Why You Can't Change The One You Love


change sign
How to make a decision when you are hurt by your partner's changes.

Often, I have clients in my office who are constantly trying to force their partners to be exactly what they want them to be. When they do this, they are continually disappointed in the results. They feel wronged by the other person because they aren't getting what they need. Sometimes they don't ask for what they need and then pout and sit around like a victim when they don't get it. Not fair.

Sometimes they say the person "used to" do something they aren't doing anymore and they want the old person back. Not fair. Sometimes this gets violent verbally or physically. Not fair, or respectful.


People change. Sometimes, the person they were initially isn't the real them and sometimes they decide to change themselves over time. They have the right to change who they are, what they want and how they act. If we don't like these changes, we can decide to leave but we certainly don't have the right to make anyone be what we want them to be.

If you are feeling hurt by someone's changes, make a decision. It is not ok to "offend from a victim position" and abuse or try to control another person. This still counts as offending even if you believe you were wronged first. We have to take responsibility for asking for what we want in relationships and negotiating about it without feeling entitled to have everything the way we want. Then, If we decide we are not able to get enough, we have to end it with respect.

We can't get everything we want in any relationship so we have to compromise and decide if what we get is good enough to make us happy. If not, it isn't fair to ourselves or others to stay and keep demanding something else that they can't be happy giving. Would You Compromise Who You Are For a Mate?

It is generally true that people who are trying to change and control others are "love dependent" and addicted to the person they are in a relationship with. Usually this is because they are "shame-based" and do not feel whole without the other person and need everything to be a certain way in order to feel safe. They feel as they cannot live without the other person and their love. They believe that if anything changes, they might lose their partner and as a result feel like death. 

Another person cannot fill the hole we feel inside. That can only be filled by fixing our old hurts and gaining our own self esteem. Once we've done that, our relationships with others suddenly feel safer and more satisfying. It is easier to be sure that others love us when we know we are loveable. When our partners are scared to say no to us, we can't trust them really, can we? If they can't say 'no" how can we trust their 'yes'? 3 Simple Steps To Improve Your Self-Confidence

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Gina Schuchman


Gina R. Schuchman, M.S.W., L.I.C.S.W.






Location: Edina, MN
Credentials: LICSW, MSW
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