Life is different in this millennium, and many would say, for the better. In the past, once we decided on a career, that was it — we were involved for our entire working life. Nowadays, we have the amazing opportunity to flow with the fast-paced movement of our society.
People change jobs much more often, and even when they retire from one, they go on to other things which continue to bring them a sense of purpose. From taking classes in a subject they’d always wanted to learn more about, to freelance/contractual work in their area of expertise.
But how does all this flux affect our relationships? Not surprisingly, change has a huge impact on us. Some people handle it well, others, don’t. For couples in long-term relationships, the idea of change is something that should be discussed early on.
From the possibility of being relocated to another office, to changing your career entirely, or perhaps even the desire to return to one’s home country — all major changes that not only affect the person in question, but their relationship, and their family.
The person who’s considering making the changes needs to research exactly what’s involved, and not go into it blindly. This way, when discussing the idea with one’s partner, he or she will have the answers to most questions.
Discuss the various implications of the change — does it mean the other partner will be doing more of the shopping, household chores, and parenting? Often, change may offer more income, more adventure for the person directly involved, and sometimes even travel — but is it worth it to the other partner?
It’s important to weigh the consequences of how all this change could positively and negatively affect your relationship.
As with most change, there’s always the “fine print” — minute details that nobody thought of earlier. Sometimes, these issues can make or break a situation. A friend of mine recently took on a new job. Excitement, challenge, and a change from his routine were highly anticipated. But, after discussing the implications with his partner, and accepting the position, it became clear that in order for the job to be most productive, he needed to be out of town three nights a week.
At first, it was unique — but the novelty soon wore off, both for him and his wife. Unfortunately, they’re stuck until his contract runs out.
In a similar situation, another woman became so fed up with her husband’s constant absence, she started insisting she come along — at least for part of the time he would be away. Since his destinations were always overseas and lasted several weeks, this gave her both the opportunity to spend time with her husband, and a chance to be involved in some of his exotic adventures.
We live in a society that promotes change. But it’s still up to each of us to know what we can handle, and how it’ll affect our relationships.