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Exercise to Help Ground Our Relationships in Moments of Change or Transition

November 13, 2018


It was Heraclitus that said, “The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change". The truthfulness of that statement can often be a tough pill to swallow. 

Often times, when a big change shows up in our lives, our conversations within our relationships start to focus on what is about to change or what has changed. Regardless if it's a big move, job change, a new child, a shift in religious beliefs or daunting new medical diagnosis - we often don't take the time to get curious and mindful about what in our lives has remained similar and unmoving regardless of this new change or experience in our lives. As a result, we can get into a toxic pattern of highlighting our fears versus taking some time to clarify what has remained the same or similar. 


One grounding exercise couples can consider is to write down the everyday actions, feelings, behaviors or beliefs that haven't changed in their relationship despite this new shift - this can often help create some stability when life throws you an unexpected curve ball. 


As a couple, you could write individual lists from your personal perspective using "I" statements, or do a list using "we" statements referring to you as a couple. 


A. List the really simple everyday things that are the same or similar: 

- I'm going to still wake up everyone morning and do my best to honor our family commitments and financial needs 

- I'm still going support the daily tasks of our family life

- We still have our support systems here to help us

- I will still make really amazing pancakes on Saturday morning 

- I'm still able to coach the kid's soccer game

- I'm still better at cooking then you are (wink!)

- We are still working towards saving for our family home

- We still can make each other laugh


B. Highlight meaningful emotional commitments that remain the same despite the change coming your way:

- I love you and want you to be healthy and happy 

- I love our children and I am committed to their wellbeing

- I'm proud of the life we've created 

- Regardless, we have each other to lean on 

- I still want to grow together and share a life together 

- I am still dedicated to contributing to our marriage 

- I still wake up every day glad to be your partner 

- My love for you hasn't changed, I'm still here, trying.

- We are capable of hard things, we'll face this together 

- We don't have to face this change alone, we have each other 

- We are able to be brave and practice asking for help together 

- Regardless of where we end up living, we have each other 


C. List and highlight similarities or shared interests that remain the same despite the change you are facing: 

- We still love spending time together

- We still love being intimate 

- We still love our science fiction shows 

- We still can't stand putting the kids to bed at bedtime* 

- We still love spending time together

- We still care about the other person

- We still are committed to working hard to make this marriage healthy and strong