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Midlife Relationship Issues / Combining Lives

Advice & Coaching for Combining Lives

If both you and your spouse have been in previous relationships and have decided to make a new life together, congratulations. You may be dealing with the pressures of a blended family, you may be childless, or you may be “empty nesters.” Whatever your living situation, coming together as a couple can have its own unique challenges.


If you’re middle-aged or older, connecting with your spouse may be a very different experience versus when you were in your 20s or 30s. Young people tend to be very idealistic, and maybe you were, too. Things are fresh, new, and exciting then. As time has passed, you’ve probably faced challenges that may have made you more sober, maybe even cynical. As you enter into this new relationship, you bring your “baggage” from your past relationship(s) with you, and so does your spouse. You also bring your hopes for the future.

As you connect with your current spouse or partner in this new relationship, it’s wise to keep in mind that negative experiences from your previous relationship can come back to haunt you, if you’re not careful.

Do you blame your spouse or partner for what’s happening to you?

Your new spouse is not responsible for what’s happened to you in the past; if you’re not careful, you could blame him or her unfairly, and cause an entirely new and vicious cycle to start up, repeating past unhealthy patterns.

Take a look in the mirror

Why are you here? What disappointments do you carry with you? Do you have healing to do? If so, realize that this is your work to do – perhaps with your spouse, to be sure, but perhaps not.

What are your expectations? Do you think that this is going to be the “perfect” relationship you’ve always wanted? If so, you’re likely to be disappointed.

Learn to love yourself

You can’t love someone else with your whole heart and soul when you haven’t yet figured out how to love yourself. Dr. Jeanne can help you learn how to do just that. When you love, embrace and take care of yourself, you create the environment for healthy love to grow.

“Loving well is like creating a master work of art. A great painter knows that it takes both dark and light hues to create a masterpiece.  Both you and your partner are products of your past.  The dark and the light experiences of your life have helped to make you who you are today.  Adult loving involves embracing your past, being present with gratitude and understanding in the present, and creating your vision of the future.”  Dr. Jeanne

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