Even though most of us know how hard it is to change anyone, including ourselves, we often enter into relationships with expectations that are not in alignment with who our mate is. Despite the love and affection we may have for the person we married, we sometimes think that maybe—just maybe—the love we have for them will magically change some quality we don’t care for.
But here’s the thing: people don’t change for other people, and when they try to it rarely works out well. People change because they want to change and they genuinely feel like the change is necessary and will serve them well. When someone won’t change for you, it has nothing to do with how much they love or care about you. A lack of desire for changing is never about you, it’s about where that person is n their personal journey and whether or not they even want to change.
So what if what you want to change about your spouse is major, like how ambitious they are or even how faithful they are in your relationship? Well, even more reason why you should accept that you are not going to change them or how they behave. Not one bit. The more you see a need for a change, the less control you have over that change happening. And remember that change is not the same as compromise. Marriage is all about compromises, which is an agreement between both parties to meet somewhere in the middle. But changing who someone is—well, that’s a different story.
When we become consumed with changing people it really says a lot about who we are as people. Trying to change someone is really an attempt to take control over a situation you have no right to control. Marrying an individual does not give you the right to change who they are. You knew who they were before you said, “I do.” And if for some reason you feel misled and realize that the person you married is not who you thought they were, there is a much bigger issue at hand and wasting energy on changing who they are won’t help all that much.
Here are 3 reasons why you should never (yes, I said never) try to change the person you decided to spend your life with.
It’s a waste of your time.
Trying to change another person, especially the person you married, is rarely time well spent. Even people who actually want to change are resistant to making the necessary changes, so imagine what their resistance level will be when they realize that someone else is trying to force them to change? Your spouse knows who he or she is and they really don’t need anyone telling them to change. If they want to change, they will—in their own way and in their own time.
It can cause tension and resentment in your marriage.
I have to admit that the thought of anyone trying to change who I am is annoying. I am pretty clear on my identity and all the habits that come with it, good or bad. As a grown woman I have little patience for anyone who thinks they need to change who I am. When your spouse starts to feel like you are trying to change them it causes tension in your marriage and that can lead to resentment. No one wants to feel like your little project because that can lead to questioning why you married him or her in the first place.
The energy should be spent on changing yourself.
When we have a pressing need to change another person, chances are we are the ones who need to change. Truthfully, you can’t change anyone but yourself. And even if you can make an argument that your spouse is in desperate need of changing something, you can’t force them to change it. All you can really do is change how you react to, and interact with, your spouse. Take all of that energy you have and instead of using it to change the person you married, focus on making yourself a better person. After all, YOU are the only person you can really change.
BMWK family, how would you feel if your spouse was trying to change you?