Falling in love is a curious and mysterious thing. The act of falling in love is uncontrollable. It compels people to have an indescribable and overwhelming need to connect with another individual that has different thoughts, dreams, beliefs, interests, and life experiences that are different than their own.
A complaint that I commonly hear from couples is that the person they fell in love with and decided to create a happily ever after with slowly disappears over the course of their relationship.
It seems that those wonderfully unique qualities that their mate fell in love with begins to vanish as the couple dives deeper into the abyss of their committed relationship. Why does it seem that deeper commitment results in loss of individuality in relationships? Listed below are three reason why people disappear in their relationships.
Identity Crisis #1
People earn new titles once they say “I do.” Rather than being referred to by name, they themselves, as well as other people, refer to them by their new title as husband or wife.
As such, individuals begin to identify with their new title and slowly shape shift to fit the mold of their new role. It is difficult for most people to maintain a sense of self when they become a part of something greater.
They tend to place more value and attention on the whole rather than themselves. Don’t get me wrong, focus should be placed on the whole, but with balance. Most people get so caught up in being the perfect wife or husband that they unknowingly lose or purposefully put away their individuality.
They become engrossed with conforming to what they think their mate wants or needs, and adjusting to their mate’s way of thinking, acting, and being. In doing this, disappearing mates miss the opportunity to nurture, pour into, and honor themselves.
Additionally, people go in to overdrive trying to prove to their family, friends, colleagues, church members, etc. that they are in fact a super wife or husband; which can serve to further alienate them from their truth and authenticity.
Identity Crisis #2
Becoming a super spouse is the first phase of identity crisis in a marriage. First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes Angela and Mark with a baby carriage.
So now you’ve added a kid. Well not only do you earn the additional title of parent (which further confuses things), you also earn the job of being completely responsible for another life. Parents are constantly shape shifting identities from new parent, to best play date parent, to best soccer mom, to best PTA parent, to best football coach, etc.
Parents get so caught up in raising and providing for their child that there is little room to be themselves. Furthermore, when you get a weekend break from being a parent, you have to jump right back into super spouse mode.
It’s easy to place yourself at the end of list or not on the list at all when you have kids to raise and a spouse to make happy. Life often interferes with self-preservation and assuming the role of parent is no exception.
Married couples are often guilty of falling into the humdrum routine of life…get up, go to work, take care of the kids, and pay the bills. As we grow older and the responsibilities of life kick in we tend to lose both energy and desire to do the things we once enjoyed.
We forget that we loved to paint, we loved to run, and we loved pampering ourselves in ways that were meaningful to us. I mean we do the basic personal care to remain presentable. However, the little things like getting a massage, enjoying your hobby, or having lunch with a friend just sort of fade away.
People tend to rediscover who they are once a relationship has ended because there is no one else to focus on. People shouldn’t wait until they are alone before they realize they are worthy of nurturing their souls, expressing themselves, and recognizing they can be a mate, parent, and still maintain their individual all at the same time.
It is possible to have it all. Does it take some planning and prioritizing, yes? Does it take a personal commitment, yes? It is absolutely necessary to maintain your individuality in a relationship, in order to have a healthy relationship. That does not mean neglecting your family. It simply means carving out daily “this is what I do for me” time on your family schedule.
People forget they fell in love with an independent person. Your mate does not need a carbon copy of themselves as that gets boring. Remember they were attracted to the vibrancy of your individuality and uniqueness.
Your mate and kids see you in the most personal ways and intimate moments. You have to remind your family that you are more than a spouse and parent. You have to bring your authentic truth and energy to the relationship. This allows them to respect you as a person and not just the title you’ve earned and the role you play on their lives.
BMWK family have you become invisible in your relationship?