Are these qualities the used-to-be’s, when the real world was substituted for a secret place only you two inhabited?
What is it about now that lacks the luster of then?
Each stage of life has both challenges and joys. The ways we cope with a variety of experiences – the birth of a child, a sudden and severe illness, an empty nest – account for our growth. As we mature everything about us and around us changes: our bodies; who and what we like and why; what we’ve experienced – both happy and sad, perhaps even our priorities. And our patience for it all.
Meantime, our partner is doing the same thing.
It’s no wonder, then, that losing track of each other and what brought you together in the first place is inevitable. Quite honestly, rediscovering each other is a very good thing.
Stagnating, staying stuck, seeps in when attention is elsewhere. It’s difficult to be attentive, exciting, romantic or communicative when the focus is on ourselves. Feeling alone can often reinforce itself. The result can be distance, resentment, silence.
We’re challenged to find the luster again and again because marriage is not a given; it’s a living thing that needs nurturing, empathy, warmth, companionship.
That’s the thing about life and marriage and why marriage is a journey within the larger Journey, How does marriage work when both partners are changing, sometimes in opposite ways?
- Realize your discontent.
- Relinquish what no longer fits; you’re a grown-up now.
- Recognize what’s good, not just bad.
- Remember the sweetness of your marriage.
- Re-Discover yourself and your partner.
- Remove outdated expectations, assumptions.
- Re-Connect with each other.
- Re-Commit to Life together.
The never-ending challenge, then, is to remodel togetherness’s fit, accounting not only for each partner but for the in-between-ness, too.
Kathe Skinner is a Colorado Marriage & Family Therapist in private practice, specializing in couples therapy. Her understanding and passion come from her own marriage of 33 years.