Lost identity

I am 23 and have been in a relationship since I was 19. Over time, I’ve realised that in my relationship, I’m not myself. I am constantly trying to be what my boyfriend wants me to be. He is okay when I say and do what he would like me to say and do but the minute I express an independent view, things go awry. While I love him very much, I do not recognise myself anymore and this is beginning to unnerve me. I do not like this version of me.

Ans: The basis of any given relationship relies a lot onto inter dependency amongst people. This inter dependency ensures that both parties involved have their individuality despite being reliant on the other for the fulfilment of emotional needs. Since you have come to realise that there is lack of self-recognition, establishing it becomes essential for the betterment of the relationship. Starting out with smaller things where you express the views and opinions could be a good beginning so that it doesn’t create a basis for rift or you are coming across as stubborn. While doing so, avoiding to keep a tab on who adjusted how many times should also help. express your concerns to your boyfriend as well so that both you could work towards making the relationship where both of you have your own space.

Partner pressurizing for sex

My boyfriend wants to have sex with me and is consistently pressuring me. I do not feel ready for the same. He equates my love for him with the readiness to have sex. I do not know what to do. I don’t want to have sex with him till I’m ready to do so.

Ans: Each partner’s readiness and consent are essential when they decide to get intimate with each other. Since your boyfriend is equating your love towards him with the willingness to have sex, and it isn’t suiting well with you, having an honest discussion over this is essential. In a given relationship if there exists cause and effect in most situations, then relationship is merely reduced to such considerations. Giving in or standing up for yourself becomes a conflict especially while dealing with loved ones. However, it is important to bear in mind that giving in to something you are uncomfortable with would shadow the relationship in future, thus take a step towards doing something that the other person wants after considering your discomfort/unwillingness.

Not that same love!

My wife and I were in a relationship for 7 years till we got married. We are two opposite people in nature and seemed to complement each other very well. However about six months ago, my wife started pointing out things about me that she did not appreciate and were not to her liking. These are the very things that she used to find ‘cute’ in the courtship period and initial years of marriage. I’m at a loss. I do not know what happened…what changed and when.

Ans: Marriage does bring about a change in various aspects. One of the major change is spending quality time with each other for few hours while courtship to starting to live with each other post marriage. Address this observation that you are noticing to your wife and together find out the possible reason as to why the change would have taken place so that assumptions do not cloud your thinking. Focusing on how the relationship is no longer what it used to be wouldn’t help you arrive at any productive conclusion.

Intimacy issues

Over time, my relationship with my wife has become platonic. We both seem to be comfortable in the platonic state, after 10 years of marriage. We know what to say and what not to say to each other. The relationship functions almost on clock-work. There is no more physical and sexual intimacy and it seems that both of us are comfortable with it. I do wonder if there’s something wrong with us especially when I hear my friends speak of exciting stuff in their relationship. But its only when I had my first one-night stand recently, the first after getting married, while on a conference out of town, and I regretted it, did I feel the need to examine my marriage. I do not know what to do.  

Ans: The realization about the cracks being present in the marriage need to be addressed at the earliest as it would help in understanding where things stand at the moment for the two of you. If the current situation between the two of you isn’t something you desire, then meeting a professional who is unbiased could help. Examining marriage with the help of an external person could bring into perspective various aspects which are unaddressed and also realise whether they are workable or not. This would also prevent you from taking certain steps which you eventually come to regret and those which sour the relationship as well.