Marriage is about becoming one with your partner. Yet, at the same time, still being yourself. This can be a delicate balance at times when trying to stay true to who you are, without feeling like you are just living out your partner’s hopes and dreams.
People who eventually have a “mid-life crisis” do so because they aren’t living life according to their values or their potential. Marriage doesn’t mean you have to give up everything else in your life. It may require some sacrifices, but it is important to still be yourself.
Here’s an example of someone who wasn’t herself in her marriage. Mary enjoyed her husband’s company immensely. He enjoyed fishing. She’d never been fishing before she met him. She liked it at first because it was new. She chose to spend each weekend fishing with him just so she could spend time with him. Eventually she grew to dislike fishing. She gave up other opportunities to see friends and family to go fishing each weekend. She had given up all of her hobbies and had few interests. Mary just wasn’t herself anymore.
It’s healthy for you and your partner to enjoy some of the same activities and it is okay to have completely different interests outside the marriage as well. If you don’t like fishing, perhaps you could go occasionally to spend time together, but on other weekends, you could find other activities that you do enjoy doing.
Sometimes people lose sight of what they enjoy doing or how they like to spend their time. Ask yourself, what is something I used to enjoy doing? Try picking it up again. Or ask yourself, what is something new that you would like to learn how to do? Perhaps you always wanted to learn how to dance the samba. Find a class to join.
When you and your partner have some separate interests, you may find the relationship improves. You’ll have more to talk about. You’ll likely be happier as well.