Let’s say that happens to you. How often will you purposely cause the same scenario to repeat itself. Two times a week? Four times? Maybe every day? I dare to assume that just the opposite is true…You will try with more caution than before to ensure that you do not have the cabinet corner inflict injury to your scalp and skull again.
If someone PURPOSELY repeated the above event on a regular basis, I think we would all say that he/she has a problem.
Now we are going to jump a bit to our marriage relationship. When we met our spouse, did any of the following hold true about their personality or belief system?
- wanted children or didn’t want children
- different religious convictions
- uncontrollable temper
- too thin or overweight
- depression problem
- cussing, swearing
- lack of ambition
- messy slob
- drug addict
- medical problems
- loves to read or blog
- enjoys a particular kind of music
- doesn’t enjoy a particular type of movie
- uneducated and lacking a desire to be so
- was involved in other relationships previously
So, you married a person with some of the traits above, and you thought that they would change or you would change them later. The notion of love conquers all floated through your mind on a regular basis. The big day arrived and it was all white lace and roses…on the outside. Everyone was smiling and happy at the huge celebration and union between a couple who apparently was passionately in love, but then the wedding day was over and the rest of your life began.
Both you and your new spouse went back to the regular living habits and beliefs because the only thing that really changed was there was now another person sharing the same space. Really, it can’t be all that hard to coexist in a companionable happiness, can it?
Unfortunately, people often become disillusioned or ignore facts before donning the dress and tuxedo. Then one or both spouses begin to nag, nag, nag which is just another way of saying that someone repeatedly jams their head into the corner of the cabinet door on purpose. They continue this action day in and day out in hopes that “the next time” it won’t cause pain or in the case of the wedded couple, he/she will change.
you’ll get what you’ve always gotten.”
Before you even go there in your mind, no one can MAKE another person WANT to do anything and that includes changing any of their acquired personality traits.
There are a few things that can be done to help a couple get past the conflict of change/not change which is often a huge issue.
- Seek counseling together. A trained professional that is not emotionally attached to the couple involved or the issues can give unprejudiced therapeutic assistance.
- When a partner refuses therapy, all is not lost. Remember that you can only change yourself. There is a chance that by changing your behavior, your spouse will feel the desire to also make changes.
- Know yourself and talk to a therapist without your partner. Understanding your own role in the marriage conflict will help in making better choices for the future.
- Ask yourself the hard questions…Do you still love your spouse? Can you live with the conflicts and differences? Are the arguments just annoying or deal breakers?
- Discuss your feelings with your companion. More than likely, if you are seriously unhappy, he/she will be too. Listen to his/her concerns with an open mind instead of defensively and then work on the conflicts together.
One thing is for sure…Nagging your spouse to change his/her behaviors is as effective as hitting your head on the corner of the cabinet every day. Do everything you can to improve the situation and then leave the rest up to your spouse.
Lastly, don’t feel helpless. You always have a choice to stay in the relationship or leave it behind. That knowledge can bring comfort and hope for what often seems like an impossible situation. By trying to resolve the issues in every conceivable way, you will feel peace in the choices you make in strengthening the union or walking away from it.