Saturday, October 29, 2016

Individuality and relationship- PART TWO

I met someone recently who said he’d sacrificed his individuality in his previous marriage.  He used to defer to his wife, thinking that if he did what she asked, he would make her happy.  He thought this was the key to a successful marriage.  But his wife was unhappy, constantly complaining and criticizing.  In the end he was unable to satisfy her, and she rejected him and ended the relationship.

He left his marriage stripped of his identity, disconnected from all the things he used to like.  He had fallen into the “nice guy” trap and carried deep hurt around everything he had given up for his ex.

He stayed away from relationships for a while.

Now that he’s dating again, he’s scared of losing his individuality; and with good reason.  Nice guys usually end up either rejected by a chronically dissatisfied mate, or become chronically angry and resentful themselves.

So he’s trying to do what he wants when he wants; sticking to his plans and trying not to be swayed when he feels pressured by others’ needs (after all, he is a sensitive man).  This is not a bad strategy.  But it is still a defensive one.  And will likely drive away potential partners.

We need to avoid the extremes of personal sacrifice and ego-centrism, between negating our own needs and those of our partner’s.

But to do this we need to say what we want and need in an honest conversation.  This is something nice guys have a hard time doing.  But that is the necessary first step.

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