Can You Change Your Partner?
Sophia Adamson, Staff
Is it possible to change your life partner? This question is rhetorical, but for some it may be very urgent. Many of us have probably come across almost intractable situations in life. At these times, we need relationships and love, which have a way of lessening difficulties and burdens and help us feel safe. Yet, regardless of the desire between two people to be together, alas, one thing may create such a significant obstacle that one partner want change something about the other for the relationship to work.
There may be different situations driving the need for such change. A person may drink too much alcohol. Or one eagerly wants to have children, while the other doesn’t. Or a partner cheats. Maybe one partner has a terribly complex character, and is often overly sensitive or hysterical. Someone can be an unbearable sports fan, willing to sell his or her own mother to get a ticket to an important game. Or a partner is an incorrigible workaholic and cannot find a bit of free time to be with his or her family. Finally, some people cannot stand an hour without calling a friend to consult them about every little thing.
Every person has problems, shortcomings, and character flaws. What if life with a person is nearly perfect all respects, and there little to complain about, except for one particular feature. It interferes with living, seems to spoil everything, and starts becoming a big obstacle to happiness and well-being. So, like it or not, one characteristic slowly leeches into all areas of life with this partner, including both intimate and family situations.
This often puts partners on the verge of breakup, divorce, or a complete rupture. Yet, if a spark of love and respect persists, we ask ourselves: is it possible to change a person? The answer here isn’t simple because it is very difficult and almost impossible to change a person if he or she does not want to change.
There are several scenarios when you want your partner to change.
When There’s No Will There’s No Way
It is practically impossible to change a person against their will. It is unlikely to be achieved with ill will or threats, such as filing for divorce. Most likely, the partner “under attack” will simply get angry and conclude that you did not understand him or her. They may feel unaccepted or that they were never loved. Thus, the situation remains unresolved and stressful.
Life Events Change People
External life circumstances can really change a person. For example, a new job, a rise in a career, or business ruin, as well as a birth of a child or a loss of a loved one, can significantly impact a person’s outlook on life. During these periods, a person tends to reassess their values and may take a new look at their behavior and actions. A partner may decide, “I’m looking for a woman or man that wants me for who I am, without changing.” Or he or she may decide that changing themselves is absolutely worth it.
It is hard if the driver for changes in a person is someone’s death, life turmoil, an accident, or another tragedy. After all, this is already a stressful situation, and a person shouldn’t need the burden of worrying if they will be psychologically happy with a partner. Regardless, negative or traumatic life events often change a person for the better and make them stronger. As well, they may help expand a person’s outlook and make one think about life more constructively. (Of course, there are many cases where a person breaks down or hits rock bottom after difficult life events, which strains the relationship more).
Support the One Willing To Change
A person CAN change if they want this change, at least a little, or if they understand and respect how important it is for their life partner and other loved ones. In this case, it is best to support your partner in every way, both psychologically, intimately and materially. Yet, it’s also important to understand your role in every step on the path to making changes. This way you also know when you need to give your partner some time or space, without getting your feelings hurt.
Is Your Motivation Honorable or Selfish?
There is, of course, another clever, yet time-consuming approach to changing your partner’s flaw. Here, you will need patience, ingenuity, and the support of others. This may be the best approach if you still love your partner, but they are going through difficulties such as alcoholism or work stress.
In this approach, you will need to help your partner discover that they may want to change themselves. Of course, this is a very delicate process that requires sincerity, endurance, and love. As well, you may need to seek the support of professionals, such as a counselor, and other family members, as the process may be challenging.
Finally, one more important point: if you want to correct a destructive drawback in your partner (an unhealthy habit, destructive outlook on life, self degradation, and irrational misconceptions), it may be an honorable, or even necessary, effort. Yet, if you want to “fix” them simply to align them to your tastes, expectations or interests, then you better ask yourself, “Do I have the right to do this?” Is this a loving thing to do to a person? How long will this changed partner interest you? And when will you try to manipulate them again?
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Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Views expressed here do not necessarily reflect those of Waking Times or its staff.