When we marry, our fondest wish is to spend a lifetime together, to grow old together. No one anticipates the challenges and difficulties all couples encounter, but when we spend a lifetime together, there are bound to be times when a spouse changes. Health changes happen without warning. Jobs may change. Tragedy may strike and refocus a person’s whole attitude. Age changes everything as time goes by. What can you do when a spouse changes so the marriage survives?
Put on the breaks and take a careful look at the situation. Use all the skills your spiritual guide, your mother, and your grandmother taught you – how to be understanding, how to be tolerant, how to meet adversity with love. Instead of reacting to change with fear and anxiety, try to create understanding within yourself, and then share your love all over again. Here are some skills that seldom fail.
1. Become a good listener. There are signs of change long before the change occurs. If you’re all wrapped up in yourself, you’ll be blindsided by whatever has been building.
2. Seek expert help when you aren’t qualified to provide assistance. Unless you’re a therapist, a doctor, or another type of professional, there are things you just can’t fix. If your spouse’s problem is physical, offer to go to a health care provider. Volunteer to find emotional, mental or spiritual help, together.
3. Talk about your feelings, together and separately. Don’t pretend issues will go away—chances are they won’t. Spend quiet, non-confrontational time sharing feelings. If each of you accepts the other’s feelings as valid, problems become manageable.
4. Be responsive. If your spouse asks for help, be willing to provide it. Ask loving questions until you understand what’s happening. Allow your spouse to talk, don’t assume you know what’s in their head.
5. Be connected and committed. You can solve anything together. You knew that from the beginning, and it’s no less true now. Don’t look for solace in another. It’s easier to nurture an established relationship than to risk everything on a secret assignation.
6. Get active. If your spouse is looking for excitement or new things to do, get involved. Finding new activities is a breath of fresh air and will bring you closer together.
7. Don’t take everything personally. The change you’re feeling may not be about you. Watch and listen—a little patience could see you both through the transition.
8. Try to embrace personal growth. Not all change is bad or scary. Don’t worry, set your mind to go along for the ride and see what positive changes you can bring about in yourself. If you grow together, it’s not likely you’ll ever grow apart.
9. Have some fun. Life is tough, but it’s so much easier when you add pure joy. Instead of spending a ton of time sweating small stuff, grab on to each other and enjoy some total entertainment.
10. Bolster your spiritual bond. Talk to your psychic advisor. See your minister. Meditate together. Find a place you can share each other and with other people. It’s about spiritual community, whether in a temple, a coven, a church, or a pagoda.
All people change. Life changes. Even the universe changes. You can benefit from change when you understand it, prepare for it, and use it to its finest advantage. Take your lover’s hand and walk together in good times and in bad. The only fear to worry about is fear itself.