“When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.” – Victor Frankl
If you have been in a relationship for any length of time and you want to change the other person, well, get really clear on one thing; you can’t change other people.
What you see is what you get, or should I say, what you have been witnessing for the time you have been in the relationship is what you are always going to get. People don’t change!
They are who they are and no amount of wishing and dreaming they will change is going to make it so.
Now, I can hear the uproar about the comment, “People don’t change.” The only time I have seen people change is when they hit rock bottom. When they are about to lose or have lost everything and they know that if they continue down this path the will self destruct.
When the pain to stay the same becomes greater than the pain to change, is when you will see change.
The only other time I have seen people change is if they are truly a partner that is willing to compromise and work at making the relationship workable for both people.
But, the person first has to believe that there is something wrong that has to be changed and, they must be willing to put forth the effort to work at changing it.
So often I see only one person trying to make their relationship work. They try desperately to make the other person hear their pleas about what is wrong in the relationship and the other person either doesn’t agree, couldn’t care less or believes the only thing that is wrong is with the other person.
When you are the only one who wants to make things work or you are the only one who is working at making things work, you aren’t in a relationship, you are walking down a one way street, or a dead end street!
How can you make a relationship work, all by yourself?
Most people think that if their partner would only realize how much they love them, they would change!
They actually believe that if they do all the right things, say the right things and show their ardent love to them, the other person will miraculously say, “Oh my, I see now how much you love me and I will do whatever it takes to make this work.”
Sorry, that isn’t quite how it goes. If you have to get someone to love you and have to force them to want a good relationship or any relationship, why not go outside and bang your head up against the side of the building, it would be a lot less painful.
You either accept them as they are and learn to live with it. Or, you make some hard choices as to how you want to live your life from this point forward. If you can live with things exactly how they are, (and most often they get worse) then keep on going down this path, but…DO NOT walk down this path thinking that your love is going to change a thing.
The only thing you can change is your circumstances and yourself.
If you want to settle for the crumbs you are thrown and lap them up like a person who is starving, that’s a choice. Don’t think that your love is going to change this person. If you can sustain yourself on little crumbs, then by all means, have fun living with less than you deserve.
On the other hand, if you accept the fact that you can’t change people, then you can decide if you want to remain in the relationship, just the way things are, or make the choice to do what is healthy and make choices that will at least give you the opportunity to have what you want from life.
I once coached a guy who was married for 16 years to a woman who was a horrible mother to his 4 children and a worse wife to him. He tried everything he could think of to get her to see how she was destroying their marriage and how it was affecting their kids.
I asked him if there is anything that he hasn’t done to try and make things work and he said, “I am at my wits end, there isn’t anything else I can do, I’ve tried it all and she just doesn’t get it.”
I told him that just because he loves her – wasn’t going to change a thing. I said, imagine if she was crippled and couldn’t walk. But you love her so much and you want her to walk. You say to her, don’t you see how much I love you, please walk for me, please, I am begging you, please get up and walk, I love you.
No amount of love is going to change this person, they are who they are, if they can’t walk (love) then they can’t walk, (love) period.
So now that you know you can’t change a person, are you still going to keep trying? Are you still going to make the effort to try and make someone walk when they can’t?
If that is your choice, fine, but don’t expect anything to change. Accept things as they are and stop trying to change someone, because it simply isn’t going to happen. The only person you can change is YOU!
So, decide that if what you have is what you want and if it is, great. If not, YOU make the changes necessary to begin to live your life the way you truly want.