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Being in a relationship does not mean placing your whole identity in it. Find a passion to sustain you outside of your marriage.
When we love too much, we give them more than a part of our soul. Lord Krishna says in the Bhagavatam, “Attachment is the cause of all problems.”
Well, what is that kind of love when you love someone too much and you don’t get the same amount of love back? Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that the person does not love you back, but that their love is more grounded, more earthy than something we had imagined.
When a person loves too much, he or she gives that relationship the stature of being larger than life, larger even than who they are. That’s where they go wrong.
Nothing is bigger than you and your own potential to self-love.
Rule of thumb: Always be someone outside of love and marriage.
Find something to sustain you outside of your marriage. Don’t let your relationship be your entire identity. Find your passion, something that is other than going to movies with your better half. Find out what drives you when you are not around him/her. If you figure out who are as a person on the whole, then drive towards that passion.
Sometimes, spouses can be an inspiration to propel you towards your passion. Directly or indirectly, they may influence your life, your passion or your career. For example I was always good at writing and and a voracious reader. I have spent almost 27 years of my life reading everything and anything. I lost touch with reading and writing in between. Being in a relationship and later, marriage, I made my spouse my sole center.
Later, as time passed by, I realised that outside of marriage I was nothing, I had no identity, no career, no passion to follow. Giving my complete soul and attention to a relationship took a complete toll on me. I started feeling depressed quite frequently as I felt I had no identity.
I saw my husband scaling heights in his career and thought to myself, where is my driving passion? Where is the thing in me that says this is a woman, someone more than a wife or a daughter.
I am not being judgmental at all about people who want to be homemakers, who just think about family and kids. If they are happy doing that, then that’s fantastic.
Somewhere down the line I realized I am more than this. I have a gift, a talent and I am wasting it. I love having a family, and my kids are my lifeline but I knew I still had to do more.
When one is truly happy with what he or she is doing, you don’t expect much from the other person and are more contented with who you are.
I thought after marriage and kids, I would feel settled, I would be happy but something in me was always missing. Some sort of fulfilment was always absent.
Maybe it was born from the fact that my spouse felt I could do a lot more with my life than just be a normal homemaker. He always felt I was not doing justice to my talents, to my communication which everyone else appreciated except me. Maybe it was also born from the fact that I placed the source of my unhappiness as my relationship and marriage. I always expected more, was hyper, was angry all the time.
I did not realize that maybe I never gave true happiness a chance because I never pursued what I truly loved. I would like to tell all the people who enter into a relationship with the expectation of it being the entirety of your world – please do not make that cardinal mistake.
Be committed, honest, passionate in a marriage, but let it be one aspect. Follow your passion too. Make your identity entirely independent of the relationships that define you. (Yes, it’s easier said than done since these very relationships shape us.)
Do not follow ridiculous stereotypes of what love and marriage are meant to be. If what you do is any different, it does not make your love any less true. If you do not go on constant vacations with your spouse or do not go everywhere together, it does not mean your love is doomed. It just means you are confident and independent enough to do some things alone. After almost a decade together, you realise that some things can be enjoyed without dragging your spouse into it.
For me it was reading, writing, going on solitary mall shopping journeys because sometimes, I realized this is fun too. Find your path, make sure to find out who you are outside the spectrum of all human interactions.
I shared my dreams with my spouse and he made me realize that certain dreams are worth pursuing no matter what. Happiness is tentative and not tied to a person all the time. Do not tie every thing to a person as it will only bring more expectations, hope and heartbreak. Tie it to a passion or goal and you most likely won’t be disappointed or let down.
Everyone has their own identity, strengths and weaknesses. Everyone has a talent that is worth pursuing and they should at any cost, even if it means starting from somewhere absolutely insignificant.
Perhaps a particular journey undertaken is meant to propel you towards that path which you were always meant to be on and you just forgot to stay on it. Today, so many people put their entire weight behind one relationship and destroy their very ability to love. So many young people lose their way and go on a journey that’s not needed at that point in your life.
I would like to remind all those people that you may have set out on a path that was not emotionally uplifting but that too is a lesson and meant to take you forward. Figure out who you want to be as a person and what is your passion. Follow it diligently. Being in one good relationship is important but being a self-fulfilled human being is primary.
Most of us are influenced by our social upbringing, our values imbibed from a very young age and our cultural values. But what you should take from all this is that it shapes you as a person, a stronger person and brings out a much more nuanced version of yourself.
People say don’t let fear drive you. But sometimes, I believe fear is a strong motive to be better at something. Fear of failure will make you work on your passion or work at least a million times. The outcome is not in your hands but the work you put out will at least not be mediocre.
Everything that happens on your journey makes you a better and tougher human being. Don’t waste time regretting too much. Take a lesson out of it and try to move on.
Most importantly, build a great support system. Have people in your life that are outside of your romantic/spousal relationship. Hold on to people who bring positivity into your life. They can be friends, siblings, parents, cousins or just a random colleague.
Let it be an amalgamation of human relationships that comprises of all sorts of beautiful relationships.
Image via Unsplash
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Born and brought up in Mumbai.
A feminist and a voracious reader.
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