If there’s one quote that I wish all married people knew it would be “People change and forget to tell one another.” Here’s why: Although there are a lot of people who will tell you that a healthy relationship can only happen when two people are willing to accept one another exactly as they are, the reality is that kind of relationship advice is only partly true.

Yes, when you are at the point when you are ready to make a long-term commitment to someone, you must not be thinking that you can change them immediately following your wedding ceremony. You need to accept them in the state that they’re currently in. However, if you are expecting to spend the rest of your life with a person all the while believing that they won’t change, you are going to be in for a pretty bumpy ride. Marriage is about love but it’s also about growth and in order for two people to grow, they have to embrace change. And sometimes with that comes growing pains.

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Here are five helpful tips on how you can better adjust to some of the changes within your marriage:

Love your partner “as is”. Think about the relationship that you have with your parents, your siblings or perhaps even your children. Although they may do some things that you don’t particularly like, that doesn’t make you stop loving them, right? And no matter how many changes they go through, in order to keep them in your life, you find a way to make it work. This is the same kind of mindset that you need to have with your partner. You love them simply because you love them. What comes with that, you’re open to adjusting to.

Be flexible. Something that everyone who does couples therapy should share with their clients is a quote by actor Tim Robbins: “Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.” Avoid having the mindset of “But you always said this” but more “So why are you thinking this now?” In hearing them out, it can help you to see what may have changed their way of thinking and make you more open to considering a different game plan.

Spend some quality time. There are some couples who, feel like their partner has changed overnight when the reality is they simply haven’t been communicating with one another. It’s pretty easy with the day-to-day demands of life to forget to spend some quality time with the one you married, but it’s imperative that you make time to just sit and talk to one another on a weekly basis whether that’s over breakfast or on weekend date night. You want to make sure that your phone is on silent or vibrate during those conversations. You both deserve to have one another’s undivided attention.

Speak up. It’s important to remember that when you married your life partner, a part of the reason was so that you could intimately share your life with your closest friend—and friends tell each other the truth. If you notice a change transpiring that seems to be unhealthy (like they’re working too many hours, drinking more than they should or even that they have an unhealthy diet), it’s not just OK to speak up; you have a responsibility to. You are to encourage the one you love to change for the better, not the worse.

Give the same respect you want to receive. Here’s the thing about change: Sometimes what we notice is not so much that the other person is drastically different. It’s simply that they have changed some and also, so have we. If you want to be loved unconditionally and you’d like your partner to make you feel like they’re there for you no matter what, you have to be willing to offer them that same respect and space. Change can be a really good thing—when love is what’s surrounding it.

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