There is no room for other characters in your marriage. What do I mean by that? Sometimes as a way of attempting to feel loved, we please others. And often we have learned, and we have adopted various behavioural strategies designed to get approval and love for what you need, often it can begin in childhood, continuing it into adulthood. These strategies, they become like roles that you play or characters or personality types that you act out, whether it’s conscious or unconscious. I’m going to list and talk about the different character types that you may be acting out in your marriage.
Having these different character types playing out in your marriage is not going to create an empowered marriage. These characters avoid you loving yourself and when you avoid loving yourself, how can you possibly be fully authentic and real to love somebody else? You can’t be honest in a relationship because you’re acting out a character. Some examples of a character can be a pleaser, martyr, victim or a bragger. When you are acting those out or you are being that character, you cannot be honest about what you want in a relationship or what you think in a conversation or what truly brings you joy. It is impossible for the person that you’re with to really know you and love the true authentic you. Your communications are incomplete or they’re dishonest interactions and this does degrade trust and connection. You may not even be aware that you’re doing this because it can be quite unconscious because there is nothing real or authentic in these characters that we play, like being a pleaser.
You may see yourself predominantly in one of these characters, or you may see yourself in several them.
- If you are a martyr you sacrifice yourself for others. When you give and give and give there is no space to stop and nurture and love yourself. This is a very effective way to avoid yourself and what you feel and think. You can never be what you want to be because that would be too selfish.
- If you are detached or a recluse you stay away from others because of the fear of rejection and you have little confidence that you’re loveable to others. You are so worried about what others will think that you ignore and reject others and yourself.
- If you are a pleaser you look for love out there by doing and pleasing others. The more you do for others the better it is for you because the more approval you will get. You can never risk disapproval because then love will be withdrawn so you keep pleasing others in an effort to make them happy, which in turn brings you happiness
- As a self-righteous person you have to be right at all costs because if you’re not then you feel unloved and it could mean the loss of love. You have learnt that if you are wrong people will not love you and you can never allow this to happen.
- If you are a bragger you are constantly showing off and looking for recognition and attention. The more you show off the more attention you will receive, but you’re receiving attention simply because of your bragging.
- As a victim you constantly tell your story to yourself and others to get some sympathy and attention. Without your story you feel unworthy of love so you have to rehash it and create new ones. The bigger the story the more attention and love you receive.
- If you are a rescuer you are constantly attracted to people who need your help and assistance. You feel loved when you are rescuing someone. It makes you feel in control and powerful.
- As a masked person you adjust yourself depending on who you’re talking to. You wear different masks for different people. You act according to how people receive you because it is too painful to risk not getting love.
- If you are a judge you spend your time judging everyone around you and their faults. You are constantly criticising and attacking people sometimes in a sarcastic way. The characteristics you judge in others are things you have within yourself.
All these characters avoid loving themselves and you may see yourself in a number of them or predominantly in one. Looking for love ‘out there’ results in you allowing someone else to define how you think and feel. You don’t have to face and love yourself.
The question I’d like to leave you with or for you to reflect on is thinking about how you life would change if you filled up your own love first and you were able to let go of the characters that you may be playing.
How would your marriage change if you let go of the character you are playing?
These characters that you’re playing, they will be affecting your marriage deeply because you’re not being truly authentic or real. It is a very, very difficult to keep a long-term empowered marriage going if you are acting out or playing any of these characters.
Podcast 8 and the next blog, I will talk about filling your own cup up, learning how to love yourself, how to be able to let go of the characters that you play so that you can love yourself unconditionally. This will result in an empowered marriage filled with joy and love.