We used to say, “I love you so much! I love you just the way you are and I hope that you never change!” That sentiment used to feel good, but it doesn’t anymore. Not changing used to be the gold standard, almost like we were impervious to life and its lessons, like we could withstand the hurricane of life. But a rigid tree cracks and splinters in the wake of a storm whereas a flexible one bends and tilts with the raging winds and, although it looses some leaves and outer bark, its core is left intact to continue growing when the storm is over.
I think that not wanting someone else to change begins with not wanting ourselves to change. That realization has to come first. We have to face our changing feelings with courage and honesty. Do we trust our partners enough to say, “I am exhausted. I don’t want this life anymore. What can we do to change things?” Some mid-life crises and acting out could maybe be avoided by the ability to address our feelings with another. It takes muscle power to step into those waters…inner emotional and spiritual power. True power comes from the willingness to be vulnerable and to give up the ill-perceived idea that we can control the outcome. I hope that you are exercising those muscles. It’s way harder than a good workout on the treadmill, but eternally more satisfying.