I tell this story in my sessions to help couples question themselves and what they are thinking and doing in connection with their partners and their children. This is about our identity, how we see ourselves and how this leads us in our most important roles in life.
One day in Harley Street I was waiting for a lift to take me to the third floor. A man carrying a very heavy bag walked towards me.
He struggled with his bag and put it down, slightly out of breath he stood next to me.
I smiled at him, he returned the smile and held out his hand to shake mine. He said “My name is Tim and I’m an Orthopedic surgeon.” Smiling back at him I said “Hi Tim, my name is Stephen Hedger and I’m a loving man.”
You could see he was slightly shocked at my response, I carried on smiling. We continued a brief conversation and went our separate ways.
What’s important about this story is how Tim and I identified ourselves differently. You see we are NOT what we do, and not understanding this can affect our futures, our relationships and our families.
Imagine if my identity was I’m a “marriage coach” and I live in that identity with my wife, how fast would we struggle?
You see my identity is based in what’s important to me, “LOVE” being at my core. So if I was to bring that core me into all aspects of my life I’m likely to be far more successful for myself and others. You see if you are not being who you really are, people struggle to trust you. Plus if you’re not being who you are at core, you will feel wrong inside.
The challenge many couples face is they have created an identity formed by what they do. They like this identity because it has helped them become successful, but when they try to use this identity in their family life the results are disastrous. What they struggle to see is you can’t be, for example, the CEO of your relationship.
You see, if you don’t know how to connect to what’s important to you, you will present the wrong version of you to the world this means your identity is challenged.
Many men think they are just banks to their wives and children. Many wives think their are just slaves to their husbands and family. These identities don’t drive passion, fun, adventure, what they drive is resentment and loss of respect.
So what if a person has lost their true identity and is also not sure of their role in their intimate relationship. We then have the wrong version of a person showing up, not sure what to do to make their relationship successful? In pain they usually blame their partner.
This is where most couples start their journey with me. Unless you know what’s most important to you and how you have to show up in your relationship, the chances are your relationship will struggle.
It’s bad enough not knowing how to grow your relationship, but if you don’t present the right versions of yourself too, your partner is going feel cheated.
This can lead them to feel they have made a mistake.