“When I was a dedicated married woman my wedding ring seemed to have the completely unintentional mechanical properties of a high powered industrial man magnet.”
-The above quote is another except from my soon to be published book
Is There Room For Individuality Within a Relationship?
Is it selfish to hold back a part of who you are in order to appease the other person in a relationship? This might sound like an absolutely absurd proposition, but it is, in reality, something that we all do everyday.
When it comes down to “keeping it real” in a relationship we all play the delicate balance game. At first we filter the person who we know ourselves to be from being the person we want our mate to know us to be. This is called the infamous “honeymoon stage”.
And this is not what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about when you intentionally “dumb” yourself down in order to appease a mate who is extremely sensitive about their lack of exposure. I’m talking about being the type of person who is eternally optimistic but suppresses that reflex because their mate is eternally pessimistic. I’m talking about when you forego your dreams and aspirations in order for your partner to feel better about their complete lack of them.
How long can you keep wearing that mask before something breaks…..and it’s usually you!)
Being real in a relationship shouldn’t mean that you have to wrestle the other person to the point of their submission just so that you can be your genuine self. Yes, strong personalities often prevail, and that’s fine. But when that personality becomes the 500 lb gorilla in the room (and we all know that a 500 lb gorilla needs to be fed…all the time) to maintain your healthy relationship you have now become a professional at how to keep the beast fed and happy.
And you lose yourself.
When one person’s agenda becomes the sole focal point of a relationship it ceases to become one. In other words, when a relationship morphs into a bully pulpit it can only be maintained if one person surrenders while the other one conquers.
There is a special type of person that can maintain this type of relationship: delusional. If you have to silence who you are to stay “connected” to someone then, well, good luck with that.
(And take lots of aspirin.)
If finding your voice in a relationship causes you to self-medicate, then maybe you should re-think your plan of action.