were mutual, and needed to be worked out.
It’s been 10 years of married life for both Varun and Shilpa. They feel they have lost their individuality in the course of the relationship, and when they tried to make it work inspite of losing their identities, they started struggling. They found out that it’s not just love and trust that makes a relationship happy…. in the long run, all that matters is not losing yourself in the course of a marriage.
Now ask yourself this question… What is happiness after marriage? A loving husband, two beautiful kids, a house on own, financial security!
If this is your definition for a happy marriage, then you got to answer one more question – How long will this happiness last?
If this is all a happy marriage gives you, understand that it’s not keeping you happy; it’s just making you feel safe! There is a difference between being happy and feeling safe. At one point feeling just safe will confine you and imprison you. And there you will start searching for your identity, which you have lost after marriage.
The stagnancy in your life after losing individuality will destroy the spirit in the relationship. You will realize you have lost yourself when your hobbies do not interest you anymore, when you rarely get to see your friends and spend time, when his interests become your interests and your interests become his interests, and when you feel something lacking in the structure of your life.
The relationship gets bland and boring when you stop doing things for yourself. You do things as a family, as a couple, but when was the last time you did things for yourself? Yes, you got married, you have got kids and definitely, priorities change, but when you stop doing things you love individually, there the marriage fall apart.
The reason is simple:
Just think, what made you fall for the man or the woman you got married to? Is that factor still there? If not, it means that the person has lost their identity in the long run.
Keeping yourself intact in your post marital bliss happens by keeping yourself happy with what you love and carving out time to pursue them. Keep up with your hobbies, bring back those old interests, go for a solo trip, meet up with your friends, find yourself back again. When you do only what you could do with your partner, or what your partner wants to do, eventually this will end up in an unhappy marital life.
Compromise only when you feel reciprocated. When you give upon your favourite TV show for him, expect him to do the same for you.
There are certain things which can be done to cherish the happiness in marriage without facing this identity crisis where you lose yourself!
By tossing away our own passion and interests in the name of marriage, we lose our authenticity. We pretend to agree with our spouse when we do not really agree with them. And the longer you do that, the sooner the marriage falls apart.
Love your partner without losing yourself. Nurture yourself. There is nothing wrong in being selfish in a relationship. When you do things for your own happiness, it ironically makes the whole relationship blissful.
Take a look at your life, if you feel as if you’re losing yourself, then it’s time to find your awesome self again. It is not just love that defines the marriage in the long run. Take off the mask and be the real you to find eternal happiness…
Varun and Shilpa have decided to find their lost self… When are you finding yourself?
A version of this was first published here.
Image source: a still from the movie Manmarziyaan
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