Let’s cover husband/wife life transitions, since I’ve been on a roll about relationships lately. Hold on! Before you get your panties in a wad, allow me full disclosure: I communicate only what I know. I’m neither discriminating nor judging, and I guarantee transitions don’t either.
Every human being experiences change, such as birth, death, hiring, firing, marriage, and divorce to name a few. Such events are life altering. That’s a given, though we’re typically clueless while in the midst of them.
The transitions to which I’m referring, however, occur with and without warnings. Their impacts almost always catch us off guard, leaving us feeling as if we’ve been locked in a dark closet. Why? We’ve forgotten to communicate. Communication is the key.
A. When we had our kids, my husband and I knew they’d grow up, move out, and be off of the “family payroll.” (I don’t know too many adults who have children genuinely hoping they “never leave home.”) Know what’s caught us unprepared for their departures? Ourselves.
B. My husband and I started a business with two other couples as partners years ago. We all worked. As years passed, of the six of us, just two still work together. (Now for the tricky part) I’m not one of those two, our kids are growing and going, and I started my own business. (OK, here’s the other shoe drop) Neither my husband nor I expected me to be so unavailable while … working at home! Know what’s caught us unprepared? Ourselves.
TRANSITION BASIC: COMMUNICATE
Success magazine publisher/editor Darren Hardy once shared, “Don’t wish it were easier; wish you were better.” http://addicted2success.com/quotes/40-of-darren-hardys-most-popular-success-quotes/ Our lack of communication and connection locks us into a dark place. (Kind of basic, I know!)
⇒When “roles” are defined as relationships start, an adjustment period exists. Two lives and households combining, etc. are causes for confusion as well as joy. We already know this. That’s why we talk about it (after lots of sex, likely).
⇒What happens when “we” becomes “three” or more? Kids bring MORE adjustments, requirements, and transitions to their adults. There’s usually less talk and more bustling activity (usually less sex, too).
⇒How about after kids are raised and gone? There’s “us” time now, right? If you’re still talking and have anything in common (let alone having any sex), maybe; otherwise, you’re unexpectedly thrown back to (almost) the beginning of your relationship, learning to talk with each other all over again, i.e. back to a basic.
Now, let’s get back to the core of this issue (it’s not about sex for this blog; that’ll be in a different one).
Instead of fumbling around in the dark, embrace various types and degrees of communication (yes, sex included). The key is to:
a. grasp expectations versus needs;
b. understand cycles of change and the opportunities they present;
c. accept change as inevitable and not necessarily bad.
(Good news: if done successfully, this can lead to more sex! Hey! Counts as communication AND connection, remember?)
SHAMELESS SELF-PROMOTION ALERT
In G.A.S.P., the first book of my fictional trilogy, the story revolves around two ordinary people searching for more in life. When they get entangled in an international gold smuggling operation, it’s clear they’re not alone in life’s changes.
To sum it up: the key to unlock that dark closet of transition surprise is simply “real” conversations. Ask to understand, accept to cope, and evolve to ease life’s many transitions.