We’ve got great news! Contrary to popular opinion, you are never too old to grow wiser! So many times we get set in our ways and just assume we’re too old, or just don’t have the energy to make wise changes. However, the book of Job tells us that both wisdom and understanding—which are attributes of the aged—enable us to make needed changes.
Research validates we can continue to change throughout life. James Peterson, who headed up a major study on aging at the University of Southern California, said one of the most exciting things he discovered is that old people can change their behavior up to the day of their death. If you feel you’re already set in your ways and cannot change, you’re wrong. It is never too early or too late to make wise changes for the better to ensure marital success. You can renew your zest for your partner and you can look to the future with hope.
Start by reviewing your marriage history. How have you changed in the past to keep your marriage alive and growing? In the past decade we’ve made a major move to be near family, which changed our life in many ways. New home, new friends, and new opportunities to grow wiser together.
Where are you in your life? You may want to take a few minutes and reflect on the following questions:
- What is changing in your life right now?
- What new pressures do these changes put on your relationship with your spouse?
- What changes do you need to make at the present time? Small adjustments made now can make a tremendous difference in where your marriage goes in the future.
- Looking to the future, what changes might you need to make up ahead?
- Is the empty nest on the horizon? Maybe your nest has emptied only to refill with adult children or aging parents.
- What changes will retirement bring? We chuckle at the wife who candidly told us, “I married Ralph for life, but not for lunch!” She wasn’t laughing.
Wherever you are in your life, you’re probably experiencing changes. Here are four tips to help you grow old wise:
- Realize change and growth in marriage is healthy.
- Revise your expectations. Embrace change.
- Don’t sacrifice growth for stability. Coexistence is not growth!
- Be willing to try new things.
Take a few minutes and think of just one way you would like to change that will make your marriage better. Maybe, it’s something as simple as helping with the dishes, or taking out the garbage, or calling more often to say, “I was just thinking about you and wanted to tell you now much I love you.”
Take our advice. Do one thing today to enhance your relationship and then along with Robert Browning you can wisely say: “Grow old along with me. The best is yet to be.”