I was given some great marriage advice that until now, never realized how much it should be applied to all relationships--friends, family, or marriage.
"When you love someone, especially over a lifetime, its important to remember the person you fell in love with, and that they wont always be the same--change is inevitable. That's why you need to remember the person that they were, but also to love the person that they are now." To me, it makes perfect sense. How can the organism as a whole, the two people and the relationship, grow if the whole thing isn't in sync?
Often times I feel the definition of family should read: "A group of people that love each other, but outside of the group would not often 'like' each other". People change incredibly over a lifetime. To continue in a loving relationship with such important people like family and friends, you have to accept the relationship for what it is for any progress to be made. We can't pretend we are the same kids that we were growing up together, or expect someone to be the same friend that they used to be back in grade school.
Finally figuring out how important marriage advice is OUTSIDE of a marriage has been one of the most helpful things for all of my relationships, across the board. I guess if anyone stumbled across this, and it helped I would be happy. I just wish I had realized it sooner =)