Shifting Your Identity In Marriage

Written by  Drs. Evelyn and Paul Moschetta of Mid-town Manhattan

To create "in love" passion between you and your partner, shift your identity so that you're no longer thinking and acting primarily from your self-centered ego. This means making a correction to the inner notion of who you take yourself to be.

What is crucial to understand in making this change in perspective is that in the production called "your life" your ego is a minor character. But because you didn't know better, you've been giving it top billing. Now you're going to try something different. You're going to stop allowing your ego to have so much control, because you don't want to continue living in survival mode. You're going to shift your identity away from your ego, so that when you are with your partner it is your soul-mate self that is present.

This shift will have a dramatic impact on your relationship, because the personal traits that you need for an "in love" lasting intimacy come from the soul mate in you, not your ego. Caring, empathy, and personal integrity are soul-mate qualities, not ego qualities.

How do you make this shift in identity? By recognizing that most of the time you're on auto pilot, reacting to people and situations, primarily from habit. You are reactive rather than proactive. This automatic reactivity allows your ego to run your life and ruin your relationship. Once you see this clearly and refuse to turn away from it (keep in mind that your ego wants to avoid seeing it), you are in a position to do something different. You begin to shift your identity by activating your soul-mate self. This requires becoming very conscious of and paying close attention to your thoughts and feelings as they move through you. Up until now, you haven't paid any attention to whether your thoughts are coming from your ego or your soul-mate self. Now you'll start watching more carefully what is playing on the screen of your mind. This watching is called witnessing.

Witnessing is observing, without making any judgments, the passing stream of thoughts and feelings as they move through you. The more you pay attention, through impartial witnessing, the more you'll notice how often the production is all about you; your self-image, your likes and dislikes, your worries, fears, and desires. You'll also see how often your reactive ego is attempting to have control over what you say and do next. You may also begin to notice how unhappy all of this makes you.

When witnessing helps you to recognize that your ego is working to grab the moment, "pull the plug" on it. Pulling the plug means cutting off the mental and emotional energy that feeds your ego. Ego-centered "me thinking" is almost always about the past or the future. Your ego is addicted to looking back and looking ahead. Shift your identity by pulling the plug on it, and come back to the present now moment. Get yourself involved with something or someone that needs your immediate attention. By doing this, you'll be shifting yourself out of your ego's latest self-created drama.

Sometimes pulling yourself out of a particular thought pattern can be more difficult than at other times. We all know that thoughts carry with them powerful emotions. Feelings of worry and anxiety, of guilt and anger, of envy and jealously, and of self-condemnation and not being good enough-these are all common experiences. These emotions can overwhelm us; when in their grip we feel as though we are helpless, drowning in a whirlpool of negativity.

But we also know that such feelings typically reach a peak and then begin to subside. At some point in this sequence your observing capacity returns. You get enough distance from the feelings to begin witnessing what has been passing through you. Now you have an opportunity to step back and redirect your awareness.

As witnessing helps you tune more clearly into your ego's voice, be skeptical of what it says and of what it wants you to do. Learn to pause for a moment; don't go with your first impulse or reaction. With this pause, you create a silent moment where your ego no longer has your exclusive attention. This silent moment is the opportunity to shift your identity and allow a different voice, your soul-mate voice to come through.

Both Dr. Evelyn and Dr. Paul have many years of experience dealing with all the above issues. Contact us today to learn more!

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