Albert Einstein (of all people) is credited with stating:
“Women marry men hoping they will change. Men marry women hoping they will not. So each is inevitably disappointed.”
We laugh, say so true and think it doesn’t apply to us. But one day we wake up and discover that we’re living with a stranger.
Whenever we enter into a relationship we predictably have our chemically charged infatuation glasses on ignoring any issues that may disrupt “the dream”. When questions of true compatibility arise, we often irrationally convince ourselves that our perfect match will change for us when the time comes.
The promise, “I’ll change for you” is commonly offered to quell a partner’s concern that certain behaviour isn’t congruent with long term success.
It’s the classic formula for the ultimate demise of the relationship once the infatuation stage wanes the change doesn’t in fact take place.
The notion of our ability to change or not change within a relationship is an interesting one. Many believe that change at a certain point in life is impossible and others that making change for a partner would be disingenuous or at best short lived.
However, I believe considerable change can come about provided there are the following elements:
- A desire and commitment for an always improving relationship. I believe in the universal principle that if you’re not moving forward with any aspect of your life, you inevitably are going backward; maybe subtly, but backward just the same. Commitment to moving forward is key.
- Next, non-judgmental communication to seek understanding will give us the insights into our partner and ourselves that allow us to see how certain changes will benefit us as individuals and in our partnership.
Of course, change is never easy but with the right motivation, commitment and communication we can ultimately change, evolve, and construct a solid union.
Maybe Albert Einstein wasn’t so smart after all.