Thursday, May 8, 2008

Identity Crisis

Have you ever had that moment when someone tells you "Guess what I am thinking about's going to be ********." And all you can think is, ok but I already do/want to do ****** and then you feel as if they are stepping on your turf? Well, perhaps not, but I do-specifically with the hub (Mr. Flash). (stop, you can get your minds out of the's his favorite comic book character)

Anyhow, Mr. Flash has been going thru some classes to transition from military life to civilian life. This is not new to him, he functions well (job wise) in the civilian world, but the training is required. Mr. Flash and I both work in the technology industry - computers, however we have different specialties or areas of interest within the field. I - am in managment, he - is well versed in mulitple areas but his primary one is developing. We have both just completed a BS in Information Systems, once again I in management and he in yes, I am working towards my goal. Yesterday, out of the blue, he proposes that he needs to take a job as an IT Manager in order to incorporate all his skills. Well, yes, that is the easiest way to encompass all his knowledge, however all I felt was like he was butting into my area. (No, I never learned to share well as a kid)

I support Mr. Flash is whatever it is he decides to do, but I can't help but feel as if I in some way compete with him at the same time as well. My first thought yesterday was "great, not only do I have to compete with strangers for a job but now I am up against my own husband (and I know his resume). The logical part of me rationalized this as ... "great, now we have double the opportunity to get the job (where I'm not qualified for it, he is and vice versa).

I find it strange how the qualities that I first found attractive in Mr. Flash so many years ago are the same qualities that make me want to scream. Truth is that I see alot of myself in this man, at least the person I would like to be one day and it's hard to live up to an image I've created. This isn't the first time Mr. Flash and I have wanted the same thing or that I felt he 'butts into my space.' It's like I come up with an idea (run a marathon) and he tweaks it and wants to be apart of it too (become a decathalete again).

I struggle with wanting something of my own, something that is just mine and not shared by him - yet there are so many things out there that I don't know of any one thing. Perhaps I'm having an identity crisis. I did some looking into this:
Identity: "a subjective sense as well as an observable quality of personal sameness and continuity, paired with some belief in the sameness and continuity of some shared world image."
What is my identity?

"Erik Erikson, the psychologist who coined the term identity crisis, believes that the identity crisis is the most important conflict human beings encounter when they go through the eight developmental stages in life."

Eight Stages:
Infancy - Birth to 18mths
Muscular-anal stage - 1 1/2 - 3 years
Play Age - 3-6 years
School Age - 7-11 years
Adolescence - 11-18 years
Young Adulthood 19-40 years
Middle Adulthood - 40-65 years
Late Adulthood - from 65 years
According to this I would be in the young adulthood stage which centers around intimacy vs. isolation and the idea that a balance between the two can teach someone truly how to love. Erikson also argues:
“Intimacy has a counterpart: Distantiation: the readiness to isolate and if necessary, to destroy those forces and people whose essence seems dangerous to our own, and whose territory seems to encroach on the extent of one’s intimate relations”
Is this where I am at? Is this all a natural part of growing as a person? I don't have a clear plan of what it is that I really want from this life and he seems to be so sure of himself. I will admit I am envious of this, I wish I had it, but there are so many choices out there and I am not ready to settle for just one...I still want it all. Perhaps it is not really an identity crisis, maybe I am just learning who I am and in turn who he is-after all we are constantly evolving!


Semi-Charmed Wife said...

I think your feelings are totally natural and you shouldn't beat yourself up about it. I don't typically feel this way with my husband--more with girlfriends--but I do get competitive and territorial and I know exactly what you're talking about!

Jojo said...

I think being competitive is a natural process of "evolution" as you say...the only reason it's magnified with our spouses is because they are the closest person we have. You know what you want or at least towards where you're going and feeling as if he's butting in doesn't mean you have an identity crisis. Healthy competition can only bring out the best...unhealthy could prolly ruin a marriage?