change is not only okay, but it should be expected

I've had several conversations with friends over the last few months about this. Just last week, my friend told me that her boyfriend told her, "You knew who I was when you met me. I've always been this way; I'm not changing now."

And my other friend's husband recently said this to her, "I feel like I'm not the same person I was when we met," implying that he didn't like the changes taking place.

These phrases, and others like these, are commonly heard in relationships. And when I hear them, my gut reaction is to yell ask "So what?"

So what if you change? So what if you're different after you become committed to another person? Why is change feared by some, given a bad rap by others, and resisted by so many?

I've always been puzzled by the notion that change is bad. At a certain point in any relationship, you begin to integrate your separate lives into a shared life. You start combining your lives physically, emotionally, and communicatively. You may use "we" language, plan your days and nights around each other's schedules, develop joint attitudes and beliefs, and maybe even move in together or get married. This causes you to change who you are. You become a different person. It's inevitable. And, it's not a bad thing. In fact, it should be expected and you should be happy about it. It means that you are growing as a person and as a partner. Individuals who resist this change and attempt to remain completely true to who they were before their relationship are not allowing themselves to become fully connected to their spouses. And in some cases (ex- if you've always been very flirtatious, that needs to end when you're in a committed, monogamous relationship with someone), you are directly disrespecting your spouse by not adapting to your new shared lifestyle.

Hus and I have made HUGE changes from when we were single. Some of this is due to the fact that we grew older, but most of it is because we have grown older together. I would not be the person who I am, believe in the things I believe in, value the qualities in another person that I value, or hold certain attitudes about life that I hold if I was not with Hus. For instance, I never cared about politics before I started dating Hus. At all. AT ALL. But now, you can hear me express my opinion about a wide variety of political issues from time to time. The same thing goes for Hus. For example, Hus used to have certain views about parenting pre-our-relationship that have drastically changed over the years.

The bottom line: IT'S OKAY TO CHANGE! In fact, YOU SHOULD CHANGE!

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1 comment:

Laura said...

I guess there's a difference between changing and growing. When a couple first meets, they may not want kids. Why? They're in their early twenties and are just figuring out their 401Ks. That's totally fine. Sometimes, people grow up and don't want kids because of career choices. That's Fine. Sometimes people grow up and realize they want them.

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