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March 29, 2016

You've Changed

One of the biggest complaints people have about their spouses is that they have changed.

The next biggest complaint is that they haven't changed.

People Are Who They Are

People show us who they are, usually very early in the relationship. I never quite understand the person who complains about being miserably married to a workaholic, a liar, a slob, a control freak, etc., etc., and then admits that this person was always this way, even before they married.

These unhappy people typically say, "I thought she/he would change when we got married."

Why would anyone think that?

Did you change on your wedding day? If you liked things neat and clean before marriage, did you suddenly start liking dirt and chaos afterwards? If you're the kind of person who is always on time, did getting married make you feel like always being late? Did the marriage ceremony magically alter your political views, how close you feel to your sister, your feelings about football, your favorite ice cream, or your tolerance for loud noises? Probably not. Your spouse is no more likely to change than you are.

A lot of people are complaining that the person they married is, in fact, the person they chose to marry.

Some Change is Inevitable

We get older. Things happen to us. If we pay attention, we learn a few things along the way.

Life events, whether good or bad, may cause us to look at things differently and change our behavior accordingly. Parenthood often alters people's priorities. Career changes, health issues, situations with family and friends, world events -- all of these influence us.

We aren't exactly the same at 40 as we were at 20, or as we will be at 60. Our core values usually remain fairly constant, and many aspects of our distinctive personalities are always recognizable, but with time we mature and adapt, gain knowledge and skill, and - hopefully - become a little wiser with experience.

A lot of people are complaining because their partners live in real time.

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