If you read the title and are expecting something mystical, no, I don’t have any Mayan, or otherwise, prophesies to share with you today. What I do have is the unshakeable knowledge that the only things certain in life are death, taxes and change. Change is the reason we have divorce, broken families, unhappy marriages, healthy families and successful people. Yes, all of those things are a direct result of change. So what’s the difference between those who divorce well, those who are happy and those who are broken and unhappy?
Their ability to work with, respond to, prepare for and accept change.
Don’t get me wrong, the people who do well with change don’t always like change any more than the rest of us do. They’ve just learned that change is as much a part of life as is having a baby or growing old. You can be forced to change, like if they change the tax rate or do construction on a road you take to work, but you have a choice on how you approach the change. It also should be noted that not all changes are good, but many happen anyway.
But coming back to family and relationship change, some things are inevitable: the kids will grow up, you and your partner will grow old, you will all change in many ways over the years. In the cases of broken families and unhappy marriages, the choice has been made to either not accept change, not accept the type of changes that have happened, or not be willing to discuss what changes have actually happened. Some people get divorced or separate because they realize that they no longer work as they did before, and staying together will only cause more problems, instead of building new, supporting relationships and lives that are healthy for kids to grow up in and learn from. Is there unhappiness in families and relationships from a lack of communication? Often I would suspect that if people discussed things before it all got completely out of hand, many relationships and families would not end up in the disarray they are in.
So then, what’s the answer? I think it begins with accepting that people change, and remembering that you’re going through changes too. What can you do to better approach change?