2 Raw Reasons Why He May Never Be the Man You Want Him to Be

BY: - 9 Dec '16 | Marriage

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Don’t you just wish your man would just be more outgoing? Or do you want your woman to be more of a social butterfly? But can you really change him or her?

Several of the people I know in relationships have something they want their mate to change.  Women often think they can initiate or motivate the change.  When men are looking for change in their mate, they tell them what to do to affect the change they “need” in their lives, and then they expect the woman to follow the instructions.

In my experience, neither methodology generally works. Change can be influenced by a number of factors, but ultimately, the decision lies with the person confronted with acting, talking or living differently.  Let me share some examples.

Why Would I Change, You’re Still Here, Aren’t You?

I had a client a while back who was so in love with this guy, though, he didn’t really show much sign of being in love with her in return. Actually, he really didn’t show any signs of being in “like” with her.  He was okay with having sex with her periodically, but even that was 100 percent on his terms.

She felt like he was capable of being so much more—a better boyfriend, a better lover and possibly a great husband. She pressed him to change. She wanted him to treat her differently. She wanted him to spend more quality time, take her out on dates and be there for her.

He was never capable of being that for her. He would speak in vague terms to string her along, but even with that, he would often tell her not to call, not to text and not to visit (Yes, really!).

But…she was still around.  Although much of her issues were deep-seated brokenness, which requires healing, some of the things on the surface could be addressed. She could see he wasn’t going to change, but she stayed around. He told her through his actions that he wasn’t going to change, yet she was still in the pseudo-relationship.  He had no reason to change.  He was being a terrible boyfriend and a terrible person, yet she tolerated it.

If you want a child to change, to get to a different behavior, you have to be willing to let the child have consequences for their current actions for them to understand the behavior will not be tolerated. To effect change in a relationship, where someone is mistreating you, you have to offer appropriate consequences. Bad behavior and mistreatment should not be tolerated. You can’t expect someone who treats you badly to change how they treat you if you keep coming back for more.

You Can Talk Until You Are Blue in the Face…

Many years ago, I dated someone who was very nice in general.  The one exception was that she couldn’t forgive.  She had some people who had done her wrong in the past, and she flat out refused to forgive. It created a vitriol in her I had never seen before.

The grudge she was carrying and the disdain for the people who hurt her was a huge weight on her shoulders.  Every time she had to interact with them, the lack of forgiveness would come up again.  I finally had a talk with her and asked her to forgive.  She wouldn’t do it, and she wasn’t willing to try to change.

It was ultimately the reason for the end of our relationship. I talked to her about this issue until I was blue in the face. I was offering suggestions, books, counseling and other options. She didn’t want to do it. She was determined to extract the pound of flesh she felt she was owed. The point here is that even though her lack of being able to forgive destroyed our relationship, impacted her life greatly and affected other relationships, she wasn’t ready to change.  Until she made a personal decision, there was nothing anyone else, or I, could do to make someone else change.

In summary, I believe you can’t change people.  Even with consequences or discussions, you don’t have the power to change anyone.  Only an individual can decide to make a change. You can influence change but only to an extent.  You have the power to make decisions as well.  Always make decisions based on your personal well-being over your desire to change someone. You can’t make someone who is not good for you be the right person for you. Often, you will have to be the one to make a change in the best interest of yourself and not wait on others.

BMWK, was there something you wanted to change about a past or current partner? If you got them to change it, how did you influence that change? If not, what happened in the relationship?

About the author

Jay Hurt wrote 85 articles on this blog.

Jay Hurt is a Relationship Coach, columnist and author of the book, The 9 Tenets of a Successful Relationship (http://9tenetsonline.com/about-the-book ). Jay’s focus is working with people who want to design better relationships and get more out of life!


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Do You Have a True 50/50 Partnership? 5 Signs You Don’t

BY: - 12 Dec '16 | Marriage

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The official definition of marriage is a familial bond recognized legally, religiously or socially, granting the participating partners mutual conjugal rights and responsibilities. However, we all know marriage is so much more than that. It is the ultimate friendship and a real partnership.

What I’ve noticed over the years is that a great many couples forget the partnership piece. Some folks are so concerned with their own needs, they neglect the idea of what it means to be in partnership. Partners are equals, who value one another’s opinions. They treat the other with respect and stand together during the highs and the lows.

I encourage every couple to routinely reflect on their marriages and strive for true partnership. And here are five areas you should work on.

You don’t talk about the small stuff

You should communicate with your spouse on even the smallest issues. Of course, couples have to communicate on significant concerns that affect the family, but they also should be discussing the minor things as well.

In my opinion, just to show respect, married couples should be sharing their whereabouts with each other. It could be labeled as disrespect when you don’t inform your partner of your plans. It only takes a second to say “Hey babe, I’m hanging out at ___________ with __________ tonight, I should be home around ______.” Believe me this lands so much better than “I’ll be back.”

You don’t ask for help

Partners count on one another. The whole idea behind a partnership is to have someone who can support you and do the things you can’t. Couples should be leaning on one another and asking for help when necessary; this means they should neither be too scared nor too proud to ask for help. Believe me, your partner will appreciate being there when you need them.

You don’t know how to motivate one another

Partners recognize they are on the same team, so they root for the other. Partners should also realize when the other spouse is struggling or needs a pick me up. Married couples should be their own biggest cheerleaders, always rooting for the success of their marriage and of their spouse.

You don’t know how to utilize each other’s strengths

Accept the good and the flawed parts of your spouse. True partners are accepting of one another. They recognize we each have flaws and continue to love in spite of those flaws.

Instead of zeroing in on each other’s shortcomings and weaknesses, uplift each other’s strengths. If someone is better in one category, allow them to handle that in your partnership (and vice versa).

You don’t support your spouse enough

Another great thing about true partnership is that it is a bond. There shouldn’t be anyone else in this world who can bad mouth your spouse in front of you. Now you don’t have to come to blows, but partners should be willing to defend and support their spouse no matter what.  Partners cheer on the other’s accomplishments.

When you brag on your spouse, you’re acknowledging to yourself and others all the great things he or she brings to the table. And recognizing your partner’s value to you is ideal for a great partnership.

Couples must recognize and appreciate their marriage for what it is, a true partnership. You’re playing for the same team. Get your heads together, get on the same page, and find ways to win in your marriage and as a couple.

BMWK, what behaviors in marriage do you feel demonstrate partnership?

About the author

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter wrote 635 articles on this blog.

Tiya Cunningham-Sumter is a Certified Life & Relationship Coach, founder of Life Editing and Author of A Conversation Piece: 32 Bold Relationship Lessons for Discussing Marriage, Sex and Conflict Available on Amazon . She helps couples and individuals rewrite their life to reflect their dreams. Tiya has been featured in Essence and Ebony Magazines, and named one of the top blogs to read now by Refinery29. She resides in Chicago with her husband and two daughters. To find out more about Tiya, and her coaching, visit www.thelifeandlovecoach.com and www.theboldersister.com.


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