How's the Elasticity of Your Relationship?

"Drifting Away" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward


A coaching client and I were discussing her marriage. She's changing and it's stretching their relationship because he wants things to stay the same.

She's feeling guilty.

I explained why she doesn't need to feel this way.

Imagine an elastic between you and your partner. When you change and move, it stretches your relationship. You can ease the strain or you can test the elasticity of your relationship by continuing to grow.

The risk is snapping the elastic.

But, if your partner adapts, they can relieve the pressure on the elastic too. They don't have to move in exactly the same direction as you. They can move parallel or even diverge some. Both of you can stretch and relax the elastic as you both change and move in your own ways.

Good elastics can take a lot of relaxing and stretching before they snap.

So I encouraged her to not feel bad. I see her stretching the relationship but easing the pressure when it gets too stressful for him or her. But, if she wants to keep growing and if he continues to resist, it will snap. The relationship will break.


You should grow! But if your partner refuses to participate and grow in order to relieve the tension, then it's your partner's fault the elastic snaps.

If you're growing and changing, even in dramatic ways, it legitimately forces your partner to change too. But this is what relationship is about! If they refuse to move while you stretch yourself, then it's their fault for breaking the bond between you.

Not yours!

Back to blog

Leave a comment