Relationship

Being in a Relationship without Losing Yourself

Are you the friend that bails on everyone once you get in a relationship? Do you find who you are as an individual typically getting jumbled up with the person you are seeing? More importantly, are you the kind of person that loses their identity, dreams/goals when the "right guy" enters your life?

If you answered yes to any/all of my questions, I can totally relate and you my friend are in the right place at the right time. Don’t worry, I know it sounds pretty bad, and you probably didn’t realize it when you did it but guess what? The first stage of dealing with any issue is understanding that it is an issue. By being willing to deal with it, we have already hit that mark.

Bini and I have never been that couple that spends every single minute of the day together. We have always had our mutual and separate friends that we spend time with. There was a time in our relationship though where I wanted nothing to do with my friends and only wanted to hang out with him- just the two of us. Granted it was after the birth of our first child, and my hormones were all over the place (I’ll blame hormones), and while he wanted to spend time with me as well, he still wanted his friends, his career and his life and therefore in came the conflicts.

Peep how different the Iphone looked back in 2011. I was pregnant with Lorenzo.

Like many other women, I got wrapped up in the idea of being a new family and was so in love with our new baby and what marriage life looked like, that I forgot who I was before Bella was born and before I became Bini’s wife. While he continued to live out his best life, I was home raising our child, helping him follow his dreams, and making sure that everyone in our small family was happy except the one person that should have mattered the most- ME! Where had my dreams gone? Where was the drive I always had to get my goals done? What happened to the girl that knew what she wanted for yourself? Where did that girl go? Not knowing the answer so all these questions led to me becoming bitter towards Bini which then lead to unnecessary fights.

As Mothers we are always the Pillar of our Household
Looking back now, I clearly see that I let being a wife/mother take over my life so instead of embracing my new role and loving every minute, it consumed me, and I began to hate it instead. I started to hate the person I was looking at in the mirror and the person I had become.

My wakeup call came right when I needed it most though. The sad part was that it came in the form of a separation. Yup, it took walking away from the marriage for me to see what I was doing to myself and my family. Now the separation came because of other reasons as well, but it served its best purpose in teaching me that marrying Bini was just one part of my life and that there was still so much more tome. Understanding that was the first step in being able to embrace my marriage without feeling like I was losing too much of myself.

Once I had time and space to reflect on what I was doing to myself and my family, it was clear to me that I needed to change things around. I needed to value myself again, to dream high and accept that even though I was a mother and a wife, I was still Luwam and Luwam had goals in life. This had nothing to do with Bini and everything to do with me. I had to build me up, and no one was going to do that for me, no one couldn’t actually because it’s something you have to do for yourself (kind of like quitting a bad habit, people can’t do it for you, it comes from you wanting to do it for yourself).

Once I understood this fact, everything started changing. I started building myself back up slowly through writing, reflecting, meditation and just doing things that I used to love like reading and traveling with my best friends. My focus changed and instantly I began to glow, and my heart was no longer heavy all the time. It was during these days that I began to fall in love with Bini again. Not the way I fell in love with him when we were in high school, but a different kind of love, one that was mature and selfless, where pride took a backseat and forgiveness was vital.

It's always a blast when we get together!
If I can learn to embrace my marriage and love my husband without losing my identity, then I know you can too.
Here are some signs to keep an eye out for in your relationship:

1)    You start to make him, and all his needs/want your priority

I’m not saying don’t care for a brother, but remember to always care for yourself first! He can be a priority just not your ONLY priority.

2)    You start to question your dreams/goals

Dreams/Goals can change but look into why they are changing. Is this a decision you are making or is it driven by your relationship?

3)    You don’t see yourself doing things you used to love

Are you busy doing what he loves to do or have other hobbies come to play?

4)    You aren’t hanging out with the people you love- friends/family

No explanation needed! 

 

As always, I’d love to hear from you. Have you or someone you know experienced a similar issue in your relationship? Feel free to comment below and tell us what’s going on.

Yours,