A Relationship Coach’s Tips for Coping with Life’s Transitions

Life isn't always what we expect it to be. And we all get thrown a few curve balls from time to time – particularly during life transitions, like getting married, become a parent, or entering retirement. You may encounter surprises - both good and bad.

Transitions in life are normal and even necessary for us to grow as people. However, as a couple, navigating these changes can often be quite the test.

Life Changes and Relationships

Maybe you are changing careers, moving across the country, or exploring new hobbies or skills. For those with children, facing an empty nest presents its own challenge. For others, looming retirement can seem daunting.

We all struggle to face adversity and transition on an individual level, and we also have to take another person, our partner, into account. You've grown together in a particular environment, with most things "known."

So how do you move forward together into a changing landscape, into the "unknown"?

Be Supportive and Non-Critical

In times of transition, being each other's foundation is the best thing you can do – for yourself and your partner. This is particularly true when the life change was negative (such as a lost job) or simply unexpected (such as a partner wishing to change careers).

If your partner is going through a change or wants to change something, being supportive will make it easier for both of you. Passing judgment or becoming critical will make it harder on everyone. There is always something to be grateful for, and even in dreadful situations, knowing that you still have each other can help.

Take the time to understand what your partner is going through, why they are going through it, and what you can do to express your support.

Accept and Focus on Your New Path

Change can feel like it happened in the blink of an eye. Weren’t you just tucking your kids into bed – and now they are all in college? How did retirement sneak up on you? And of course, illness or even death can strike quickly and unexpectedly.

Be ready to weather a few storms, and know that change will come - good and bad. Accepting change when you can will help you and your partner move forward. Focus on your future together and where this new path will take you. It will help you get over the roadblocks.

Communicate

Don’t assume you know what your partner is thinking or feeling. Or what they want. Take the time to ask questions and really listen.
We all grow and change over time. And that change can happen much faster during periods of transition. Our opinions, perspectives, and even our images of ourselves can come into question.

Seek Support

You don’t have to handle this life transition alone. Sometimes, seeking support is the strongest thing you can do.

A relationship coach in Bend, Oregon, can help you and your spouse work towards accepting the transition in your life, and then help you develop a plan for moving forward together.