“Those who improve with age embrace the power of personal growth and personal achievement and begin to replace youth with wisdom, innocence with understanding, and lack of purpose with self-actualization.” Bo Bennett

I love the TV show Black LOVE which airs on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN Network. It’s a docuseries were African American couples share their insights and experiences on love learned through the many hardships that they’ve experienced prior to and during their relationSHIPS. During one of these episodes, I heard something that was prolific.

In this particular episode, a couple had read a story where a woman shared that she had been married multiple times. With a statement like that, one would infer that she’d been married several times which wouldn’t be uncommon. But, she hadn’t. She has been married for 30 plus years to the same individual. So what did she mean, married multiple times? She explained that their 30-year marriage was constantly changing and evolving.

As they matured and got older, their marriage became different. It changed and so did they. In essence, at various ages and stages within their marriage, they matured and grew as a couple and as individuals. They weren’t the 20-year-olds that got married. They had grown up within the marriage and now they had to learn their “new ” selves individually while also learning the brand new person their spouse was becoming. Their values, needs, wants, desires, and outlook on marriage and in life had changed. Every aspect of their relationSHIP had to be revisited. Love, communication, trust, patience and ALL of the other important relationSHIP qualities needed to be re-examined, re-developed, and reinforced.

RelationSHIPS are constantly evolving and growing but do we make room for this growth? Or are our relationSHIPS stuck at the age, in the year and time we met? Do we make room for our partner’s growth within the relationSHIP Do we make room for our partner’s growth within the relationSHIP? Do we even acknowledge these growth periods as actual growth? Or Is this growth viewed from a problematic perspective that puts a strain on the relationSHIP?

Relationships, in order to grow, should be firmly rooted in love and constantly watered with- communication, respect, trust, patience, forgiveness, understanding and lots of laughter-sometimes ALL in one day. But, conversely, if growth within a relationSHIP is NOT welcomed, acknowledged or respected it will most likely end SHIPwrecked. So, in future relationSHIPS always welcome and allow room to grow.

SHIP TALK: Do you agree that relationSHIPS need room to grow? What kind of growth have you experienced in your relationSHIPS? How did you handle it?

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