Losing identity in a relationship

10 Signs You’ve Lost Your Identity and Autonomy in Your Relationship

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dating and relationships

by Susy Alexandre

Updated August 25, 2020

The early days of any relationship will have you swept up in the romance and thrill of spending every waking minute together, experiencing all the excitement of blending two lives into one. But at some point, unless you set some boundaries in place and keep sight of who you are as an individual, you may just find yourself identifying as one half of a whole. To help shed some light, we’ve enlisted an expert to share the 10 red flags that will help you identify if you might be losing your autonomy in your relationship.

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You feel an overwhelming need to please your partner – at any cost

It’s one thing to want to make your partner happy out of a natural desire to bring joy to their lives, but it’s another when that desire becomes an overwhelming compulsion.

“You may find yourself caught in a perpetual cycle of trying to find out how to please and appease your partner,” says Therapist Alyson Jones. “This perfectionistic desire to please leaves you feeling unsatisfied and inadequate. You fear you are not enough and you begin to worry that no matter how hard you try, you are unable to please your partner in the way you wish you could.”

These are the 25 healthy relationship questions you should be discussing with your partner.

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You are constantly thinking about your partner

This may sound sweet, but if your mind is consumed with thoughts of your partner – how much room is left over to focus on yourself? Trouble thinking about anything but your partner and their needs is a major red flag that you’re losing your autonomy in your relationship. Alyson Jones explains: “Your thoughts go to your partner constantly and you spend a significant amount of time trying to figure out what they want or need. You have trouble getting them off your mind, and you find yourself less present and attentive to other things in your life.”

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You begin to question your own feelings

When we begin to lose our identity in a relationship, we tend to put our own emotions on the backburner, as we prioritize only what our partner is feeling.

“You may find you become confused and uncertain about your own feelings, as what you feel or want becomes increasingly more vague,” says Alyson Jones. “You feel responsible for your partner’s feelings and respond in ways that you think will help your partner – rather than checking in with what you feel about a situation and what you might need.”

Is it time to throw in the towel on your relationship? Have a peek at our healthy relationship checklist!

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You are always on your partner’s schedule

Making time for yourself and enjoying the flexibility of compromise when scheduling as a couple is all part of a healthy relationship. If you’ve lost your ability to prioritize your own time, it’s time to reevaluate your situation.

“You structure your time around your partner’s schedule to be available 24/7,” explains Aylson Jones. “You organize your life around your partner’s needs and wishes, and begin to let go of the things that might get in the way of you “being there” for them if they want or need you.”

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Your priorities and interests change dramatically

It’s one thing to grow with your partner – but it’s another thing entirely to assume their interests and priorities as your own.

“You give up your own hobbies, friends, or even family if your partner is not interested or does not approve in some manner,” says Alyson Jones. “You may have enjoyed playing a sport or belonging to some group, but you find yourself letting go of the people and activities that used to bring you pleasure.”

These are the 10 things you can do daily with your partner to be a healthy couple.

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You no longer feel comfortable expressing yourself

You should never feel anything but encouraged and supported when it comes to expressing yourself in any relationship.

“You no longer express your own opinions, thoughts, or values out of fear that it might upset or offend your partner,” says Alyson Jones. “You will notice that you begin to use your partner as the focal point in your life. All decisions and directions are measured by how you think your partner will feel or what opinion they may have about something.”

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You are always the one to sacrifice

A relationship is all about the give-and-take. If the balance of compromise in your partnership is out of whack, you may want to consider this a red flag.

“Compromise is a part of every relationship – but when it is only you who does the sacrificing you are probably losing a sense of self in the process. It might start with something small, like what show to watch on Netflix, and it may appear insignificant at first – but then it becomes a pattern. This can escalate all the way up to you sacrificing your career or other people in your life to please your partner.”

These are the 10 breakup warning signs you can’t ignore.

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You’re on an emotional rollercoaster

Catering to someone else’s wants and needs on a full-time basis can wreak havoc on your emotional health.

“You will notice that your mood becomes dysregulated, as you begin to doubt your own value and your own abilities,” says Alyson Jones. “Your nervous system is on alert most of the time and you suffer from heightened anxiety or symptoms of depression. You are not able to relax in the relationship because you feel you can never please your partner and you blame yourself for this.”

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You make excuses for your partner

When the relationship involves you constantly footing the blame for everything that happens between you and your partner, even going so far as making excuses for their behaviour, this is a red flag that should not be ignored.

“You overlook your partner’s behaviours,” explains Alyson Jones. “You begin to sacrifice your own moral code to make excuses for your partner and support them in behaviours you previously found inappropriate. You may even find yourself involved in things that go against your moral compass as you lose sight of your own ethical standards and individual autonomy.”

This is how to trust – and be trusted – in your relationship.

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Your boundaries become blurred

Clear boundaries are key in any form of relationship. Without them, you put yourself at risk of being taken advantage of or put into situations that are beyond your comfort zone.

“You don’t want to say “no” to your partner, and you are afraid to set limits with them,” says Alyson Jones. “You fear you will lose them if you say no, and you find yourself going along with what they want despite your own misgivings. You concentrate on what your partner wants or will accept, rather than on what you want or will accept.

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4 Ways to Keep Your Identity in a Relationship

Getting swept up in new love can sometimes lead to sacrificing individualism. Here’s how you can remain an individual while staying close with your partner.

Falling in love can be exciting, and it’s natural to want to spend all of your time with the object of your affection. Losing your identity in a relationship can happen for many reasons, and it doesn’t always mean that you or your relationship is inherently “unhealthy.“

Giving up parts of your individualism in a relationship can look different to different people. You may find yourself:

  • no longer doing activities you once enjoyed
  • not making time for your friends
  • giving all of your energy to your partner or relationship

Ideally, relationships can enable you to grow together with your partner(s) while you continue growing independently as well. Compromise and maintaining a sense of personal autonomy can often be essential pieces of this puzzle.

Giving up your identity in a relationship may happen slowly, and it can be hard to tell when it’s happening. Loved ones are often the first to notice changes that might indicate a loss of individualism.

Attachment style may play a key role in how much of your identity you sacrifice in your relationships.

“Some people may lose their sense of individuality in a relationship easily if they have a tendency to attach too quickly to that person or have a tendency to seek their sense of worth from the external world,“ says Samara Quintero, LMFT, CHT,a licensed marriage and family therapist.

Although losing yourself can often be a subtle and slow process, there are signs to be mindful of if you think you might be sacrificing too much of your identity to your relationship.

Your well-being takes a back seat

While it’s okay to want to please your partner, losing sight of your needs around mental and physical health to tend to your relationship can be a clear sign you’re giving away too much of yourself.

Deprioritizing your wellness can have serious health impacts and may look like abandoning personal routines that provide structure, such as:

  • sleep habits
  • exercise routines
  • nutrition and eating patterns


sacrifice your happiness

There is a difference between compromise and sacrifice. Quintero encourages asking yourself: “Am I skipping out on things I’d like to do or brushing my own desires off in order to please my partner?“

If this happens frequently, it may be a sign of imbalances in your relationship.


afraid to speak up

Discomfort or fear around voicing your needs in your relationship is a common sign that you may be sacrificing too much of yourself to your partner.

Feeling afraid to speak up can sometimes be linked to a fear of abandonment, which can lead to inauthentic behaviors. You may present a different “version“ of yourself to avoid rejection, explains Quintero.

Dr. Gail Saltz, associate professor of psychiatry at the New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine and host of the “How Can I Help?“ podcast, recommends looking for the following signs:

  • Decisions are not a compromise but end in something like a “surrender.“
  • You always ask your partner what they think before making up your own mind.
  • You constantly defer to your partner on decisions.
  • You feel you can’t discuss difficult emotions with your partner, like unhappiness or wanting something more or different.

Understanding the reasons behind your behavior can often be the first step in making changes.

Some possible causes for losing your identity in relationships might include:

  • lack of boundaries
  • low self-esteem or self-worth
  • shaky sense of self
  • codependency


While it can be natural to want to spend every second together in the beginning stages of a relationship, Quintero says that a lack of balance can lead to developing codependent patterns and behaviors.

Saltz explains that codependency can happen for many reasons, including:

  • low self-esteem
  • extreme uncertainty or questioning your identity
  • fear of abandonment
  • emotional or narcissistic abuse
  • some personality disorders

Many behavioral patterns can also stem from childhood experiences. “If you grew up in an environment where you witnessed codependence, you might be more likely to replay that relationship dynamic,“ Quintero adds.

Remaining an individual in a relationship may require examining beliefs that might be holding you back. Being willing to do the work it takes to heal emotionally can also be powerful in breaking unwanted behavioral patterns.


The root cause often holds the answer

Saltz recommends self-reflection to find possible causes, then working to resolve the roots of your behavior.

“Think about why you feel insecure, why you’re afraid of being abandoned or alone, or why you’re unsure of who you really are,“ she says.

It may be helpful to journal out your thoughts or to work with a therapist to discuss possible behavioral triggers.

2. Prioritizing your needs works wonders

Sticking to a daily routine that prioritizes your needs can help you feel more like “you“ while boosting your mental and physical wellness. Overall wellness can also help you think more clearly and make better decisions in general.

“Keeping up with what makes you feel balanced can help decrease the need to find a sense of well-being solely in your relationship,“ says Quintero.

Doing things for yourself that make you feel good can also raise your confidence and self-esteem. Some ways to prioritize your needs might include:

  • exercising regularly
  • eating nutritious foods
  • sticking to a sleep schedule
  • making time for friends and hobbies

3. Communicating honestly can be key

Open and honest communication is often a cornerstone of healthy relationships.

Once you understand what your needs are, you can try talking to your partner honestly about how they can help support you in honoring your individuality. Consider asking your partner to help you stay connected in the relationship, but with a more defined sense of individualism that allows for differences between you and your partner.

“Stating your needs from a place of confidence can help you assert that your voice and feelings matter just as much as your partner’s in the relationship,“ Quintero explains.

Honest conversations about your needs can also help “maintain a sense of equality and balance of power in the relationship,“ she adds.

Calling in the help of a couples therapist can be a good idea for particularly difficult conversations.


Your authentic self deserves to shine

Losing sight of your authenticity can be easy in codependent or imbalanced relationships. Try to remember that you are worthy as you are.

Acceptance can be foundational to healthy relationships. Feeling accepted and comfortable being your true self around your partner is typically a good sign that they are right for you.

“When you start to hide parts of yourself for fear that you’ll be abandoned, the subconscious message you send is, ‘I am not good enough the way I am,‘“ says Quintero.

These subconscious beliefs may slowly chip away at your self-worth, which may cause you to develop codependency or seek validation from your partner, she explains.

Being in a relationship can be incredibly rewarding. It can be easy to lose parts of your individuality amid those good feelings. To some degree, this can be an expected part of falling in love.

But sometimes, sacrificing too much of yourself can lead to imbalances in your relationship or codependency.

The ability to grow together as a couple while also growing independently as an individual can be the hallmark of a healthy relationship.

If you feel like you’ve slipped into losing your identity in your relationship, there are ways to regain your sense of self, such as:

  • identifying and communicating your needs honestly
  • making time for healthy habits, hobbies, and friends
  • being true to your authentic self

Working with a therapist can be helpful in changing behaviors and patterns that may lead to a loss of identity in relationships. If you’re having trouble communicating with your partner, working with a couples therapist can be equally beneficial.

Check out Psych Central’s guide to finding mental health care to find the right therapist for you and your relationship.

Identity crisis: what to do if you lost yourself


© Victorien Ameline/Unsplash

Author Vasilisa Kirilochkina

February 27, 2019

A personal crisis happens at least once in a lifetime. We seem to be stuck in limbo, where old values ​​and aspirations no longer inspire, and new ones have not yet appeared. Pink figured out how to recognize the impending crisis and make the most of it.

Asking philosophical questions about the meaning of life and one's purpose is normal and even good. But if thinking about such important topics leads to a dead end, spoils your mood, interferes with normal functioning and drives you into a blues, you may be experiencing an identity crisis. For the first time this concept was introduced by the famous American psychologist Eric Erickson. In his writings, he paid special attention to the midlife crisis, but noted that any period of personality reshaping can lead to a loss of self-determination. The good news is that a competent way out of any crisis helps a person grow and develop.

There are a number of signs, by the combination of which an alarming state can be recognized. First of all, it is a painful search for oneself, which is accompanied by negative thoughts and frustration. If for a long time (more than a month) you are trying to rethink your purpose, values ​​and aspirations, but do not get the desired answers, if every day at work you ask yourself “What am I doing here?” or look at your partner and think “Why are we together?”, you should carefully analyze your condition.

The impetus for a crisis can be severe stress and significant changes in life: loss or change of job, separation, loss of a loved one, serious illness, any severely traumatic experience or shock. The causes of the crisis lie not only in the bad. Moving to another continent that you have been dreaming about and planning for five years, or marriage can also become an impulse. If after the wedding you feel empty, this does not necessarily mean that you have chosen the wrong person: you just need to rethink your new status.

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Sometimes a severe crisis and dissatisfaction with oneself can lead to depression - a dangerous condition that should never be started. It is better to consult a doctor, he can pick up a competent therapy. But in many cases, an identity crisis is just a transitional state that needs to be experienced. To make it easier, try special techniques.

© Jasmine Ornelas/Unsplash

An identity crisis is a great opportunity to really get to know yourself, discover something new and become more aware. So that the search for answers to the main questions of life, the universe and everything else is not so painful, try to change the tone of these questions.

For example, stop asking "Why?" and start asking "why?" The first question will force you to dig into the past, and the second will set you up to look for a solution in the future. Make up a questionnaire for yourself with all the important questions and fill it out. Remember, this is not an exam, so there are no wrong answers. Moreover, it is not necessary to answer all the questions at once, and the answers can change at any time. This includes asking yourself, “What cheers me up? What helps you get through a tough day? Write a list of everything that improves your mood, and refer to it as often as possible during a crisis (and indeed throughout your life).

In especially sad moments, a cup of hot chocolate, a walk with a friend, sports or even watching a reality show about repairs can help you: do not deny yourself pleasures and in no case blame yourself for them. Another important question is “What makes my days meaningful?”. What helps you fall asleep with a sense of accomplishment, pride, and joy? Perhaps you are unhappy with your job and are not yet ready to look for an alternative - but you may well enroll in some useful volunteer program or courses to learn new skills. New knowledge, among other things, helps fight depression and increase the flexibility of the mind.

One is not a warrior in the field, even when it comes to internal throwing and searching. Social support really makes it easier to survive stressful situations, difficult emotional states and personality crises. Try to discuss your situation with friends and family - perhaps they too have gone through something similar or are going through right now, so they can share their experience. In any case, you can count on, if not advice, then at least empathy and support. If you feel that friendly empathy is not enough, do not be afraid to contact a psychologist or support groups (especially when it comes to a crisis after an illness or loss). Another great option is to join some kind of sports section: a team game brings people together and gives a lot of positive emotions.

© kevin laminto/Unsplash

Perhaps the most important thing in the story of finding yourself is to look for yourself, and not the image that meets someone's expectations: boyfriend, mother or society as a whole. At 30, you may find that you don't want to be the big boss at all. By refusing to climb the career ladder in a large company, you risk becoming an outsider in the eyes of society. Or let's say you're not ready to be a parent just yet. Buy an apartment. Get into a serious relationship. It can happen the other way around: while everyone around is constantly traveling, getting up for surfing, writing books and sitting on the splits, you just want to come home from work at six in the evening and watch TV shows.

Society can always judge you - when you do something, don't do it, or don't do it the way it's supposed to. But the beauty of society is that it is ephemeral and faceless. But real friends, good colleagues and loyal partners are quite real people. They are more likely to not judge choices that make you happy. Whatever you do, whatever values ​​you adhere to and whatever ideals you strive for, you will always find like-minded people who will support you. So the main thing is to understand yourself. And the rest will follow.

Personal identity in marital relations



Z . I. Ryabikina, A. R. Tivodar1

In the subjective-existential approach to personality, a person's focus is on creating such relationships with another person, in which a person receives confirmation of his personal identity. The family is one of the important existential spaces of the individual, in which a person expects to receive confirmation of his identity from a marriage partner. In the proposed article, marital relations are interpreted from this position.

Keywords: subject-existential approach, personal identity, marital relations.

In the subject-being approach to personality emphasizes the orientation of a person to create such a relationship with another person, in which the person receives confirmation of his personality identity. Family - one of the most important spaces in which a person expects to receive confirmation of their identity from a mate. In the present paper are interpreted from this perspective marriage.

Key words: subject-being approach, personality identity, marital relationship.

In explaining familistic phenomenology, a foundation is singled out, which is often referred to by family researchers. In accordance with this foundation, theories are based on two main approaches. In the first case, the unit of analysis is the individual as a subject of family behavior, realizing his own needs in the space of family life (the approach can conditionally be called personological). In the second case, the unit of analysis is intra-family interaction, the pattern of family behavior, i.e., group phenomenology (the socio-psychological approach) is the priority.

1 Ryabikina Zinaida Ivanovna - Doctor of Psychology, Professor, Head of the Department of Personality Psychology and General Psychology, Kuban State University. Email mail: [email protected]

Tivodar Antonina Romanovna - Doctor of Psychology, Professor of the Department of Personality Psychology and General Psychology, Kuban State University. Email mail: [email protected]

The changes taking place in culture signify an increase in attention to the individual, the priority of the personal, the individual, the value of each person in all his originality. All this, declared by modern culture, cannot but affect the views on the family and its values. The family changes in accordance with general changes in culture. Social, sociocultural processes in society determine the increasing subjectivity of an individual in a family, increasing personal conditioning, individualization of decisions made and, accordingly, individualization of behavioral strategies in the space of family interactions. As a result, the subjective aspects of familistic phenomena are of particular importance: why does a person create a family today, what does he experience in the family, what psychological mechanisms determine his behavior in the family?

The problem of personal identity in the context of the subject-existential approach to personality

The theory of personal identity has become widespread in modern personality psychology, primarily due to the works of E. Erickson, which gave impetus to many studies in developmental, pedagogical and social psychology [16]. Erickson defined personal identity as an emotionally filled experience by a person of his integrity and identity, perception and understanding of his separation from the world and at the same time involvement in certain parts of it. This experience is also connected with the awareness and understanding of what is called the "meaning of life" or "destiny", that is, with the awareness of the future goals that a person sets for himself, and with their justification. It is also associated with self-understanding, which can be interpreted as a person's awareness of his certainty in this world. Gale Sheehy, for example, designates the period associated with the search and definition of identity as the achievement of authenticity, “that inner state in which we learn about all our potentialities and gain the strength to fully realize them” [14, p. 46].

Thus, identity is both an understanding by a person of his position in the spaces of his being, and the experience of himself as a subject of these existential spaces. The design of the subject-existential approach to the study of personality in psychology involves considering the personality as a subject of being, the “personality-being” axis acts as an organizing principle in the analysis of the patterns and phenomenology of personality [6; 9-13 and others]. There are grounds for expanding the principle of the unity of consciousness and activity in a new formula - the unity of the personality and its being.

In Russian psychology, S. L. Rubinshtein was one of the first to introduce the concept of “subject” into the consideration of the existence of a person [7]. The concept of the subject proposed by the scientist contained the idea of ​​an individually active person, that is, a person who builds the conditions of his life and his attitude towards it. In the idea of ​​changing life by a person as its subject, in understanding the conditions of life as tasks that require certain decisions from a person, this was the novelty of the approach proposed by S. L. Rubinshtein [1]. The concept of “subject of life” introduced by him created opportunities for revealing the active essence of the personality, its active position in the integral life process. The idea of ​​the subject is a single logical basis for the philosophical and anthropological concept of S. L. Rubinshtein. Having expressed the position on the inclusion of a person in the composition of being, he considered subjectivity to be the most important mechanism of this inclusion.

Developing the ideas of S. L. Rubinshtein, A. V. Brushlinsky significantly expanded the concept of the content of activity as a factor in the determination of the psyche [3]. The integrity of a person as a subject is an ontological basis for the systemic, integral nature of all his mental qualities. The integrity of the subject and the illegitimacy of understanding the Self as "current processes", as "separate acts" was postulated in his texts-reflections by E. Spranger [15]. In order to understand the mode of action of a spiritual subject, “a subject identical in time,” he considered it necessary to introduce the metaphorical concept of “substantiality” into scientific psychological analysis. The substantiality of an individual spiritual subject (personality) was conceived by him as connected with the originality of such a subject, which cannot remain unchanged, develops, but in the process of development “its “essence” is naturally preserved through certain changes in states, necessarily following one from the other.” This is “the sediment of the natural from all the accumulated experience”, and it grasps “the identical in the changing in time” [15, p. 287].

Personality is organized as a coordinated unity of mental processes that belong to a single living substance - the individual. It is a substance that procedurally transforms its being into psychic phenomena. Its integrity and continuity is experienced by a person as a sense of identity or self-identity.

As a social subject, a person is a series of successive social roles. Each role is a process with its own dynamics, including the acceptance of a role, its development, possible ups and downs, time limits for the role performance prescribed by society, and other characteristics. Each role can be considered as a relatively separate space of being a person. There is a problem of synchronization of roles, their consistent integration. With an unfavorable resolution of this problem, a conflict of roles is possible, sometimes attempts to place them sequentially during0003

meni (“first I will get on my feet as a professional, and then I will get married”, etc.). It is the personality, oriented by its inner impulses towards a sense of personal identity, that seeks to harmonize the ensemble of roles it performs.

Thus, identity can be defined as the basic process of a personality that organizes various situational-personal formations into a single ensemble (social roles, subpersonalities, ideas about oneself, etc.).

The content of the role is determined primarily by the function that is implemented by the individual in a particular group. The role assortment that a person must master is provided for by the rules of life in society, the expectations that society addresses to a person, including him in various social formations, institutions and thereby regulating his social activity. The function of personality is to maintain integrity in the sequence of those inevitable transformations of its content that arise when it is included in various group compositions as a social subject, performing in these compositions a certain social role assigned to the individual. Here there is an intersection of social identity (a sense of belonging to a certain social group) and personal identity (a sense of self-identity that is not interrupted in time and does not disappear in different social contexts).

The society is focused on supporting the individual in certain role niches and actively encourages a person to function as a full-fledged social subject, ready to accept the full range of social roles necessary for society. According to M. Foucault, through the many-sided social institutions, including the institution of the family, the power of society over the individual is realized. Society both endows a person with a role, including him in certain social formations, and causes (provokes) an experience of inferiority in him if he is unable to realize what is due [4]. Everyone goes through the family path destined for him. All attempts to turn away from it end with the fact that the discourse of power overtakes the apostates and stigmatizes them with marginal labels: a bachelor, an old maid, an orphan, a divorced / divorced. We all bear the burden of family signification. And marginal labels are regarded as a sign of the incomplete realization of the personality, its inferiority, incompleteness, as the fact that it did not take place. The personality longs to go through the acquisition of those social roles, to add to its Image of the Self those social identities, without which its usefulness is not conceived.

Thus, personal identity reflects two aspects of a person's connection with the world: his involvement in society, various groups and their socially significant activities, as well as in the products of this activity;

separateness, individuality of a person declaring his uniqueness and his space of being.

Mastery of the spaces of existence of the world in which it lives, restructuring of the world in accordance with its own needs and impulses of development can be imagined as the main way to achieve coherence between the inner and outer worlds of a person and, thus, achieve his personal identity. A person transforms the world and thereby transforms himself, striving for certainty and harmony in relations with the world, which confirms the reality of his (human) subjectivity.

Identity as a psychological phenomenon is close to such well-described models of psychological phenomena as the self-concept, self-esteem, self-image, social roles, orientation, etc. . They are included in the content of a person's identity, in many ways determine, but do not exhaust it. These are aspects or manifestations of the complex interaction of individual destiny with the multifaceted forces of cultural and social influences, the result of which is the certainty of a person's relationship with the world at the current moment.

The special importance of personal identity lies in its role in the personal regulation of human social activity. Meaningful making of the choices that life offers to a person, setting goals that are worth achieving, building relationships with friends and relatives presuppose a distinct and differentiated experience by a person of himself as a special being with self-sufficient value, his own interests, aspirations and living his own life.

Formation of personal identity in the modern socio-cultural situation: factors and problems

For a large number of our contemporaries, the task of building or becoming a personal identity is complicated by the circumstances of their lives. The loss of a clear structure by society has led to a blurring of people's ideas about the positions existing in society and about the normative way to achieve them. Disappeared from the public consciousness those groups of people who embodied the hierarchical structure of class society. In their place came the chaotic movement of a reconstructed society, when none of the elite groups, firstly, inspires confidence, and secondly, does not guarantee the stability of the social life associated with it. In order to experience its own certainty, a person needs to have some stable reference points: stable social institutions, undeniable life

values, recognized criteria for the success of life, and finally, clearly distinguishable social groups that could be treated as "ours" or "them". The absence, mobility or ambiguity of such landmarks hinder the process of becoming a personal identity.

The fundamental need of a personality is the desire to get confirmation from other people of the transformations that it carries out in its existential spaces ([8; 9]. The phenomenon of a confirmed / unconfirmed personality is theoretically comprehended and received empirical confirmation in many works (K. Rogers, V. A. Labunskaya, W. Leing, E. V. Abaeva, etc.) A person has a natural need to maintain integrity, to preserve the Self (homeostatic model of motivation), and for this he needs such an existential space of interpersonal relations, where his Self found First of all, these are people with similar experience of experiences, those whose experience was formed in similar life collisions, those who are value-oriented to similar life principles and patterns. A person brings closer to himself, deepening relationships, intensity identifying them with those whose structures of personal meanings are more congruent to his structure of meanings. The personality feels the need to be confirmed by the external, by that through which its subjective-internal is objectified. External in relation to the inner world of the personality is the organization of the object-spatial world in which the personality lives, and consistent with its semantic organization, behavior, reactions to what is happening, the way of behavior, semantic organization, reactions to what is happening significant for her other people, through and with the participation of which she realizes her being.

The family is one of the essential existential spaces of the individual, performing the function of confirmation and support. This space of a person's being includes: a) the structure of interpersonal relations, due to the person's belonging to a family; b) organization of the coexistence of family members in time; c) the object-spatial environment of the house (apartment) organized in a certain way, etc.

The family plays a special role in confirming the gender identity of the individual. We acquire (preserve) certainty in relations with the opposite. Male, female identity is confirmed primarily in the structure of family relations. It is the social roles of "husband", "wife", "father", "mother" that most clearly show the differences between a man and a woman.

The modern family as a psychological refuge

One of the leaders in the psychological analysis of family problems, E. Burgess, defines the modern family as "a unity of interacting personalities." The scientist connects the collapse of the traditional family with the strengthening of the emotional supports of marriage and with the institution of matrimony as a social entity relatively autonomous from the family [2, p. 63]. The family weakens as an entity restrained by the norms of kinship and becomes stronger as a psychological refuge. The personal identity experienced in a new way by the subject of family relations gives rise to many problems that require scientific reflection, new diagnostic tools and new practices to support the individual in his desire for full development, realization of all his potentials, fruitfulness and well-being in family relations.

A person's life becomes more and more private. This process (or trend) can be treated differently. But for a psychologist, it means that the nearest spaces of being, such as the space of relationships in the family, the physical space of the home, the position of a person in several of the closest circles of his communication, begin to play a decisive role in the formation and acquisition of his personal identity. Accordingly, successfully or less successfully, the configurations of interactions that take shape in these spaces, the conflicts that play out here and their solutions become especially important events in the subjective world of the individual. The presence of a favorable identity is a necessary condition for a full human life. “An individual feels free when he can freely identify with his own “ego-identity” and when he learns to use the given to achieve his goals” [16, p. 84]. Thus, he escapes from the painful struggle to overcome the inconsistency of his identity and the historically emerging definition of him by the outside world as a social person, or he can consciously direct his forces to master the social world that limits and fetters his identity in order to transform it in accordance with his inner world. the world.

So, the role of the family as a space of being, where a sense of personal identity is formed and maintained, increases dramatically due to the fact that a person's life is becoming more and more private. It isolates itself from dealing with larger social issues and focuses on the small, relatively autonomous world of the family. This is a kind of psychological protection against the changes taking place in the "big" society. This explains the growing influence of the family as a factor in the formation and development of a person's personal identity.

Marriage as a factor in acquiring and maintaining personal identity

Do considerations of acquiring and maintaining identity play a significant role in the formation of a married couple? The family is created on the basis of diverse motives. In some cases, a person in search of a stable personal and social identity may use entering into a marriage relationship (sometimes the formal framework of marriage) to acquire status in order to end a period of intrapersonal discord associated with too many paths that are open.

The natural desire of the individual to consolidate identity is realized in the assumption that in the new status acquired upon entering into marriage, its certainty, a sense of self-identity or identity will be achieved: organization of existential spaces;

- will expand due to the acquisition of objects, spaces, time of a loving person who will support values ​​and meanings, which means that identity will be confirmed;

- behavioral models will become more organic, "grow inward" [5];

- behavior will be added in which the hitherto dormant deep needs of the individual will be realized, i.e., its folded potentials will be realized.

Thus, the desire to find support for one's identity in a relationship with a loving and beloved person is a natural impulse of a person, realized in the search for a partner and subsequent possible marriage. Consideration of applicants in terms of their compliance with status expectations, assessment of their financial capabilities, etc. - all these rational aspects that determine the decision to marry, also demonstrate the process of "building" identity, self-determination in the social structure of the community, the choice of such a We, to which is ready to join in the prospects of its development I.

In summary, the need for marriage and the need for a marriage partner are different. The dominance of the latter over the former means a decrease in the value of marriage, matrimony, and in our time this is not uncommon. Increasing demands on the qualities of a spouse, dissatisfaction with a spouse, and an easily formed readiness for divorce are evidence of the declining value of marriage.

Marriage is only one of the ways to live with the Other (may be perceived as more preferable other ways). The other is a factor that specifies the characteristics of the state of marriage. Another may be

nen, The other is “selected” so that co-existence in marriage acquires the desired traits. Manipulating Others as partners in marriage (each of which enters into a marriage union with its own subjective and objective existential reality) can also serve as an illustration of the search that a person undertakes, determining with the image of his Self, with his identity. All of the above reveals the effectiveness of the search for identity as a motive for marriage.


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