Relationships are important to your health and survival. Many times we enter relationships and notice things in our mates that “we know need to be changed!” The problem is that there is always an element of truth in the situation but changing others is a much more complicated situation than it might seem on the outside.
It is always easy to see what others are doing wrong and what they need to change. At times, others do need the help of others to “see the light” and make changes. However, most of the time, others will tend to resist our “good efforts to help them” and complain that we are “pushing too hard.”

The more we complain, the less others seem to change. It is not that we should not be working on making changes as we all grow together in life. It is more that we need to find ways that are “more helpful” rather than “continuing to just hit them over the head” which only insures further resistance.

Blame is much easier to handle than is looking at what we are doing to make the situation worse. Change requires that we start to look at our part in the relationship too if real change is to happen. Even though our partner may have their problems, for which they need help, we also must look at what it is in the way we interact with them that causes problems for the relationship.

Twelve Steps to Change

  1. You first have to ask yourself if you really want your mate to change or whether you have already decided that you will NEVER be satisfied with anything they do, even if they change.
  2. You have to ask yourself if you really still love them.
  3. You have to agree that the two of you are going to work on this together since sending one for help rarely ever works. Parents like to do this with their children hoping that someone will just “fix” the kid and then they can return home to the parents as a “new child.” The reality is that only family therapy can make the difference in such situations.
  4. You also has to ask yourself about how you view your mate. What you see is what you get! People can change, but in many ways they are the same. They may fine-tune things, file down some of the edges, gain some insight, but in the end they are who they are (though slightly improved).
  5. Demanding that someone needs to change rarely works. You have to decide that you both are going to become a “mutual team” that works to find solutions.
  6. Just as in children’s therapy where there is a need for the child to have individual therapy, it is also important that the family come in several times along the way, and at first, to help define, clarify, and assess progress, or nothing really works in the long run.
  7. Each person has to work on improving themselves first. All you have control over is yourself.
  8. Relationships many times requires that we “take the leap of faith” and commit to the relationship in positive ways; each working to improve it and not waiting for the other one to first do their part.
  9. You have to get on with your life, not just waiting to see if he/she will change.
  10. Stop listing to what others tell you, say you should do, or whatever. Focus on what you and your mate want to do about it. Others have their own agendas which may not be in line with the relationship for whatever reason.
  11. Some situations will not change. It is best then to define that clearly together and decide how you both are going to handle it so that you do not continue to hurt the other person.
  12. Finally, it is critical to let go of old hurts, past upsets, gunny sacking all problems and hitting the other person over the head with them anytime something goes wrong, and start to focus on the moment of interactions.

Life is suppose to be find, enjoyable and loving. You have to focus on the reality of life and not on what others need to do. All you can do is to decide that you are going to enjoy life and if you mate wants to join you then fine. If not, then that will be their loss!

You can’t make them into something that they do not want to be, or do not want to do. Once you focus on yourself then you are a desirable person that they can “freely choose” to be with… or not. It is a risk, but you are worth it.

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