In our culture we tend to place undue pressure on the marriage relationship, filling it with expectations (conscious and unconscious) that this relationship (and our partner in particular) will meet all of our needs. This is problematic for a number of reasons, but one of the most important is how this default approach to romantic relationships inadvertently leads to a loss of self.
When we overly focus on our relationship with our partner (and expect that relationship to address all of our emotional needs and struggles) we actually end up neglecting our self. In a sense we can end up losing some of our self (i.e., our sense of who we are, what is important to us, our identity, etc.) in the name of valuing the relationship. Relationships do take time and effort. But so does personal growth. And relationships are healthiest when both parties continue to work at growing as individuals, while walking side-by-side through life.
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