EVOLVE WITHIN YOUR MARRIAGE AND ADAPT TO CHANGE
Because Change is Inevitable.
By Taylor Fuqua
Change is constantly happening around you. Whether it’s internally or externally, you have been coached throughout life to be able to adapt to change, and marriage isn’t excluded from that. If you reflect back on your life journey, the different chapters you have experienced thus far were all new to you at some point. Through these experiences, whether you realized it or not, it changed you. Of course the core elements of your being are still there, but your views, priorities, hobbies, and interests were changing. While these changes were happening you were able to naturally adapt to them, and for the most part may have not noticed them. The same concept of adaptability applies even in marriage and a lot of couples find themselves leaving that out.
Let’s take a trip down memory lane. When you first met your spouse, you were mesmerized by who they were in that moment in time. You were eager for change at the very beginning because you knew you wanted this person to be a part of your life. You fell in love with all of their amazing qualities, and you were able to fully embrace them for who they were…then.
As your relationship grew, you both had to adapt to the changes that were happening in your relationship. Not only was your relationship evolving, but so were you and your partner. You both were able to adapt to the roles you played in your relationship, and the thought of growing closer to each other made you eager to do it. You started having conversations about your careers, marriage, and starting a family; all of which are indicators of change. You were open and honest with each other, and willing to adapt to make sure that nothing would stop you from sharing a future together.
Now your relationship has evolved into marriage. This is the start of a new chapter in your lives, and who you both were at the start of your relationship and who you are now is completely different. You’re stepping into new roles as husband and wife, and that alone comes with a new set of rules. As the years go by, you will start to see that there are changes happening with you and your spouse. It’s important to understand that this chapter of life requires a different level of adaptability. In fact, being able to adapt will determine how your marriage evolves. There are a few things that will help make adapting to change in your marriage easier.
Alter the way you view change.
The best way to evolve in your marriage is to learn how to embrace change. Change can be a positive thing but if we approach it with fear or as a sign of betrayal, we will spend a majority of our time resisting growth. Change is inevitable and nothing you do will stop it from happening. Instead of trying to work against change, the best approach, especially in marriage, is to learn how to embrace it. Change doesn’t stop when you take your vows, and going into a marriage expecting your partner to remain the same person they were when you first fell in love is pretty much impossible. In fact, you don’t necessarily want that. You want your spouse to evolve as a person because this will help your marriage evolve. Things that may have been working while you were dating, may not work after a couple of years of marriage, and you both will have to make some changes . By expecting and embracing change, the two of you are able to work together as a team and build a better life. This is adaptability in a nutshell.
Set goals and dream big.
Have you sat down with your spouse and created a list of goals you want to achieve together? Take some time and create a vision for the future with your spouse. Discuss what is needed from both parties to achieve this vision and what the first steps look like. Sometimes change can seem overwhelming, especially when discussing huge goals, so don’t be afraid to start small with your action steps. By doing this together, you are creating change that you both are open and willing to adapt to. Keep each other motivated along the way and don’t forget to celebrate all of the wins, no matter how big or small they are.
Learn to recognize and address bad change.
Not all changes are good. Being able to recognize changes in your spouse or marriage that are detrimental is equally as important when ensuring your marriage evolves in a positive direction. If you start to notice your spouse is behaving differently, it’s important that you are able to address the situation and show your concern in a caring way. Showing your spouse compassion will make it easier for them to open up about their recent behavior or problem. Openly communicating about harmful changes in personal well-being or the marriage will make it easier to develop a plan to handle the situation. It’s important that while developing an action plan for moving forward that both parties are equally involved in its development. This will reduce the risk of one party viewing the plan as a form of discipline verses a team effort in evolving.
Change is often an indication of growth, and if you and your spouse are able to adapt to change, you both will see just how much your marriage can transform. As humans, we are constantly changing, and once you have grasped the understanding of that, you can commit to falling in love with each new version of your spouse. Adaptability is finding constructive ways to deal with change, and as you navigate through marriage, there will be a lot of things that change. Marriage is a journey and by encouraging and challenging each other to grow through change, it will continue evolving. So buckle up, get ready, get set, and adapt!