There is a reason we start relationships. Relationships are fulfilling, encouraging, and provide support that we need to thrive both as a couple and as individuals. Marriage, especially, is something that is practically in our nature as human beings, because it gives us a chance to feel that we have a partner in life to move forward with.
But relationships are also made up of two individual people; something that we often have to remind patients in couples counseling. And sometimes, because it is made up of two distinct individuals, those individuals find that they start to fear losing themselves within that relationship. We may want to be a couple, but we also don’t want to lose who we are in the process.
What Happens When We Fear Losing Ourselves?
Human beings are reactive. If we fear losing ourselves (either consciously or subconsciously) we may react negatively and maybe even act out:
- We may withdraw from our partners.
- We may become guarded or distant.
- We may seem like we’re not engaged in the relationship.
In some cases, these behaviors can also trigger a response from our partner that makes it worse. They may feel like they’re lacking something or missing something and that may try harder to keep us close, causing us to withdraw further.
If we feel like we’re in this relationship where our roles give us less and less time for ourselves, we’re going to need to find a way to feel like we are still our own unique person.
Integrating Self Care Into Your Relationship
It is for these reasons that it becomes important to remember self-care. Sometimes, the reason we feel like we’re being forced to give up ourselves in a relationship is because we are not taking the time to care for ourselves individually. Our energy is focused only on our partners and what we need to make the relationship grow.
So instead of judging ourselves for needing personal space or avoiding it because we don’t feel like we are supposed to take it, we should consider our personal time and personal self care a part of what makes the relationship thrive. That personal time helps you as a couple, not only because it gives you a chance to give yourself some much needed care, but also because
- You two became a couple because you both saw an individual that you cared for and appreciated.
- Your individual happiness helps the relationship thrive.
- You don’t have to fear losing yourself to the relationship.
If you’re still having challenges, or you’d like to learn more about how to communicate and care for yourself, contact our couples counselors today.