How to Support Growth and Transition in Your Relationship.
If you have a relationship with a partner that has lasted for years than I expect that you each have grown and changed over that time period. If you met in your 20’s and now you are in your 30’s or beyond than you each are different people in many ways. Relationships are not just two people coming together and that’s it, they are stories of transformation and change and in a healthy relationship you have allowed this to happen and supported each other in it.
The goal is that each person in the relationship accommodates the growth of the other person. Your partner will change at a different rate and in a different way than you do. They don’t see the world in the same way as you do and they don’t have the same needs but the goal is not to make them like you but to learn from them and support them as they grow. Ask yourself these questions;
- Do you have a unique and specific way of connecting with your partner and refreshing the relationship when you feel burned out or distant?
- During the time of connection do you feel safe and supported in your thoughts and beliefs?
- Do you feel like your partner values and accepts your growth and ideas?
- Are your life dreams similar and compatible? Or if they are different do you feel supported in yours?
- When you are working through a struggle do you feel like your partner listens and helps you gain understanding, facing it with you?
One way to support growth is to build into your relationship rituals and behaviors that allow for change to happen. If you are only living parallel lives, and not making the time to connect and share in each others growth then you will eventually grow apart. The rituals that you create in your lives together are important and will keep you connected.
Possible rituals could be a weekly date night, a shared meal at home or a time before bed to relax and connect after your day. During these times the objective is to learn about each others thoughts and feelings, be supportive and non-judgmental and listening well. It is not a time to correct your partner or fix their problems for them but just a time to find out what is happening with them. This time allows you too gently try to find out what is stressing your partner or making them fearful. Creating a safe space to share their interior world. It is important not to let too much time pass between checking in.
I encourage you to commit to a ritual that will create space for you both to grow and learn together. Seeking understanding of each others inner world and sharing the growth and transitions together that supports your relationship.
Written by Lisa Strong