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Monday, 6 January 2014

Maintaining Individualism in Marriage

You remember that “chemistry” that pulled you together? Then after dating, things got more serious and relationship was built. There was this excitement of realizing that this person has a lot of the qualities you want from a partner. Things might even grow more from there; the decision is made to marry, and start your lives together. The aim is to build a solid relationship; complementing each other, focusing on each other, and then having children if that is the plan.
All of a sudden, there is now a routine to life; you and your partner have fallen so deep into the routine, individual self is lost. When two people marry, they now play and work together.  The Bible says they should leave their parents and become one. Genesis 2:24
Becoming one here means working together as a functional family, not getting so lost in the relationship that individual self is lost. The primary mission is working together to have a happy marriage. However, work must also be put into remaining the person your partner fell in love with while dating.
Before going into any relationship, figure out beforehand what is important to you. Ask yourself, what you value most; what are the things I will not change about me, to make a relationship work etc. For example, if a healthy lifestyle is a part of who you are, be determined not to give that up for the sake of a relationship.
Secondly, common interest in relationship undoubtedly contributes to keeping a relationship together. However, you should not be so invested in your partner’s interests that you forget about yours. This holds true too, for your children. You get so invested in taking care of their needs and interests that you forget about yours. This could lead to you resenting your partner and children.
Thirdly, this one was very good advice given to me by my best friend. Maybe not these same words but he said, if my marriage is not meeting some of my needs, then I should consider meeting them on my own. There is no relationship that will meet all your needs, maybe just about 80% of the time (my random guess). No matter how great your relationship is, it is up to you to ensure you find time for your interests as well. The individual you, will thank you for it.
Your individual integrity needs to be maintained if you desire a strong relationship. It helps to maintain that special spark that started your relationship. Additionally, it guards against being taken advantage of, or being controlled by your partner. Of course, as was mentioned, you might become resentful and end up pulling away from your partner.  So, do yourself and your relationship a favour and carve out a space for yourself; to be yourself.