Maintaining the Balance Between Yourself and Your Relationship

A Whitney Houston song goes, “Learning to love yourself is the greatest love of all.”

This is rooted in the belief that developing and growing as an individual is intrinsic in maintaining a healthy relationship with others, most especially your spouse. Couples counseling in Provo will tell you that you need to develop your individuality to become “the other half”. You need to take care of your needs to be able to have the strength to do the same for your spouse.

Indeed, there is the challenge to be able to nurture your individual self, as well as the relationship. Now, how do you achieve this delicate balancing act? Overdo the quest for independence and you may find that you have distanced yourself from your spouse. On the other hand, if you ignore your needs and direct your attention only on your relationship, you may find that you have grown too dependent on the relationship to the point that you are perceived to be clingy and needy. To further complicate matters, there are other things to also consider. You also have to see to the needs of the children, as well as in-laws, bosses and friends. When problems crop up as you try to maintain this delicate balance, it may be necessary to consider going for family counseling in Provo to help you get equipped with effective tools for the couple and for the family.

How can a marriage (and one’s individuality) remain healthy in the midst of all these challenges? Here are some simple tips:

–  Find time both for yourself and your spouse. Schedule “me time” and “we time”. Give each other space to pursue personal interests that may not be shared by the spouse. This may be a night out with friends, indulging in a sport you enjoy or taking classes to learn something you enjoy doing. At the same time, you also need to pencil into your calendar, dates with your spouse where you can spend time nurturing your relationship and building your bond. According to Utah counselors, giving time for both individual pursuits and pursuits as a couple can help strengthen you and your relationship.
–  Work out your own personal space. Get into an understanding that each one is free to pursue his or her passion and that this personal space will be respected by the other spouse. For instance, while one spouse is pursuing her interest in the opera (which the other spouse is absolutely allergic to), the other spouse can go fishing (an interest the other spouse does not share). This is also an understanding that each one is entitled to his privacy. That means that you should resist the urge to pry and rummage into his belongings without his permission or approval.
–  Clarify your own needs and wants, as well as your spouse’s needs and wants. Then, you can both come up with a compromise that you can both accept. This can apply to financial decisions, and other aspects such as child rearing, home décor decisions and goals for the family.
–    Learn to appreciate each other’s individuality. Doing so will prevent you from being at odds with each other because of your intrinsic differences. Instead, you will learn to be grateful for differences you each have. It will also teach you to nurture the healthy individuality of your spouse, as well as yourself.
–    Support but “push” as well. Cheer your spouse on as he or she pursues his or her individual needs and desires. However, avoid the temptation to nag or do the work that he or she personally needs to do. You can help your spouse realize that you are there to support.
–    Learn to compromise cheerfully. Learn to give and take without feeling resentful if you don’t get your way at times. You may sometimes have to give way to your spouse’s needs at times. But you also have to expect your spouse to also give in at times to your own needs. Your Utah counselor can teach you both how to effectively compromise.

Utah marriage counseling can help you be more self-aware and at the same time, be more aware of the aspects of your marriage. As a result, you are stronger and more independent and you are more able to take care of the needs of your marriage.

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