I loved this post in the sense that it is something to think about if you are thinking of separating. A long term relationship is ALWAYS challenging and there will without a doubt be changes in both people over time. I always say if someone or something changes in a relationship (which it always does) you have two choices, learn to accept it or breakup. Here is Ari Sytner’s guest post along these lines.
What is the One Word Needed for Happy Relationships? by Ari Sytner
Countless iconic leaders have boasted to the world how they’ve clawed their way to the top by setting goals, writing them down and tackling them one by one.
Come on, let’s be realistic! Nobody, no matter how talented, can just predict and script their future. Failure is a crucial ingredient in the recipe for success. Disappointment is actually one of the greatest tools for learning how to grow stronger. Without a healthy amount of frustration, we cannot develop the resilience we really need to be successful. It is only through a hearty serving of disappointment that we learn to become great.
This rule is true for school and business, and perhaps most importantly, adaptability is one word needed for all successful relationships.
Every relationship starts with shared foundations. However, they are meant to adapt over time as we hit unexpected bumps along the way. Yet, when one spouse is too rigid to flex, the relationship eventually starts to break under the pressure.
I recall counseling one of my clients, a wonderful middle-aged couple who reached an impasse. The husband argued that when they agreed to get married, she was dead set on staying home to raise the children. However, 15 years later, she found herself bored and unfulfilled at home and wanted to return to school to pursue her career. He felt that she was abandoning her word, and even worse, their children. She felt that her husband no longer respected her happiness.
What were they to do? The answer is simple. Adapt!
Just because something worked in the past, does not mean you should not revisit it as time goes on and people change. Adaptability is a necessary skill that everyone is familiar with.
We’ve all had the experience of being in the car and getting lost. What do you do – pull over and end the drive? No, you simply reroute, even if it means taking a different road altogether.
The same is true in relationships. When a couple has their first big fight and realizes that the honeymoon is over, it does not mean that they pull off to the side of the road and end the relationship. It simply means that you are dealing with a temporary bump in the road. Whenever you have two different people with different opinions and perspectives, they each need to learn how to adapt. This starts by being humble, actively listening, and lovingly supporting one another.
Only with the maturity to understand that a relationship requires constant work to maintain the love and respect, will they find lasting happiness together.
Think of it this way: We can flex now, or break later. Why not give that gift to the one you love and make the relationship long-lasting and full of happiness?
Ari Sytner is a social worker, therapist and rabbi. He is also the creator of his blog that offers advice on marriage and relationships, leadership, addictions and stress. Learn more: ASytner.com