Identity crisis in marriage is like slow poison. It kills your relationship gradually.
Identity is your individuality – the true you. You are born with your own unique characteristics. You have your own name. You have your own individual wishes. It cannot be separated from you. Your identity shadows you till you live.
The finger prints of everyone is different, isn’t it?
Likewise the identity of each and every one is different.
You have your own identity and I have my own identity. This is the reason it is very close to your heart. You love your identity.
As a child you obey your parents. You do things they ask you to do. Though you want to do everything your way, you dare not.
The first shroud over your identity is placed when you are a child.
As a student you obey your teachers. You go for a job. You follow the rules and regulations of your company. Your identity is further covered.
But identity crisis in marriage literally makes you forget who you really are. It is an emotional destruction.
I looked worryingly at Savithri, my cousin’s daughter when I met her in a family function. The usually bubbly girl looked listless and washed out.
‘You look very tired and haggard’ I told her.
‘I am bored with my marriage aunty’ Savithri was in tears.
‘I have to do everything the way my husband asks me do. And I hate it’she fumed.
‘My husband insists I dress traditionally as his parents are very conservative. I have to talk to them with artificial respect. He orders me to do this and that. He does not care whether I like doing what he asks me to do’ she choked.
The poor girl was looking lost.
‘Now I am a robot serving my husband food, keeping him happy in the bed. I am an unpaid maid looking after the family. I am nothing. I have no personality. Can’t I live my life as I wish to? My face is lost’ she wept.
‘My face is lost’ words which made me feel very sorry for her.
She was facing identity crisis in marriage – it can be a very traumatic experience when you cannot be yourself.
Yes, Identity crisis in marriage is more like losing your face
Why do most couples feel they lose their individuality after marriage?
After marriage your total life changes.
You are pressurized to live in a totally different atmosphere. Very different from your upbringing.
You are compelled to adjust with your spouse\in-laws to make your relationship work. You are forced to do things you dislike.
Yet another blow to your identity.
You do not have personal money as you have to shell out all your hard-earned money for the family.
A deathblow to your identity.
You become a parent. You yet again lose yourself in fulfilling the duties of a parent. You are concentrated in making the life of your children happy and emotionally secure. You have no time for yourself.
You feel further loss of your identity.
You curb anger against your spouse as you do not want to wreck the happiness of your children. Adjusting and tolerating things you dislike slowly deposits sediments in your inner mind.
As years pass your duties as a parent ends when your children move away from you to lead their own lives. Now, you have time to be more aware of yourself.
One by one the blanket of duties which smothered your identity lifts off you.
Underneath you find your true self, completely ignored and wasted.
Most of your wishes never materialized.
You might have wanted to be a singer\writer\dancer.
- A successful career.
- Personal inclinations.
- Your ambitions.
Things close to your heart. But which remained a dream because of your marital duties.
Your mind screams in agony that you have lost all your precious dreams after marriage.
‘If only my spouse was encouraging I could have achieved what I wanted. He\she was so selfish that he\she completely ignored my personal wishes’ your anger at your spouse intensifies.
‘I had lost all my precious life doing duties and responsibilities. How can I get back my lost life?’ you feel the pinch of losing your identity.
The sediments of resentment and bitterness stored unknowingly in your mind against your spouse now spills out with the velocity of a volcano. This is the reason you see couples divorcing after 20 \30 or even 40 years of marriage.
Loss of identity has become too much for them.
What should you do to avoid identity crisis in marriage?
- Never force your spouse into something which he\she does not like.
- Have enough spacing.
- Do not crush the individuality of your spouse.
- There should be mutual sharing of family commitments. Do not make it one-sided.
- Set boundaries for yourself.
- Do not enter into the personal zone of your spouse.
- Understand your spouse is first an individual and then your wife\husband.
- Never thrust your ideas on him\her.
- Do not even think of changing your spouse. The retaliation can be tremendous.
- Allow your spouse to be what he\she is. Saves your marriage, you know.
Marriage is a beautiful relationship only when you live it properly. Thinking you have all rights over your spouse has negative reactions from him\her. The individuality of your spouse is precious to him\her. Never kill it.