Intimate relationships, like other aspects of life, change. You may start out dating and decide to get married or live together. At first, you love or admire the other person because s/he possesses the characteristics, qualities, and values that you find attractive. However, real life happens. Over time, you experience differences in the way you feel, perceive, and think about events and issues. Some of these are minor annoyances. Others are major points of contention. Either way, you or your partner may decide to end the relationship or marriage as you experience more and more of these.
However, your intimate relationships are not doomed to follow this path. Differences are to be expected because you and your partner are unique individuals. Every person on the planet, if free to express themselves, will have a slightly different view of things than you do so embrace differences. This uniqueness provides you with an opportunity to learn something new about your partner and, perhaps, something new about yourself in the process. Both can lead to a deeper relationship and a greater love for each other as time goes by.
Intimate relationships do change. With each change, you must let go of your version of yourself and your version of your partner and re-image both of you in positive way for your new circumstances. If you have a long marriage, this means a lot of adjusting and accepting the other person—and yourself—in a healthy way. Those who find change intolerable or are unable to adjust will face a relational transition that is far more challenging.
If you are blessed with one or more children, you are aware that your relationships with them are constantly undergoing change. This will continue throughout your lifetime, not just as they grow up, but also as they reach milestones in their own lives. Each change offers both parent and child a chance for bonding and growth.
Treasure your intimate relationships. Use change in your life as an opportunity to transition to a deeper knowledge of yourself and those you love.