Movement and Change – Can Your Relationship Survive?

Moving is exciting.  Moving brings new opportunities.  Moving involves stress.

Train MovingWhen we are moving – away from something we no longer want or toward something we desire – we are in a state of imbalance, disequilibrium, and stress.  Hans Selye, the research scientist who introduced us to the concept of biological stress and the need for stress management, explained that stress is stress, whether caused by something we want (e.g., wedding, new home) or something we don’t want (e.g., illness, death).  He even coined a term for the type of stress caused by something positive, eustress, as opposed to distress, what we feel when something happens that we don’t want.

Most of us do not want change.  We don’t really like change.  We get settled in to a certain way of being, of living, and of sharing our life with others.  And then, inevitably, something causes change.  When we are single and living alone, if we change our job, go back to school, graduate from a program, move to a new location, or make any other small or drastic changes, we are basically only affecting our self.  Yes, we may have friends and family members that are affected to some extent, but if their life is not intertwined with our own, the effect may be minimal.

However, when  we join together with another person to create a committed relationship and when we build a family together, any small change that one person makes can have a huge impact on everyone else.  The good thing about being single is that we have the freedom to make any kind of change we desire at any time.  The negative part is that we are not sharing the problems or the benefits with anyone else.  We feel the total impact, both positive and negative.

In a relationship, we may want to make certain changes but restrict our movement because we don’t want to rock the boat.  We may choose to keep the status quo, even though we feel stifled and suppressed.  Or we may make some change that we consider small and feel as though we were just whacked in the head by the negative response of our partner or family.

Change is inevitable.  It is the one thing in life that we can be sure of.  No matter what is going on right now, in this very moment, it will change.  The moment doesn’t last and whatever is happening will also not last.  When we have something wonderful happening, we do not want it to end.  When we have something unpleasant occurring, we want it to be over quickly.

The key to building lasting relationships that flourish is to accept change, allow change and embrace change within yourself and within everyone else.  Let the other person surprise you.  Let the other person be free to express desires, needs and opportunities he or she wants to pursue.

Movement leads to expansion of energy within yourself and in the interchange with others.  Preventing, stifling and stopping movement leads to the blunting and blocking of energetic flow.  According to economics researcher Daniel Pink, author of several books including  Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, we are most motivated and productive when we are in a state of FLOW.  We arrive at that optimal state by allowing our energy to move freely, unimpeded by worries and restraints.  Creativity flourishes and new possibilities emerge.

Relationships thrive when we allow each other the freedom to get into FLOW.  Flow involves movement and change.  Keeping each other in a static state of “comfort” can lead to a sense of security but also a feeling of dullness, boredom and decreased energy.  Can we allow movement to happen without feeling a need to stop the flow. There is a necessary balance between stability and movement.

The question for each of us is:  How can I maintain a sense of freedom and flow in my life and at the same time allow my partner and family members to remain in the flow of their lives?

Want help to deal with change in your life?  CONTACT DR. ERICA




Dr. Erica

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Dr. Erica Goodstone is a Spiritual Relationship Healing Expert helping men and women heal their bodies and their relationships through love. Having presented her comprehensive relationship healing programs throughout the U.S. and Canada over several decades, she has helped literally 1000's of men and women to heal through learning how to love. Dr. Erica believes "Where There is Love There IS a Way". When you love, accept, listen and pay attention to your body, trust your own sense of what you truly desire, and strive to understand, appreciate and really know the other people in your life, anything and everything is possible.

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25 thoughts on “Movement and Change – Can Your Relationship Survive?

  1. I really enjoyed this article Dr. Erica. Many (many!) years ago my husband and I up and sold everything we owned and moved to Maui. At this point I’ve lived here longer than I did on the mainland so I consider it home. There have certainly been many lessons and adventures over the years and I couldn’t agree more with your point about the importance of finding a way for both people in a relationship to experience freedom and growth. Thanks for the inspiration!

  2. Hi Dr Erica,

    Change is the constant. Go with the flow to go with the change, and to remain free. I’m changing quite a bit these days, and intending to roll with any stresses, quickly, to let go the low energies, and keep my relationships entact. Thanks for sharing your wisdom.

    • Ryan,

      Change is easy when we just have to change one aspect and can keep everything else intact. But big changes, those that unearth us and unbalance us, those which don’t provide assurance of a good result, those are the changes that teach us what we’re made of.


      Dr. Erica

  3. In a relationship any major change that impacts on a partner needs to be discussed and a compromise reached if necessary. Change might be good for the initiator but not for a partner affected by it.

    I just wrote a whole short story then but deleted it – too personal. Suffice it to say that I compromised and went with the changes my husband wanted and I adapted well. The beginning of the end came when a change he made in his job, without discussing it with me, meant he traveled extensively interstate and overseas and the children and I rarely saw him. After we split he only chose to see his children for a few hours every 6 weeks or so.

    • Sue,
      You are talking about a big change that affected your life significantly – and he chose to make the change without discussing it with you. Relationships do require communication because, whether we like it or not, whatever we do does affect our steady partner’s life. When you are single, you can do as you please. But some people want a relationship for the good feelings and sense of security but they still want to just do what they want. Thanks for sharing your personal story of change and how it affected you.


      Dr. Erica

  4. I don’t like change, even when I WANT something to change. I want the change NOW, without having to go through the turmoil of the transition period. Don’t we all? LOL

    We moved around a lot when I was growing up, and for the first half of our marriage Ian and I continued the trend. Our youngest two sons don’t remember those days, because we’ve lived in only two places in the past 17 years! We moved to our present home 11 years ago, and the older I get, the less I feel the need to move on.

    But there are lots of other areas in my life where I would love to see change. I need to learn to EMBRACE change instead of fearing it.

    Thanks, Erica, for the thought-provoking post!

    • Willena,

      Change is often not easy. There is preparation, if we have enough notification and are able to prepare, and then there is the upheaval and imbalance until we get to the new place – whether a physical or emotional new place.

      But life involves change, sooner or later. Just appreciate the good while it is here and trust that your good is waiting for you while you are in the midst or change and turmoil.


      Dr. Erica

  5. Couldn’t help but laugh at myself, and to agree with you, when you said ‘when something wonderful is happening we don’t want it to end, but when something awful is occurring we want it to be over’. True on my part especially when we are under a tornado watch!! That might not exactly count for any kind of relationship -which your article is about- but it’s sure stressful!

    Thanks for the insight!

    • Change in a relationship, or the fear of the change about to occur, can feel like a tornado coming at you. It can be just as scary, feel just as dangerous and be quite destructive. But after the tornado has done its damage, the rebuilding phase occurs. And often the improvement is much better than the original condition.


      Dr. Erica

  6. What a terrific read, Erica. Thankyou.
    I love change – but not too often. Change seems to invigorate me somehow. I am always looking for a new way of doing things – whether it is in my teaching, my learning or my general way of life.
    Take care

  7. Hi Erica ,
    I am all about change ,I love change and my whole life and my families
    life was about change ,for us it gets maybe boring if there is no change .
    Lets see what we can change next 🙂
    Thank you for this great article.

    • Erika,
      You certainly have a lot going on in your environment all the time. So you are used to change and embrace it – and you get so much accomplished no matter what is going on.


      Dr. Erica

  8. Hi Erica,
    Great post. I used to not mind change but since getting older, I don’t like it much at all. Maybe because the recent changes for me have been loss and sadness.

    Thank you for your encouraging post and I know things do get better, like in cycles.

    Have a great day, Monna

    • Monna,

      Change is part of life but sometimes the change happens too abruptly, too soon and too often. We are not ultimately in control of our circumstances, only our responses and ways that we cope.


      Dr. Erica

  9. Lots of change around here these days. Our children are young adults and we have to ‘learn’ how to interact with then all over again. It is tough… when they go off to school, but even more difficult to some extent, when they come home on break. Totally new dynamics. It is amazing to watch them become who they are! I miss the days when they were young pups!!

    • Dawn,

      That is a big change and it must also be amazing to see those little pups become full grown adults. To watch their lives unfold and to know that you have had a huge impact must also be wonderful.


      Dr. Erica

  10. Change is the spice that keeps life interesting. When a life partner is too afraid of change, it can poison a relationship. Your words here will be a great help to many. I love change, as long as everything remains the same. LOL

    • Mary,

      I love your humor. We all want to have what we want, even if something has to change, but the hope is that it will all be much better or at least stay the same. But with change comes something unexpected, and not always pleasing or comfortable.


      Dr. Erica

  11. It’s articles like this that I wish I could get my husband to read Erica 🙂
    I love the way you write and explain things in such a fluid and simple, no nonsense way.
    I embrace change and would be bored without a regular dose of it injected into my life!

    • Sonia,
      Thank you for your kind words. Not everyone likes to read about emotional and relationship topics. But your husband can be influenced by the way you think and feel and behave toward him and with him. Embrace who you are and who he is, and you can both handle any changes with ease.


      Dr. Erica

  12. Dr. Erica,
    this article was so timely I need to say it to you…

    I was not aware of the so called “stress” that is caused by changes.. ho, yes, I knew it was something but since it happen so often with me.. I though it was normal but others may not be on the same line and guess what? I got in troubles many times and did not even think that the so called “trouble” was coming from them not being at the same level I was (it does not mean good or bad level, it was just different).

    It took sometime for me to get it correctly and that was not long a go.. and what teach me is to be aware and be careful when I make some changes with others involved.. and PUT them first since I may not know how that “change” affect them.

    Thanks a lot for all your scientific information that you share with all of us who may never get to it in any other way…

    • Nick,

      Change causes so much stress, especially for people who like to be organized and like to think they have control over their life. In the end, we realize that we really don’t have control. All we can control is out attitude and the way we respond to life circumstances and events. Change is an integral part of life and we might as well accept it and find a way to live in the moment.


      Dr. Erica

  13. Hey Erica I absolutely enjoyed reading this article. Recently my wife and I have been gong through a lot of change and movement but luckily it has been a very enjoying experience and a positive one. I think like you mentions, staying in the FLOW of it really helps. Understanding how to stay grounded and where the core of your relationship is important during any transition in life.

    • Kyle,
      Glad to hear that you and your wife have built a solid foundation to help you deal with change. It can really add excitement and a sense of novelty that can be inspiring to both of you. There are positives and negatives in dealing with change.


      Dr. Erica

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