This is such a common question when I have young clients come to see me still hoping to change their partner into what they would like them to be.
I wrote young clients because older, more experienced clients have often realized that they cannot. Although some still try.
If you are reading this and are not in a committed relationship, I strongly recommend that if you feel you need to change your partner in order to be happy with that person… don’t go any further. It’s not likely going to happen.
Just like you want to be loved for who you are right now, your partner wants exactly the same: We all want to be loved with our warts and all.
“And they lived happily ever after” is such a damaging fairy tale that has been put into our psyche making us believe that relationships would be easy. It is true that we can be happy for a very long time in a relationship, but not because of what it is giving us only, but rather because of a good blend of what we give to it as well as receive. Love demands work and wisdom. Love is not selfish.
One of my big ah ha’s came when I really understood that the aim of a relationship is not to make us happy… or sad, but rather the aim of a relationship is to teach us how to love, which is what makes us happy. Love is wanting the best for the person we are with, embracing both their light and dark sides, their strengths and weaknesses, while respecting our needs. That is why love is a dance. It is not static; it is a forever evolving experience.
One of the best things you can do when your mate is not doing what you would like them to do, or something they are doing is annoying you, is to find out where in your life you are doing the same thing: the reason something annoys us in our partner is because it is a part of ourselves we are not accepting yet or that needs attention.
For example, you may find that your mate is not ambitious enough with their career and you may get frustrated that as a result you feel you are not living in the financial security you would like to have. If you are trying to change them into believing in themselves more, so they can make you happy, ask yourself in which area of your life you do not believe in yourself enough to achieve your goals? Maybe it is with your own career, but it can also be in not believing in yourself enough to choose a mate who is what you would love them to be, because you don’t believe in yourself enough to be able to have that person in your life. It could be with your health and your physical appearance, with your financial situation, with your choice of friends etc.
So next time you feel like you need to change your mate, sit down and figure out exactly what you feel they need to change, be brave and courageous and admit to yourself in which area of your life you need to do that thing you want them to do: something ‘magical’ will happen to you. They will either not bug you anymore as you realize you have no right to judge them since you, yourself are not ready to do what needs to be done, or, as you start doing what needs to be done… they will start doing it themselves.
For more advice on love and relationships visit www.drlisejanelle.com