Three Thoughtful Reasons NOT To Change A Man
Copyright © Priya Florence Shah
This article could have been titled "Three Thoughtful Reasons
NOT To Change A Person," because it applies to everyone, man or
But since women are usually the ones trying to change men, it seemed
more appropriate to address it to you girls.
If there's one thing that all those years of married life have taught
me, it's that attempting to change a man is an exercise in futility.
But my reasons for not trying to change men have less to do with resigning
myself to undesirable behaviour, than with mutual respect and consideration
for a man's feelings.
Here's why I think it's not fair to men that we keep trying to change
1. He's entitled to his opinions and free will
I'm a big believer in a person’s right to exercise his free will.
As long as he blames no one but himself and is willing to accept the
consequences of his actions, a man should have the right to make his
own mistakes and learn from them.
Respect his opinions and let him be. And the next time you try to make
him change his ways, imagine how YOU would feel if the tables were turned.
2. He will never change for the wrong reasons
The wrong reasons include threats, manipulation, coercion and other
underhanded methods. And no, you're not allowed to use hypnosis or sex
either. Play fair.
3. He will change only for the right reasons
The right reasons are inner-driven, and arise only when his actions
create enough pain for him to desperately want to make a change. When
he is sufficiently motivated to change, he’ll do it regardless
of your wanting him to do it.
If he does decide to change, support him every step of the way, and
get help for him and yourself. And what should I do if he doesn't want
to change, you say?
Well, then you don't have too many options, and the ones you have may
not be all that attractive. But here's what you can do if his actions
are causing you pain.
- Let Him Know
Your man may not even be aware that his behaviour is affecting you
adversely. After all he’s not as intuitive as you are and can’t
read your mind. So tell him what you feel. If he cares a lot about you,
he may be motivated to change.
- Change Yourself
Susan Page, author of "How One of You Can Bring the Two of You
Together," believes that for every action there is always an equal,
opposite reaction, and that one person’s fundamental shift toward
"good will" can lay the foundation for a better relationship.
Based on that premise, all it should take to change your man is to change
I have my reservations about this approach, but don't really see any
harm in trying it as long as you don't go overboard in trying to change
yourself for his benefit. If it doesn't change him it might help you
deal with some of your own issues.
- Give Up Control
What are you anyway, some kind of control freak? You only have control
over your own thoughts and actions, not over the actions of other people.
Your penance is to say the "Serenity Prayer" out loud ten
times a day. Go do it now, girl.
- Live With It
If you can convince yourself that his behaviour is not all that bad,
or you’ve already invested too much in the relationship to leave,
then learn to live with it, desensitise, detach, or minimise your exposure
to it. It’ll prepare you well for learning to live with his mother.
- Walk, Leave, Vamoose
If his behaviour is too painful, if its affecting your health and self-esteem,
then the kindest thing you can do for both of you, is to walk away from
Sometimes the best option is to make a fresh start. That way you'll
be able to attract someone more suited to your needs the next time around.