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Isn't it pretty?

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Don't Lose Yourself

I couldn't sleep, so I decided to do something more productive than lying in bed. I hope this makes some sense in the morning... I was at a bridal shower a couple of weeks ago, and the bride's sister gave some advice that I really appreciated. She told my friend to make sure to not lose who she was, to hold on to those things that make her uniquely herself. I thought the advice was interesting, because I think many people getting married do give up a lot of what is uniquely them in the attempt to be a good spouse. They think it is important to agree with and have the exact same opinion or outlook on every issue that comes up or else they don't seem like a united entity. I have often heard "my husband says" from friends so many times in one conversation that I want to beg them to express their own opinion, to have their own opinion. This is a reason that I am glad that I have gotten to be a bit older before getting married. I have had the opportunity to figure out who I am, what I believe, how I think and what I stand for. If I had gotten married very young, I don't think I would have been able to do that for myself, I think I would have been a blend of myself and someone else. And I kind of like who I have worked to become. I also appreciated the advice for what it offers to a marriage. I think it's important to know what you won't compromise on before you get married. When you know who you are and what you stand for, I believe that you make a stronger spouse, because you can offer who you authentically are. Compromise is important in a marriage - don't get me wrong. I don't think there is anything wrong with working together, with striving towards a common goal. But when you know yourself, and stay yourself, I think you are stronger, happier and more fulfilled. And I don't think that it is antithetical to a marriage. I think when each spouse knows who they are, they can more easily fulfill each other, because they can help meet each other's needs if each one of them expresses their unique needs. You don't have to lose yourself in marriage. Holding onto your unique desires, opinions and characteristics helps each spouse really know each other, because you know yourself.

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