“We just don’t have anything in common anymore”
“I don’t love him like I used to”
“I just feel like i’ve outgrown him”
These are some of the most common statements I hear in my work and it ends up being a main source of stress and tension in the relationship. Why?
Because when we get together with our partner, we are extremely excited at the prospect of meeting the one.
Cuddles on the couch…
Walks along the beach…
Walking the dogs…
And so on.
But here’s the catch. All of the decisions that are generally made when choosing a partner are based on the person that they are right now…
Not the person that they will become in the future…
“But Sri, I can’t predict the future!”
And you would be correct in saying that to some degree. Sometimes there are clues and patterns of behaviour that give away how the future may unfold but for the majority of us, that can sometimes be difficult to anticipate.
However, there is one concept that I would like you to embrace – or at least keep an open mind about…
And that is the concept of change.
You see – there is a pretty good chance that your partner (and you!) are likely to change throughout the course of your life.
In fact, it’s pretty much a certainty. However, if we always approach a relationship with the hope that our partner will be exactly the same, not change at all and exhibit the same behaviours that were displayed at the start of the relationship/marriage, then you are living off false hope.
Let me tell you a quick story that may seem unrelated but is actually an important point.
I’m a massive sports fan and in particular, a cricket fan. Even if you don’t know anything about cricket – please just stay with me here and you will get my point.
Cricket has changed a lot in the last 10 years and I constantly find myself saying “Back in the 90’s it was so much better. Better bowlers, more of a contest” etc etc.
However, you listen to many experts in the field, and they will tell you that it’s better now than it ever has been.
Well the truth is the following:
The example above doesn’t just apply to cricket. Its happens in movies, music, theatre etc etc
And most importantly, relationships.
As much as we want to rekindle the memories of the past, people change, circumstances change and it’s important for both partners to make a conscious effort to embrace the change.
After all, isn’t that what love is?
Unconditional acceptance of that person – for better or for worse.
Sometimes the sex life will deteriorate.
Both of your physical characteristics may change.
One of you may get into spirituality after some difficult experiences.
One of you may go into depression. The other may transform and turn into an eccentric, insanely happy individual.
And these changes may bring about some resistance.
The question is though – will you embrace this change and recognise that they are crucial for your growth or will either of you be stuck in the past wishing that you could rekindle the experiences from the start of your relationship. I’m not saying that it’s not possible…nor am I saying that you shouldn’t put the effort in to bring back some of the incredible experiences.
All I’m saying is that relationships and marriages – for them to thrive – do require a level of unconditional acceptance and that can’t be done until one or both of the partners truly embrace change. When this is fostered, your love and passion will escalate to new heights because your marriage/relationship is built on the strongest of foundations.
If not, you may find yourself moving from partner to partner continuously living off the hope that the honeymoon phases will repeat themselves over and over.
The choice is yours. I know which one I would rather go for!