by Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT
All of these parts matter. When you enter a relationship you are still a “you” and your partner is still a “them”. There will be pieces of you that stay private and quiet. There will be parts you don’t share – maybe aware and maybe not.
You will like playing fortnight and your partner will like to garden. They will go to coffee with their friends on Sunday and you will work in the tool shed. These are things you don’t have to or want to share.
You also have the task of creating an “us”.
The “us” or “we” is the unit of your relationship. Much of that will be things you create together. As a couple you might find you enjoy throwing a yearly Halloween party or maybe your thing is going on Saturday bike rides. You will be defined in a certain way by outsiders “they’re such an outgoing couple” or “they are so calm to each other” or “look at how they make it all work!”.
Part of building an us is the creation of new –
Your newly discovered hobbies
Your way of talking to each other
And, part is integrating the old. You find ways to share interest in what your partner likes. You go to the ballet because your partner loves it and they come to visit your childhood hometown every summer for a week.
How do you and your partner balance “you”, “me”, and “us”
Elizabeth Earnshaw, LMFT is a licensed marriage therapist in Philadelphia. Elizabeth supports individuals and couples improve the relationship they have with themselves and others through better communication, self soothing, and a clear understanding of what a successful marriage looks like. She believes that any committed couples who is willing to do the work can walk away from therapy with more clarity and connection in their relationship.