Trying to Change a Partner Doesn’t Work

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heart handsMost of us, unless we are staunchly independent, want to have a loving relationship with a partner. While relationships start out that way, sometimes things change over time, and the loving part gets lost amidst the demands of everyday living. As life becomes more complicated, and reality sets in, we may see aspects of our partner which are different from what we first imagined.

Further, as is the way of relationships, issues get triggered in both partners. One may take the lead, in order to get things done, and the other may interpret this as control, reminiscent of a domineering parent. Or one may become quite independent, triggering in the other memories of a parent who had no time for the children. Struggles may ensue, with each person trying to change the other into a closer representation of the perfect partner, or at least one who could fulfill his or her emotional needs.

With struggle comes pain, and an even deeper, perhaps desperate need to change the other person. It never works. When we try to change someone, they resist. The more we try, the more they resist, and the more the differences become entrenched.

So what is the solution? The solution is love. When we love and appreciate our partners, they relax into a more positive mode. We are all much more motivated to really listen to and accommodate someone who truly cares about and respects us. Real love is about continuing to be affectionate and supportive even in the face of differences.

Tearing down another person will begin to tear down the relationship. It is an uphill climb to rebuild trust after cruel, judgmental words are spoken. The natural response to such negativity is to pull back, and put less of oneself into the relationship. Love, acceptance and understanding, on the other hand, result in a heart opening, and a willingness to share and work together.

So it’s not surprising then, that the way to a more loving relationship is to be more loving ourselves.

Copyright © Gwen Randall-Young, All Rights Reserved. Contact us if you would like permission to reprint.
CDs You May be Interested In:
Conflict Resolution in Relationships
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Relationship Landmines
When Relationships Break Down
Relationship Healing