There’s a reason we have so many clichés about change…the only constant is change, out with the old and in with the new, all good things must come to an end…yada yada. We all go through the peaks and pits of life, and for most of us, you experience them with a partner.
Most couples see a wide range of changes during the course of their relationships. No one is immune to it, but learning to navigate life’s shifts, highs, lows and transformations becomes even trickier when more than one person is involved.
Whether you’ve been in a relationship for a month, a year, or more than a decade, you can bet there are curves ahead. The good part is this unpredictability in life makes living so exciting! – We’re having a baby! We’re moving to Hawaii! – but it’s important to feel prepared, as a couple, to handle all these transitions that may come your way.
Here’s how to navigate change like a healthy couple…
No novel ideas here, but trust and honest communication lay the foundation for any healthy relationship.
As a couple, you and your partner face life’s challenges and surprises together. In order to field these curve balls successfully, you’ll need to communicate completely and openly with each other. No exceptions.
Unfortunately, as time in relationships goes on, things get comfortable and we often start neglecting communication with our partners. The more time we spend with someone, the more familiar and comfy we get.
This mistakenly leads some people to think their partner has a crystal ball and knows what they’re thinking and how they’re feeling. You can admit it if this is you; it happens to the best of us.
Prioritize communication with your partner above most other things, speak up when necessary, and make your voice heard. But also take equal time to listen to and understand your partner’s needs.
A relationship built on strong communication skills will be well on its way to a blue haired golden anniversary giving advice to all the youngsters.
Make Time for Your Relationship
Over the years life will bring all types of change…life-changing events like marriage, babies, career transitions and mini changes like a different haircut or new curtains.
In the mix of all these shifts, relationships can get lost or neglected. And it’s easy to find yourself simply going through the motions without actually remembering why you first fell in love.
In the midst of all life’s twists and turns, it’s crucial to still care for your relationship like it was brand new.
Here’s a big one – don’t stop “dating” your partner, no matter how long the two of you have been together. Make time for things like weeknight dinners or evening walks, and take the time to stop during your busy day to simply text or call.
It’s a given you’ll have to navigate some curves in life with your partner, but you’ll get through them together if you’ve made the time to build a strong relationship.
Take Care of Yourself and Your Partner
A transition can be both terrifying and super exciting, and most of life’s curves come with a slew of emotions and experiences. Regardless of how difficult it all seems, couples who succeed have a secure foundation built before the changes ever happen.
Take care yourself and your partner throughout your relationship. This means being prepared physically, spiritually, emotionally, and financially for whatever life throws at you.
Do what you can now to build up against any potential threats to your relationship or your family. This preparation looks different for everyone, but maybe it’s consistently getting enough sleep, saving up emergency funds, being self-aware and treating any mental health problems, paying off debts, or establishing a caring support network of friends and family.
Whatever self-care and preparedness look like for you and your partner, choose to focus on these things now.
Let’s face it – life is hard, and taking on changes and challenges in a relationship can be scary. But with the right groundwork you and your partner will feel confident you can tackle them together as a team.
Counseling in Columbus, Ohio
If it seems like life has dumped enough change on your relationship for 3 couples, and you decide you’re in need of marriage counseling at a practice in the Columbus, Ohio area, please reach out and contact Blue Boat Counseling today. Our skilled couples therapists can help you get back on track with your relationship.