Amazing! The second most popular topic for books purchased in the United States is relationships and my best seller is my relationship book “Creating Extraordinary Relationships” part of the “All I want is … Everything” series.
It’s telling that people are willing to put in the time and effort looking for the magical formula of finding true love or the perfect partner when all they need to do is look in the mirror.
You may believe that great relationships begin with finding the right person; the truth is it is really all begins with your relationship with yourself. You are the common factor in every relationship, whether good or bad.
Until you begin addressing the relationship with yourself you can’t possibly start creating stronger relationships with everyone else. One of the biggest issues is also one of the easiest to remedy because the only person you need to change is you. The issue is a direct result of losing yourself in the relationship.
Women are the absolute best at giving away every part of themselves and most of the time it takes place without even noticing its happening.
It begins rather innocuously when we fall in love. A new relationship is exciting and fun and so we give it everything we have, time, attention, all of our focus on nurturing this new budding romance.
As the relationship continues, energy and attention becomes much more about guilt, fear and a feeling that we are being selfish if we reclaim some of the things we love and our personal time back, so we don’t. Slowly we begin to lose ourselves, our wants and needs, what we enjoy and what makes us happy and instead merge into the life of our partner.
I knew this was a problem that I battled with, but it really came to light when I was doing research for my next book.
Again and again were instances where famous, powerful and assertive women immediately gave up a part of themselves. From turning down invitations to go out with friends, feeling guilty when they are stuck at work late, no longer taking time to exercise, moving away from spiritual practices, even surrendering their values and standards.
Why? Many women admit that they were never asked to give up anything but yet they often ignored their wants because that is what they believe was expected of them. They were so consumed with the needs of others, they didn’t realize that they were becoming someone they no longer recognized. The reflection they saw in the mirror became blurred.
Part of it is we want our partners and the world to believe we are fulfilling our role as wife and mother, even as we become more unhappy from not having our own purpose. Without realizing it we have lost not only our identity but the interesting and self assured person that attracted our partner in the first place.
We may pretend to agree just not to cause problems or go along with things that are not true to ourselves because we no longer know what we feel. We think we have failed if our vision of the relationship we have does not fit what we dreamed of having and may even feel pressure by other women around us who “sacrifice” themselves for the sake of their relationship.
Many women also report a sense of relief after they are separated or divorced believing they are now free to return to all the things they used to love or are now free to find new interests to delve into.
How unfair to everyone involved, it is certainly not maliciously done but in our quest to make everything right we actually make things worse.
So if this sounds familiar take heart, there are answers and we will touch upon them as we move through the next few weeks.
You can have the everything you dream of you just need to add a bit of work to your awareness, look at what is going on in your life and then make some choices.
Believe me, having an amazing life and an extraordinary relationship is possible so stick with me as we venture together to rediscover the you in your mirror and your relationships.