The persistent challenge we all face in all relationships…..

by Rod Smith

Getting “lost” in a relationship, or over investing or over-functioning to the detriment of one’s well being, is very easy to do. The challenge of intimate relationships, including being a sibling, a son or daughter and a parent, having in-laws, growing and developing a career, is not only found in the desire for closeness, but also in the persistent challenge to maintain essential uniqueness. Unless you have both (togetherness and separateness – both at the same time and from the outset) the wheels will certainly ultimately fall off.

Becoming consumed happens between husbands and wives, parents and children, professionals and their jobs all the time. Such “losing” of oneself to another or to a job is often applauded as a mark of true commitment, dedication, the mark of a dedicated parent, spouse, or employee. In truth, distinctness, uniqueness, self-awareness, maintaining integrity, while also being deeply coupled or committed, is the mark or challenge of maturity.

If you do not define yourself in any relationship the relationship will define you. If you do not tell the world who you are and what you want, the world around you will impose its anxious shape upon you.

If you err on the side of deep connection, work on your uniqueness. If you tend toward independence, increase your capacity for deeper connection.

One Comment to “The persistent challenge we all face in all relationships…..”

  1. You are right, when people ‘loose’ themselves in a relationship they miss a big piece of the relationship. You sum it up great at the end of the article. I had to learn that the hard way, and am always learning how to be connected yet autonomous or as some relationship authors put it: Inter-dependent. Meaning, you are both independent beings who at the same time have a healthy connection with each other, work together, give each other freedom to be your own person and at the same time work well together and can count on each other too. A balance of togetherness and separateness so to speak.

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