WHEN YOUR PARTNER CHANGES, WHAT DO YOU DO?
Whether it comes from you or your significant other, when one person changes, it alters the dynamics of the relationship and the way you approach this could determine whether or not your relationship survives.
Could this be the reason why many of us are single today? Did our previous relationships end because our partners changed or did we change along the way and simply did not understand how to deal with that? Whether this change is being actively pursued or is seemingly coming out of nowhere, when your partner changes what do you do? I know that for me in past relationships when my partners changed, a few came out of nowhere leaving me struggling with how to navigate through. For others, I saw steady deliberate changes happening and despite my best efforts to understand what was going on or why it was happening, things ultimately fell apart. Now whether my own attempts at gaining understanding were the best manners of approach, that's a different story.
Before I started dating seriously, I was that girl who outgrew relationships fairly quickly. A lot of that had to do with my own temperament and impatience with guys but since choosing to approach relationships with a lot more maturity, understanding change in a partner or in myself within that commitment became necessary for growth.
Understanding your partner and considering where the changes are coming from is needed to knowing what you should do and how to go about doing it. If your partner is changing as a result of pursuing self development in some way, then showing empathy with their fears and frustrations would be the thing to do. On the other hand, if the change from your partner leaves you feeling emotionally abandoned, having open conversations about your feelings is a good way to address those issues.
Understanding your relationship in a way that both you and your partner's needs are being met will make it easier to address any changes you notice clearly and respectfully. At no time however should you be so consumed with meeting your partner's changing needs that you neglect your own and vice versa.
Let's face it though, we are all flawed and sometimes lack the kind of communication skills needed to address these types of issues in relationships. Even when we seem to have the correct tools, emotions and ego get in the way of reaching positive resolutions when we notice changes that make us uncomfortable in our partners. It is a myth that people/relationships do not change because change is inevitable. It is also a myth that all change is bad because it could mean something positive or exciting for your relationship. Addressing small changes before they become big annoyances or big changes before they get blown out of proportion is the determination we make about how important our relationships are to us versus the issues themselves.
So your first reaction about what to do when your partner changes should not be a negative one that resembles frustration leading to a desire to quit but one that indicates a strong interest in wanting to work through the changes so you both benefit rather than one person reaping the perks while the other hurts. Hopefully, this is just as easily done and said because relationships are beautiful and we're all happy when we're in love. Right?