Relationship Help – She’s Not The Woman I Married

The words echo in my head as my thoughts of “well let’s hope not” wash over them.  The couple sitting across from me wonders if their spark can come back.

Relationship Help

Reality check time – you married a young 20-something woman and a lot changes mentally and physically as girls progress to women and women move toward and then past 30. So no, she’s not the woman you married.  And dude, if you’ve looked in a mirror, you’re not the guy she married either.

The problem is that we humans often reference internal time.  We know we’ve changed and yet we expect others around us to stay constant.  But that’s not the way it works.  We grow and change and develop and learn and grow some more.  And if we’re deliberate (not lucky, this is the “work” part of the partnership), if we’re deliberate and focused, we get to do that growth and development with another human that we love and support.

The nature of a relationship, when broken down into its Latin roots, is that it is a state of coming together again. It isn’t static and a relationship demands the moving apart and coming together.

The moving apart thing – a couple is a couple based on the strength of each individual and their ability to come back and give of themselves 100%.  We’re not in the land of 50-50.  Recognize that as you grow, your responsibility is to help your partner grow, as well.  And your partner is there to witness and support your growth too.

Relationships fail when one partner grows and the other stays stuck.  And relationships fail in a healthy way (yes, it’s possible) when partners recognize that they’ve both grown, but that they’ve grown apart and are on different paths.  Relationships work when each partner supports the separate path of the other.  That support is what binds them together.

Some things you can do for you and your headspace as you recognize that you’re in a long term relationship:

Here’s a two-fer:  Remember what brought your together in the first place and

No, you’re not going to recapture that exact time.  Focus on what you did during that time. It’s likely you did a lot of exploring new things together.  Relationships do become “samey” and predictable.  And while there’s a need for some predictability, there’s also a need for exploring new things together.

  • Hit your favorite restaurant app and search just beyond where you normally go. You could love it; you could hate it.  Either way, it’s a shared new experience.
  • Pick date nights on a calendar and trade off surprising each other with outings to restaurants, events, and just quiet time.
  • Book tickets for a show. Just ask if the date is clear.
  • Send flowers, cards, and love notes at random times.
  • Text sweet things again. You’re not that far past it.
  • Notice – hair, clothes, shoes. Notice!  You used to take it ALL in.  Do it again as if you’re seeing your partner for the first time in months.
  • While last on the list, you MUST make this a priority: Kill technology when you’re together (unless you’re doing some geocaching outing).

Oh, there’s one more thing.  It’s AS important as killing technology.  That’s this simple (and yet so hard for a lot of guys): Listen. Really, just listen. “How was your day?” will get you a lot of details and some emotions.  Respond to the emotions.  If you’re not pushing into 22 minutes, you’re not listening.  (Okay, that’s a broad generalization, but really, listening is longer than just a few seconds.)

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