Relationship Changes: Everything You Need to Know
In This Article
No matter how sweet your partner is, relationship changes are inevitable. What are these changes, and how do you prepare ahead for them? Learn more in this guide.
Typically, the beginning of a relationship seems perfect. You and your partner appear compatible and agree on everything. Also, you want to be in each other’s company and do the same activities all the time.
You and your partner always look lovely, lively, and optimistic about the future. Everything is just as you had imagined your love life to be. This stage is called the honeymoon stage, although you aren’t married.
The feelings and emotions keep rising until you start seeing relationship changes. Reality sets in when things start to change in a relationship. What are the causes of these sudden changes in relationships?
This article will dive into the causes of changing behavior in relationships, what to do when your partner changes, and everything you need to know about the change and your relationships.
Why do changes in relationships happen?
You aren’t alone if you often wonder how love changes over time. Many people are baffled by bad changes in relationships. They wonder how relationships change over time. After watching a partner change from calm, loving, and caring to bothered and dismissive, you would do the same. So, why do these relationship changes happen?
To begin with, you must understand that nothing lasts forever. After you’ve been together a while, it’s expected that you will get too comfortable with each other. For example, you might act reserved at the beginning of your relationship to please your partner.
However, when you know a lot about each other and spend considerable time together, you may not be compelled to try anymore. At this stage, reality sets in. Besides, all relationships endure some changes as time goes on.
This change may include changing location, starting a new job, sharing bills, getting married, studying in another state, spending time apart, or having children. You soon realize that you must attend other necessities and life events besides your partner. These series of changes naturally affect your relationship with your partner.
For instance, when children start coming along, your focus shifts from your loving partner to the new humans who need nothing but your 100% attention. In most cases, women are the most affected in childbearing and nurturing. If care isn’t taken, this new task might widen the gap between you and your partner.
You might have less time to spend with your partner in the morning because the newborn or children need you. Even if you get a maid, you still need to share your time to attend to the children’s and your partner’s needs.
This is an example of how relationships change over time. When the relationship changes this way, it isn’t the fault of anyhow. After all, children are blessings that many desire. Although it can be painful watching your partner change, it’s not necessarily bad.
Transitions happen in relationships because they are necessary. They are vital parts of growth that strengthen individuals. They help you revisit the reason for being with your partner in the first place. It is at this stage that you get the true test of love.
While some changes, like living apart from your partner, are challenging to cope with, they are sometimes not bad. By communicating regularly with your partner and being aware of these relationship changes and their effects, you will find a way to adapt to them. In turn, it strengthens your relationship.
5 changes you might experience in a relationship
Couples often experience many relationship changes over time. However, there are common changes that many spouses experience. They are:
1. Getting married
If two people love each other and have spent enough time together, they can decide to get married. After all, they know so much about each other (or they think they do). Once the marriage plans begin, you may start noticing changes in yourself or your partner.
First, you realize that your partner will spend the rest of your life with your partner. Also, wedding plans are taxing and can affect the emotional and physical being.
The arrival of children in a couple’s life is one of the biggest shocks in a relationship or marriage. You may love and be around children for a long time, but once you start birthing yours, you realize the process isn’t easy.
Children, especially when they are babies, require 100% of your attention and time. Besides this, you will work mentally as you think about how to take care of the kids or babies. The time you shared with your partner is now diverted to someone else whom you also love.
3. Switching careers
Another change in relationships couples experience is changing jobs. It usually happens in marriage. As you plan to build your marriage and lives together, changing jobs is essential to increase your earning power and chances of providing for your new family.
This fact sometimes puts pressure on couples. Sometimes, you might not love the job, but the need to care for your family has pushed you to accept it. Consequently, you start transferring aggression to your partner, even when you love them a lot. That can cause some destructive changes in relationships.
4. Living apart
Sometimes, relationships change when partners start living apart. Reasons that can make lovers live far apart include jobs and study. These are tangible reasons.
As you don’t spend enough time with each other like before, you may start seeing your partner displaying a changing behavior in a relationship. While it’s easy to assume they have someone else, the change might be due to their new job or school demands.
5. Sharing bills
Another cause of change in a relationship is sharing expenses. Bill sharing between partners is usual in some countries or tribes. However, many people still believe the responsibility of a home should be on the male figure in the marriage or partnership.
If two individuals with different mindsets about bills come together, some relationship changes will occur. When the relationship changes due to this, it’s because of different understanding.
5 stages of relationships that every couple should go through
Life is in stages, and so is your relationship. Every relationship often passes through these stages of understanding each other better. Here are the stages:
1. The initial stage
This stage indicates the onset of every relationship. It’s the phase of getting to know each other better, exchanging pleasantries, going out on dates, and attending occasions together. It’s the brand-new stage where your focus is primarily on physical attributes like beauty, height, stature, and general appearance.
In addition, you also focus on how your potential partner presents and watch out for behavior like table manners, walking steps, and communication.
Related Reading: 5 Stages of a Relationship and How to Survive Them
2. Honeymoon stage
The honeymoon stage is when the love is just getting established. You have both expressed your love for each other and seem compatible. Here you spend most of your time in each other’s arms and doing the same activities. You want to watch the last movie together and visit the new places together.
You also get more curious about your partner at this stage. You genuinely want to know everything about them and their family. You can’t wait to spend the rest of your lives together. At this relationship level, no one thinks about imminent relationship changes. And that’s why people find it hard to cope with changing behavior in a relationship.
3. The doubt stage
Here comes the first shock in a brand-new relationship. This stage is where reality sets in, and you begin to see your spouse in a new light. You realize they aren’t as perfect as you expected them to be, and vice versa. They begin to fall short of your expectations. You may begin to notice a change in your partner as you face some life events together.
At the denial stage, you notice the differences between you and your partner. Those qualities that once seemed perfect are now unbearable. His curiosity you once admired is becoming annoying, and her flexibility is affecting you.
You can’t just cope with them. Here, you are woken from your dream to see that things aren’t always what they seem. Naturally, there will be friction; this is how love changes over time and where you see substantial relationship changes.
Related Reading: How to Identify and Overcome Relationship Doubts
4. The decision stage
This stage of the relationship shows your reaction to the relationship changes. You are at your breaking point at this phase. You begin to exhibit specific protective behavior and coping mechanisms to manage the rude shock of the differences between you and your partner.
For example, you may find reasons to be apart from your partner or leave the house for hours after a fight with your partner. Other times, you may decide the stay and communicate through the issues, considering your love for each other.
In addition, you may become indifferent to many of their behaviors. This is when you contemplate leaving your partner or imagining life with a different partner. The decision stage determines whether you give up and leave, stay and endure or find solutions to your problems with your partner.
5. The love stage
This stage is where your love is reignited. You and your partner have experienced some life issues together and have found wholehearted love again. Your relationship at this stage is at its best and most fulfilling. You have worked through your issues together, studied each other, rediscovered your true self, and understood each other’s strengths and weaknesses.
Also, you have accepted each other’s imperfections and agreed that everyone has flaws. To some extent, you can predict your partner’s behavior. Therefore, all you need is to enjoy this love, as nothing can surprise you much.
Related Reading: The 5 Stages of Love Couples Go Through
5 ways to embrace new change in your relationship
Relationships are always challenging to build to a healthy stage. Change and relationships are intertwined. Therefore, it takes conscious and intentional effort from the individuals concerned. When things start to change in a relationship, throwing in the towel seems like the easy way out, but it’s not the best.
Instead, it is best to embrace the change in a relationship. Check out the following ways to embrace change in your relationship:
1. Accept that changes are normal
One of the ways to embrace change is to accept that it will come. No one grows without experiencing transitions, whether about a job, relationship, study, or life.
These are events that shape us into who we are and culminate in making up our experiences. They also guide us in future decisions and prevent us from repeating mistakes. The earlier you accept them, the better.
Related Reading: Educate Your Child to Accept Changes Optimistically
2. Invest inconsistent communication
If you aren’t a lover of communication, it can be challenging to do it often. However, once you are in a relationship, you need it. Consistent communication keeps you up with your partner. It shows you many things you need to know.
There needs to be more than the initial relationship stage to know your partner fully. As such, you must have frequent open communication about each other and your activities.
3. Express your feelings clearly
Watching a partner change in a relationship can be challenging. But if you want to see a change in your partner’s behavior, express your feelings. Let your partner know your worries and concerns at the best time ever.
Describe precisely how you feel when they act a certain way. Say it exactly as it is, but don’t attack them. Remember, it’s their attitude you have issues with, so table your matter and allow them to have their turn as well.
4. Understand your partner’s perspective
Many relationship issues are rooted in differing perspectives. How you see a situation might differ from how they see it, yet you are both right in your way. A quick way out is to put yourself in your partner’s shoes. Why do they say some words, and why do they feel a certain way?
Related Reading: How Seeing Things From Your Partner’s Perspective Can Boost Your Love
No one accepts change quickly as it contradicts everything you have known for a long time. Nonetheless, compromises are part of the foundation of every healthy relationship. You need to sacrifice to make your partnership work.
That means discussing with your partner and meeting at a common ground. For example, if you need to move to another town for work, you may agree with your partner to come home during the weekend and dedicate that time only to your family.
How to deal with new changes in your relationship?
The following tips help you deal with changes in your relationship in the best way:
1. Let your thoughts be known
Your relationship issue won’t get solved by overthinking. Instead, speak to your partner about them and work together to create a plan to solve them.
2. Communicate your changes
Discuss with your partner the noticeable relationship changes you have observed. Ask them if they have noticed the same and give them a chance to talk. Don’t interrupt them, and listen actively.
Related Reading: 5 Signs Your Relationship Is Changing for the Better
3. Lower your expectations
Sometimes, expectations are bubbles that keep us locked in. Your partner isn’t perfect, so you should reduce your expectations of them, regardless of your experience with others.
4. Understand them
If you think it’s hard to cope with some changes in your relationship, you might not get the message from your partner. Probably, they need you to understand them.
5. Use the “I” statement when complaining
Constantly mentioning “You” might look like an attack on your partner. Instead, make it a personal one. For example, instead of saying, “you always do this,” say, “I feel….”
6. Do some self-discovery
Ask yourself a few questions concerning the changes you see in your relationship. Why do you find the changes strange? Could it be because of your background or experience? Can you cope with them going forward? How?
7. Set healthy boundaries
Now that you realize you are both different sets, some healthy boundaries. Describe the things you like and don’t to your partner and let them do the same. If there are too many differences, find a way to reach a common ground that suits everyone.
Watch this video to learn how to set boundaries:
8. Put in some effort
It’s unfair to expect your partner to understand you but don’t want to do the same. To have a healthy relationship, all hands must be on deck. Everyone must bring their best to the table to enjoy a lasting relationship.
9. Prioritize your relationship through difficult times
Make it a habit to prioritize and save your relationship during conflicts and issues. As long as you are together, you will always have reasons to disagree. In the heat of these events, make a conscious effort to save your relationship.
10. Be flexible
If you wonder how to change for someone you care about, try to be flexible. Indeed it isn’t easy to endure some ambiguities and things that go against your values. Nonetheless, love wins. When you think about your commitment to your partner, it motivates you to cope with changes.
11. Maintain a consistent sex life
One of the best ways to cope with changing behavior in a relationship is to maintain a regular sex life. Regardless of your challenges, being intimate in the bedroom reminds you of your commitment.
12. Reassure your partner
Constantly reassure your partner that you love and care for them always. It tells them that the issues are just temporary cogs in your relationship. Your commitment and loyalty stand.
Related Reading: Seeking Reassurance in a Relationship? 12 Ways to Rest Assured
13. Try a new activity together
With the shock of the relationship changes, it can feel overwhelming. One way to lighten your mood is to try a new activity you enjoy together. For example, you may go jogging together, climbing, or swimming. This activity further connects you and gives you reasons to cope with the changes.
14. Remember what you love about your partner
One way to deal with bad changes in relationships is to highlight things you love about your partner and relationship. This step gives you enough reasons to stay and makes you positive to adapt quickly to the transitions you see.
Related Reading: 30 Signs Of True Love in a Relationship
15. Seek help
If you have tried all solutions you know and they proved abortive, it’s time to call in reinforcements. You may reach out to someone your partner respects to give you advice or go for relationship counseling. Seeing a therapist or marriage counselor can help you explore your issues and provide proven strategies to cope with your relationship changes.
Here are the answers of some most asked questions about the changes in your relationship.
Is change in a relationship bad?
No. Change in a relationship isn’t necessarily bad. It depends on the particular change and your reaction. A career change may be okay if it increases your partner’s income. Nonetheless, it’s generally challenging to cope with changes.
What kills a relationship faster?
Many things can end a relationship. Some of the fastest ones include blame, shame, dishonesty, infidelity, and lack of communication.
What causes a man to change in a relationship?
Many things can make a man change in a relationship after a while. These include sexual incompatibility, lack of commitment, infidelity, lack of trust, and boredom.
Every relationship experience changes from time to time. It usually takes more work for partners to accept these changes as they go against their initial beliefs and expectations. Nonetheless, it is best to know how to deal with these changes effectively.
Thankfully, this guide has explored everything you need to know about relationship changes and how to deal with them.
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