3 Conversations to Help You Grow Together Through Change

Statement of Faith

We believe that God created man and that He created them male and female. As such He created them different so as to complement and complete each other. God instituted monogamous marriage between male and female as the foundation of the family and the basic structure of human society. Therefore, we perform and mentor marriages in accordance with Biblical guidelines. (Genesis 2:24; Matthew 19:4-6; John 4:16-18; Romans 1:18-32; 1 Corinthians 5:11, 6:9-11. 6:18-20, 7:1-3 and 7:8-9; Galatians 5:19-21; Ephesians 5:3-7; 1 Timothy 1:9-11)

Do you relish change – embracing new challenges and experiences with confidence and enthusiasm? Or do you prefer routine – feeling most comfortable with the familiar and knowing what comes next?

Whichever camp you fall into, change is inevitable. How we respond to it, of course, makes all the difference. Those who are averse to change might have practice in being intentional about how they manage transitions. Even for those that thrive on change, learning to take the necessary considerations can be a valuable lesson.

In marriage, changes and transitions bring about an added layer of complexity. Why? Because you’re not only managing two different thresholds for change, but you’re also juggling the changes you go through as an individual, changes in your relationship, as well as how all of those factors affect your relationship. Phew! That sounds like a lot to manage, and it can feel that way, too. But one of the best things you can do throughout all of it is keep communicating. Here are three conversations to help you grow together and stay connected through change.

1. Getting prepared

You can’t always prepare for transitions – sometimes the biggest ones are unexpected. But in the event that you know what’s coming, take the opportunity to get on the same page beforehand.

  • What are your emotions leading up to the transition? What are you worried, nervous, or anxious about? What are you excited about? What opportunities will come with this change?
  • What expectations do you have for each other, and are they realistic?
  • In what new ways do you think you’ll need your partner’s support and vice versa?
  • What do you each envision as the ideal end state?

2. Checking in

Many changes are fluid, with no concrete start or end point, so checking in with each other consistently will be key. It’s a chance to acknowledge feelings, make adjustments, and recalibrate yourselves as a team.

  • How are things going? How are you feeling? What do you feel good about, and what are sources of stress or conflict?
  • Have you been meeting each other’s expectations? Do you need to make any adjustments? Have there been any surprises?
  • Show each other appreciation. Chances are that neither of you have been perfect up to this point, and that’s okay—and expected. You’ve likely both been making an effort; don’t let that go unnoticed.
  • Has your vision of an “ideal” end state changed?

3. Taking stock (and taking pride)

When you find yourselves at a point where things start to feel a little more “normal” and less chaotic, it’s a good time to take time to not only assess where you’ve landed, but to take pride in making it through situations that have challenged you as individuals and as a couple.

  • Give each other a high five and a hug. Things might not be perfect but maintaining a strong connection throughout the uncertainty is an accomplishment.
  • Think about your relationship before the transition. In what ways has it changed? How are you stronger as a couple? As individuals?
  • Have you learned anything new about each other? In what ways did you and your partner step up for one another?

There are so many types of changes and transitions we experience in our lives. Whether it’s a shift in your lifestyle or stage of life, beginning a new career or living arrangement, or facing a new reality in any aspect of your day-to-day, the waves of change have the potential to carry you farther from each other. But by prioritizing communication throughout the journey, you’ll stay connected and grow together instead of drifting apart.