Peace and Healing

A Perspective of Traditional and Non-Traditional Methods of Healing

Relationship Acclimation (Adjustment)

What is relationship acclimation (Adjustment?)

Acclimation is to adjust to a given situation, whether good or bad. Spend a few days with minus ten degree temperatures. You go to work,warm your vehicle up, bundle up and cannot get warm. In a few days it is twenty degrees above zero and you feel as if you can go out with a light weight jacket. You have been acclimating to the weather. Our bodies adjust. Mountain climbers do this acclimation so they can avoid HAPE or High Altitude Pulmonary Edema. Our psyches acclimate also. We adjust to the relationship dance. It can be pathological and harmful or it can be healthy. Never the less we adjust. During my unfortunate experience of being sexually abused by my cousin, that I wrote about in the book “Above His Shoulders” I adjusted, I acclimated to the abuse over time. It was not any less traumatic or abusive, however I knew what was coming and I just had to accept. I adjusted to a feeling of learned helplessness. As is the same for the battered woman, or the co-dependent wife that inadvertently supports the alcoholic. We acclimate. In new relationships that last, we learn from each other. The little quirks of life. How does one hang clothes? How does one squeeze the toothpaste? What are their eating habits? Each party begins to adjust and acclimate. When that acclimation does not happen in a healthy relationship a few things might occur. Resentment, rigidity or separation due to inherent conflict. Is the relationship more important to one than the other? You will find out over a given amount of time I assure you. It is compromise through acclimation. This holds true for communication and problem solving. Learning new techniques if each party is open can be very exciting. We are all changing and to refuse that belief is gross denial. the solar system is changing, the earth is changing, our bodies are changing and relationships change. We cannot hold onto the same behavior or we WILL get the same result.

How do we acclimate or adjust in a relationship?

Acclimation in a relationship takes time. Most of us are not even aware it is happening. There are many terms that float around like, “the guy is whipped.” This clearly assumes that he has given up his time with his friends for his love life. For women they frequently hear, “he is too controlling, you never go shopping anymore.” The couples are adjusting and their peers miss them, hence derogatory labels. During this time of adjusting be aware of changes. Try to be tolerant of the differences. What did each party have to give up to move in together? Did one give up more than the other? Is that recognized, and is this acknowledged? When couples show compassion for each other, and are gentle in their compromise, the acclimation can be an awesome bonding experience. Shopping together, doing the laundry and laughing how the one would usually screw it up (yes it is usually the guy.) When there is trust, then each can laugh about it. Use humor, realize no ill intent is intended. When the weather warmed up to twenty degrees you felt good. When you know both parties are working towards a common goal it feels good. It feels very good when a couple recognizes and accept the adjustments and not fight it. When one digs their heels in and refuses to adjust furniture, clothes, and meals then there is not the team approach. TEAM. Together Everyone Achieves More. To acclimate is to be aware it will happen, be aware when it is happening, be accepting of each other and be prepared for some change. You do not want to loose your identity, just sand off the rough edges of a previous history. Start new, begin the Spring cleaning of the relationship and watch how it enhances your relationship.

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