Heartbreak

There's Only One Thing That Makes A Man Change

Photo: Getty
guy looking back over his shoulder

I know you think it's your fault. I know you think you can change him.

Maybe 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 those 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 situation. You'll be left with the same old excuses and lies and 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.

What makes a man change?

A man will only change if he genuinely believes he needs to, deep within his core.

The truth is, you can't change a man, period. You can't convince him of this — he needs to convince himself of this, and the more you push to try to influence him to change, the more resistant he'll be.

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What's so frustrating is that the people who never seem to know they need to change are almost always the ones who need it the most.

That's why whatever you say and do, it will never be enough to get him to commit to any lasting change. Deep down, what's his incentive for doing so if he doesn't personally believe a change is necessary?

He might say the right things for a little while. He might even do the right things for a time.

He'll eventually creep back into the same patterns and routines because it's comfortable. It's what he knows, and he sees no reason to be a different, better man.

Nagging won'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 for him instead of a punishment. Withholding affection — even sex — often backfires.

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Ultimately, you're the one who feels disappointed and paralyzed, and exhausted after you've wasted your efforts — with nothing to show for them.

Don't you know you deserve better? Let me tell you, because it bears repeating anyway: you deserve better.

You do! You're squandering your time, energy, and love by trying to change your man. You're throwing away valuable time you could be spending with someone worth your passion and initiative and instead spending it on a man who makes you miserable.

Ask yourself: why? Is it so you won't be alone? Because let's be honest; loneliness isn't just defined by being alone. You can feel lonely and empty in a crowded room or even your bedroom, sitting next to your partner with a heavy, unhealthy silence between you.

Is it because you love him? Contrary to popular belief, love isn't always enough.

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Is it because of the house, the kids, or what people might say? You can make a home anywhere. The kids can handle the truth, and they will be OK.

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, what he says, and 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, attention, or the littlest bit of love to keep you going.

Stop accepting the scraps he occasionally tosses your way when you should be sitting down to a metaphorical and literal five-star, four-course dinner with someone who can provide for you and fulfill your needs and desires.

Know your worth and demand exactly that — nothing less.

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Cassie Fox is a writer and photographer who focuses primarily on equal rights.

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