A few weeks ago my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary. If you know us well, you may be saying to yourself, “It’s a miracle.” Honestly, you wouldn’t be too far off. Marriage certainly hasn’t been a straight path to “Happily ever after!” It’s taken a lot of work, an incredible support system, and more than a little bit of luck. Looking back on 25 years has led me to a few thoughts on relationships that I thought I’d share with all of you. I’d love to hear your input as well.
Not all relationships are meant to last.
I’ve worked with enough clients and talked to enough friends to know that some relationships are better off ended. It’s incredibly painful and terrifying but moving on is the right thing to do. There are two things that I’ve noticed about people who have survived and thrived a break up or divorce; 1) They know that ending the relationship is for the best. They are ok with it, with themselves, and with their ex. 2) They take ownership for themselves and they move on with as little resentment as possible. They realize that holding on to bad feelings will only be bad for them and not their ex.
Relationships seem to go through three distinct stages:
1) the honeymoon stage. I don’t think I need to explain this one. 2) The “Is this really who I married?” stage. You know the one where you start to see his/her faults and you can’t believe you ignored all of those red flags and still walked down the aisle. And 3) the “I’m going to accept these faults or I’m going to go” stage. You realize the other person is unlikely to change so you decide to accept them as is or you decide to leave. If you can move through those stages a little faster than most of us, you may be at the acceptance stage prior to living in a senior center!
I don’t believe that love is enough to keep people together.
This might sound unromantic or jaded but staying together requires a whole lot of communication, adapting to change, and acceptance at a level that most of us thought to be impossible. Both people in the relationship have to want to learn and grow together, not always at the same time, but at least periodically. Love is lovely but so are respect, friendship, kindness, disagreements, hardship, and intimacy.
I’m guessing that if my husband and I are lucky enough to make it to our 50th wedding anniversary, I will have completely different musings. So take these for what they are, simply thoughts from a flawed human in a flawed relationship trying to make the world a better place.
Lisa Kaplin Psy. D. CPC
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Smart Women, Inspired Lives: How to Be Happy & Confident
by Dr. Lisa Kaplin
Do you long for more energy? Do you wish you could walk into any room and feel happy and confident? Do you simply want to enjoy your life more – personally and professionally? You can. Too many women today are doing more, but feeling less satisfied. Life doesn’t have to be that way. With small tweaks and simple strategies, you can enjoy a great life with soaring self-confidence, a good sense of well-being, and plenty of laughter. This easy-to-read yet profoundly impactful book will be all you need to join the tribe of smart women living inspired lives. Your life gets better right now.
About Lisa Kaplin, Psy. D, CPC
Certified Life Coach and Psychologist at Smart Women Inspired Lives.
I’m the proud owner of Smart Women Inspired Lives, where I help overwhelmed and exhausted women move from the feeling of being “stuck” into a life filled with calm, confidence, and joy. In addition to the posts and articles I write, I offer individual and group life coaching sessions, classes and speaking engagement opportunities.
Are you not sure how to improve your relationship? Not sure if you should even try? Are you going through a divorce or looking to recover from one? Relationship coaching is crucial to figuring out what the next step is and how to get there.
Whether you are a young woman and unsure of how to maintain a relationship or making the decision about marriage or a more seasoned woman who is at a crossroads in her relationship, Lisa will guide you through the steps you need to take to make the right relationship move for you.
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