How can I get my partner on board with the life changes I want to make?

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teen datingQuestion:

I have been going to therapy for a while to work on some of my childhood issues and it has been helping. I am excited to make some changes in my life, but I notice my partner does not share my enthusiasm and gets mad at all of my suggestions. How do I get them to be on board with changing?

Answer:

This is a question that comes up a lot. Spiritual/personal growth is about changing ourselves, not attempting to change others. Sometimes when one starts to grow she is eager to make her partner more like her. This often comes across, or is interpreted as judgment and criticism. The partner may feel scared, threatened or defensive. Basically the message is I have found the way and you should follow. If you have ever been pressured to sign up for multi-level marketing you know what this feels like.

Whatever happens in a relationship is co-created. Both partners contribute to a positive or negative process. It is best to lead by example rather than trying to renovate a person. If we create positive changes in ourselves, that will change the relationship.

If there are major differences it is better to seek counselling than to try to fight it out yourselves. In the meantime treat your partner as you would like to be treated: with respect, love, compassion and understanding. This is where your real growth happens.