Did you hear about the bridal couple?
Bride: “Pastor, I’m really worried I’ll forget something.”
Pastor: “It’s a piece of cake, walk down the aisle, to the altar, sing the hymn.”
Groom: “So it’s aisle, then altar, then hymn?”
The big day arrives and they’re about to walk in the church.
Aisle, altar, hymn …
I’ll, altar, hymn …
I’ll alter hymn …
I’ll alter him.
Youngsters think change is a piece of cake. “I love you so much, I promise I’ll change.” Or “My love can change him.” Women marry alcoholics thinking, “I’ll be able to stop him from drinking.” The wife thinks she can ‘save’ the husband from himself. It’s not only alcohol but drug addictions and a list of other things that could unconsciously attract the partner. “If I succeed in changing my partner, my life will prove to have been worthwhile”.. is the unconscious thought.
Reality is different! The chances of winning the lottery are greater than the chances of the husband stopping! Change might only happen in old age and probably more to do with the husband having alcoholic liver failure, than the wife’s moans.
Promises are often simply words. Action is needed for change. The late 20’s is usually when the realization strikes home that change is difficult and is probably not going to happen. This accounts for the statistic that most divorces happen in the late 20’s. You’ve heard of the 7 year itch? It’s true. A mental change has to happen for the marriage to survive.
“Life begins at 50” is not just a T-shirt logo! This is most often the time when people finally let go and just accept each other, warts and all! At this age many couples also seem to reach a peak of happiness.
But why waste the first 30 years of the relationship?
Loving someone does not mean changing them. It’s really not loving to try and change someone into what you feel is acceptable to you. That makes it all about you. True love is selfless. Why marry someone you need to change? Are you really picking the right person then?
You wouldn’t buy a car for how much you’d need to fix it, so why choose a lifelong partner this way, one who doesn’t come with a money-back guarantee?
If you recognize yourself in this scenario, let go of the urge to change your partner. Start affirming all the things that you do love about your partner rather than harping on the negative. Everyday make a point of giving at least one affirmation and tick that off on your ‘to-do’ list! This is going to have a far greater positive effect than moaning and groaning. Rather look at changing your own attitudes. You’re the only person you can really change!
If you are in a marriage fixed on changing your partner have a look at the co-dependent checklist for more insights.