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Seek's avatar

Is it wrong to want to have a starring role in the story of your life?

Asked by Seek (34769points) September 5th, 2012

It’s okay to be a little selfish, right?

I mean, after five years of marriage, at some point you need to feel like you’re still important to your partner. No one wants to be the one to break up a family, but it gets really old being a fringe character in someone else’s story, instead of the lead part in your own.

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14 Answers

cookieman's avatar

Part of being married, IMHO, is the opportunity to play many roles in a safe, loving environment. Sometimes you get the spotlight, sometimes you’re the stage hand – but you’re always a team.

Partners should want the other to get their turn to shine.

Pandora's avatar

Its normal. It usually has more to do with being taken for granted than being selfish. Sometimes the people who love us don’t realize they are being thoughtless because they come to rely on everything you do and believe it is all done out of love. Which it is, but they forget the paycheck in any relationship is being acknowledged and appreciated and given attention. I would speak to my partner.

nebule's avatar

In my experience, the only person that can make us the starring role is us, whether we are single (I am) part of a partnership, married etc. I could be wrong but it sounds like you might just need a little ‘me’ time? to focus on what you want for your life. I don’t think your life and your family have to be mutually exclusive though.

I have to share my life with my son and finding the balance between his needs and mine can be tricky, but it requires mutual effort and the only way to get this is to talk about it I think. We are all important and deserve to be the starring role of our lives.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Yes it is very important to feel appreciated by your partner. You and your partner are a team, but part of that is taking care of the other part of the team, not just expecting them to take care of themselves all the time.

janbb's avatar

Yes, you need to feel important and as if you are being truly seen by your partner. That was one of the big elements that was missing in my marriage.

ucme's avatar

Not at all, you’re the only constant in your life, so big yourself up as often as is decently possible.

filmfann's avatar

It sounds like you want to have a starring role in your partners life, not your own.
Nothing wrong with that.

jca's avatar

I am not married and never was, but from what I hear, marriages sometimes go through “growing pains” where one partner experiences their own issues and the marriage needs to adjust, whether through self-awareness, therapy, talking it out, working on one’s self or working with each other on the marriage. Maybe that’s what’s happening?

wundayatta's avatar

I think this is a pretty serious issue and it deserves some attention. If you are not feeling appreciated by your spouse the way you want to be, you need to do something about it. It is not going to fix itself. You have to talk to your partner, and you may benefit from the help of a therapist to do it.

This kind of thing can lead to a gradually widening rift between you. Suddenly, one day, you may find yourself not knowing who your partner is or what they are thinking, and you may miss them horribly, or maybe you don’t even care any more.

In my case, the sex slowly disappeared. That was really bad for me, since I communicate physically. She does, too, although less sexually. But somehow, without sex, it seemed like we couldn’t touch in any other way, either. I’m sure there are many reasons for that, but I won’t talk about it now.

I’m not sure why you use the starring role metaphor when it really seems like you want better quality attention from from your spouse. This is not a selfish thing. This is a couple thing, and it hurts both of you and the marriage when one of you is not getting what he or she needs. I would encourage you to heed the warning signs and try to take action now to improve things. The longer you wait, the harder it will get, and the more likely it is that a break will be a big break, as in divorce.

Sunny2's avatar

I’ve always been happy in a supporting role, but after many years, and my kids off and on their own, I felt I was an extra. With the help of friends, I got myself back. I’m still a supporting character actor, but that’s just fine with me.

jca's avatar

I advise you to try to deal with it before much resentment and anger builds up, and then, like @wundayatta said, the longer you wait the harder it will get and may end in a permanent break up.

cookieman's avatar

And sometimes, resentment and anger don’t lead to divorce, they lead to apathy – which, in my opinion, can be worse.

or murder, but that’s a horse of a different color.

Shippy's avatar

I think we sort of make that choice, whether we will hang on the outskirts or shadows of a life, or take the lead in our own lives. I have done that in a marriage. So at times I have been a low paid extra, at other times a mega star. But the ideal situation is to be the lead in your own life in terms of what you do and want. Then become co stars in the big movie of your lives.

Bellatrix's avatar

I think there has to be balance. If one person is always the ‘star’ and the focus is always on their life, their job, their needs – resentment is very likely to set in.

I saw a guy speak on relationships once and he was talking about attraction but he illustrated how things wax and wane using a push-me, pull-me sort of movement. I think the same is true in terms of who the ‘star’ is in the relationship. It can’t all be one way.

If your partner has been focusing on their career for the last couple of years (or longer) and you have been supporting him, once he ticks off that achievement and/or reaches a natural break, there should be room for you to go after something you want. Things are never so cut and dried of course, but both parties do have to be aware of the other person’s needs and sensitive to making sure they aren’t hogging all the limelight.

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