What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger. Friedrich Nietzsche

Every couple married for many years knows that there are a number of events that inevitably create disruption in their lives.  The stresses associated with having a child, changing jobs, moving to a new house and other events can lead to times when you wonder whether you are going to make it together.  The good news about that is that the more of these events you have gotten through and come out ok, the more likely you will survive the next one when it arrives.  It reminds us of the often-heard quote from German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche:  “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.” We can remember the disruption in our relationship when our first child was born.  We had heard from others that things would never be the same, but were still clueless when that first child arrived.  We managed to survive and were better prepared with the second child, but the disruption was still there.  By the fourth child we had a good idea what to expect and had developed some coping skills that gave us confidence that everything would be OK.

After surviving many transitions of different kinds in our life together, we see that we are stronger as a result of each and better equipped to handle the next one, whatever it may be.

We found an article on WomansDay.com, posted January 12, 2012, titled:  Don’t Get Lost in Transition that discusses a number of big transitions that most couples go through at some time in their lives.  We quote one of them here.

One of you seeks a big life change.

When one of you decides to shift careers or go back to school, it can disrupt the balance of your life together. You think that you’ve figured out your lifelong plans, but suddenly they’re upended, and worries begin to trickle in about what these changes mean for your finances, future plans and children.

If you’re the one who wants to make a change, then it’s important to talk about your proposed plans in advance; it’s never a good idea to spring a big decision on your partner. And if you’re on the other side of the conversation, then it can be all too easy to feel resentment. Avoid conflict by using the speaker-listener technique, suggests Litzinger. “It’s important that you each express what you’re feeling, thinking and planning; actually listen to what your partner is saying,” she says. You’ll need to negotiate a lot of changes, which you can’t do without understanding each other’s point of view first. Instead of leaping to conclusions—”This will never work”; “We can’t afford it”; “It’s selfish and unfair”—listen to what your partner’s plans actually are, and work together on the logistics. For example, you can make lists of pros and cons and creatively reorganize your budget jointly, so both partners feel like they’re embarking on the journey together.

Read the rest of the article.

We hope you find the article interesting and helpful.  Tell us your story of surviving a big transition in your marriage.  Leave a comment below.

Bob & Rita Boeke are:

Authors:  Forever and a Day:  An Invitation to Create a Marriage that Lasts a Lifetime

Presenters of Marriage Enrichment Programs.  Info at http://readabookpress.com

Bloggers at  http://thewonderofmarriage.com

Contact us:  bobandrita@readabookpress.com or 847.204.1151

Retirement can be a time of stress for marriages.  Has your parish or group considered an enrichment program for seniors?  Check out our program:  Aging Joyfully Together.

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About Rita & Bob Boeke

Rita Boeke has experience teaching scripture and with her husband Bob has experience in enriching marriages through workshops and retreats. They post a weekly blog at thewonderofmarriage.com and co-authored Forever and a Day: An Invitation to Create a Marriage that Lasts a Lifetime.
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