Women: The Lost Girls of Marriage and How to Reclaim Your Sense of Self

Illinois divorce attorney, Illinois divorce lawsIt is estimated that every year, over two million American couples wed. It is a happy yet hectic time as two people prepare to express their love for each other before family and friends. Vowing to work through life’s trials and tribulations in unison but, once married, is there a danger of losing one’s individuality?

Recently, The Huffington Post explored this question and how it may relate more to women than it does to the man of the house. Lindsay Detwiler, writer, high school English teacher, and wife, acknowledges there is often an assumption that when married, a woman silently accepts the back seat to her husband and is proud to do so as a wife.

Although this scenario may not be the norm, marriage can lessen a woman’s sense of self. They may be consumed with “wifely duties," place personal aspirations on the back burner, or bow to the social stereotypes often associated with marriage and, often later, divorce.

Detwiler urges all women in a committed relationship to find a balance, pointing out that although it may not be easy, it is possible.

Jenni Bevill, writer, life coach for women, mother, and contributor to The Huffington Post, believes that if readers answer yes to one or more of the following questions and statements, they may be already struggling to find that true balance.

  1. When socializing do you always use the pronoun “we” instead of me? If answered yes, it could mean that you as an individual no longer values your own thoughts and opinions. Bevill finds this acceptable as long as it is not the norm and personal references using the “I” pronoun is still voiced;
  2. Years into the marriage when one spouse condones or rationalizes unethical, inappropriate, or categorical bad behaviors, emotional or mental dynamics may further damage one’s morality compass, self-esteem, and foster a false sense of emotional or financial security;
  3. Women often relinquish all personal belongings, often erasing any trace of personality when entering into a new relationship or marriage. By doing so, it expresses possible loss of one’s own value. On the surface, it may be seen that the materialistic items possessed by the other spouse are seen as more important or valuable;
  4. The greatest threat to one’s individuality is the loss of “me” or personal time. It has always been said that one cannot take care of others if the primary caregiver is not allowing personal time for themselves. As women, guilt is ever present and all responsibilities build to extreme levels of carrying the burden, often losing one’s self in the process. Once again, devaluing the sense of self; and
  5. Bevill also warns against losing one’s voice. Continually suppressing anger, anxiety, resentment and pretending all is fine with the world, will only end badly. It is extremely important that women do not lose their voice or the ability to express their concerns and needs.

If you are a member of the “lost girls” club, Bevill encourages women to wake up every morning and simply ask themselves what do I want and need today? Although this simple advice may prompt many women to alter their thought process, for many the situation may have become intolerable. If you are considering the dissolution of your marriage, the experienced Hinsdale divorce attorneys of Martoccio & Martoccio are available to listen and offer sound legal advice. Contact our office today to schedule your initial consultation.

Sources:

http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/marriage-divorce.htm

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/to-women-marriage-does-not-have-to-destroy-your-identity_us_57961fcee4b0e002a313beb4

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jenni-bevill/five-signs-that-youve-los_b_8271000.html

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