Past a certain point in life, everyone has more or less baggage that they and their partners have to deal with. Not all baggage is made equal, and having a kid at the age of 27 isn’t quite the same as dating a widower who took a vow to love another person until ‘they both shall live’, but whatever the baggage is, there are practical and constructive ways to ensure it doesn’t stand in the way of true happiness. Today, we explore what both partners can do to help each other overcome obstacles past that still affect their future, and how they can both grow from it.
#1: Define Your Baggage As Clearly as Possible
After 9 years of marriage, he just packs up one day and leaves with a younger woman. You spend months hating your life and everything in it when one day you meet someone handsome and smart with an insane amount of the same interests as you, and you make the effort to imagine what your life would be like with someone else in it. You start talking, and he seems like a breath of fresh air you desperately need to get out of the rut that is dragging you down, when all of a sudden you realize he has a child. What does that mean for you? Well, it probably means you won’t always come first, and a substantial part of his resources has to be devoted for the care of the child. Does that mean the two of you have too much baggage that you just can’t make a relationship work? Absolutely not! If he understands what deeply rooted sadness is and is supportive of you on your journey to ‘self-rediscovery’, you’ll feel that much more motivated to accept him the way he is, with all his flaws and responsibilities, and vice versa.
#2: Nurture The Good
Instead of focusing on the fact that you won’t see him on Saturdays when you’d love to go for walks, travel out of town or spend all day in bed because you can as he spends Saturdays with his child, shift your focus towards something that brings you together, like your passion for design. So you’ll hang out on Sundays. You can absolutely make the most of it by planning out a date that both of you will find interesting and fulfilling, such as making a meal together before the football game is on or taking photographs on the changing seasons in March at a park downtown.
#2: Being Understanding Is Key
There will be times when your sadness just overpowers you so much, you can’t deal with a fact your life has changed so, and there is nothing your partner can do about that. Learning to accept that fact will allow you to embrace life as it is, no matter what you had planned. At the same time, there will come a situation when his kid’s high fever will prevent him from going out to the movies with you even though you were really looking forward to that premiere. That doesn’t mean you can’t do something exciting once the little one is back on his feet as long as you both understand that not being 100% available is perfectly fine.