A while ago one of my brothers said “You know Api you haven’t changed at all” I looked at him puzzled as he said “yeah, you’re still you.” I didn’t get it. Ofcourse I’m different. Got a house with my very own monthly payments. I cook. a feat only those closest to me can full appreciate. I think about taxes. Grocery shop. Freeze leftovers.
But yesterday on Oprah. Lance Armstrong’s ex-wife was discussing her failed marriage and about losing her identity in her marriage. Focusing on the needs of the other, compromising to the point that you forget yourself. Oprah responded, “this is why I never got married, I did not want to lose my identity.” (Although she’s lived with Stedman since forever.. so is it just the act of marriage stripping one of identity?) It reminded me of a conversation with a friend hours before my wedding “It’ll be nice at first but things will change. Expect it and you will be less hurt” I protested but she smiled, a smile which in retrospect breaks my heart, “No matter how nice a husband all women give up a part of themselves when they marry” That was what my brother meant. Sure I compromise, sure in some ways I’ve changed. But I’m still me.
I knew some of my friends suffered abuse and painful divorces but I never fully considered that even in successful marriages women often lose their identity. I know girls completely different after marriage.. fusing into a couple so completly I can’t identify where they went. These are not necessarily bad marriages, but are marriages where the preoccupation of the needs of others lent to their forgetting who they themselves were. I see it a lot in the joint family system where inlaws live together under one roof…the son’s wife in charge of everything. Who was she? Who is she now? One person shouldn’t be doing all the changing. Do you fear morphing? Have you seen people morph… or did you morph?
Love does not consist in gazing at each other, but in looking outward together in the same direction”-Antoine de Saint-Exupery