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Marriage is a beautiful thing but often calls for major sacrifices. Whether you’ve moved out of state for your new husband (like I did) or gotten rid of the couch you’ve had since college because your spouse has a nicer, newer one, you might feel as if you are losing part of who you are in your effort to become one.

And we get it. It’s not easy to go from only thinking about your wants and needs to suddenly everything being about “us,” but there are ways to ensure you enjoy marital bliss while maintaining your individual identity.

Have Girls’ Nights Out

Hopefully you still have that little red dress that perfectly hugs each curve, those 5-inch heels and a clutch to complete the outfit. If so, put this on and go out with the girls! Even though I was excited to be married and enjoyed spending time with my husband, I made it a point to go for brunch, see a chick flick and get manicures and pedicures with my girl friends regularly. This gave me a chance to have much needed girl talk while sustaining my friendships after marriage.

Pick Up An Old Hobby

I’m sure that you and your spouse have plenty of things in common but stay true to the hobbies and interests that you had before marriage. My husband enjoys crime novels and sci-fi films while I love business books and documentaries. We both take separate time to enjoy our respective hobbies while appreciating our differences.

Christian Clinical Psychologist Dr. David Hawkins suggests you embark on a self-discovery journey to find your interests. “You can explore possibilities to rekindle curiosity and enthusiasm, such as visiting your local museum or library, walk in the park or take a long bus ride,” he wrote on Crosswalk.com.

Pamper Yourself

As women we have a tendency to put everyone before us, including husbands, kids and often times housework. You’ve probably heard that if you don’t take care of yourself, then you can’t properly take care of anyone or anything else. Unfortunately, I’ve made excuses (mainly that I don’t have enough hours in a day) as to why I can’t take time for things that I did for myself before marriage – getting my hair and nails done on a regular basis, getting a much needed massage, or even going to each concert.

While women see taking time for themselves as being selfish, Hawkins said figuring out what brings you joy is as essential as bringing it to others. “Self-nurturance is about caring for yourself as you care for others, and so you can effectively care about others,” he said.

In trying not to lose yourself, take time to think about and tap into what you truly enjoyed before saying “I Do.” And remember, that’s the woman your husband fell in love with; he doesn’t want to lose her either.

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