When you’re starting a relationship, you seem oblivious to what problems or future situations you’ll go through. You and your partner are initially at your best and feeling like you’re the best for each other. You don’t want anything to spoil the intimate connection so you strive to share and do everything together. The bond becomes stronger and you think more about your future with the person you love. Eventually, you will see yourself as a reflection of him, as two people become one.
However, as the ‘unification’ continues, you may realize later that you have lost your independent self. True, becoming one is a celebration of love and togetherness. But the journey doesn’t typically happen smoothly, and in the long run, you might not be able to take the fact that you have lost yourself in the relationship. So where did you end and where did your partner begin to engulf your identity?
Losing Your Identity
Once you realize this, there is a higher likelihood that you will grow bitter about giving up some crucial parts of yourself, particularly if your sacrifices and compromises are the usual demands of your partner. This will gradually create internal stress and tension, and the things that you do for the relationship will no longer be voluntary – you will feel that it’s something that you are forced to do. As this continues, feelings of resentment, worthlessness, depression, and insecurity will creep in.
Let’s consider this example. You and your partner go to a wedding, and when all single ladies are asked to go in front of the single men to dance with, your partner doesn’t dance with you. How would you feel? That your partner doesn’t value you? Is he ashamed to be with you? Or is the relationship simply one-sided – where obviously the side isn’t on yours? Once you constantly think about being on the losing side, you fight for your right to be heard and then you grow angry with your partner and the whole relationship.
Your Forgotten Self
For a lot of couples, taking senseless stands may be because of your need to release the suppressed parts of yourself. You have forgotten that you do have a self, one that is separate from the relationship. However, if you aren’t able to express it as sensibly and freely, you will eventually feel invalidated and ultimately, lost. This intense version of you will not only affect your relationship negatively but your attitude outside of the relationship as well.
If you think that you and your partner have this kind of relationship now, or if you feel that it is going there, do talk to him about it. You can even see a therapist if you need help dealing with it. A relationship between two people in love should be positive and filled with respect for each other. Positive reciprocal relationships must inspire partners to give themselves both of you respect each other’s independence and limitations. You should feel happy, confident, and free. But if you feel otherwise, perhaps your borders aren’t being valued.
Feelings of anger, insecurity, and resentment can ultimately destroy relationships. In most circumstances, you may need to look for a way out. On the other hand, if you and your partner are willing to change, creating boundaries for each other won’t be difficult, and both of you have sufficient space to grow and improve. The less helpless you feel, the more respect you have for each other, and the positive environment for the relationship and for each of you will flourish.