I think there’s something to be said for holding a percentage of yourself back; for keeping a part of yourself “single” after marriage.
Of course pouring yourself into your marriage is beneficial to the relationship, but if that pouring in occurs ALL the time, it will smother your love (and leave you depleted). The temptation to act like a “helicopter wife” is strong; but, too much of anything is, well, too much.
You must find a balance by holding back some of yourself. Fulfillment is found walking the line between devotion to your marriage and devotion to yourself.
Here are 5 reasons to keep a part of you “single” after marriage:
1. You ruin the give and take. If you focus your energy only on what you’re giving in your marriage, your husband won’t have room to give you anything back. He’ll be so busy receiving that he’ll forget to reciprocate. He’ll become lazy or neglectful and you’ll start to resent him. Marriage is a beautiful give and take. Stay open to receiving—from your spouse and from the world around you.
2. You lose your sense of mystery. The longer you’re married, the more important it is to keep things new and interesting. Boredom and complacency quickly kill the spark between lovers. Keeping part of you single allows for elements of unpredictability on your part, and therefore, keep things new and interesting.
3. You’re not the woman he fell in love with. You change from the independent woman he fell for to a woman who’s consumed with being a wife. He fell in love with you because you’re interesting. But if your marriage is the sole center of your life, everything your husband does will seem to reflect back on you. It will feel like every silly or brilliant thing he does defines you and your value. To get yourself back, you must take your eyes off him and focus back on you.
4. Your dreams fade. When you marry, the plans and dreams you have for your future may lose their importance. Your interests slowly start to fall by the wayside as you drop activities that don’t include him and focus only on ones that do. Pursuing your dreams gives you purpose and a sense of fulfillment. And that energy lights you up, which enhances your marriage and your life.
5. You stop trusting yourself. When struggles in life arise (whether the death of a loved one or a diagnosis of cancer) you ultimately have to face these things alone. Your spouse can act as a great support to you and hold your hand through the worst of times, but ultimately, you must come to terms with your suffering in your own mind by creating your own inner peace. Keeping some of yourself single means trusting that you know how to take care of you, married or not.
It might seem keeping part of you single is withholding love, but, believe me, it’s just the opposite. Holding a piece of yourself back creates space in the marriage where you can both be more of your true selves; an opening where you can thrive and grow on your own, as well as together.
Virginia Clark is a relationship coach for single women at It’s Never Too Late To Marry. Contact her and apply for a complimentary “Attract the Love of Your Life Breakthrough” session.