Relationship Tips for a Happy Marriage Part 73: Embrace Change
Change is the only constant in life. Therefore, naturally, all couples should expect their fair share of uncertainty and transitions in love and marriage. Embracing these changes can greatly accelerate the journey to healthy relationships.
It is a lot easier to embrace change when you know exactly what to expect. Every marriage goes through three distinct stages as described below.
- Romantic Love
This early stage of marriage is an extension of what couples experience when they are dating. Most couples in this stage of marriage are starry eyed and deeply attracted to each other. They spend most of their time with each other and very little time with friends and family. Communication and trust between them is great and this builds a good foundation for healthy relationships.
- Power Struggles
In this stage, romantic love wanes and the reality of life comes crushing down on the married couple. Couples begin to experience friction and power struggles over finances and decision making.
The very things that you loved about your partner in the romantic love stage become annoying in this stage. This is perfectly normal and should never be taken as a sign that the couple has fallen out of love.
Open communication is essential for addressing relationship problems that arise in this stage. Couples should also be generous with forgiveness since there is going to be a lot to forgive.
- Mature Love
Mature love is characterized by mutual respect and acceptance of faults. The couple knows and understands each other’s strengths and weaknesses to a T. Couples in this stage handle life’s little surprises much better. Job losses and financial hardships are no longer enough to throw a couple off its “game” since because they are able to communicate more effectively.
Embracing Change in Marriage
- What Do You Really Want From The Marriage?
In order to really embrace change in marriage, you need to be clear about what you want from the relationship. This will help you not to sweat the small stuff. Write down how you like to be treated and how you like to spend time with your spouse. Ask your spouse to do the same so that you both have a clear idea of each other’s expectations.
- Acknowledge Changes in Your Marriage
Most of us have an aversion to change and we tend to bury our heads in the sand at the first sign of change. This provides short-term relief but it is not effective in the long run. Denial only makes it harder to come up with reasonable solutions to your relationship problems.
- Take Stock Of Your Resources
When you are dealing with life’s surprises, it helps to have a clear idea of the resources at your disposal. When change happens, evaluate your resources including finances, time, skills and people. This will make it easier for you to make the tough decisions that need to be made.
Being on the same with your partner is essential when you are navigating change. Therefore, besides acknowledging impending changes to your partner, you should also talk about your feelings regarding the upcoming transitions. This way, the two of you can brain storm and explore your options.
Whenever you are expecting a change in your life or marriage, set aside some time to discuss it with your partner. This will ensure that you are not pulling in different directions.
- See a Therapist
Some people have a genuine fear or change which makes it difficult for them to cope with transition. If you or your spouse has this fear, it may be necessary to see a therapist. The therapist can help you work out your issues as well as help you improve the way you handle stress. With time, you will begin to see change as an adventure.
Many couples desire healthy relationships. Such relationships, however, can only be achieved by embracing change and enjoying the adventure that is life.