To make real change, you've got to know that you need it.
I know you think it's your fault. I know you think you can change him. If you look good enough, keep the house clean enough, cook the way his mama did, love him enough. Maybe if you could get the kids to be a little quieter. Maybe if you managed a date night more than once every three or four months. Maybe if you lost the last fifteen pounds of baby weight.
The truth is, you can maybe yourself to death and you'll still be left with the same old thing. You'll be left with the same old excuses and lies, the same old sneaky gaslighting that makes you feel like you're losing your mind.
It's not that I believe people don't change. I'm a champion of change! I think everyone is capable of the kind of change that's necessary to make life worth living, but it doesn't come easy. To make real change, you've got to know you need it. And guess who it is that never knows they need it? The people who need it the most.
That's why whatever you say, whatever you do, it won't ever be enough to get him to commit to any kind of lasting change. Deep down, what's his incentive? He might say the right words for a little while. He might even do the right things for a time.
But eventually, he'll creep back into the same patterns and routines because that's where he's comfortable and in his heart, he sees no reason to be a different, better man.
Nagging doesn't work; he can tune it out. Threats mean nothing because he knows they're empty. Sulking is easily ignored. The silent treatment is an unexpected bonus. Withholding affection, even sex, often backfires. You're the one who ends up unfulfilled, feeling paralyzed by your own inaction.
Don't you know you deserve better? Let me tell you, then, just in case: you deserve better. You do! You're wasting your time, your energy, and your love. You're throwing away the most valuable years of your life on a man who makes you miserable. Why? Is it so you won't be alone? Because let's be real, loneliness isn't confined to being alone. Is it because you love him?
Contrary to popular cliché, love isn't always enough. Is it because of the house, the kids, the things that people might say? You can make a home anywhere. The kids will be just fine. And the only words that matter are the ones that support you. Everything else is just talk.
You're not going to change a man who sees nothing wrong with his actions, with his speech, with the person he is. You know what you can change? Your response to him.
No more apologizing. No more walking on eggshells. No more begging for forgiveness, or attention, or the littlest bit of love to keep you going. Stop accepting the scraps he tosses your way occasionally when you should be sitting down to a five-star, four-course dinner.
Know your worth, then demand exactly that, and nothing less.