Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Relationship Limitations: Your Partner Refuses to Change

One of the most dangerous threats to any relationship is that we tend to avoid changing ourselves, our routines, and our perspectives.

We might believe that we should not have to change or simply that our positions are already the best since they have evolved over time to serve us well. But they can also become the hardened positions of an inflexible mindset that does not allow for our partner to change or our relationship to evolve.

In some of the most misguided thinking about this, some individuals will state with pride that they do not change. This is sometimes made in jest but it represents a perspective that is purposefully limiting to their perspective.

We must adapt to new situations and new environments as they arise, and if your partner chooses not to change, that is a major limitation to what can be accomplished together.

We have looked at communication as a foundational skill in building our relationships. But those conversations must lead to positive change so that our relationships adapt to new needs.

If your partner states that they have reached the limits of their adapting to your needs, you need to recognize what it means for your relationship. You will have to adapt to that reality by choosing to change your own perspective on your partner and possibly, what your relationship can be.

This change process takes a great deal of patience and commitment. It also takes a conscious effort to adapt to your partners needs without sacrificing your own. And it takes both of you doing that to be satisfying.

Change in relationships rarely happens in a straight line. There will be some meandering as new efforts take hold and gain traction. Know what you want, say it out loud, expect positive change from yourself and your partner.

Have compassion for them and yourself. Accept and acknowledge the difficulty inherent in making those changes. Give yourself and your partner the credit you both deserve in adapting to give each other what you want.

And ask for help when you need it.

You can do it! Live well together.

And let me know if you have questions.

-- Rich