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Celebrate Our Differences

by: Michele Sfakianos, RN, BSN

Everyone is Different and that’s Okay! A lot of people say it is human nature to try and change people to be exactly how WE want them to be. Everyone was born to be different. Think back to the first time you met that special person in your life. Did you critique their every word or gesture while talking to them? While they were speaking, did you think to yourself all of the ways you could change them to make them your perfect mate?

At this point of the conversation – I’m thinking your answer is no. So why, once you got to know that person, would you want to change them so badly? Why would you stay with a person with so many “flaws”, knowing marriage is a lifetime commitment?

Maybe the example above is a little blown out of proportion to the real world – but is it? People change over time. We all grow through our experience and our reactions to life events. Do we grow out of our relationships? Unfortunately it happens. Why can’t we grow together? Why can’t be we more accepting of our partner’s way of life, and they be accepting of ours? What is it that makes us want to be in control of everyone else’s way of life? I understand that things happen in our relationships that are unforgivable. But in other circumstances are we “throwing in the towel” too soon?

In talking with many couples, I have found several reasons why their partner may not measure up to the “perfect” person.

  • Money. This is one of the majority reasons that couples divorce. If you don’t know your partners spending habits (and debt) before marriage this could be a real eye-opener once you have combined your accounts and your money disappears.
  • Trust. Do you know if your partner has disclosed everything before the marriage? Do you really trust your spouse? Trust is one of the leading factors in having a successful relationship and marriage. Your marriage is unlikely to survive if you don’t trust your spouse.
  • Failure in Communication. Communication before marriage can keep down any unrealistic expectations one may have of marriage. Did you discuss your likes/dislikes and your expectations of what marriage should be? Were you open an honest with your partner about what you need or what it is they need? For example: Are they on a medication or have a morning ritual that helps them function throughout the day? There are a lot of people that don’t understand the value of medication or daily habits. They think just because that person seems fine that they don’t need these things anymore and should immediately stop. Wrong! If your partner is on any type of medication prescribed by a physician, or feels the need to do their daily ritual, it is for a good reason and you should encourage them to continue. You may have something similar and not even realize it because it has become your daily routine.

We all know that divorce is not the end of the world. It happens every day to the most loving people. If you are divorced and are thinking about getting into another relationship, make sure to stop and think about what happened in your first marriage and don’t allow that to happen again. Be open, honest and most of all accepting, of your new person. Work hard daily on your relationship. Be encouraging, loving, and help each other to grow. Better yet, grow together.

MICHELE SFAKIANOS is a Registered Nurse, Life Skills Expert, Speaker and Author.Michele is the owner of Open Pages Publishing, LLC offering quality self-publishing. Her first book “Useful Information for Everyday Living” was published October 2010 and was later changed to “The 4-1-1 on Life Skills” then released June 2011. Her next book, “The 4-1-1 on Step Parenting” was released October 2011. Michele’s latest book, “The 4-1-1 on Surviving Teenhood” was published October 2012. She is well respected in her areas of expertise. Her years of experience as a Registered Nurse, Mother and Life Skills Expert have given her the knowledge and wisdom to write her books. Michele is a contributing expert for HopeAfterDivorce.org, FamilyShare.com, CupidsPulse.com, and LAFamily.com.

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