How do you look at change? Change can be positive or negative — depending on how you look at it. Do you see it as an adventure or is “change” a scary word to you? Maybe you just don’t want to rock the boat — even if it’s going nowhere.

Change can be risky, but we’re convinced that no risk equals no change, and no change adds up to no growth and a boring relationship. Plus, being willing to adapt and change can add zest and excitement to your marriage.

Start by thinking about how you’ve adapted and changed in your relationships in the past. We’re certainly different people than we were back when we were married college students. Over the years, we’ve had to change and adapt to each other. And then each stage of marriage offers a different challenge.

The first years of our marriage required many adjustments. It’s not easy to learn to think “we” instead of “me.” When we disagreed, we could no longer just go home. We were home. So we had to adapt.

After the early years come the active parenting years. Of course with blended families, many start marriage with the complication of a ready-made family and this requires even more adaptability!

With young children, the “no time, no energy” factor required all the creativity we could muster to adapt and to stay close to each other! Then when we had three teenagers, the physical exhaustion gave way to emotional exhaustion!

The next stage — the empty nest — may be an erroneous term as many nests never empty or quickly refill with adult children, grandchildren, and/or older parents. When our sons began to leave home, the challenge was to refocus from our role as parents to our role as partners. Our children had been our pacers and we had to learn (okay, we’re still learning) not to work all of the time!

Presently, we’re dealing with an increased travel schedule. Since we can’t put our marriage on hold until we get home, we’re looking for ways to enrich it on the road. From time to time we tack a short getaway on the end of a trip.

Where are you in your marriage? What changes may be just up the road for you? For an interesting discussion, talk about these two questions:

  1. Over the years in our marriage, how have we changed and adapted?
  2. What ways do we presently need to adapt and change?

Go on and take the risk. This marriage builder will help keep our marriages on the right path and can produce a change for the better!

More related topics:

Does Your Marriage Need a Facelift?

Be Good to Your Marriage

Are You a Natural or a Learner?

Written by Claudia and David Arp, MSW

David and Claudia Arp, MSW, founders of Marriage Alive Seminars, are marriage educators, columnists and authors of numerous books and small group video curriculum including “The Second Half of Marriage and 10 Great Dates” (Zondervan). You can visit their website: www.marriagealive.com