Recently, we had a heated argument when you shared that you feel that I am not doing enough as a wife. You feel I don’t understand you and your feelings anymore. And more importantly, you feel I am not the same person you married. You feel I have changed and that too for the worse.
After 3 sleepless nights, a lot of introspection and rational self-examination, I’ve come to the most heart-breaking conclusion that you are right. I have, infact, changed and I have changed a lot since our marriage. And it is because I’ve completely lost myself in being your wife.
It was five years ago when we met for the first time. And, then after a couple of casual dates, we decided to tie the knot. The next 6 months were the phase when I had butterflies raging in my stomach and it felt like I was on top of the world. You became the center of my attention and I forgot about everything and everyone around me. My friends, colleagues or family – all went down in my priority list.
Over time I noticed that I almost became “one” with you. And with every passing day, I invested myself more and more into making you happy. So much so that I started losing sight of my dreams, goals, and individuality.
I stopped hanging out with my friends, stopped going to dance classes, quit gym sessions – basically, stopped doing the things that I used to love. Why? Because I wanted to make sure that you are having the best time of your life.
Recently when I met one of my college friends at your corporate event, I was surprised by her confidence, intelligence, and charm. During my interaction with her, I started missing someone really important to me – Myself.
With a lot of courage and strength when I confronted you, you got furious. You started yelling and started narrating all the sacrifices that you made for our relationship. You refused to accept that I’ve lost myself in the process of giving for this relationship. Rather, you mentioned that I haven’t given enough.
Hence, I am writing this letter to you to share 4 critical reasons why I feel I have lost myself. Hope through this letter I would be able to explain why I can’t connect with myself anymore and why I feel lost in our marriage.
Reason 1: Your opinions and desires seem to be more important than mine
Doesn’t matter what we were discussing – whether it was a family matter or a general discussion regarding food, clothes, movies or about my career growth – the only opinion that mattered in our house was yours.
It happened multiple times that whenever I tried to express my views which were little different from yours, you became too aggressive and made all the attempts to shut me down.
As it happened multiple times, I became afraid of expressing my true feelings. I started hiding my true self and my true belief from you. I felt my opinion mattered less. Or maybe somewhere deep down, I was terrified to have a fight that will soak all positivity from our relationship. So, to maintain the positivity in our marriage, I gave up the desire to share my opinions. But sadly, I lost a part of myself in the marriage.
Reason 2: My self-confidence shrunk as I lost touch with my goals, passions and life purpose
People say being in a marriage is supposed to boost your confidence because you have someone who will always support you and love you. However, my story turned out to a bit different. I started losing my confidence as I started neglecting my career, my friends and stopped pursuing my dreams.
And do you know why?
I put aside my career, dreams, and hopes because I made you my priority. I neglected my own needs and put you first. But, after 5 years of my marriage, I realized that I have crushed the part of me, who was full of hope and dreams, to make sure your dreams are fulfilled.
Though initially, I thought of it as an act of love. But, now it looks like the most harmful act that I could have done for myself and my marriage.
Reason 3: I have given up my friends and family because you don’t like to meet them
Whenever a friend asks me to hang out with him, the first thing that comes to my mind is your approval. On numerous occasions when I would talk to you about meeting friends, you would simply ask what the need is or that my friends are useless. And I’ll not even want to talk about my relatives whom you don’t like to meet – you would say no to their invitations without even telling me about it.
Do you remember once I accepted my uncle’s 60th birthday invite without seeking your approval, and it led to a huge fight between us, and eventually I had to make an excuse to him. That was the turning point. Post that day, I decided to seek your approval before making any plans for the sake of happiness and peace in the marriage.
But, now I feel it was much more important than just an invite that I declined. It was my independence or my confidence in my own ability to make my decisions that I gave up.
And for what – a happy married life.
Reason 4: I was attending to everyone else’s needs First, which was silently eating me away
Whether it was you or your parents or your sister, I was attending to everyone else’s need first. I was focusing on what everyone else wanted because that’s what my parents taught me. I was trained to be the perfect bahu and the perfect biwi. But no one told me that you can be neither of them till the time you are the perfect You!
It all started with me making others my priority out of love and affection. Then without my knowledge, I was doing it for seeking their approval. And more recently, it has become a habit.
But now I’ve realized that everyone has started to take me for granted. They assume that I need to fulfill their expectations – no matter what sacrifices or adjustments it takes from me.
Hardly I knew that I would sacrifice so much for a relationship, where I would be blamed that I wasn’t doing enough.
How can you be enough for others if you are not enough for yourself?
You know how on planes when they do the safety demonstration, they tell us to put on our own oxygen mask first before helping others? You know why? Because you’ll die if you try to help others before yourself! Losing oneself is like throwing away the oxygen mask out the window and then trying to share your partner’s mask.
People do know when they are lost in a relationship. But they don’t do anything about it because they are afraid of being alone. They are afraid that once they start pursuing their dreams, their partner might feel neglected or threatened, and it might lead to a broken relationship.
But, I am not scared. Because I know my life partner really loves me and can never let me be unhappy. I know you will support me and help me in reclaiming myself from this pile of unrealistic expectations and thoughts that have built over time. I know you will stand by me as I build a new me.
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