Without digging to deeply in the issue, one of the most interesting aspects about those couples who’ve been married for 10 years or longer is the ability to still remain together despite the changes each individual is sure to make. Human beings are evolving creatures–nothing is constant with us. The longer we live, the more adept we are to change. We notice that from a baby, to a toddler, to a 5-year-old to a tween, to a teen, a young adult, and so on, we are constantly changing. Whether it’s our perceptions, and ideas about the world, to our personalities and values, to who we want in our lives and what we want out of life. Because change is almost natural for every individual, it’s often difficult to say who we will be years down the road. What we will like. And if we’ll still feel the same about our spouse.
Obviously with the divorce rate as high as it is there comes a point in time where we must assess what led us to marry that person–that we divorced later on–in the first place? Were they one way in the beginning, but overtime they transformed into someone different? Were we one way in the beginning, but overtime transformed into someone different–someone who couldn’t stand to be in the same room with the person we once loved? Did our priorities as individuals change, to the point, where we just couldn’t get on the same page? Did our values toward money, finances, and the reality of it all, change from the naiveté we had in the beginning of the marriage?Did we change and grow apart?
More often than not, that is the case.
Some people like to argue that the reason that young people(those under 25) shouldn’t get married is due to the fact that they’ll change. This is true on many levels. It’s true amongst all age groups. A forty-year-old is not the same person they were at twenty and they will not be the same person at seventy. So if change is something that really is common(for most of us) and throughout most marriages, how do we address it? How do we come together and make sure that we change together rather than apart? And most importantly, once a person is changing in ways that we can no longer connect with, then what?
While many people will most likely find themselves on the road to divorce(at that point), in denial, or in an unhappy marriage, there are those who may step back and try to appreciate the change their spouse has made and even try to reconnect with them with a different approach toward it all. I’d say that’s rare, but when we look at couples that have been married for more than 25 years and are happy(not just in public), we have to wonder in what ways were they able to overcome the “changes” they both made and still maintain their most basic solid foundation. Change isn’t always a bad thing(though it can be) it can be good for relationship, for personal growth and for understanding the meanings of effort and acceptance.
What do you think? How does one address the changes they make and still keep their marriage together? Is divorce just inevitable for most couples due to the alarming rate at which we change? In what ways has change brought you and your spouse together or apart?