Personal Growth in Marriage: When Spouses Grow at Different Rates
The happiest married couples are those who continue to pursue personal growth after marriage. But spouses don’t usually grow at the same time or rate; that can pose a real challenge. It’s not uncommon for one person to be far ahead of the other professionally, spiritually or personally.
Marriage problems arise when the spouse who’s lagging behind gets jealous of the other’s success and/or when the more successful spouse starts to feel held back. The resulting feelings of resentment tend to cause conflict in marriage.
Jealousy and Envy
You would think it’s always easy to be happy for your partner but that isn’t always the case, especially when you’re not doing as well as he or she is. This doesn’t mean you’re a bad wife or husband, or that you don’t love your spouse. It just means that you need to work a little harder at being a team.
Having a team mentality eliminates competition and makes it much easier to celebrate each other’s achievements. It also helps you to focus on how your spouse’s achievements benefit you as a family as opposed to focusing on how far behind you are in your personal growth.
For instance, if your husband or wife gets a raise, you can choose to focus on how the extra money is going to impact your finances as a family OR focus on how much less you’re making. The former leaves you feeling proud of your partner while the latter breeds jealousy.
Feeling Held Back
Do you sometimes feel like being married to your spouse is holding you back and keeping you from achieving your dreams? Sadly, this feeling is also quite common, which is why, believe it or not, you’ll often hear unhappy couples saying that they feel trapped in their marriages.
However, your husband or wife probably isn’t holding you back intentionally. Maybe he or she doesn’t know how to support you in your personal, professional and spiritual growth.
This issue can easily be resolved through communication in marriage. Just talk to your significant other about what your needs are and what you’d like from them.
Personal growth in marriage is tricky. Growing too fast, too soon can leave your partner feeling envious and make them less supportive. The lack of support can in turn make you feel held back and trapped. However, with team work and communication, you can navigate these issues successfully and come out the other side happily married.