Let there be spaces in your togetherness, And let the winds of the heavens dance between you. Love one another but make not a bond of love: Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls. Fill each other’s cup but drink not from one cup. Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf. Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone, Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music. Give your hearts, but not into each other’s keeping. For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts. And stand together, yet not too near together: For the pillars of the temple stand apart, And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other’s shadow.
-Kahlil Gibran, The Prophet
A marriage is founded on mutual love, couples make mutual decisions and togetherness is the name of the game but spouse should maintain their individuality because individuality is originality. A lot of people after marriage make the mistake of allowing themselves to dissolve into their partner`s character – a person will no longer be known for who they are they`ll be know for who they`ve become. Spouses should allow each other to be different in ways that are important to themselves. Both parties should appreciate and nurture the healthy individuality of each other. Couples should work out and talk about the zones of autonomy and the zones of mutuality.
Social patterns after marriage typically change to take account of new needs – things like going out on a Friday night with friends is more likely replaced by double date nights with other couple friends. That shouldn’t mean that a person should forsake their single friends, couples should discuss social life adjustments so that a comfortable balance should be struck.
Having a successful marriage or relationship strives on each partner knowing themselves. Not knowing thyself leads to confusion and a waste of time in the hit and miss situations. Before you submit yourself to another person you should be well aware of your strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes and be aware of your moods and how they affect your state of mind.
When partners own their individuality in a marriage, they should have answers to these questions: Who am I? – Where do I come from? – Why am I here? – What will happen when I die? If you don`t own your individuality you`ll be bound to live under the control of your ego and we all know that ego goes against the principles of love – love is not pompous; so if a person`s ego can take over in a relationship then it means that the union isn`t founded on true love and it is destined for early death.
When partners maintain their healthy individuality in a relationship/marriage there will never be a dull moment in their union. Suppressing yourself to please your partner or forcing someone to be someone they`re not is actually stops the growth of your marriage and the growth of your wife or husband, and where there isn`t growth there is only death.
The only way you can be comfortable with your partner owning their individuality is by trusting him/her – it`s not a sin to allow your partner some alone time away from you, giving them time to miss you, just trust that they know that they are entrusted to someone, you.
We need to keep in mind that we weren`t born married to anyone – we know what independence is, we`ve encountered different people and different situations that have shaped our opinions and our outlook on life, we`ve hated ourselves and we`ve learnt to love ourselves and we`ve lost ourselves in the wilderness of life and we luckily found our prodigal self and brought him/her back home. The experiences we`ve had are life`s trying moments and how those experiences have impacted our lives is what creates the individuals we are today.
Delve into your significant other’s world and spend time with them in it, get to know the person you’ve married for richer for poor, in sickness and in health.
Individuality shouldn’t be a way a partner uses to draw border lines for the other, individuality should be kept in a marriage for the sake of happiness.