So here is an interesting thought, what if the identity you live in day-to-day works for one part of your life, but is disastrous for the other important parts and you don’t know this, or the impact you are having on your family.
Every couple that is in trouble experiences this in different ways, below is a couple of examples. As you scan through this post you can start to see how this pattern could have affected your relationship and what needs to happen to change it.
I remember one lady telling me she felt like one of her husbands employees. Obviously being CEO of his wife was never going to work, but he had a challenge, he was a very successful CEO and was so comfortable within his CEO identity this is how he lived his life even at home.
The challenge he faced was he had become upset at how the people that didn’t work for him (his family) responded to him. He thought his CEO status should just bring him love and respect, he was confused when it didn’t happen and assumed his family specially his wife didn’t love him.
You see the identity you live in when you show up in your relationship is so important.
Take Cloe and I for example, we are very aware of the different roles we have, husband, wife, father, mother, son, daughter, lovers, coach, director, leader just to name a few.
Do you think that each one of these key roles has the same identity? If you think each roll has the same identity then please think again.
These different identities will all have very different needs and not knowing this can cause hidden problems.
What’s interesting these identities are not restricted to our roles in life they can be designed in reaction to different life experiences creating many versions of us.
For example a successful man may have created his “success identity” through his parents rejection of him when he didn’t do well at school.
For him success and personal growth = love. For him when he did well he was loved and this was emotionally powerful to create a pattern to get love for life.
So in his life this man becomes compelled to be successful because it equals the love he desperately craves. This pattern of thought is automatic without him knowing, to grow he has to focus on himself and his work, so in his quest for love through personal growth, the relationship is starved of the love it really needs. He thinks he is giving love to his family through being successful at work, this is his illusion that could lead him to a divorce.
This is why our parents can have a profound effect on us, we may have had to reject parts of our true selves to get the love we needed from our parents.
This can result in us feeling wrong for years not really knowing why.
Individuals who are living in troubled relationships will often talk about feeling they have lost their identity.
What they are feeling is true and in this space they will end up feeling empty and exhausted the more time that passes.
Getting back to their true identity and creating a successful relationship is possible once the person understands the what they are really trying to achieve and learns how to achieve that goal.
So when you look at what you or your partner is doing in your relationship and the result is not the one you want. It’s likely that you have both lost a sense of your true selves and this going to be one of the reasons you are both in trouble.
Changing the patterns of behaviour so they lead to the goals the individuals are really trying to achieve has to be the mission to get the relationship back on track.