• Darrell & Robin MacLearn

3 Ways to Stay Strong During Life Transitions


This training builds endurance and the ability to have a long-lasting eXtraOrdinary marriage. Endurance is learning to navigate the stages of life to overcome the challenges and transitions as the marriage grows and changes.

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Transitions are a reality in every marriage and relationship as we journey through life. Some may see more transitions than others but all will see transitions as we age. Robin and I have seen more than our share of transitions. 19 moves in 34 years of marriage. The adoption of two children. Navigating the transitions of a special needs child. Navigating human trafficking and forced drug addiction. Career transitions, business ownership, higher education degrees, multiple home purchases, and sales… and the list can continue.

Our Transitions

  • 19 moves in 34 years of marriage

  • 2 adoptions

  • Special needs child

  • Human trafficking and forced drug addiction

  • University degrees

  • 4 career changes

  • Multiple home purchases and sales


Lifting to Last

Sometimes we find ourselves in a situation where we are forced to lift something heavy all of a sudden and it is in those moments that we find ourselves nursing an injury that could drastically hinder our future. To avoid the weight of transitions and potential “transition injury” that could harm the endurance of a relationship we recommend “lifting to last.”

“Lifting to Last” is the gradual building and strengthening of muscle overtime working on muscles that will be called upon in transition. Here are some muscles to work on now so that they are strong when in the middle of inevitable transitions.

Transitions require us to be “tuned in” to what is going on in our spouse. During transitions, it is easy for a spouse to get sucked into the transition vortex, and all of their attention, effort, and energy is given to navigating the transition in their life. Think career change and all that is required to perform well in that new career. To be strong during these times of transition pay close attention to the following muscles.

Tuned In Eye Muscle During transitions, it is important to have strong eye muscles that are observant of your spouse. Be “tuned in” and observe mood changes, stress, fear, distance and other emotions. Too often when we are not “tuned in” with “toned up” eye muscles we can get easily offended and react in selfish ways that add to the stress of the transition.

Practice being observant to your spouse. Spend time tuned in now to what and how your spouse “handles life” and have open conversations about what you see in each other. The next exercise is critical in these conversations.

Active Ear Muscle It is critical that you hear and understand what your spouse is communicating from their perspective. If you practice Active and Empathetic Listening now these muscles will be strong when going through transitions. Here is a deeper dive into these muscles and things you can do.

Communication Playlist

Tightened Tongue Muscle The sign of maturity is the holes in your tongue. We were given two ears and one mouth. Practice listening more than talking and then when you do talk practice words of encouragement and understanding. Spend time building one another up.


Transitions test the strength of your patience. To have a strong eXtraOrdinary marriage that lasts the tests of time it is important to build the muscles along the way so that when the heavy weight is added to the bar it’s liftable without stress or injury.

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