People date, putting their best foot forward, to acquire the relationship they want. If you are married, you succeeded at the Compatibility Stage of Relationships, deciding you and your spouse had enough in common to make a lifetime commitment to each other. Congratulations!
How many of you thought that was the hard part — that it would be relatively smooth sailing from there? How many were surprised by how much their partner changed, seemingly overnight? I know that happened in my marriage. I tell people it was as if my husband had an overnight visit from the Body Snatchers because he was so different from the moment we returned from our honeymoon. My head was spinning and perhaps his was too.
This happens in many marriages and there are two main reasons for it. First, once people have acquired something they want, they often begin to put their focus on something new, neglecting the maintenance behavior necessary to hold onto their original acquisition.
The second reason is the differing beliefs, values, and expectations we have around marriage. Let’s look at each separately.
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