Creating rock-solid, freedom-based relationships where monogamy is optional…

Who Is Rach Wilson?

Chantelle Austin International's Specialist Coach & Mentor in Non-Monogamy and Open Relationships Internationally

Why do We Give Up Who We Are when We’re In "Love"?

I’m not the only person to do this but it baffles me as to why we do…

I’ve been married twice, the second time to Mr Wonderful (as he shall be known as forever on this blog!). My first marriage was also my first long term relationship and at the time I thought I was in love, as we tend to think until we actually do fall in love and then know the difference (but that’s a whole other blog!).

Now see if any of this sounds familiar… in that relationship I took on a lot of his likes and hobbies, as I thought you should do so you had things in common; so trail bike riding, water skiing, wakeboarding etc. I made friends with all of his friends and his couple friends became “our” couple friends. I ended up seeing less and less of my friends, partly because he didn’t like some of them and also because our time was spent with “our” friends.

I made sure I didn’t do things he didn’t like to the point where I wasn’t being me. He was a jealous person and I’m a natural flirt, but when we were out I was careful not to do it because it would upset him. So I buried my natural urges for the sake of the relationship. Now, you can only do that for so long before who you really are, screams to be free (trust me on that one).

He was a dominant kind of person but more of a protector than an equal lover. I did the “good wife” thing and was a good mother in that I tended to do most things for our daughter (you really get to know someone when a. you live with them, and b. you breed with them!) He knew exactly what he wanted and me being the wonderful wife, would encourage and support his every decision, no matter much debt it got us into!

I don’t know if other people do this but I made it look so great and perfect on the outside that I almost convinced myself that the relationship itself was perfect too. My realisation came when someone else came into my life. This gorgeous hunk of a man started working in my area and we really hit it off. I was gobsmacked to say the least when I realised that I had more than just benign feelings for him and him for me.

To be honest, hubby number 1 wasn’t that great looking physically and I didn’t think I was good enough to find someone with model looks that would like me, so when that happened I think it made me realise that maybe I could do better. And I had always said that if you start to have “feelings” for someone outside the relationship that there was something wrong with the relationship, so that was my red flag. I didn’t realise there was something seriously wrong with it until this gorgeous man came in and swept me off my feet.

Inutition is your greatest gift. It knows things you don’t, it can tell you what’s right for you and what isn’t… and for sometime I’d had this niggling feeling that didn’t sit right but I ignored it. Ever heard of the feather – brick – truck theory? If your intuition wants to let you know something it will tickle you with a feather, if you ignore it you get the brick (the real icky feeling) and if you STILL don’t pay attention, it hits you with the truck! This was my truck! Within 3 days of realising something was wrong, I’d decided to “give it a break” and I was gone.

My intuition was screaming so loudly that I couldn’t ignore it and I didn’t understand it. I was talking to a friend about my feelings and the dilemma I was in and she asked one simple question… “so what do you feel you should do now” and when I paid attention to my intuition, all it was saying was “I have to go”. At that point I didn’t know why, how or anything, I was so full of emotion I was numb, it made no sense and I had no answers for anyone that asked, including my then husband… all I could say was “I have to go”… that’s all I knew.

It took me a good 12 months to work it out and here’s what I learnt: I had spent so much time being someone I wasn’t that I completely forgot who I was. By the time I left, I had no clue as to what I wanted, what I liked or who I wanted to be; I was completely lost. I had to go through a process of questioning why I was doing things, was it because I wanted it or was I doing it because it was something he liked and therefore I should get into…

After that I was adamant, no matter who came into my life, that I would have my own life! I would know who I was and I would decide for myself where I was going to go and what I was going to do with it. I would still support and encourage my partner in their pursuits but would expect the same from them… I found my power when I started living my life for me, and by doing that I also found true happiness. On, and I found hubby number 2; my Mr Wonderful who is everything I asked for :o)

The moral to the story? Be who you are!

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