He`s changed you haven’t…..
If your partner has become fanatical about Running, Rugby or Raw food, it may drive you to distraction. But before you let these outside interests drive a wedge between you, consider whether this is an opportunity to cement the sort of rewarding relationship where you both have room to enjoy individual passions.
Friday night in Norwich, Janice is trying hard to enjoy the Tv while waiting for the crowd in her kitchen to disperse. Her partner Mik has a group of friends round and they have spread their maps all over the kitchen table, plotting their route for Sunday when they will take to the roads around Norfolk in their classic cars.
This is the fifth Friday and the fifth weekend in a row that has been dominated by Miks “new toy” Jancie calls it that, teasingly, resentfully, lovingly and loathing – she isn’t quite sure which adverb applies at the moment.
Rewind several months and Friday night belonged to just the two of them. This was when they unwind with a take-a-way and a DVD. When they would moan about their bosses and plan the weekend. Fridays nights were, for Janice, blissful and intimate. But all that changed when Mik got a new job and met Jake, who introduced him to classic cars, Within a couple of months, Mik had bought an old classic and started restoring it.
I was so pleased about the job, even about him buying the old car says Janice,
I just didn't expect our weekends to have to work around it, or Miks new friends. It was fun when he first got it going, but it's not how I want to spend every Sunday this summer.
On the hobby horse.
You could, of course, swop classic cars for running, rugby, or cycling. Pick any pastime and you will hear men and women all over the country moaning that the hobby has come between them.
`as couples start to build a life together they create connections and rituals – be it watching Tv together or having Sunday breakfast – and these rituals become meaningful.
“It’s so hard when one person stops taking part without any discussion, The changes this brings can feel hurtful and threatening, It seems to say` I have found something better to do, or, I am bored with our ritual”…
Negotiating change is an important part of building a relationship. We tend to anticipate each major life stage by embarking on big steps together. When the unexpected happens – illness, redundancy, accidents – we try to deal with it as a team. But we often don’t discuss the more individual choices we may make, – it could make your partner feel as if you’re turning into someone different. This erroneous way of looking at the relationship is bound to be troublesome – as well as unfair… For a couple to be happy together they need room to develop as individuals. We sometimes need to go on different paths.
The threat of happiness
The trouble is it can be difficult to be happy about someone’s else`s happiness, it’s an instinct to compare ourselves to others, even those close to us. So instead of being pleased about what they are doing, we might feel jealous or threatened when they move on and discover something positive.
The problem is not necessarily the new pastime, but the fact that we don’t talk about it, or at least not in a constructive way, Then is like a stone in your shoe. you keep walking on it and it keeps hurting.
Sometimes individual growth does create a challenge, and you have to look at what is making the other person insecure.
“If when questioned, your partner unfavourably compares you to his new group of friends (Why can’t you be more like Jake`s wife?) or is critical (isn’t it time you got fit, too? ( it can seem like the start of betrayal.”
Open to discussion.
It’s not so much the new interest that is a problem but the sense of lost trust and security, When its talked about through more constructively, couples often find there is no basis for those negative feelings. you might tell your partner you are nervous about the change in them and want to understand it. You might say you miss your time together and want to be a part of their new hobby.
Open-ended, non-judgemental discussion may lead you to understand that running every night has nothing to do with getting out of the house, but more to do with creating a healthy lifestyle and living longer!!! He also wants you to run, too, not to because he wants you to lose weight, but because he wants your company. You may see he has teamed up with mates as he wants male company, not because he is sick of yours. then you are on track to solving any problem the new passion throws up, it helps build trust rather than erode it.
“I believe we need to talk to ourselves as much as our partner, relationships act as a mirror, when a partner starts to realise their potential it can be challenging”
You have to reflect whether you have a problem with their stuff or your own. Maybe you resent it because you gave up your Friday nights, but maybe its time to get back in touch with them, rather than asking your partner, What are you doing? The question should be, What can I do?
True give and take.
Fairness then is a concern. When one person is persistently taking advantage of the other and isn’t mindful of the others feelings, this can be devastating, we might blame the problems on the new-found interest, but it might be that it has simply made us aware of how the relationship is working, or not.
And here lies the test of that new classic car, sporting fixture, running club event, or whatever is on the agenda in your home this weekend, when your partner brings something new to the relationship it is not just about them being an individual, about having their say or their space, it has to be about both of you appreciating and respecting each other’s individual needs. if you love your partner and who they might become, then you need to get the same love back by return. When you do, you will want to sit down and talk about what is going on and make sure you that while you have time apart, you always have time to spend together, too…