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Don’t Complain About The Change Of Your Partner, It’s Good For Your Relationship

Don’t Complain About The Change Of Your Partner, It’s Good For Your Relationship

“Change is hard at first, messy in the middle and gorgeous at the end.” ~ Robin Sharma

Change is an inevitable part of life. We all experience it. Coping with change within romantic relationships can be particularly unnerving and disheartening.

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Each of my 21 years of marriage has had one constant — they have all been different. I met and married my husband as a teen and I can say that we are both completely different from who we were when we first married. To say we’ve changed is a massive understatement. Enduring, embracing, and accepting the changes in each other is one of the little secrets to our longevity.

Why it’s problematic to say “He/she is no longer the person I loved”

It is quite common for divorcing couples due to “irreconcilable differences”[1] to cite their partner’s change as the primary reason for the demise of the relationship. “He/she is no longer the person I married,” is what they contend. However, the fallacy with this argument is that this is the case for every long-term relationship. If my husband were the same person I married 21 years ago, that would be extraordinarily tragic.

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Humans remain in a perpetual state of change. We are getting older, gaining more knowledge and learning new things. The result is–usually–a wiser, more mature, and different individual. Embrace it.

You’ve changed too, even you may not realize it…

Every single experience you have attaches itself to you and alters you just a little. These transformations, which happen in your perspective and your approach to life, can range from minute and barely detectable to severely profound and significant changes that shift your thinking paradigm. Give yourself, your partner, and the relationship the space and permission to evolve.

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You definitely don’t want your relationship to be a pool of dead water

In a relationship, refusal to change is actually more detrimental than actual change itself. Requiring and expecting that you, your partner, and or the relationship remain static is unrealistic, unhealthy, and disastrous. The trick to maintaining a healthy long-term relationship lies in understanding that relationships are meant to be fluid and embracing these changes in yourself (yes, you are changing as well although you may not notice it) and all aspects of your relationships keeps things fresh and injects passion into the relationship.

I miss the old him sometimes, but I feel lucky that he has changed

My husband was a goofy, happy-go-lucky, naive, and fun-loving guy when we first met. He loved to laugh and was a kind and gentle soul. While I do, at times, miss his wide-eyed innocence, his playfulness, and his nonchalant attitude, I am so proud of the man he’s become. In fact, I love him now more than I did then. The years have morphed him into an astute, driven, and passionate provider and protector with a wisdom beyond his years. He has become a wildly successful and accomplished individual whom people depend on and seek to emulate.

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Our relationship has also undergone dramatic changes. It has been refined and gone from youthful puppy love to a deeply profound and enriching marriage that is nurturing, powerful, and fulfilling. So, how did we do it? What’s our secret? We gave each other room to grow. We learned to embrace the change we saw in each other by doing three simple things:

  1. Accepting the change.
  2. Adapting to the change.
  3. Encouraging and challenging each other to continue evolving.

Enjoy the ride of your relationship!

A relationship is a journey through change with another person. Being afforded the opportunity to participate in someone else’s journey is a privilege. Resisting and fighting change is an exercise in futility and stunts the growth of the individuals and the relationship.

A long-term committed relationship is a wild and jarring emotional roller-coaster. You will laugh, cry, scream in terror, shriek with delight a few times along the way. Buckle up and enjoy the ride.

Reference

[1] Legal Differences: Irreconcilable Differences

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Denise Hill

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Last Updated on August 4, 2020

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

The Gentle Art of Saying No For a Less Stressful Life

No!

It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here’s how to master the Gentle Art of Saying No:

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1. Value Your Time

Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”

2. Know Your Priorities

Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time?

For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.

3. Practice Saying No

Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.

4. Don’t Apologize

A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.

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5. Stop Being Nice

Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets.

Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.

6. Say No to Your Boss

Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no,” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning.

But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.

7. Pre-Empting

It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting,

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“Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”

8. Get Back to You

Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them:

“After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.”

At least you gave it some consideration.

9. Maybe Later

If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say,

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“This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].”

Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.

10. It’s Not You, It’s Me

This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often, the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time.

Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

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Featured photo credit: Kyle Glenn via unsplash.com

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