I’ve used a lot of words talking about physical changes and a partner’s right to discuss things they don’t like about their significant others appearance. But what about personality and habit changes? Or lack of change? What boundaries do we place on these?
Let’s begin with a personal statement. Twenty years ago I did the following:
- Ran 10K races
- Ate dinner after 830 (when I dined out)
- Went out multiple nights a week
- Stayed out till midnight or later
- Wore short skirts and high heels
- Drank a little too much
- Went to parties and large gatherings
- Went to the beach with just a towel and a book
In present world, these are no longer things I do with any regularity. For the most part, I don’t enjoy these things anymore. (Except for the short skirts- my stuff is still short, but not quite like the old days…) But now- this is just not how I wish to spend my time. So I have changed. I am no longer the same woman I was when I met my Husband. Here’s my question: Does he have the right to be mad that I no longer do these things? Does he have the right to complain that I no longer do these things? In short, what happens when your partner no longer does the things that attracted you to the person to begin with?
Conversely- my Husband likes to go out. A lot. He has not changed in this respect since we first met. Can I expect him to change his habits just because I have grown tired of that lifestyle? Is it fair of me to say “Gee. I’m OK being home by 10 and in my jammies by 1015 after we’ve walked the dog?” Is it fair that I consider a nice evening one in which I read a little with a cup of tea beside me?
How do couples communicate what they want and need from their partner? How do they do it in a way that makes then feel heard, yet doesn’t intimidate their SO?
People change. Some are good changes, some are bad, and some are just…changes. As we mature our wants, desires and needs change. We adapt to our environment, our surroundings, and our situations. This is part of growth. This is part of life (Darwin and all) But no one changes at the same rate, or in the same way. Do we accept the changes in our partners if they are not egregious? Or are any changes, even seemingly insignificant ones, a cause for distress or alarm, or just plain dissatisfaction? And how about, should we expect our partner to change because we have?
How do you handle change, or lack of, with your partner? This inquiring mind wants to know.