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Don't Get Lost in Transition

How to Handle Big Life Changes as a Couple

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  • You become a caretaker for an elderly parent.

    If you're squeezed in a generational sandwich, with kids still at home and parents getting older (and possibly sicker), then you may find yourself in the role of caretaker. "The problem that can arise is that with so much on your plate, it's too easy to put your partner last in terms of attention," says Litzinger.

    If you're the main caretaker for a parent—whether that means shuttling your folks to medical appointments, taking over their finances, or even finding room in your home for them—be sure you also take care of yourself, too. The best way to be attentive to your spouse is to make yourself a priority. "If you put your spouse on a list of things and people to take care of, you'll only end up resenting him or her, too," says Litzinger. If you are depleted, then you can't pay attention to anyone—but if you're practicing self-care, then you're less likely to feel resentful. Once you've spent some time caring for yourself, sit down with your partner and discuss how you both feel about your changed circumstances.

Don't Get Lost in Transition
How to Handle Big Life Changes as a Couple
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