In Couples Therapy and Family Counseling sessions, we often encounter revolts from partners trying to change each other. While the partner who wants to change is tired and despairing, the partner trying to change often feels angry and lonely.
Couples often believe that the problems in the relationship are due to some negative characteristics in their partner, and they think that if the partner changes, many problems will be fixed quickly. However, the situation is much more complex.
Neither partners can change each other during conflict and criticize, nor is the source of recurring relationship problems related to the characteristics of a single partner.
For whatever reason, if you want the behaviors you don’t like in your lover to disappear and you are making a persistent effort to do so, unfortunately the news is not very good. Constantly telling your partner to change, criticizing and blaming him often for not changing will never work because change is a highly personal thing and the person needs some positive motivation to change their behavior. Undoubtedly, repeated criticism of partners towards each other is not a motivating force for either party.
So what is the solution? Can you replace each other?
There is a much simpler way to pave the way for change than you might imagine: making sure your partner is sure you will love them no matter what. Studies show us that people find the strength and desire to change only when they are accepted for who they are.
The change process is a positive cycle where you and your partner move forward. As you learn to express your feelings about your love and your needs about the parts you want to change in a positive way to your partner, he or she will understand you better and will start to change. Of course, there is no guarantee of this process, but you can be sure that it will contribute much more than other methods where you have conflict or end up building a wall.
I wish you a healthy and peaceful relationship.