Do you think you can change your spouse?

India
August 17, 2009 12:35pm CST
Both men and women are having some defects in them. No one is perfect. I often have across many women who were trying hard to change a few characters of their husbands even though those men had many good qualities. How about you? Do you try to change your spouse? Do you want to change them with your love? Or do you use some other techniques?
3 people like this
18 responses
@bziebarth (228)
• United States
17 Aug 09
Nobody will anything that they do not want to do. You cannot change in another person, however, you can cause change in another person. I realize this sounds like the same thing but there is a difference. The difference is mostly in approach. I will use my two marriages as examples. My first wife tried to change me. She nagged me, reminded what I did that she did not like, and hoped that would change me. It did not change me. In fact, it made the things she did not like worse. It eventually ended our marriage. My second wife (and current) caused change in me. My current wife did not like some of the same things. However, she put up with them. She did not nag, harp, or tell me I was wrong. She just loved me. Then one day she sat me down and quietly explained to me that some things I did were hurting our relationship. She quietly explained that she was not threatening anything, that she wanted us to have a good marriage and wanted to make sure I was aware of these things. Some of them I was not aware of. Her approach caused me to want to change. I wanted to please her. Our marriage is getting better everyday. Sometimes, approach can be everything.
1 person likes this
@caraj444 (1080)
• Canada
18 Aug 09
Very true if you have a great relationship and you realize you are dissapointing the person you love with certain behaviors its alot more motivating to change those things then someone making you feel like a bad person for the things you do, its hard to make positive life changes when someone around you is robbing you of the selfesteem and positive self image that is necessary to make good choices for yourself and your partner!
• India
18 Aug 09
@bziebarth: This is a new and interesting point, I mean that cause change.I liked it.
• United States
18 Aug 09
Thank you. I have found that when you look at situations, in and out of marriage, with that attitude that it changes your behavior....and the outcome. For example, a situation with your boss may be bugging you. It can change your reaction (at least it does me) when you realize you cannot change what your boss does. But, it is possible to take actions that cause a change in him.
1 person likes this
• United States
17 Aug 09
I have tried to change minor things in my boyfriend. For example, he cut down his drinking by a lot for me, and he grew his hair longer for a while how i liked it. I also changed for him. i cut back on my smoking and exercise a lot more. I think that is an important part of a relationship- helping eachother to grow and improve. :]
1 person likes this
• India
17 Aug 09
It is so nice to hear that from you Nessafilth. You are right that a relationship should do good for both.
@caraj444 (1080)
• Canada
18 Aug 09
those are bad habits that you worked on to improve your own lives and also your relationship which is great! But i dont think trying to change a persons character or qualities ever works or lasts long!
@kalav56 (11503)
• India
18 Aug 09
I think this is an exercise in futility.If our spouse tries to change us none of us are going to like it. So, I believe that each individual has a right to be one's own self and I would not do it. Moreover, this would only disrupt peace in my domestic front. I have written an article in AC,about how diametrically opposite partners can be happy in a marriage.If you have time please do read it. http://www.associatedcontent.com/article/1560739/how_diametrically_opposite_partners.html?cat=41 We are totally different and I would not try to change him whatsoever. It is his right to be the way he is.
• India
18 Aug 09
I read your post Kala, it is a good article. I think only one thing can bring the changes you want in a partner. Total sacrificing is what you have to do to get what you want from your partner. One condition- your partner should be a reasonably good person with conscience.
@kalav56 (11503)
• India
18 Aug 09
This total sacrifcing one's own likes and dislikes, took place only in our grandparents' times Vijayanths. THis is not possible in these modern days where women are more educated and are also in many cases financially independent. THis being the case , I feel it is more prudent to allow a partner to be his own self and have the freedom to maintain one's individuality too. Within this broad criteria , there can always be some via media and meeting point. However, when one tries to change another totally, it is a definite recipe for diaster. Sometimes, it does happen. But, this has some unwanted repurcussions later in life. In our society where there is plenty of interaction among relatives, unwanted comments are made and this sometimes can have an unconscious effect on the man/woman who may protest loud in old age with all their bottled feelings springing out.Apart from relatives, if one person sacrifices too much this person is likely to resent it some time or other.Curtailing one's ownself would not be good in the long run.It is better to have clear lines and define limits right in the beginning.
• India
19 Aug 09
Kala, You sound very practical. It is true that total sacrifice was possible only during our grandparents periods when women were dependent on men. One thing is certain, if you really love a person, then you will try to avoid doing things that he/she does not like. It comes to you so naturally and spontaneously. I used to avoid doing things that annoyed my dad when he was alive and living with me. True love can't be found anywhere, it is quite unfortunate. What to do? We have only one option. Learn to digest the spouse's annoying habits.
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
17 Aug 09
How can you change the stripes of a zebra? My spouse will never change his weird character even if I threaten to leave him, he will just laugh it off and and tell me to go to hell. So how?
• India
17 Aug 09
Many men are like that(Ego problem?) But let me ask you one thing-reply me honestly. Did you ever try to change yourself as he wanted?
@zandi458 (27952)
• Malaysia
17 Aug 09
I am no saint but if there is a need to change, why not, for the sake of trying to keep the marriage intact.
• Canada
18 Aug 09
For the most part I would think that if a person needs changing too much, and / or your partner thinks you need changing too much, then you are with the wrong person. Remember, when you agree to be in a relationship with someone, you are pretty much signing an "as is" deal. Still, there may be some behaviours that you would like to modify in your beloved. If that is the case, it's up to that person to change. We have absolutely no power over the behaviour of other people. The best thing we can do is to make sure our own behaviour models exactly what we expect from other people. I'm sure you're familiar with the phrase, "be the friend you want to have"? Well that holds true of spouses and partners as well. You have to inspire people to want to change; not make them change. Just worry about what needs modifying in yourself to attract what we want from others, and If your own actions don't inspire the change you want from your partner, then you have to evaluate whether or not that person is worth staying with. xoxo Cyne
@jaiho2009 (39019)
• Philippines
18 Aug 09
Hello Vijay, So sad i was not able to change him.My love is not enough to make him change,or maybe,i am not worth for him to change.
• India
19 Aug 09
Jaiho, if you can't change your partner, learn to live with his defects, there is no way to live peacefully and happily.
@jaiho2009 (39019)
• Philippines
19 Aug 09
nyayyy...Vijay dear...i didn't learn to live with his defects becoz it's not worth it too..so..i kicked him out of my life now (hehehe)
@caraj444 (1080)
• Canada
18 Aug 09
You cannot change people! People can change habits when they choose to and put an effort into it but you cannot change a person by asking and telling them to change. I dont see the point of falling in love and marrying someone and then trying to change them, all the different habits and characters we have make up who we are and even the annoying little things that people do can often become endearing qualities if we choose to look at things just a little differently.
• Canada
18 Aug 09
Absolutely right. That is why people need to pay attention to what they really want and go after it. It's pointless to "settle" for something less than what you want and then try to mold it into something else. If you love silk blouses, would you buy a cotton one and try to make it into silk? Of course not. You'd either have to wait until you could have a silk one, or if you decided to take the cotton, then you would have to just enjoy the cotton for what it is. You wouldn't resent the cotton for not being as soft as silk. And resenting it isn't going to do one darn thing to change it. xoxo Cyne
1 person likes this
• India
18 Aug 09
You are absolutely right caraj. But in practical life we expect our partners to change to our taste.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Aug 09
I hate to admit it, but I can't help trying to change every person that I have been with, but end up giving up because they didn't care enough to change anything about themselves to better themselves. When my husband and I got married we were the perfect couple and we never fought and had a lot in common. Once we got married and had children, things changed, we fought more, he drank a lot, and we never had anything in common for some reason. So yes, I was trying to change some things in his life to make us happier, like not drinking so much, not being so impatient with our children, not spending EVERY weekend with everyone else but his family. Stuff like that. He used to get upset, but he knows now that I just love him a lot and want us to be happy.
• Canada
18 Aug 09
I noticed you said the other person didn't care enough to want to change. Maybe it wasn't that they didn't care so much as they felt attacked. I have been with people who wanted to change me and no matter how you put it, it just came across as, "there's something wrong with you" That does nothing to help me make changes, it just put me on the defensive all the time. I don't think anyone owes it to anyone else to change themselves. If there is something I don't like about a person, then it's up to me to decide if it's something I can live with or do I need to be with someone else. And maybe I need to be looking inward at my own character that draws that sort of person to me in the first place. In the end, I need to become the kind of person I would like to attract. Not attract what I don't like, and then change it. That person doesn't have to change for me or anyone but himself. If he feels that whatever drove me away is something that constantly drives people away, then he needs to choose what he's going to do about it. It's not my job to tell him he's flawed and he needs to change. That has to come from within himself if he wants to attract me or anyone who is looking for something different xoxo Cyne
• India
18 Aug 09
hmfryklund, I think it happens everywhere around the world. I think if you want to change your spouse you need to sacrifice a lot and change your self first as wanted by him/her. Then only he/she will easily change, otherwise, no chance.
@PeacefulWmn9 (10424)
• United States
17 Aug 09
Hi Vijay. When I was younger, I truly thought I could change others with reasoning, or enough love, or in other ways. As I've matured, I now realize that lasting changes come from within the individual, and only if that person wants to make those changes. Best to love someone just as they are, for the only person we can ever change is ourself. Good discussion. Karen
• India
18 Aug 09
Glad to note you liked this discussion Karen.In my experience both men and women want their partners to change a lot to their tastes but they will not move a step to change themselves wanted by their spouses. That is life, what to do. Sometimes it is annoying when your partner repeatedly doing something that irritates you.
1 person likes this
• United States
18 Aug 09
Yes, some habits are purely annoying. In those instances, when we approach a spouse and say why the behavior is annoying or distracting, it should be no problem for them to drop the habit or pursue it when you're not around. Those are things we CAN perhaps get our spouse to change. It is the core character and personality that we cannot change in another. But tiny things? Yes, then we have a chance lol. Karen
@bmuchler (442)
• United States
17 Aug 09
Nope. I fell in love with him and I married him the way he is. Even with the things that can be considered flaws. And him the same for me. He is a very good man. I got lucky with him.
• India
17 Aug 09
It is strange that you don't have anything to change him? He is very lucky then.
@bmuchler (442)
• United States
17 Aug 09
The things that could be considered flaws I say they are eccentricities. Which I kind of have fun with. (OCD)
@jugsjugs (13045)
18 Aug 09
No i do not think that anyone can change their partner as i thought my husband had changed and only to find with great regret that he has not changed at all.I did wish he could change but it do not look like he ever will.
• India
19 Aug 09
Yes, jugsjugs, that is the truth. You are right.
@ckyera (17261)
• Philippines
18 Aug 09
hello vijayanths! well to be honest, there are times that i am telling him to change...hehehe but its only because i just want the best for him...more than anybody else, i am the one who can tell him those things...but know what, its not easy. coz i know that its difficult to change something that's natural to us...and so what i just do now is just tell him what i have seen or observed on him and i just give my suggestions on him but i am not asking anymore for him to change...coz i know changes does not happen overnight...well now i am happy that he takes it positively and i see that little by little he's applying my suggestions... so i guess there's nothing wrong with changes as long as its for the better and how you will tell it to them matters... but anyway, it doesn't mean that i don't accept him for who he is that's why i want him to change in some things...its just that i love him so much and i am happy to see him improving and changing for the better... have a wonderful day friend!
• India
19 Aug 09
ckyera, you have understood life very well. Your man must be very lucky.
• Philippines
18 Aug 09
i love my wife the way she is. i don't have intention of changing her.
• India
18 Aug 09
that is the best way of living happily.
• China
18 Aug 09
I am a chinese. we always cherish the idea that we may be not together with the one you deeply love, but we love the one who are with us. That's the marriage. Love can change everything if you enjoy the love and devote your love.
• India
18 Aug 09
Wow, that is a great Chinese way of loving and living. It is a fantastic example for others.
• United States
18 Aug 09
I think that when you marry someone, you should know what you're getting into. You can't go into a marriage thinking you can eventually change your spouse, because if you fail its just going to leave you dissappointed. Make sure, going into a marriage, your happy with/can live with anything your spouse does.
• India
18 Aug 09
yes, you are right. Many persons go to marriages with a secret decision to change the partners. It is not good especially when they are not willing to change to the taste of their partners.
@roberten (3131)
• United States
18 Aug 09
I must say that I use to think that it was possible to change someone else but now I know it isn't possible. I am a widow of two years but learned throughout my many years of marriage that loving someone just the way they are is more productive than trying to force change upon them.
• India
18 Aug 09
Exactly, roberten. Experience has taught you the reality. Your husband was lucky to have you as his wife.
@Aylward (199)
• Philippines
18 Aug 09
Nope, I never wanted to change my spouse. We are not perfect either and we know that our spouse has most of the qualities we loved, that's why we love him/her. Men tend to get attracted to other women because the other qualities that they want were seen on them but it only makes 2 to 3 percent of our spouse's flaws. At the end of the day, we will still go back to our spouse.
• India
18 Aug 09
You are a very practical person, I think.
@cripfemme (7718)
• United States
17 Aug 09
I don't have a spouse right now or ever for that matter, but if I was going to marry someone I wouldn't assume that they could change for me. People can only change for themselves. Not anyone else even if they would like to. If a particular habit annoyed me so much that I couldn't bear it, I would not marry the person.
• India
17 Aug 09
Hahaha, you seem to be very matured. You are having a sound world knowledge. I am sure you won't have disappointments in your life.
• United States
24 Aug 09
the way i see it love is accepting someone for who they are flaws and all no atter what they look like and what they do if you love someone u shouldnt try 2 change them, only encourage them if they want to change