"This is the ultimate challenge for those wanting a truly great relationship--
how do I remain "me" while having a deep, intimate relationship with 'you'?"
(John & Linda Friel, The 7 Best Things Happy Couples Do)
I coach a lot of marriages where one spouse does more "me," and the other does more "we." What gets lost is how the whole choice is a false dichotomy. It's not an either/or--the best spouses find a way to strengthen themselves, and their marriages, at the same time.
It all starts with a different pronoun. The way forward is neither "me" nor "we"; the way forward is a strong "I". As in:
"I'm choosing to go out with my friends one night this week, because doing so helps me be more fully present with you the other six." Or:
"I'm choosing not to go out with my friends tonight because I really just wanna be with you." Or, how about this one:
"I apologize for my harsh words in our recent fight," (even if your partner hasn't done so first). Or, if you dare:
"I know we've got a lot going on, but I can't help it: I've been thinking all day about kissing you all night..."
(Yes, that's the sound of baby-making music in the background.)
Peace begins with a pause,