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Posted: May 27, 2015

images-1Let’s be honest. When we enter a room full or people, we love it when someone shouts, “Hey Carol, come over here with us. It’s so great to see you!” We feel noticed and valued. Admired and loved. On the contrary, it’s horrible when we stand beside someone who gets all the glory and attention. We go unnoticed. We feel invisible because we are standing in someone else’s shadow.

We have to recognize that this also happens in our marriages. Especially these days with husband and wife both juggling careers, staying connected and involved in their community, perhaps competing in athletics or even running their own businesses. We have to make sure competition and recognition says healthy and balanced for both parties.

For example: My husband Jack and I both have prominent positions in our community and our country. When we were first married and attended functions where he was well known, I stood in his shadow. I stood back and watched as he laughed and chatted with everyone. He is well known, loved and respected. I was unknown. I was nameless and introduced as: “Jack’s wife.”

But then it was his turn. I have my own speaking/writing ministry and when he was in my sphere of influence and I got the accolades and recognition, he had to stand in my shadow and was known: “Oh, you’re Heidi’s husband.”

We quickly learned that in order to keep our marriage healthy, we had to accept and understand when it was our turn to be in the sun or shadow. Enjoy the sun. Accept the shadow. Refuse to build resentment when it’s not your turn.

There is a BUT here. If one marriage partner stands in the shadow too long, or always, they will slowly begin to disappear. It may sound noble to let the other person constantly take the limelight and attention, but it’s not. Over time if we are always in the shadow, we will feel overlooked and worthless, and over time it will erode the self esteem. Breed resentment. Stifle creativity. Kill the love. We must be careful to never let this happen.

This is especially dangerous for some “stay at home moms, or dads” who don’t have that glamorous career or influential place in society. If this is happening to you right now, tell each other how you feel. Marriage is a not a competition, it’s about helping each other to be the very best you can be. Use your voice and start communicating to find ways to bring each other out into the sun. By doing this you will both be happy and flourish.





Posted in: Beauty from the Inside Out, communicate, Good Marriage, happy, honest, invisible, recognition, Resentment, self worth, shadow, sun

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