Once you’re married, it doesn’t take much time at all to get a feel for how your and your spouse each respond to life change. How you respond to change can affect your marriage, for better or worse. And it can tell you and your spouse a lot about one another.
Some couples experience drastic life changes early on in their marriages, while others might be married a little longer before they do. But every couple will face stressors, upheaval, and unexpected change at some point in their marriage–and maybe more than once.
So how do your individual responses to change affect your marriage? Let’s take a look.
An optimistic response to change lightens emotional burdens.
Drawing on optimism during a time of drastic or difficult change can help lighten emotional burdens for both you and your spouse. It’s incredibly valuable to be able to look at a situation you’re facing and see the opportunity in it.
If just one spouse can see the positives during a season of life change, that can help to lift the mood for both of you. And, if one of you happens to be a little more pessimistic, the daily dose of optimism can help to balance that out.
A pessimistic response to change makes a difficult situation harder.
In contrast, responding poorly to change can add unnecessary stress to both you and your spouse during a transitional time. Not only can pessimism make an already heavy situation heavier–it can also create additional problems you might not have faced otherwise.
During times of change, it’s important to try to look past the doom and gloom of pessimism to see the good possibilities the change could bring. If you’re not able to do that, it could place significant stress on your spouse and, as a result, your marriage as a whole.
Your responses to change can unite or divide you during a hard season.
How you and your spouse respond, act, and react during a time of change can either bring you closer together, or drive you apart. That’s why it’s so important to navigate changes carefully, paying close attention to how your spouse is doing and how you are handling yourself, too.
The goal of any married couple during a transitional period should be to cling to one another as you navigate this life season together. Here are a few ways you can stay close as you work through this time:
Have regular check-ins with one another to ask how you’re each doing. Practice active, compassionate listening and help your spouse to feel truly heard.
- Be empathic toward your spouse if they’re having a difficult time being positive.
- If you tend to struggle with pessimism, don’t discourage your spouse from being optimistic.
- When you’re feeling frustrated with one another, take a step back and cool down before revisiting the topic at hand.
- Seek out activities you can share that take your minds off the changes you’re going through.
As you make this transition together, the most important thing you can do is hold onto one another. Do that, and you’ll come out on the other side stronger than before.
Have you and your spouse gone through a period of difficult change? How did you each respond to it, and how did your response affect your marriage? We’d love to hear from you in the comments.