They say that the longer two people live together, the more alike they become. It’s even said that the older they get they begin looking like each other! These statements actually seem to be somewhat accurate! And it’s really not a bad thing, I don’t think…after all, the two were attracted to each other in the beginning, so it stands to reason that after being together continually, each picks up some of the other’s mannerisms, expressions and habits; likes and dislikes. However, I want to caution about finding yourself in a place that I found myself in.
After about 20 years of marriage, I was driving home from work one day, and this question popped into my head: “Who are you?” It was actually a rather shocking thought; I was nearly 40 years old, definitely no longer a teenager, I really ought to be well established in who I was. But, the truth of the matter was, somewhere along the way, I had completely lost my own identity! How had this happened??
I am, by nature, a “people-pleaser.” Over the years of being married to my amazing, very strong natured, husband, I had this moment of revelation: in my effort to always please him, I had lost many of the characteristics, preferences, likes and dislikes that made me, me! Now, please don’t misunderstand me; my husband is not a mean, demanding, hard-to-please person. He is just very opinionated! And, he is rather vocal! For example, I always enjoyed working jigsaw puzzles; in his opinion, jigsaw puzzles are a silly waste of time! Well, he said as much, and in my effort to please, I just stopped doing them. Now, the fact of the matter is he couldn’t care less if I put a puzzle together or not! Don’t try to force him into helping, but other than that, he didn’t think anything about it. But, as time passed, and he would voice his opinions on things, without even realizing it consciously, I began dropping little pieces of me until I no longer knew who I was.
When you marry your love, there definitely will be adjustments, things you used to do as a single person that are really not appropriate as a married person. To have a truly successful marriage you should become “one” with your mate in goals, in core beliefs, such as how you want to raise your children, and how you want to conduct you financial matters, where you want to be as a family unit in 5 years, 10 years, etc. But, you are still an individual. If you like to watch old classic movies (I love them!) and he makes fun of you (he says they’re corny) . . . who cares! That’s what you enjoy, watch them!! Those kinds of individual likes and dislikes are part of what makes you who you are!
I leave you today with this amazing quote from one of my all-time favorite authors, Dr. Suess: