A quick announcement. Due to the holiday season and the amount of traveling I will be doing in December, this will be the last WRITTEN blog post for 2019. Next week, Dec. 9th., will be the last VIDEO blog post for 2019. After the 9th., my weekly blog post will resume on January 6th., 2020. Wow, it's almost 2020. Where the heck did 2019 go?
When we talk about change, we must realize that change always occurs.It is the natural course of life. Change affects everyone. Whether it is at work, or your personal life. Without change, everything would be stagnant, and forward progress would cease to exist. Therefore, change is inevitable. The real concern is, we focus on the change that has a direct impact on us. Any type of change that changes the path of our life. Some examples might be our health, our relationships, or our jobs. There are certainly more, but the concept of change is the same, regardless of the type. Changes in health are a given. I've said this many times, and after over 30 years in pre-hospital medicine, I have seen it proven time and time again. The human body is a degenerative machine. PERIOD. It does not get better with age. Taking care of yourself, exercise, proper diet, etc., can and will help delay that process, but the process that will occur. This post is not about our health or our jobs because we have limited control on those two. I have written papers on those topics. To discuss them, this post would be a book, not a blog. This post is about the change in people on a personal level.
WHY DO PEOPLE CHANGE:
If I had ten cents for every person I have heard say; my wife/husband changed after marriage, or over the span of time they have been together, I would be the wealthiest man on the planet. The fact is, people do change, and that change occurs for a variety of reasons. 62% of changes that occur in a relationship are the direct result of a failure at some level by both parties. Other factors include; friends, family, personality dynamics, medical disorders, and more. WHEN PEOPLE CHANGE, THERE IS A REASON FOR IT! The question is, are you partly to blame or is it totally their fault? Most people are affected by their surroundings, work, life situations such as money problems, boredom, not feeling appreciated, the environment they live in, or feeling as if they are being taken for granted, just to name a few. The most common being; they feel as if their needs are not being met, which leads to other issues entering the equation. Add work and other issues into the mix, and the change can be positive, or negative. Understand that I am simplifying this. These issues go much deeper regarding cause and effect.
In most cases, in a relationship, the outcome is negative. Why? One reason is, by nature, someone always has to be right and the other wrong. A horrible concept in order to have a successful relationship, but it is what we are taught from when we are young. Someone always has to be right and the other wrong. What about the concept that both parties may be right, or wrong? Look at it this way. If two people do not work together to come to a CONSTRUCTIVE conclusion, they are both wrong. If both parties can admit and face the fact that this is a sharted problem, THEY ARE BOTH RIGHT, and in most cases, will resolve the issue. I would be remiss if I did not mention temporary life changes, such as during a holiday season, or the change of seasons. Many studies have been conducted on something as simple as how daylight savings time changes people.
By nautre, most people want companionship, moreso around the holidays. The human species is hardwired, innate behavior, not to be alone. Of course there are exceptions to the rule. Therefore, breakups near a holiday can be quite traumatic to someone during that time frame. It can lead them to be depressed during these times. For most, this is temporary, and passes after the holiday is over. However, there could be deeper issues and this depression carries on day after day. All the holoiday season did was amplify the visual signs, providing, someone is paying attention. As an over thrity-years as a paramedic in the pre-hospital medical setting, and a firefighter, we are tained to evaluate not only ourself, but our partners. In that game, there is no room for error. When they screw up, someone could die. Therefore, it is importabt for us to be aware of the mental state of mind of those we are working with. This sounds like a POSITIVE thing, correct? For the most part it is. However, there is a downside. When you are trained to monitor the mental staus of people, it's not the type of thong you leave at work. It becomes part of your daily life. Therefore, we tend to monitor the status of those we love closer than other may. This could be a pain in the ass for others because if we see something that is not normal for that person, we jump right in.
Think of this. All first responders are highly trianed to be aware of their surroundings at all times. Especialoly law enforcement officers. I NEVER sit anywhere in a room where my back is to others. I want to see the whole room. I am constantly taking mental pictures of those in the room, where they are, and what they are doing. I do not even realize I'm doing it. It's now second nature, even though I no longer work in those fields. If I sit at a bar, it's never in the middle. It's always at the far end. If something is coming, I want to see it before it happens, noit have to react to it after it has happened. All of this speaks to awareness. This can be a curse. I ahev had many great successful relationships and to this day am still firends with those I am no longer with. Like most, I have also had not so successful relationships. EVERYTIME, I have seen it coming, I've tried to address it early on, sometimes ending successfully, and other times not. One mght say, why it that a curse?
Trust me. It can cause problems becuase others that do not pay that close of attention, do not understand it, and take it in a negative way. Enough background. Let's move on.
HOW DO WE RECOGNIZE THIS CHANGE?
In life, to recognize anything, you must be paying attention. Another phrase that could make us all millionaires is, "I DIDN'T SEE THIS COMING." Of course, you didn't. You weren't paying attention. As a species, we are creatures of habit. Think about it. You probably take the same route to work every day, stop at the same coffee shop, go to the same market, and shop at the same stores. Your routine when you get home is probably written in stone. Yes, some of this is due to necessity, but a dear friend of mine who is a police officer once told me, they never worry about catching everyday people if they commit a crime. Their routine is methodical and with minor changes. A criminal has no routine. They mix it up, This makes harder for them to be caught.
Every person who is changing has showed signs of it coming. You have all heard this before. All of a sudden, one person or the other becomes more conscious about how they look before they leave the house, meaning, more so than in the past. Suddenly, they want privacy when they text or take a call. A new gym routine. A group of new friends. Starting to come home late from work, or staying out later than normal. The list goes on and on. These can be signs of change. The sports addicts who only cares about watching the game or being at the bar with their friends, will never notice it. The person who is so focused on their kids will not notice it. Basically, ANYTIME YOU ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION, you will not notice it, regardless of the reason. I've always said, if you want to live like you are single, why get into a relationship or worse, get married? Any form of commitment comes with expectations on one, or on the part of both parties. No one is saying two people need to be up each other's ass 24/7, or can't have or do things with friends. It's how it is done that matters. Meaning, without consideration for your counterpart. When I was married, and a friend asked me if I wanted to do something, I would reply, "Let me check with my wife first." Oh yes, I was called all the traditional name which I would say here. However, I was not any of those things.She did not control me, nor when I expected the same in return, it's not be I wanted to control her. I was simply being courteous to the other person in my life. Now, if I stopped doing that, it should raise a red flag. I think you get my point.
Did you know that the suicide rate drastically increases around certain holidays, Christmas being the largest? It may not happen to you, but there are many people due to a past experience, a present or recent experience, become severely depressed around a holiday if they are going to alone. Has this ever happened to you? It isn't limited to a relationship experience. It could also be due to the death of a loved one so close to a holiday, that is affects them every year. It's difficult enough for people when they miss loved ones that are no longer with them without having the additional trauma of losing them close to or on a holiday. I have cared for many people during my career that died on Christmas day, or on a birthday. A time of year that they would be celebrating and enjoying this persons comany. It has a traumatic effect on people. The question is; ARE YOU NOTICING IT? ARE YOU PAYING ATTENTION?
I touched on this briefly. In almost every case, when a person changes, there are warning signs that were missed. I have been on scenes of a suicide where a friend of the victim was yelling at one of the partners saying, "You lived with her, how the hell could you not see this coming. I'm only her friend, and knew something was wrong?" If you notice a positive change, that is good and usually does not require attention. For example, someone lsoing weight and taking better care of themselves. Negative change are not good and require attention. Pretending it is not happening, or it doesn't exist, is simply a cop-out becuase that person does not want to face reality, and goes into denail. Maybe, they just do not care, or do not want to deal with it. It mught be something where they fear embarrassment and don't want their friends to find out. It becomes easier to simply ignore it. However, you are now walking on a spiral staircase that only leads downward.
A good example of this is a set of parents that suspect their child is doing drugs, but does not want to admit to the reality. Therefore, they go into denial, until one day, first responders have to go to their house for an unconscious unresponsive person. It's now a drug overdose, and that person might be found deceased. Which reality would you rather face? This is not limited to youth, it could be one of the parents. It is also not limited to drugs. It could be alcohol. All change comes with warning signs. Signs you will see if you are paying attention. It's what you do about that matters.
Change occurs for many reasons. Some think they were sure, just to find out they were not, and that is not your fault. You probably did not do anything wrong. You cannot control how others have reactied to their passt experiences, who they listen to, or if they have their own mental or other internal isses. However, most changes in existing relationships are the cause of both parties, not just one. The biggest problem is, neither one will admit to having a part in it because one of the other behaviors we are taught from birth, is someone always has to be right and the other wrong. That is a big crock of shit, but most of us fall prey to it. Someone always has to have the last word. Is there ever really a last word? With the except of breaking a law, most things that fail are a result of both parties contributing to it. I will add that in many cases, one of the parties involved will triy to fix it until they just give up. REMEMBER. For any relationship to suceed, both parties have to in the the game. SOmetimes a person needs to find peace in knowing at least they tried, but must understand they can't control the other person.
So what do you do next? You have just experienced a major life change. The next keyword is ACCEPTANCE. You need to train yourself into a new way of thinking. Accept what is and move on. Easier said than done. I get it, I;ve been there. However, I've learned that as long as I know I have tried, and done the right thing, the problem now sits in the lap of the other person. I also know becuase I;ve seen it many times, studied the data, and learned about it, that that person will just become a victum of repeated failures, and usually has a past of repeated failures. You must understand that you cannot take responsibility for that or anything that happened prior to you being in someone's life. If someone has been screwed over, trust will be an issue for them. The simplest most innocent thing you do may cause them to feel treatened. Not becuase of what you did, because of what was done to them by someone else. If they want help to get past that, you can certainly do that, but if they don;lt even see that is what they are doing, and can't accept that when pointed out, you can't own it.
You might ask yourself, how does he know this. When I wrote Making Partnership Choices, I put over 800 hours of research into that book. I spent almost one month in divorce courts, and another almost month as an observer in a counselors office. I have seen it explained and proven to a person in such a way that a monkey would understand it, that they had past unresolved issues. Most failed to understand it, yet acknowledge it. In every case, that is a formula for present and future failure. The blog post is longer than most I write, but one of the comments I alwyas receive is that I do a great job of explaining things in a way that people can understand what I am talking about. This is an indepth topic and took a bit more time. In no way shape or form am I gong anyone advice. If anyone reading this feels they fall into this category or is experiencing these things, I reccomend you get professional help. The rest of your life and how you proceed with it may depend on it.
The facts are simple. Change will occur, and people will change. Ignoring the warning signs, not paying attention, being in denial, will NEVER lead to a positive outcome. To have a positive outcome in any situation, you MUST be positive throughout the situation. The last thought I want to leave you with is this. Regardless of the outcome, which many times you cannot control, BE SURE THAT YOU FEEL COMFORTABLE THAT YOU DID THE RIGHT THING AND EVERYTHING YOU COULD HAVE DONE. That my friends is what will get you through.
LINKS TO MY MOST RECENT BOOKS:
When Two Worlds Collide, a love story, is now available in print, e-book, and Audio book.
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Life Through A Mirror-When Murder Calls,
This murder mystery trilogy is now complete and available in Print, E-book, and Audiobook.
A Woman's Fear-Female Abuse is a must-read for every woman, and yes, even men.
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