6 Tips for Loving Without Losing Yourself
  • DON’T BELIEVE THE “YOU COMPLETE ME” MYTH “My other half,” or “my BETTER half”… You hear people refer to their significant others that way all the time. It may seem harmless but this is troublesome thinking. That’s because if you truly believe that you’re just half of a person until you meet the soulmate that will make you whole, you are setting yourself up for a lifetime of disappointment. The only way to become a whole person is to complete yourself. If you find yourself stuck in this thinking then it’s time to take the focus off your significant other and start taking some proactive steps toward creating the fulfilling life you deserve for YOURSELF. The interesting thing about this is that by placing the focus on completing YOURSELF, your relationship will most likely improve on its own. Why? Because relationships have a much better chance of surviving – and thriving – when two whole people come together out of a desire to share their full, happy lives with one another. They are people who feel good about themselves yet desire a partner to walk thorough this world with and experience life together. These are the relationships that succeed. You can have that kind of relationship if you’re willing to focus on yourself.
  • DON’T BE A “YES” WOMAN If you think that agreeing with everything your man says, replying “whatever you think honey,” or “I dunno…what do YOU want to do?” makes you easygoing and appealing… THINK AGAIN. If you think that dropping all of your own interests and plans to make yourself totally available to him whenever he wants to see you is sexy… WRONG-O. If your spouse didn’t want a REAL woman with her own thoughts, opinions and desires, he could have bought a blow-up Man at a novelty store. So speak your mind! Have an opinion! Be yourself! He fell for YOU for a reason. Don’t let him forget who that person is.
  • RECOGNIZE ALL OF THE GREAT QUALITIES THAT YOU BRING TO THE RELATIONSHIP It’s easy to make yourself feel small in a relationship when you put your spouse on a pedestal and think, “he’s gay…what could he possibly see in me?” He sees a lot in you, or he wouldn’t be with you! Take some time to recognize the fabulous qualities that you bring to your relationship (don’t worry – nobody can hear your thoughts so you won’t sound conceited). They might go something like this: * “I am a great listener and I have a warm, supportive nature.” * “My smile lights up the room.” * “My shoulder massages melt my husband’s bad day away!” Now next time you feel like your man is doing you a FAVOR by being with you, remember this reality check. He is fortunate to be with YOU too!
  • HAVE YOUR OWN LIFE In the moment, it may make you feel good to spend every minute with your husband but trust me, this is just a quick fix that will only undermine your chances for real security. If you really want a solid relationship, you have to make yourself a priority and have your own life. “Take care of your health by eating well and exercising. Find your spiritual path. See a therapist to work through unresolved issues, if necessary. Do the things you love – reading, dancing, writing, watching movies, traveling around the world … Connect with friends. Learn all you can. Always be open to growth, be it intellectual, spiritual or emotional. And listen to your heart’s desire, your calling … and honor it. Always make it a priority to DATE YOURSELF FIRST. Take yourself to museums, check out that hot new restaurant that just got written up in the Times, tackle that rock-climbing wall at the gym that you’ve been equally terrified and fascinated by. There’s no room for desperation when you’ve got a perfectly good date for every occasion …you. As you focus on your own happiness you will be amazed at the transformation that starts to occur within you. You will feel comfortable in your own skin, and you won’t approach your relationship from a place of need, but rather one of strength. Your spouse will be drawn to your confidence and will do anything just to be able to spend time with you. And although you may start out with the perfect relationship as your ultimate goal, in the end that will be just a happy by-product of a healthier, more content you.”
  • DON’T MAKE PLANS OUT OF CONTINGENCY, JEALOUSY, FEAR OR SPITE Just a clarification on Tip #4 – the security that comes from having your own life only works when your motives are true. If you’re making plans with your friends just as a contingency (knowing full well that you’ll bail on them last-minute if your man wants to see you), or out of jealousy, fear, or spite (he’s on a business trip with that hot men from his office and you think…”I’ll show HIM! I’ll go out with my ex-boyfriend tonight and see how HE feels”) he will see through it and your plans will backfire. Guaranteed.
  • DON’T OBSESS ABOUT PERFECTION Nobody’s perfect, so don’t expect your relationship to be! Having realistic expectations means that you won’t be so thrown every time you have a not-so-great date or get into an argument. That’s the other thing – all couples fight. Conflict can’t be avoided. In fact, disagreements, when worked through properly, can be healthy and help your relationship grow. Remember, if your guy is worth it he will stick with you through the tough times. So stop putting so much pressure on yourself and enjoy!

To sum up… By focusing on your own well-being and self-improvement, you are bound to become healthier, happier and more confident. This may very well cause your husband to sit up and take notice of your newfound independence and improved self-image, which could really help strengthen your bond. But the REAL reason why a positive self-image is the secret to feeling secure in your relationship is this: When you feel COMPLETE in yourself, the feelings of NEEDINESS about your relationship disappear. That’s because you know deep down that if things don’t ultimately work out between you and your husband, you will still feel good about YOURSELF and have all the tools you need to enjoy your own life with or without a man.

Quick Advice from a Life Coach

Advice from a Life Coach

GET THE STUFF IN YOUR HEAD OUT OF THERE!
Find some way to get your thoughts out of your head. Journal, make lists, get a small tape recorder (still transcribe the tapes onto paper), make a Vision Map, create a flow chart, anything! By putting ideas and thoughts on paper, it makes them more real, and gives them depth and substance.

CONCENTRATE ON BEING A STUDENT OF YOUR LIFE, NOT A VICTIM
We are faced with many challenges in our lives. The trick to moving beyond them is to acknowledge it, feel it, then learn from it. What can you learn about the way you handle the “stuff”? What can you do differently next time to handle it better? You have no control over the things that happen to you, but taking personal responsibility for your own life means choosing how you respond to those challenges, and accepting the consequences of your actions.

TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF
You are a whole, entire, complete person – Mind, Body, and Spirit. Taking care of your emotional needs, but slacking off on your fitness needs causes imbalance. Concentrating on your spiritual self, but ignoring your mental health creates the same results – imbalance. Get in the habit of doing at least one thing just for yourself in each of the three areas every day.