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Maintaining a Healthy Sense of Self in a Relationship

Maintaining self in a relationship is an important aspect of happiness within yourself and your marriage. Keeping a sense of self is crucial to your own empowerment, self-worth, independence, happiness and the satisfaction in your relationship. 

Holding onto yourself while in a partnership means maintaining your own identity as well as taking care of yourself, your own needs and your own goals. This is an important component of self-care. This is something that can actually lead to relationship happiness as well.

It’s much more common that when there are challenges in a relationship, people focus solely on repairing the issues between the two people and while this is extremely important and you won’t be able to resolve relationship conflict without doing that, people often forget that each party also needs focus. It’s crucial that each person is working on themselves. Remember: a healthy relationship cannot exist without 2 healthy people. Actually working on yourself is a critical component to relationship betterment.

components of maintaining SELF while in a relationship:

Take time for you:

Taking care of yourself is one of the most essential parts of being a healthy person. So be sure that you are making it a priority to take care of yourself. Your own self-care means taking into account your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Again, people tend to focus on the wellbeing of their relationship rather than also putting emphasis on their own wellbeing.

Maintain your own identity & interests:

People often have a misconception that they need to spend all their free time with their partner and share all of the same interests. While shared interests can be exciting and make the relationship fun because you get to enjoy things together, it is also okay to have some differences and separate interests and activities. So be sure that you are holding true to you and your own identity even while you are in a relationship. And have some separate activities or time with friends that are just for you. 

Surround yourself with healthy people:

Many people can become negatively influenced by unhealthy people in their life, so be sure that you surround yourself with positive and supportive friends and family. This means reducing drama and negativity that’s around you. Find people to add to your support network who lift you up and care for you.

Be a loving person to yourself, your partner, and others: 

It’s been known that the more positive energy you put out in the world, the more you will also receive. So focus on being the best version of yourself that you can be and treat others with kindness and compassion. This especially includes your partner. When you are in a relationship, focus on being a good partner yourself and you will likely experience reciprocity.

Find balance: 

Maintaining a good balance in your life means juggling your self-identity, your relationship, your work, your physical health, your friends, etc. This means if you have gotten out of balance with something in your life, such as your health, or your friendships, then work to get these things back in balance. When things are out of balance, that can impact the health of our relationship as well.  


If you’d like to read more on relationship topics and hear tips for couples, be sure to JOIN our free Facebook group called The Couples Collaborative. This is a free, but private and closed online support group that is listed under the Loving Roots Project Facebook page. The group is facilitated by Dr. Shelley Sommerfeldt, Clinical Psychologist and Relationship Coach and provides tips and inspirational material for couples and supportive discussions on challenging relationship-related issues.


For more information on virtual couples counseling services, see Online Couple’s Coaching with Dr. Shelley. Remote services are provided online through Zoom, Skype or FaceTime, which allows for you two to be in the comfort of your own home during your sessions and have increased privacy. Online appointments may also be booked online or simply email Dr. Shelley with any questions or appointment requests.

Blog written by: Dr. Shelley Sommerfeldt, Clinical Psychologist, Relationship Coach & Founder of the Loving Roots Project, an online wellness practice specializing in personal growth, mental wellness, & relationship betterment.

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