First, NONE of us knows how we or our wayward spouse or anybody else will feel from one day to the next, let alone months down the road. As you pointed out, he was writing loving things up to the point where he walked out! So there is absolutely no telling if or when he might have yet another major change of heart.

So don’t even think about if or when!

Stick with right now, and what you need right now.

As far as the whole “changing to suit them” thing, that’s known around here as “KoolAid”. And the “changing” we do, out of love or desperation, we call “pretzeling”.

The catch is, if you DO change to whatever-it-is they THINK they want, the midlife crisis still remains, so suddenly it wasn’t right/enough/sincere or whatever other reason they choose to give it to try to explain why YOUR changing didn’t change THEM! They may then request a series of changes contradicting what they thought they wanted first – and then they change significant others.

But OF COURSE people can and do change, intentionally or subconsciously, all through their lives. Sometimes in a million little gradual ways, sometimes in big noticeable ways. Sometimes in very fundamental ways, too. But not all changes last, especially if you drift into them unintentionally and figure out that the changes don’t fit or help.

A couple who is interacting in a healthy manner, communicating clearly and sharing their thoughts fully, change over time but in ways that are adapted to each other. For one thing, they’re changing in response to similar circumstances, and from a similar background (the one that led them to bond in the first place). Have you ever seen those studies where long-term spouses begin to resemble each other?

But if the members of a couple aren’t encouraging adapting to things TOGETHER, then, yes, they might change in ways that cause them to become incompatible. Think of how different spouses might react to the loss of a child or some other major tragedy. Sometimes that brings a couple closer, but often they withdraw and drift apart.

Using “change” as a reason for marital problems is therefore a lousy basis to make decisions. If you changed and drifted apart, you could keep changing and work back together again. But if you never changed from day one, then… what’s so different NOW from your wedding day?

Can’t have it both ways!

Posted on the Midlife Club Forum by forum member pegasus. All rights reserved.