When you first got married, did you assume your relationship with your spouse would remain pretty much the same from year to year? Many couples do. That’s probably why so many wind up shocked and utterly confused when life around them changes … and their marriage along with it.
According to our guests on today’s program, relationship experts Bill and Pam Farrel, the key is to recognize that changes are coming – probably sooner than we think – and to prepare for them. If we do, we can work through these moments and grow together as a couple. If we don’t, well, things can get messy.
Take, for example, one of the most significant life transitions for a woman. It begins once her kids are raised and out of the home. Eighteen years or more of hands-on commitment and dedication come to an end. Almost overnight, her most important priorities in life no longer live under her roof. Talk about life change! She can easily feel lost and even question whether she has value to anyone around her.
We also discussed a common transition point for men. Usually somewhere in their 50s, a guy’s life becomes less about productivity and more about influence. The pressure from people depending on him intensifies, and the stakes are high.
It’s like my friend, a successful businessman, who told me he was used to someone else being the older, wise man in company meetings. Until one day a question was asked, and he realized everyone around the table had turned to him for the answer.
That’s a great moment for a man … if he’s prepared for it. If he’s not, life can become a pressure cooker, and some guys will self-destruct. They may revert to an immature way of living, so no one requires anything of them. Other guys lose themselves in hobbies or even leave their wife for a younger woman.
What’s a couple to do?
Join us today for the first of our two-part program “Tackling Midlife Transitions in Marriage” where we’ll address these and other life changes and share practical tips for growing through them as a couple. You can tune in on your local radio station, online, on iTunes, via Podcast, or take us with you on our free phone app.
I’d also like to offer you Bill and Pam’s book The 10 Best Decisions Couples Make: Bring Out the Best in Your Relationship for a gift of any amount. Visit our website or give us a call at 1-800-A-FAMILY (232-6459). We also have many other resources related to marriage, parenting, and faith available in our online store.