Major life changes often result in role transitions. By
definition, when we’re in a role transition we move from an old role to
a new role. Because the new role is, well, new, it can be hard to
adjust to - and it can be difficult for other people in our lives to
make the adjustment to our change. Other people in our lives may have
difficulty accepting, or getting used to, our new roles.
This is why role transitions can lead to depression as people struggle to define themselves in their new role.
Role Transitions and Relationships
Role transitions can lead to significant problems in relationships
because new roles require a change in expectations. For example, when
people have children, each person’s role in the relationship changes
from “married” or “partner” to “parent.”
People often have difficulty defining themselves in that new role..
They have trouble changing their view of themselves from happy go lucky
or workaholic to responsible parent. Others get into conflict in their
relationship because they and their partner have different expectations
of the role transition and what the new definitions of parent means.
Remember: people get into disputes when they have different expectations
in a relationship, and role transitions often create a situation in
which people can have very different expectations about the new role. As
a result, role transitions often result in relationship problems.
If one or more of your relationships has been affected by a role
transition, the session on role transitions can be very helpful. If you
don’t think you’re currently struggling with a role transition, you may
still find the information in this session helpful for understanding
other peoples’ struggles. At the very least, it will prepare you to cope
with future role transitions.
How has role transition affected your relationships?
Ashley, Health Educator