You’ve probably heard the expression, “The only thing in life that is for sure is change.”
That saying applies, especially in relationships. I don’t mean that a person will necessarily change from one relationship to another, although that certainly can happen. What I mean is that within the context of a long-term or lifelong relationship, the people in it will change.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard a partner say, “He never used to like ______,” or “She never used to like to wear __________.” Or perhaps, “He never used to feel that way about ________.” When someone says a similar thing while I’m working with him or her, I say, “Did you really expect to live with your mate, husband, or wife for this many years and not expect your partner to change?”
I then go on to explain that one of our inherent qualities as human beings is the ability to change, and in fact, we are called to change. Think about it. Our cells are constantly changing, our physical appearance changes as we age, and our level of mobility changes as time goes on. Those are all physical qualities that are changing. Our thoughts, desires, and habits are meant to change, as well.
I’m sure you know people in your life who you think don’t change. They don’t change their minds, their habits, or their wardrobe. They are stuck in a routine and, therefore, not growing as a human being. We are designed to grow and change – it’s in our DNA.
How you adapt to yourself changing, as well as your partner changing, is key. In a successful marriage or relationship, the people in it are adept at adapting to change, whether the change is positive or negative.
For many, change translates to fear or insecurity. “Why does he want to start a new hobby?” “Is she going to lunch more with friends because she’s bored with me?” “Did I do something wrong?” Instead of looking at a change in your mate as a deficit, look at it as an asset. Because of the change, your mate will have a new experience and bring himself or herself back to you with more to contribute, which will only enhance your relationship.
Change is vital for the life of any person and relationship. Embrace it, adapt to it, and reap the rewards!
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