We all want to be with someone that makes you want to be a better person, but how much pushing is too much.
We’ve all had those relationships where you feel like “if only they didn’t __ ” or “I think I can change ___”. We need to stop feeling like we can “fix” someone and start thinking of how we can support and show them just how powerful they are. Sure, we always learn from our partners and are there to support and encourage. But you shouldn’t want to change someone’s ways, to fit your own. You should want to grow together, work together and develop healthy patterns together.
According to codependency and relationship expert, Ross Rosenberg, this pattern is common and couples often stay in highly dysfunctional relationships to their own detriment. Rosenberg notes, “The inherently dysfunctional “codependency dance” requires two opposite but distinctly balanced partners: the pleaser/fixer (codependent) and the taker/controller (narcissist).”
When you focus on challenging someone, you allow their wounds to fester. Remember you are on the same team. Accept that people do the best they can and try to be more understanding. This doesn’t mean that you accept your partner’s hurtful actions. You simply come to a more realistic view and give them less power over you.
Trying to change you partner can lead to an end in your relationship.
Communication is key, and how you communicate is even more important. Its how to say your worries or upsets, that will change the patterns of making the person feel attacked verses cared for.
I’ve been on both sides of this, but mainly on the side of feeling attacked. Yes, I’ve done some stupid things and yes I have flaws, but so did they. Quite often as a woman we hormonally strive to start families, which cause us to want to make our partner happy, to move towards this goal. Often, we don’t even realize we are doing it, when we do. Many women have been in relationships where they felt forced to adjust and adapt to their partners ways, all to make them happy, only to making themselves more upset.
Focusing on changing your partner doesn’t allow you to be vulnerable.
While self-sufficiency can help you with life, it can also rob you of true intimacy. For a relationship to be balanced, partners must be able to depend on one another and feel that they are needed and appreciated for the support they give. Trying to change your partner can prevent you from influencing each other and achieving true intimacy. Resentment and anger can build and cause more problems down the road.
Additionally, compromise is an essential tool to preserving love that will last a lifetime. Discussing concerns that arise in a timely and respectful way will help you become better at repair skills. If you embrace the notion that conflict is an inevitable part of an intimate relationship, and that not all problems have to be resolved, you’ll bounce back from disagreements faster and build a successful long-lasting relationship.
Lastly, if you are feeling like you continually are wanting to discuss concerns, or are being talked to by your partner, maybe its time to reconsider the relationship. Sadly, sometimes we have to accept that yes we love this person, but no, our views will never be the same. Respect that we all grow at different speeds and times, and each relationship makes us learn more about who we are and what we need to be happy.