This is an actual conversation I had with my husband:
HIM: Hey babe, just letting you know I’m going out tomorrow night to see my cousin. He thinks I’m ducking him because I haven’t seen him in a while.
ME: Have you been ducking him?
HIM: Honestly, yeah, a little bit.
ME: Why? He hasn’t changed.
HIM: I know but sometimes I’m just not in the mood for the drama.
ME: I get it. Sounds like you’ve grown and he hasn’t.
Our conversation, in addition to this new decade, reminded me of the growth and change that takes place in our lives year to year, and circumstance to circumstance. Though we are growing and evolving and reaching new heights in our career, business, family, etc., there is no guarantee that the people around you will appreciate or support where you are now.
In my husband’s case, he can choose to not be around his cousin. I am the queen of cutting people off and letting them go when the relationship is not as fulfilling as it once was. But what happens when the person who refuses to accept your growth and change is your spouse?
A spouse should want to support their significant other in their journey; on the flip side, a spouse should be patient as their significant other makes the adjustment.
If my growth results in me speaking up more when before I was quiet, that will be invigorating for me but a brand new me that my husband may not be ready for. Accepting change is never easy and is often uncomfortable for you and for the people impacted by the “new you.”
My suggestion, talk to your spouse about the changes you plan to make in your life as they will be directly and/or indirectly impacted. Give them a grace period to adjust and adapt to your new way of doing things and don’t expect them to grow in the same way. Your growth/change is about you and no one else so don’t be that person trying to get everyone to become vegan or join a church or write the great American novel with you.
The positive outcome of your own development will often lead your spouse to want to make a similar change in their own life. (Now, if they refuse to accept the new version of you it might be time to question if the change is what’s right for you and your family, or if your spouse is still what’s best for you.)