i recently reflected on identities in relationships, particularly in marriages, and it got me thinking about the role of a bride.
it's no secret that the wedding industry has made a business out of walking down the aisle, but it seems that we have now managed to commoditize the desire to become a bride, a wife.
james christianson photoraphy via
i don't mean to pick on kate spade (they're one of my faves!), but their wedding belles line is a perfect example, with their "mrs" products. my sweet husband bought the kate spade mrs key fob for me while we were still engaged and i couldn't have been happier. i felt proud about becoming a mrs., a wife; and certainly it is exciting and should be celebrated.
but the role of bride or mrs. isn't what defines me. yes, i am someone's wife, but i am also a sister, a professional, a reader-of-novels, a hot yoga enthusiast...
i wonder if we get so caught up in being the bride, becoming the mrs., if we aren't setting ourselves up for disappointment when it's all over. there's so much thought, energy, and time that goes into getting to the i do's, what happens when we're no longer a bride? do we get the post-wedding blues? do we transition into mrs. mode and start nesting, trying new recipes, hosting dinner parties? and is that enough to keep us fulfilled?
it's not just for the brides-to-be; if we wrap up everything that makes us us in our relationship with another person, if we derive our sense of being and belonging from someone else, are we not losing sight of ourselves and trading our own inner strength for codependency? i think of the empty nester mother who has poured all of her love and energy into raising children and suddenly finds herself without an outlet for that energy and dedication. does she become depressed because she's no longer needed? does she struggle as she tries to refocus her energy? or become needy of the children she's sent off into the world to live their own adventures?
i'm not saying this happens to all full-time moms, to all brides, wives, girlfriends, but i do think that it's an easy trap to fall into. regardless of what role you play, it's important to hold fast to those inherent characteristics that define you and to those things make you happy and fulfilled. relationships certainly can be part of it, but you're more than just a mrs., aren't you?