LOVE, The Magical Change Agent
You may be very good at seeing the faults of your partner. I’m sure you wish that he or she would be different, and don’t understand why they cannot or will not change.
In fact, you have spent so much time contemplating this, that you have made yourself miserable. Not coincidentally, and possibly unknowingly, you have also contributed to your partner feeling miserable about themselves, not to mention you and your relationship.
Of course you wish to change some annoying or painful behavior about your partner that you imagine contributes to your unhappiness. This is normal. And most likely you are unsuccessful in getting them to change. Even if you are justified in your belief that your partner SHOULD change, they would probably find changing difficult. They might possibly, even secretly, wish they could change as well. They might even feel ashamed about it, even if they tell you differently.
You must ask yourself how your negative contemplation of their “faulty behavior” is affecting you. The more you think about it, the more outraged you feel, and the more disconnected from your loved one. Your chronic outrage is like a poison to your mind and emotions. You are left with an attitude that hurts them as well as yourself. As you can see, the chances of them changing that “faulty behavior” decreases with this approach. You also become more and more miserable, and the warmth and connection between you diminishes dramatically.
Please understand, I am not suggesting that you totally disregard another’s hurtful behavior or the feelings it creates in you. Quite the opposite. I am recommending that you partner with your loved one, becoming their biggest champion and loving them into greater consciousness, empathy and caring. This means open dialogue; being able to speak what you see, imagine, feel, and need, AND being able to listen to their world – even if you disagree or see things very differently. You must be able to discuss what’s bothering you and ask for behavior changes. But you cannot bulldoze, coerce, demand, shame, blame or judge. It just doesn’t work. Ever.
We all have a hard time opening our heart when we feel judged or criticized. When we are honestly loved, our defenses melt and we become more willing to look at and work on our shortcomings.
Love is a magical change agent. True love is the unconditional “holding” of your partner in their most positive potential. When you spend more time contemplating the goodness in your partner, your heart opens more to them. Considering what you appreciate about them, without any “Buts” or “Shoulds”, allows you to shower them with your love and appreciation. They will feel loved, even if they question your sudden change. Over time, their fears and defensive stance will decrease. You will have become a trusted lover and well-wisher laid a loving groundwork for, not only their changes, but most importantly your own happiness, joy and peace of mind.
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