Flexibility with Change: Staying Married
Author: Jeff Anderson
Most people don’t like change, but change is part of the human experience. We are human beings and our minds and bodies change with the environment, the conditions of our lives, hormone levels, things within our control and things outside of our abilities.
Change doesn’t have to be bad. In fact, it can be very positive. Much of the time the perception of that change as either good or bad is more a state of mind than a true quality. So why is an acceptance or flexibility with change so important to those who want the best from life and from their marriage?
If you marry your wife when she’s thirty, she likely will not look the same when she’s sixty. If one of the things you love about your husband is his love of the outdoors, that value might shift to something else years down the road. We flex and bend and remake ourselves, whether we want to or not.
Maintaining similar values with your spouse through constant and meaningful communication is so important in a marriage. But being flexible and understanding with your wife as she moves through her life; being accepting of your husband as he struggles through a career path; maintaining an attitude of loving this person no matter what, can set you free to love your spouse without conditions.
Would anyone argue that telling your husband “I will love you, but not if you don’t make enough money” would be hurtful and damaging to the relationship? Would anyone truly believe that it would be a good idea to tell your wife “you’re not attractive to me anymore”?
Most people would never dream of saying such hurtful things to the people we love. But thinking it can do just as much damage to a relationship. Being flexible with the changes of life means accepting our spouses for who they are right now. That doesn’t mean every behavior is okay. Accepting change does not mean accepting actions. It’s what you do about those actions that can guide the true value of your relationship.
The idea is not to be a doormat. There is no suggestion that infidelity is acceptable if it is not acceptable to you. The idea is to practice unconditional love through the inevitable changes of life. The idea is to communicate and grow and change together – in the same direction instead of separate paths. Think only the best thoughts of your wife or husband and the best relationship will follow. After all, you have a lot invested in this relationship. Love your partner at every stage.