Survive and thrive through changes in a relationship
I. Have goals that are bigger than you as individuals
This can amount to values, hopes, and dreams. It can be things related to children or specifically the relationship. It is important to revisit these things on a regular basis to make sure that you are staying on track with one another. As you grow as people, it is also important to incorporate new hopes, and dreams into the relationship.
II. Allow and encourage your spouse to grow
As we age (and hopefully mature) we change. It is important that each spouse becomes the biggest “cheerleader” in their spouse’s life, encouraging them to try new things and supporting them when they do.
III. Battle familiarity
Familiarity can breed contempt so it is good to introduce new things into the relationship. That can be things like new interests, hobbies, and even values. When two people are dedicated to keeping their relationship fresh, there are many things that can be explored. This category requires that each person be willing to step outside some of their comfort zones and try new things.
IV. Communicate/Deal with issues immediately
The longer an issue sits and isn’t addressed, the farther apart a couple grows. Often when a couple thinks that they have changed and don’t love each other anymore, it is not because they have changed as people, but that they haven’t addressed issues between them. It is possible to “change” together and not apart but that requires that there is consistent work to stay “current” with one another.
This is important b/c the failure to compromise creates rigidity in the relationship. When one spouse sees the other as rigid and unbending, it creates distance between them. One distance begins to take place, it is far easier for a couple to change in individual ways but not in ways that are relationship building b/c the changes that are made are not made with thought pr concern for how they will affect the relationship.