Which version of yourself are you bringing to your relationship?
We all have various versions of ourselves that we apply in different circumstances. These can come from the many roles that we play or have in our lives. They can also be parts of our personality. They can come from our circumstances or sometimes they are reflections of our partner.
Good relationships require a deep and dedicated understanding of yourself and who you are. Therefore, if you're constantly presenting your partner with a certain version of yourself, then you might not be getting the most out of your relationship.
So, which version of yourself are you presenting to your partner?
Are you presenting the work version, or the parent, the child, fun, outrageous, romantic, lover, friend, complaining, serious, enthusiastic... The list can go on. It will most likely be a mixture of several of these.
Is there, however, one that is more dominating and common?
A couple of examples:
What happens if you carry your work self home to your family? If you are a lawyer and you came home and interrogated your partner what would that create within your marriage? Or, if you have your own company with a lot of staff who need managing and organising, would you have a romantic marriage if you came home and told your partner what to do?
When you have children, you will give birth to a new version of yourself. Parenting. Even after the kids have gone to bed, mothers often slip into the trap of being in 'mum mode.' Your partner may feel mothered as a result of your actions. Alternatively, as a mum, you can become a list maker and wind up assigning duties to your man, teaching him 'how to load the dishwasher,' requesting that he remove his shoes when he enters, and so on. Dads, by the way, can do the same.
You may be required to be the leader and decision-maker at work, but if you bring this home then life may not be so pleasant. You can come across as domineering and, dare I say, bossy to your partner. Neither of these things will result in a loving relationship.
In various conditions, we transform into the person we need to be. However, all of these diverse ways of behaving (all of these distinct yous') combine to make the person you are.
To help you to create more clarity about this for yourself, try asking yourself the following questions:
- Is the version that you're running for your partner the one that is going to give you the marriage you would like?
- Which version of you will help your partner to feel more loved and special?
- Do you like who you are being around your partner?
- Could your conflicts arise from a lack of separation from your other roles in life?
- Which version of yourself do you run on a regular basis, and is it the appropriate one?
- Have you given up on the version of yourself that clicked with your partner when you first met?
If you're unsure, take the time to notice who you are being over the next couple of weeks.
Don't panic; this does not imply that you are in an unhealthy relationship. That isn't the problem here. You've probably developed a coping strategy/version that doesn't fulfil your partner's or your own requirements.
If you recognise this in yourself and/or your partner, you can:
- Be aware of who you are being within your relationship and who you would like to be.
- Leave behind the 'work you' before coming into the house in the evening.
- Leave behind the parenting side of you, when you settle down for time together in the evening.
- Think about who you want to be when with your partner, and bring that part of you to your time together.
Which version of you does your partner enjoy the most?
If you recognise yourself in this and would like more help to change these patterns then please get in touch.