I have something to say the father responded. Let me tell you what I know about my child. It’s inevitable that people will evolve in different ways throughout a long-term relationship, and that these changes might, at times, lead you to question your compatibility.
Perhaps the career-focused person you married has eased these changes might sometimes of finding fulfillment in family, or the partner who once shared your dream of settling closer to relatives now hopes to retire to a remote cabin in the woods. These divergences can seem like impossible hurdles to overcome, but it’s important to realize that while the specifics of your dreams may have changed, you’re likely still aligned on the core components.
“Generally, couples want to be happy and emotionally stable, and they want to eventually stop working,” says Stephenson. “Those are the big umbrella goals, and the rest are particularities.” Meet your partner where they’re at. Part of the issue here is feeling like you no longer know your partner, so put in the effort to get reacquainted.
“I ask couples to make time for lots of intimacy work,” says Stephenson, who uses a list of prompts from The Gottman Institute to encourage meaningful dialogue. (Topics include greatest fears, best friends, life goals, and more.) “In giving couples these questions, I essentially ask them to get to know each other again, and to do that positively.” Understanding your partner’s hopes and dreams in intimate detail also provides more wiggle room for finding common ground. Maybe it’s not a literal cabin in the woods they need, but the feelings of privacy or being connected to nature that the cabin would provide. Finding a way to satisfy those wants in an environment you’d also be happy with could be the key to ensuring a successful future together.