Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Stop Trying to Change People!

I've come to realize that we often spend way too much counter-productive time trying to change and mold other people into who we want them to be. Specifically in our intimate relationships. I can honestly say some of the biggest mistakes I've made in my own past relationships was trying to change a grown adult into the person I needed at that time in my life. Huge mistake. 
The reality is when you enter into a relationship with the expectation of the other person changing into who YOU want them to be; you are setting the stage for them to not only resent you but the demise of that relationship. 
The one thing people want to maintain in a relationship is their own identity. Even as you two become a unit they still need a sense of self in order to be whole. You cannot and will not ever complete another person. Completeness happens from within. If you are constantly trying to change them they will slowly lose a sense of who they are. Subtle things like attempting to change the way someone dresses, how they style their hair, how they speak, what their interest are...I could go on and on but you get the picture. You may think you are trying to change them for the better according to your standards but the truth is this could have very negative consequences. Resentment, bitterness and anger are often the by-products of you attempting to change your significant other.
The fact is the person you're with may never change. And...if they do change it will be something that they must want to do for themselves. You don't have the power to evoke change in another human being who does not see your vision of how they need to be. Sorry to be the one to tell you that. Lifestyle changes, like losing weight, stop smoking cigarettes, stop cursing etc...again, are all changes that must come from the internal desire to change. 
What I've learned dating my wife and now in our marriage is that in order to experience the true joy of a healthy happy relationship; you must learn to love the person right where they are. You must learn to find peace and understanding even in those things that you may see as a flaw. That's the beauty of a balanced relationship. Flaws and all. For the first time in my adult life I didn't enter into the relationship with my wife trying to change her. I accepted her for who she was and what she brought to my life. Sure, there were small things along the way that she changed for me but they were things that she ultimately wanted to change within herself. I was just the influence she needed to make it happen. And the same goes for the changes I've made in my life. But, even if she didn't...that was okay as well. We've rubbed off on each other in positive ways and we both love it!
So, I challenge you today...stop trying to change your spouse or the person you're dating. If you have that many issues with them then perhaps they are not the one for you and you need to be honest with yourself and the other person about that. Any changes that need to be made within them, life has a funny way of taking care of that. Just relax and enjoy the differences between you two and try to find a common ground. You'll appreciate your mate more when you stop trying to change them into someone they're not.

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