I’ve Changed, But My Spouse Hasn’t

By Reggie Madison
October 16, 2020

You see things differently than you used to. You’re living a healthier lifestyle. You go out less. You interact differently with people. You’re investing more time into hobbies.

You love the way you feel—happier, healthier, and less stressed—except in your marriage. Your spouse seems agitated with you which just doesn’t make any sense.

Shouldn’t they be glad you’re improving and becoming a better person?

Your spouse may not see it that way, especially at first. Here’s why!

Feelings of insecurity.

Change often feels threatening. They might feel like you’re moving away from them with all the changes. It might be time to sit down and talk with your spouse about your “why” behind all the changes.  

Feeling judged.

If your spouse feels judged by your attitude toward them, it might be time to ask yourself, “Am I actually becoming a better version of myself?”

Feeling Manipulated.

If there’s the slightest feeling you’re trying to change your spouse, you can expect there will be tension. 

Related: My Spouse Has Changed.

★ As you grow and continue to better yourself, it will affect your marriage and your family. Naturally, your spouse may see it from a different perspective.

How can you work through it?

Never stop talking to one another.

Regularly talking to your spouse about what’s important to you gives them the chance to support you even if they aren’t “joining” you.

Understand their concerns.

Resist the temptation to get defensive. Put effort into listening to their concerns. Believe the best about your spouse. 

Don’t try to change your spouse.

There are strengths in your differences. Their path to becoming the best version of themselves will look different.

People respond to change differently. Through one’s eyes, it’s great and through another set of eyes, it’s potentially destructive. The uncertainty leads to unrest. 

The ultimate test is: Does your change have a positive impact on your marriage? 

Patience, empathy, and understanding must be the foundations of your communication with each other to help change be seen as growth to better yourselves and your marriage.

***If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Hotline for Domestic Abuse. At this link, you can access a private chat with someone who can help you 24/7. If you fear that someone is monitoring your computer or device, call the hotline 24/7 at 1−800−799−7233. For a clear understanding of what defines an abusive relationship, click here.***

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