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Wanting your partner to change

It’s very natural! If you are with someone who is abusing – you or substances or both – you want them to change. You see the good in them and you want them to stop abusing because you see clearly that they don’t need to abuse you, drugs, alcohol, games, porn, work or attention.

BUT! Most people today know and understand that the only person you can change is YOU. Your boundaries, your integrity, your unhealthy behavior, control, anxiety and unhappiness.

However, you probably also know that if you start behaving more healthy, you will have to lose your partner. You are not compatible if one of you suddenly starts to behave in a emotionally healthy way. (And yes, you have unhealthy behavior, otherwise you would have been gone a long time ago)

You don’t want that. Part of you is lying to you, persuading you to stay because “things could change and then the person will be amazing and you don’t want to miss out on that”.

Here’s the thing though.

When you are in a relationship with a person who is abusing you, you are doing that person a disfavor!

When someone is there for us when we display unhealthy behavior and they don’t leave us and block the door, there is no need to change; we have someone to blame and even though we’re not happy, we can stay in our little dissatisfied bubble without growing as a human being.

Change happens because of pain, not because someone explains to us why we need to change. But when we have a partner, we don’t need to look at our pain, we can just give credit for it to our partner – or others close to us.

So if you are with an abuser, the greatest gift you can give them is to leave them and block their ass, so they get the chance to face their pain and change.

…and off course it’s better for you as well, because YOU can do YOUR personal work and learn to stand alone without fear…

I frequently have people ask me “If my partner starts therapy, how long till we can have a healthy relationship?”

My answer is “When you both have been alone for a year without contact and had therapy every week, you can meet and talk about where you are”.

Off course the abused partner would have grown and moved on after a year and the abusing partner is more likely to stop therapy after a short while and move on to a new partner. As soon as we hit the pain and start looking at it, they often chicken out and run for the hills. It is easier to just keep blaming everyone else.

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