Relationships. Why do they change? So often we find ourselves struggling to maintain a long-term relationship that somehow doesn't feel as good as it used to. Our sense of history and loyalty motivate us to do whatever we can to keep that relationship alive. How do we know when it is time to move on?

Like everything else in life, nothing remains static, everything changes. According to quantum physics, the universe and everything in it is in a constant state of flux. When we examine an atom up close, we can see tremendous movement. If the universe is in a constant state of flux, it is only natural that we, as part of this universe, are also constantly changing. We all change and grow over the years.

Think about yourself. Who you are as a human being is undoubtedly different from who you were twenty, thirty years ago. Life's experiences change how we view the world and how we think. We grow. We evolve. We change. We acquire wisdom over the years. We find that new and different things hold meaning for us.

For instance, as a woman in her twenties, my priorities were totally different from the woman I am today. Now I have children and that experience alone has dramatically changed the way that I look at the world. Back then, I was much more self-involved then I am now. I worked in media in New York City for nearly twenty years and believe me, that experience had a tremendous impact on my thinking.

I have a dear friend that I have known for over twenty years. Her life and mine took very different paths. I worked, got married, had kids, retired and am now working again. She has led a single life with a very exciting international career. Somehow we have managed to maintain that friendship because at our cores we still hold the same deep values and passion that overshadow the surface differences.

But there have been other relationships that have not fared as well. I had to accept that they no longer worked and let them go. Sometimes the length of a friendship cannot accommodate the people we have become. Our values, the things that we hold precious, no longer jibe. How we interact doesn't work anymore. With age, we learn to say no to things that we accommodated in the past. We realize that what we say no to defines us. We find that we have come to a place in our lives where what we value dictates what we accept in our lives.

I remember when I was younger it seemed to me that if a relationship went south, I was to blame; obviously it was something that I did. Not so anymore. There is no guilt. There is just what is.

If there is turmoil in a relationship, I know that I must first and foremost stop and determine if there is anything whatsoever that I might have done to contribute to that turmoil. Perhaps I said something that could have been misinterpreted by the other person. If I am totally honest with myself and identify where I could have done something differently, then there is a good chance that I can fix things.

But not always. Sometimes communication just doesn't work; we seem to be misreading each other too often; what we place importance on in a relationship shifts for one or both of us. We find that there is more dissonance than resonance. We may still care deeply for one another but we find that we don't work anymore.

There is no fault or blame. Things change. What doesn't serve us we leave behind. Fortunately, we seem to find a way to make most of our relationships work because we have such a deep love and respect for that other person. But sometimes not.

Here is where acceptance comes into play. Accept the relationship for what it is and not what we want it to be. It is what it is. Once you have accepted that reality (versus your version of what reality should look like) then you are free to make a decision about maintaining that relationship or not. Perhaps you find a way to live with the relationship because the pros outweigh the cons. Perhaps you find the cons are not worth the effort anymore. Either way, it a decision based upon the truth.

The beauty of all this is that if we leave our ego at the door and are honest and accepting, we can make things work more often than not. I think that is the key to most everything in life. Honesty and acceptance. Go with what matters the most to you and what honors you. Accept nothing less. Life is too short.

Author's Bio: 

Shelley Stile is an ACC certified Divorce Recovery Life Coach and author who guides her clients to let go the pain of their divorce and move on to create new and vibrant lives after divorce. Shelley has been through her own divorce so she knows first-hand about the journey of divorce recovery. Shelley coaches her clients on a one-on-one basis and also leads tele-seminars and workshops. She has published powerful articles and books on life after divorce and is the author of the new book, 95 Transformational Tips for Letting Go and Moving On After Your Divorce available at

She is a certified coach and member of the International Coaches Federation, the governing body for Life Coaching. Shelley trained with the Coaches Training Institute and the Ford Institute for Integrative Coaching’s Spiritual Divorce Recovery.

Receive her free, powerful e-book, The 10 Secrets to Coping with Divorce’, and her monthly ‘Take Back Your Life After Divorce’ Newsletter by going to: or contact Shelley at to schedule a free consultation and sample session of divorce coaching. For more information on Divorce Recovery Coaching, go to