women who lost themselves in relationships

6 Tips For Women Who Lost Themselves In Relationships

women who lost themselves in relationships

I dedicated myself wholeheartedly to his happiness because THAT would be the key to everlasting love.

 

The sunlight fell through the dirty kitchen window and painted a soothing pattern on the wall that we’d just painted turquoise a few months ago. It looked beautiful from the floor where I was sitting, leaning against the cupboard my legs pulled against my belly.

Happy memories flashed in my mind when another wave of pain rushed through my body. It felt like an iron fist was squeezing my heart and a heavy burden pushing against my chest.

Uncontrollable sobbing commenced.

How could he end this now? How could this love be over?

All my dreams and hopes lay shattered in front of me on that kitchen floor.

It was most definitely not love at first sight. Life had to play a few tricks to bring us together. But when I finally opened my heart, I gave it to him completely.

Around a year into our relationship, my body was exhausted from all the hard work I was doing. As an actress, I was constantly traveling from one (side) job and audition to another, trying to survive somehow. I was headed straight for a burnout.

Once I got sick, I was forced to slow down and look for an “ordinary job”.

I felt defeated, sad and lost.

All that was left in my life was him, and I did everything to be the best girlfriend possible.

There was NO way that I would lose him too.

I started cooking and cleaning. I learned Italian to understand the lively conversation at his family table. I baked cakes, wore the type of clothes he liked and gave him all the freedom he wanted and needed.

I dedicated myself wholeheartedly to his happiness because THAT would be the key to everlasting love.

Until I realized after 3 years of giving my all, that our relationship was lost.

He wanted to move out of our apartment — and my life.

Back there, on that kitchen floor, I made myself a promise. I swore to myself to go for that effing holy grail—LOVE—on my own. I wanted to learn about self-love, true happiness, and my safe place within.

I dedicated myself to learning everything about relationships and what made them successful.

It took me five more years and many lessons until I met the man that I call the big love of my life.

But now I am here. Nine years after the tears on the kitchen floor, I have become the woman I swore to become, and I’m sharing the top secrets to healthy relationships, especially for women who have easily lost themselves in the past as I did.

6 Tips For Women Who Lost Themselves In Relationships

1. Build your own happiness outside of the relationship

No one and nothing but you are responsible for your happiness.

When I had to temporarily give up my acting career, I felt so empty, that I clung with all might to the last thing that gave me joy. My relationship.

It’s okay to lean into your relationship when you’re feeling down, but you cannot make your relationship the number one reason for your happiness.

A relationship is a construct of two people coming together. And it’s being nurtured through the two people in it. Their actions, decisions, and emotions.

So when you are empty and are constantly sucking energy from the relationship, what do you think happens with it?

Right! There’s no way that this will work long term.

That’s why it’s crucial that you are taking good care of yourself and that there’s an equal flow of happiness from the relationship towards you and from you back into the relationship. That way the energy of the relationship doesn’t get depleted.

2. Stay your own person, don’t become enmeshed in the relationship

My love and business partner, Bas, and I have spoken to many single women to learn about their situations.

The one thing that EVERY SINGLE WOMAN shared with us was: “I lost myself in the relationship”.

Nine years ago on that kitchen floor, I had no idea who Priska even was. What made her happy. What she wanted or needed.

I literally became my relationship and lost myself in the needs of my partner.

This was the death of the liveliness and connection in our relationship.

Who else was there left for my partner to love?

Whatever happens, make sure that you don’t forget that you yourself are the most important person in your life. And that your values and standards, needs and wants, are equally important as your partner’s.

3. Stop being “the good woman”

Even after many years of hard work on myself, I still have the tendency to please my partner. Fortunately, Bas, my fiancé, is more than aware of my pattern and supports me in stepping consciously out of it.

We women have learned very early in our lives that “being the good girl” will bring us praise. Our parents, teachers and other important people we look up to will more likely give us loving attention and validation when we’re doing all things right.

But this behavior is a trap that will never bring us true success.

Women who are constantly trying to be “good” are often lacking healthy boundaries and are on a hamster wheel of pleasing others, instead of being who they are and living their best lives.

Believe me, there will always be people who won’t like you — even if you do your best.

So let all the masks drop, don’t play small, and be ALL of yourself.

4. Establish clear and healthy boundaries

I cannot stress this one enough.

My lack of boundaries not only led to massive pain in my past relationship but also threatened the one I’m in.

As I suffered severely from “the good woman syndrome”, I let everyone step over my boundaries, which resulted in a big, fat, ugly emotional explosion.

Because in the end. this people-pleasing-method just doesn’t work.

Be clear about your boundaries and communicate them transparently. Period.

5. Vulnerability is your strength

My ex-partner loved to dance tango Argentino, and he was GOOD.

Me on the other hand, I had just started out and often stood at the periphery of the dancefloor, as the 3 males out of the 30 dancers would certainly not choose me to glide over the parquet.

At one point I stopped going to tango because it broke my heart seeing my beloved dancing with all these other beautiful women — literally becoming one in front of my eyes.

It took me a long time to admit this because I didn’t want to be seen as the “jealous girlfriend”.

For the same reason, I also never said a word when he met up with some of his ex-girlfriends or would flirt with other women in front of me.

While I would have never asked him to stop dancing, it still would have helped me to actually have a conversation with him about my fear and pain.

Don’t be afraid to speak your truth.

Your vulnerable parts are your gifts.

They show, what really matters to you.

It’s okay to be open about ALL your feelings and to share them with your partner.

They will most likely also share their vulnerabilities with you, which will create a new sense of togetherness.

And it also brings the possibility for you to find solutions as a team.

6. Don’t take any bullshit

I know how it feels to bend like a pretzel out of the fear of losing a partner. And I also know how much bullshit I took exactly for that reason.

But you know what — if you let your partner’s bullshit slip through, you rob them of their opportunity for growth.

They will have no mirror that shows them where their boundaries are, and you will have to live with all the consequences.

Don’t shy away from calling your partner out on their B.S. And also be prepared to be called out on yours. If we can do this in a respectful way, while still owning our own responsibility in the situation, this will lead to a massive expansion in the relationship.

Be who you truly are

So many women try to be somebody they think their partner wants them to be.

But think about it.

Your partner fell in love with YOU.

So don’t ever let any story take over your freedom and put you into the cage of someone else’s ideal.

It will assassinate your appreciation of life, your authentic, savage nature, and it will definitely asphyxiate the genuine dynamics of your relationship. Period!

Some last thoughts

What I have learned from my own journey and from the stories of many other women from all kinds of cultural backgrounds, is that the world needs all of us in our most vulnerable, original, trustworthy, and liberated version.

Then, and only then, can we share our unique gifts with the world as empowered individuals and as thriving partners in the blooming magic of real, deep love.

The post 6 Tips For Women Who Lost Themselves In Relationships appeared first on Divorced Moms.

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