Home / 2005 / July

Love Causes Growing Pains


You can’t spend a lifetime with someone and not expect him to change at all. How’s that, you ask? Well, for me, the most noticeable change in my life comes between the ages of 18 and 20. During those years, I pretty much became a new person. And I there was a notable change between years 21 and 23 for me, as well. One could follow the change of a different aspect of my personality through each time frame mentioned, and this is what makes life so complex–you are not the same person you were this time last year, and neither is your partner. But how do you fight the tides and stay compatible?

As you change over time, so does your partner, and therefore you must adapt to each other. You must watch him and constantly be aware of his changing needs, and he should be doing the same. That way, you will always be learning to better fit your partner–it is a lifelong process that never ends. It’s almost like a game; except that it is much more serious than any game… your marriage is at stake. And sometimes it isn’t easy to shift your attention from meeting your needs to meeting his, but it must be done.

If you don’t adapt to each other, one day you could wake up and not recognize the man in bed next to you, and you will realize that your marriage has become only two people living not the united life of Marriage, but two disjointed, disconnected lives that have almost nothing to do with each other, except perhaps children and some shared memories.

These are just my thoughts on what I have experienced either directly or indirectly in my life so far. I make no claim of absolute truth, but I do confidently certify that the above information is probably some pretty damn good advice–it is, however, up you YOU to take it or leave it.

RickardLaSuede (Xanga) responded:

“People change. That’s a fact. But I’m not sure that adapting to someone else is that important. It’s more important to just accept changes, to offer a certain amount of freedom to grow and to have i life outside the partnership. And sometimes divorce is better than adaptation. Sad but true.”

I responded:

Wow, RickardLaSuede… Respectfully, I’m glad i’m not married to you. Because I think that adaptation is definitely not too much to ask for, especially when you vow to be with someone through richer, poorer, sickness, health, etc. Besides, small adaptation, changing your mind, your attitude, perhaps even your beliefs, etc, slightly over time to adapt your partner would be much easier in the long run than divorce. Have you been through divorce, either firsthand (you and your spouse) or second-hand (your parents/guardians)? Because if you haven’t, you really have no idea what it is like on the inside. I have experienced it second-hand, and it is most definitely something that I do not want to put myself through, nor would I want to subject my children to what divorce does to a child. (I think I fared rather well, considering the circumstances, but that is neither here nor there.)

But I digress… I’m not asking for life-shattering changes where you look back two days and cannot recognize yourself. Just minute adjustments that make a huge difference when viewed over a lifetime.

Because Life is a unidirectional course we are all on. None of us can go back and unsay or undo anything. You can travel on this course WITH the person to whom you have vowed your life, or you can each take your own paths through Life. And maybe you will manage to stay close along that path–that is definitely desirable. But I personally do not want to take the chance that I will wake up one day and realize that Hubby and I have gone our separate ways, in minute little steps away from each other, which add up to miles and miles over the course of twenty-something years. I am choosing right now (well, I chose almost eleven months ago) to keep myself close, to keep myself connected with my husband, so that when we celebrate our fiftieth wedding anniversary, I will be celebrating a lifetime of good days, horrible days, high points, low points, all overcome and enjoyed together. And whether you like it or not, good days, horribly terrible days, high points, and low points change you, and they will change your spouse as well, though you will not be changed in the same way, because you are different people. And that is why adapting yourself to your spouse is so vitally important. Understanding him and rising to meet him, anticipating how he will react and planning a response or reaction that will draw you closer together, not add any distance between you…