Ms Betterhome


Trusting change

I’ve been following a thread on Simple Savngs where Trine asks for input from people who’ve ‘changed their lives’ – bigtime. I have done this a couple of times, and got lots of help – from a psychologist, and from friends & family. I also spent a lot of time reading, writing, reflecting, and doing meditations & affirmations to help release the fear of not being in control. Change is so scary, and sometimes I still cling to an uncomfortable or unwanted status-quo, just because the rut feels familiar! It does seem to be harder when changing who I am or what I am doing will impact on the people I love.

Reflecting on changes I have made in my life, I totally recommend the book What Colour is my Parachute?, which is updated every year (though older versions are fine), & is available in most local libraries. It’s a ‘job hunting/career changing’ book, but it goes much deeper than that – it has a lot of exercises to help you work out what you want from life on all levels. I find the writing style very friendly & accessible.

And I’ve never forgotten an anecdote I read in Passionate Marriage, which is challenging but fabulous book about intimate relationships, and the struggles we have when one partner wants something different to the other. It’s mostly about sexuality, but has some REALLY interesting observations about the way we communicate, & resolve conflict in partnerships. (The book is fairly hetero-centric in terms of the case studies, but has something to offer for same-sex partnerships, too).

The author, David Schnarch, talks about a major crisis in his marriage, where his wife wanted to have a child, & he ‘wasn’t ready’. After many heated discussions, she told him that she accepted his decision, but was no longer willing to take responsibility for contraception, as she felt she wasn’t being true to herself by taking the pill when she didn’t want to. She was not rejecting him in any way, but contraception was now his issue, not hers. He had a number of tantrums over using condoms, but she held her ground…she still loved him, wanted to be close, but wasn’t prepared to take the pill.

Since he didn’t want children, he had to take responsibility for that decision. As time passed, taking responsibility for his decision actually forced him to think things through properly, and he decided he was happy to have a child – but it so easily could have gone the other way.

Amazing story, especially as the author doesn’t depict himself in a flattering light, and very relevant (in my eyes) to the struggles we have to go through in order to be true to ourselves AND to our relationships. It’s difficult, but always worth it, IMO.

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