Be YOU: How to Maintain Independence in Your Relationship

Through the years, the relationship, the jobs, the kids, and the things that need to get done, it can be easy to lose yourself and get lost in the long list of to-dos. But you don’t need to feel lost forever.

Find YOU. Maintain your independence. And most of all, be yourself.

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America itself fought for independence so the people here could uphold their own values and maintain their natural rights. Those natural rights, as stated by the Declaration of Independence are “Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness.” Those are rights each of us have and can easily forget. How can you maintain your independence in your relationship?

1. Find what makes YOU happy

You have the natural right for the pursuit of happiness. What is it that makes you happy? Is it a day in the sun? A nice, cool can of Diet Coke? Reading a good book? Shredding down the mountains on your bike? Writing poems or a story? Building a collection? Fishing? Or even grocery shopping on your own? Everyone has something that makes them happy. Find that thing and make time to do it.

2. keep working towards your dreams

What have you always dreamed of doing? If you’ve forgotten, rekindle those dreams and find ways to work towards them. If your dream is to run a marathon, start running. If your dream is to become a chef, start cooking or take a class. If your dream is to go deep sea fishing in Alaska, start saving. After all, the famous Walt Disney said, “If you can dream it, you can do it.”

3. Learn how to listen and understand another’s point of view

Another way of becoming independent is learning how to understand another’s point of view. You and your spouse have the liberty to have your own points of view. This means you will likely have differing views throughout the years. By listening to your spouse’s views, and working to understand them, it can help you recognize your own point of view. Taking time to listen and understand each other enables you to each gain independence in creating solutions that work for both of you.

Find more help with listening and understanding skills here:
3 Ways to Improve Communication With Your Spouse

4. Both sides give and take in the relationship, not one sided

In your relationship, is it one side takes all and the other gives all? Does it feel like that way sometimes or oftentimes? When making plans or creating solutions to problems that arise, compromise. Find ways to compromise so you and your spouse are both able to get some of what you want without giving up all that you want.

5. Put Your phone aside

Everyday we become more and more dependent on our phones. We use our phones to communicate, take pictures, for directions, to learn something new. Take some time to put your phone to the side. Turn it to silent mode and leave it in another room or turn it off. Try finding an address without your phone. Enjoy the time with your spouse rather than taking 12 pictures of everything. Instead of texting or calling, write a note, pick a flower, or do something for you spouse to let them know that you love them.

6. Become interdependent, rather than codependent

Codependency is when one depends on another to meet all of their needs. Google defines codependency as, “Excessive emotional or psychological reliance on a partner.” When a spouse depends on their spouse to meet all of their needs, it sets up unrealistic expectations that eventually leading to disappointment. When a couple is interdependent both spouses can depend on each other while still maintaining the independence of who they are and getting some of their needs met.

For on improving your marriage and becoming interdependent, read “10 Best Pieces of Marriage Advice

7. Enjoy some time with your friends

It’s likely that your spouse won’t enjoy doing everything you like to do, just like you probably don’t like doing some of the things they like to do. Take a night out with the girls, or a night out with the guys. Some people have their BUNKO nights, others watch the game. Whatever it is, enjoy that wholesome recreation with your pals doing what you all love to do.

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8. Learn to love you

Sometimes, with all the busyness of the hustle and bustle, you forget to love you. What kinds of things do you do for the ones you love? Do you take them out for cheesecake? Rub their back? Write them a note? Read them a story at night? Do some of those things for you and take care of yourself. Go get yourself a brownie because it’s your favorite. Take yourself on a date to get a massage. Write yourself a note. Read the book you’ve been wanting to read. Share that love and time with yourself too.