“I can fix him.”
“He will change for me.”
“Just give him some time, he’ll come around.”
“When we get married, move in together, have kids he will change.”
If these statements, or words like them, have ever traveled across your lips, welcome to the “Queen of Illusion” Club. This club is reserved for women who have ever tried to change their mate, which essentially means all women. Because somewhere between bassinette and cap and gown, we’ve all gotten the message: “If I just love him more, employ the right dating/relationship rule or sacrifice myself more, he will be different, and we will be happy.”
Think about all the times and ways in which you have dated or married a man’s potential, instead of seeing him for the truth of who he chooses to be. Remember the energy, time and emotion you spent on trying to get this man to morph into your picture of who he could be. How well did that/is that working for you?
Probably not too well, and here is why. Trying to fix your man requires you to lie to the most important person in your life, yourself. This lack of self-honesty, not your lack of effort, is what stops you from having the partner you truly want. Want to fix your man? Get that partner that your heart’s been craving? Then turn your focus from HE to ME, splash some cold water on your face, and swallow these love truths:
1. Get over yourself. Appointing yourself as a fixer is arrogant. No matter how special you are, you have no more power than any other woman to change this man. No matter how much love, effort, sex or money you throw at this guy, there is only one person he will truly ever change for and that is himself. Not even your love is powerful enough to change a man who doesn’t want to do the hard work, and make no mistake, becoming a better person is hard work. Give up the idea that you have super powers to help your guy, and realize that only he has the power to empower himself.
2. Look in the mirror. Focusing on fixing someone else is a sure sign that you are avoiding something in your own life. Fixers love to focus on other people because it keeps the attention off their own problems. Turn the mirror from your guy to yourself and ask yourself these questions, “What truth about myself am I avoiding? What about myself can I not be with? What needs fixing inside of me?” Can’t find the answer? Ask a trusted friend to give you their loving opinion, and listen openly.
3. Give up suffering. Dedicating your life and energy to the cause of ‘fixing your mate’ will lead you straight to the land of suffering, do not pass Go. With all the suffering that goes on in this world, do you really want to add unnecessarily to the pile? The truth is that suffering is not a mandatory part of relationships, although based on how much we of it we create and put up with you would think it was. Erase any notion equating pain to honor or love. Adopt the belief that relationships need care, not suffering and sacrifice.
4. Save your saving for helpless animals and children. Sure, your guy has had some rough times in his life – a death of a parent, a tough upbringing, hard circumstances – and yes, have sympathy for him, but it’s not your job to save that little boy from the hurt. Saving and fixing are close cousins, both are co-dependent, and both will keep you in a relationship for all the wrong reasons. Throw your guy a life preserver, but let him be the one who swims. You can inspire your mate, you cannot fix him.
5. Date his reality, not his potential. Just because you can see your guy’s potential, promise or possibility does not mean he can or wants to, or that he has the ambition to ever be the great person you see in him. Your guy will tell you who he is by his actions and his words, believe him when he does.
In my book, Choosing ME before WE, I ask you to take the vow of self-honesty with yourself. Here is it, I invite you to take it and keep it:
“I vow to always be honest with ME, to never hide from the truth, no matter what. I commit to unwavering, uncompromising truth about myself and every person in my life.”
When you are honest with your most important partner, yourself, every other partnership automatically falls in line, and your guy will fix himself, saving you (and him) from having to take on another project.