To Change Or Not To Change? That Is the Question!

27 Oct

After many years of counseling couples in my therapy office, I’ve learned to pick-up on different patterns, many of which are universal in so many of the couples I see.

One of those patterns concerns change – namely, lack of change vs. too much change. I’ll explain…

When I learn more about couples, especially those who have been together five or more years, I sometimes learn something interesting: One partner comes into the relationship hoping the other partner won’t change at all. The other partner comes into the relationship hoping their partner will change substantially. As you can imagine, this can cause conflict.change

One author (I can’t remember who) took it a step further by stating that women get into a relationship hoping her partner will change. Men enter a relationship hoping his partner won’t change at all. Is that true?

Here’s what I typically see: One partner loves everything about his spouse and has difficulty when she morphs and changes during the relationship (perhaps she has a child, changes careers, or wants more family time). The other partner loves most things about her spouse, but (deep-down) wishes he would be more _____. When she DOES change and he DOESN’T change, can you see how conflict can arise?

I can!

So, we work through expectations, ideas about change, and rigid thinking in session and try and figure out how each person in the relationship can be fluid and compromising during the marriage. It’s hard work, but I’ve seen great progress in my couples.



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