Our lives our busy.
We live in a fast paced, multi-sensory, over-exposed culture.
Women in our society are taught to be overly giving and put our needs last, people-please until the cows come home, and if we have time (which we never do) let Calgon take you away in a hot bath (once maybe twice a year).
Men in our society are taught to let the woman of "these days" pay for her own meals because, well, chivalry is dead. (I once had a boyfriend say that exact sentence to me).
Oh, and all those billboard women and airbrushed magazine models, get you one of those. God for bid she want to stay at home with her babies, because those women don't do anything but eat bon-bons all day.
Ok I am being a bit sarcastic... but am I?
My point is, generally speaking our society has disconnected with each other, put value upon appearance and bank accounts, and less worth into true bonds and connections. This not only happens in intimate relationships, but relationships between friends, colleagues, and yes, even family. Just ask a parent what they hope for their children when they grow up and most of the time it has to do with career and status.
Truth is, most people in our society are just surviving to keep up with the Jones, or more importantly, trying to survive keeping up with the life they've created for themselves.
While others are in fact choosing to awaken to something much greater within themselves.
Is finding yourself possible
in your partnered relationship?
It depends. Please allow me to share my personal experience around this very question.
I have been with my husband for 7 years and have a daughter who is 5 years old. My husband and I married only 6 months after dating and were pregnant 1 month later. Although I was 35 years old and he was 44 years old, we were scared. Due to the fact that we were older and, as they say, set in our own ways, we actually really were... scared.
Here comes baby and its harder than we ever thought, and our marriage begins to suffer because we aren't sleeping, we're grumpy... we are basically non-existent to each other, just trying to survive. Those once long hugs and deep conversations became quick pecks and short convos about who was picking up more diapers.
The problem though, was as our daughter grew, my husband and I weren't growing together. We became so caught up in the way life had been, that we forgot to look at where we were going. We were more focused on surviving, and less on thriving.
I call it "Being comfortable with being uncomfortable"
This is what we do in our lives. We become so used to things slowly evolving a certain way, that even if its evolving the wrong way, we continue on that path.
We become comfortable with the slow progession of sh*t going awry!
How does sh*t go awry?
Well, the truth of the matter is, it has less to do with your partner,
and more to do with the value and worth you place within yourself.
What I mean is, I lost me. And while being in the state of losing myself (my own views of my worth) I began to lose at living a healthy relationship with my husband. I became complacent, and so did he. Initially, when our attention towards each other began to shift outward, there was this sense of comfort; comfort meaning that each of us must be comfortable enough with each other that we don't need to "fuss over each other" any more.
That's a big fat WRONG-O!
Add a baby into the mix of your relationship and fussing over baby is what grabs everyone's attention. New parents go through a natural shift in personal identity, and if you don't, that's another problem.
I will speak now only from the new mother's view, as that is the only one I can truly relate to. Last year I wrote a blog post entitled
Below is an excerpt from that post.
"Not only was I birthing my daughter, I was birthing a new woman deep within myself whom I had never met. I was stripping off my “known” identity for a woman I didn’t know I was to become."
Right here... this is in the TOP 5 ways of how women lose themselves. We become someone we don't even know yet. It's like having a daily conversation with a woman you have no identification with, and yet there she is. My guess is, men go through this too; however not to the extent as women, because its our bodies that change, physically and hormonally.
As we see with other people in our lives, time passes, their relationships with their partner begins to slowly die, all the while they want to keep it, but don't, or can't. One person in the relationship continues pulling away or acting out in ways that are damaging to the relationship.
So what the heck is happening here?
Whether man or woman, someone begins to believe that in order to get back on track, change is needed, and they must leave their relationship in search of themselves.
Remember earlier I mentioned "it depends" when asking the question, Is finding yourself possible in intimate relationships.
Here is the "it depends".
- Are you actually with the right partner for you? The right partner will encourage you to find yourself, and want encouragement to find their own self too.
- In actuality, finding yourself is an inside job; no matter your outer circumstances and relationships.
I went through a period of time when leaving seemed my only option in finding myself again.
But every time I thought about it, I would think about my daughter and the foundation on which my marriage was built. My husband and I share the same views of the world, of spirituality, life and death, human existence, wellness and lifestyle, and beliefs. We want very similar things out of life.
So we had to talk, and have lots of them. We made a commitment to each other that we would talk every day. Every. Single. Day; and not just small talk, but I mean BIG talk, DEEP talk, EVERY SINGLE DAY.
We both made it verbally clear that with every discussion to take place, there was no concern for having any final resolution. The only requirement is that we shared and expressed our very real thoughts and feelings without judgment of each other.
We had to commit. And so we did.
We had to believe that the other wanted to be supportive, and listen whole-heartedly.
And each of us are doing this.
With support and understanding from your partner, YES you can find yourself within your intimate relationships.
Years ago I believed that maybe we aren't meant to be with the same person all of our lives.
This is what I believe now.
If your partner can honor you as another spiritual being having a human experience, then all of the human experiences you have in a lifetime can be shared with the same person.
But its a choice; a choice made by both people.
Both people have to be "all in" for it to work. I am with my husband because he is "all in" with me, flaws and all. I was ready to throw in the towel because I now can acknowledge that I quit when things get hard in relationships. I understand that the root of my issues is abandonment, and when sh*t goes awry, I do to my partners what I fear most - abandon them.
Making the choice to stay, and be "all in" is really about you, and not about your partner. In fact everything in life you experience is really about you, and never about them.
You most certainly will learn about yourself if you stay AND if you go. The lessons are there either way. Its your choice, as everything in your life is... it really is.
Go dive deeper into yourself, I encourage you to, but if you honestly are not "all in" with your partner, or if your partner isn't "all in" with you, then its time to move on.