Are You Being Real In Your Marriage
By: Christy Aloisio
November 8, 2014

untitled11      It seems as though just about every client grimaces a bit when I share this piece of feedback. “People are happier when they can see themselves outside of their relationship.” That is not generally what people want to hear. They are in my office because they want to save their marriage, not because they want to end it, or see themselves “outside” of it. Why would someone offer this type of feedback in the context of marriage counseling?

The whole point of this is you cannot be a slave to your relationship. If the only option you have in your mind is that the marriage has to work you will completely lose yourself. You cannot keep true to yourself if your only focus is the marriage. You will soon start doing what I call the marriage dance. I will dance around and do anything to make YOU happy, so that this works. Eventually you will be lost and will only be the person you think you need to be to stay in the relationship. Your authentic self will be buried so deep you often forget he/she exists.

The problem with losing yourself is that being someone you are not on a day to day basis is exhausting. There is not only the exhaustion factor, but you will not get your needs met. You will not be in touch with your needs enough to ask for them to be met. And even if you were, many times it is difficult to ask for them to be met if you are scared of losing the other person. Living like this will create burnout and resentment. Yes, the marriage or relationship may work, but down the long haul it tends to blow up due to this resentment. The couple often presents on my couch with the happy dance partner being angry and bitter, while their spouse is confused. They generally do not know the other person is being different than who they really want to be, so they do not know the marriage is not where it should be. Working through years and years of resentment is difficult.

It is the harder work on the front side to deal with the issues that may be plaguing the marriage now, but will help the marriage succeed in the long run. Putting the bigger issues off by pretending they are not there and trying to be someone we are not to keep them at bay may easier now, but will make having a happy and long standing marriage harder on the back end. Stop doing the happy dance and start being real about where your relationship is today!