Losing your identity in a marriage

Losing who you are is a very common problem especially for couples who spend extended time struggling to deal with their ongoing disconnection.

Many people can find they have lost a sense of who they are because over the years they have bent themselves out of shape to try to either please their partner, or be who they they think their partner wants them to be.

I see so many people who have lost who they are in their marriage and this can be devastating for this person and their partner as the relationship is starved of what it really needs to survive.

People who lose who they are suffer greatly.

Losing your essence is emotionally exhausting because whichever way they turn life can feel wrong this can be very frightening for that person.

It takes as much energy to live in your true essence as it does to change into being someone you are not.

The difference with being someone you are not in your marriage is it’s exhausting as the person is becoming emotionally depleted every day.

Someone who lives in the essence of themselves in their life is the person who fills-up and enjoys their own energy, their own time with themselves they live at peace with themselves and their own life – this person has a greater chance of a wonderful relationship because the relationship with themselves is healthy.

There can be many reasons why someone can lose who they are in their marriage but, if you want the real reason FEAR is at the root of the problem. Fear we won’t be loved and fear we won’t be enough.

Add into these fears no idea how to truly develop and grow an intimate relationship with the opposite sex (which to be honest is most couples it see) and the person is left with needing some level of control to create the certainty they are looking for in their relationship.

The ultimate control in a relationship is the thought that to be happy and reclaim myself, separation or divorce is my only solution. So many people chose this route and regret their decision, primarily because they have tried to solve the wrong problem.

Their assumption is “I feel bad when I’m with you” They are missing the fact they feel bad because they have lost who they are and they are attaching that pain to their partner.

They are also missing their partner is likely to be in reaction to this loss of self connection. This can create distorted behaviour in both people that can be used as ammunition as to why they need to leave the relationship.

Imagine if someones happiness is always dependant on others behaving in the way they think they should (Control) – how dependant and out of control is this person of their own happiness.

Because this person is likely to blame their partner for how they feel they are missing that over the years they have reacted to their situation in such a way that they have created their own disconnection from themselves and this is a big part of their problem.

I’m of course not saying that their partner is perfect, who is… but thinking the world only works in the way one person sees it is far too limiting and destructive for the person in the long run.

People who have had challenging histories are highly likely to be very good at holding back in their relationship to protect themselves from being hurt.

The problem is those that are using the following mechanisms are putting themselves at massive risk of uncovering and realising the biggest fear they have been protecting themselves from all the time.

  • Blame others for how they feel
  • Holding back in their relationship
  • Control their own emotional states by using addictive processes like gym, food, TV or alcohol or just being overly busy.

Men and women are so very different and so your partner is NOT going to react to situations they way you would.

In fact if your partner is acting in way that you wouldn’t it might be that they are also being triggered by their own fears and so they are taking control too.

Being our true essence in our relationship is critical and the moment you think you can’t be that person, that’s the time to put your hand up and communicate there is the potential of a severe problem.

Not being able to be yourself in your marriage is a severe problem, but it doesn’t mean the relationship is wrong and in most cases can be quickly solved.

Leave it too long and the job becomes a big one for both people.


About Stephen Hedger

International relationship expert Stephen Hedger's philosophy on relationship problems is this: Couples fail to understand their relationships because they are too focused on their problems and so they totally miss what created them. Stephen's approach is a refreshing and enlightening journey that helps couples uncover their truth. His strategies uncover the knowledge that all couples need to create a successful and lasting passionate connection. If you are in crisis and you need help, book an initial consultation today to get your life back on track.