Expanding the “Me” in your “We”

March 30th, 2011

 

Trying new things together: Hare Krishna Festival in Spanish Fork 2009

I used to think I was pretty open-minded to new experiences but once I got married I realized I am not. I am the kind of person that loves the idea of new things but actually doing them kind of scares me. Even the little things that my husband would try to get me to do (like watching a movie I had never seen or heard of before) would have me on edge.

Thankfully, my husband realized this about me early on and helped me through my anxieties. And I now realize that that’s what a good marriage does: it helps make you a better person in all parts of life.

One aspect of a healthy and fulfilling relationship is that it helps you learn more about yourself and participate in a process researchers call “self-expansion.”

Self-expansion is the concept of trying new things and taking advantage of new opportunities. It can be as little as trying a new restaurant or traveling to an exotic place. But either way it leads to personal growth through your partner. And this helps you look at yourself in a whole new way.

Researchers also found that couples who go through the process of self-expansion have higher chances of maintaining a happier, long-lasting relationship. They found that people have not lost themselves in their relationship (like we talked about here) but that they grew in it. Personal qualities and interests that a person may not have had before suddenly become an important part of their life and add to their quality of life.

We have heard time and time again that healthy marriages are more about “we” than “me.” But at the same time, healthy marriages help us to expand who we are, what we do and what we value creating more of the me. When are able to improve ourselves, the “me” and the “we” can fit together nicely in a marriage.

Want to learn how much your relationship expands your knowledge and experience? Take their quiz here! (I took it and it has definitely helped me be more aware in my relationship!)

You can also read the full news article here.