Partner Change, Divorce, and Mediation
Center for Divorce Mediation
A recent article in the Vows section of the New York Times on January 9, 2022 entitled “Watching a Partner Change is Hard. So Is Accepting It.” “We don’t really marry one person as much as we marry one version of a person” by Allison Hope. Ms. Hope says, “We don’t marry one person as much as we marry one version of a person, a snapshot of who we (and our partner) are individually and to one another at the moment when we say “I do.” Who we are five, 10 or 40 years later is anybody’s guess. People change. As a result, relationships change, too.” I have always said that a person does not divorce the person he or she married. People change. I suspect that many divorces are a result of the spouse not being the same person the other spouse married. Following are a few quotes of the article about the phases of relationships that I found informative. “All relationships go through distinct phases over time,” said Terri Cole, a psychotherapist in Manhattan. The first, she said, is the “hormone-driven honeymoon phase,” where everything is euphoric. Then, in the second phase, reality settles in and you start noticing things that bother you about the other person.” “The third phase is the “make-it-or-break-it” phase, where partners begin to understand that a good relationship requires work and a willingness to “grow in the same direction.” “Upon remarrying, the Reynoldses reached what Ms. Cole said is the final phase of a relationship, secure attachment. “Years of effort yield a safe, satisfying, enduring connection that can last for decades or for the rest of your life,” Ms. Cole said.” “Accepting changes that you can live with, Ms. Chalfant said, “not only leads to more self-fulfillment but can also lead to a stronger relationship.” She added, “Change brings back some of that ‘newness’ and can add new passion and interest to the relationship.” Some couples divorce and later remarry. This is a new snapshot of the person and maybe a better one. Learn more about mediation at CDM (390) 1/15/22