Can we change the other?
Sometimes we find it hard to accept that the other is… other. That he has opinions, habits, manias, occupations different from ours. In the name of the perfect understanding of our couple we are eager for a perfect soul mate that is perfectly in line with our imperfect ideas. A form of alter ego that resembles us, as if to reinforce our qualities but also and above all, our defects. However, when everything goes perfectly, our differences seem to be a source of enrichment: “we complement each other so well”.
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The rigorous will put his sense of organization at the service of the disordered and thus, enhance his sense of punctuality, structure. The spender will complete the clamp, teaching him, by his way of acting, a tradition of openness and hospitality. Can we change the other? Is it normal to want to change the other?
Can we change the other? Is it normal to want to change the other?
On the other hand, when everything is shattered, the small defects of the other become irritating and unconsciously, they crystallize the bad waves of the moment.
And one day, our half no longer has the right to be what they have always been (Can we change the other?)
All couples who get along well show each other’s flexibility to satisfy and please each other. But then why, one day, the defects of our partner, his manias, become simply unbearable to us? Why does our partner suddenly no longer have the right to be what he has always been, which has never bothered us, until now? Finally, this malaise can be easily explained: a lack has set in; lack of tenderness, complicity, sharing, pleasure… An invisible distance took place within the couple. We don’t love ourselves enough anymore, all stupidly.
Try to love yourself again. Easy to say. Books, songs, newspapers, magazines, life have taught us that love has its dose of “ups” but also “downs”. To go up the slippery slope without picking up again, you have to play the rapprochement, to give yourself more moments of qualities. Or take distance, real this time, and try to slowly rebuild his couple.
We can always dream…
The Other is Other and we no longer accept it (Can we change the other?)
Criticizing a few manias, shouting for junk details, is one thing. On the other hand, to let off steam on one personality, on anchored character traits, which make the other, its value, is another. These are constituent elements of our partner, its trademark in a way.
Can we really reproach Julien for his avarice for example? At first, when Mary met him, she didn’t realize anything; since millennials were in favour of gender equality, they were not surprised to have to pay their share. She didn’t ask herself any questions when Julien ate less than her in the restaurant or when he preferred to take a jug of water rather than a bottle of white.
Several times, going to dinner with friends, she was surprised to see him cut the bill not wanting to pay for the coffee and bread he had not consumed. So what? Julien was young and somewhat broke. When they organized parties together, Julien always brought the piquette from the corner. Later, at their wedding, Mary was amazed to see so few people invited to her husband’s side. But no matter, she was in love with him and in addition, she loved him (yes, there is a difference). (Can we change the other?)
It was when she began to live with Julien, on a daily basis, that Marie realized her stinginess. Julien was always on the lookout for the last “good deal”, proud to rob Groupon and Lebon coin, always making calculations, sharing the smallest costs up to the last cents, having the feeling of having been hooded if he did not recalculate everything. He preferred to walk an hour in Paris rather than pay a Navigo Pass, scratching some fifty euros here, and some ten euros there. He stacked the Tupperware in the fridge to avoid any mess.
Marie, who had not wanted to see this defect, although conspicuous from their first meeting, began to be disappointed by her man. Sharp remarks and reproaches began to rain. This lack of generosity and “respect” shocked her. But in the name of what? In the name of herself who had been raised with the values of hospitality, sharing and generosity. In fact, Marie set herself up as a role model, believing that her husband was not “good enough” for her. This simply proved that she could not accept that Julien’s values upset hers and that, conversely, her values upset those of her husband.
No, no one is a role model (Can we change the other?)
But who is she, who are we to position ourselves as a model of anyone? No one holds the rule that measures the “right way” to live, to speak, to think, to act. Wanting to change the other is none other than an abuse of power that unfortunately shows that we see our partner as an object, a “thing” that we could model like a Pygmalion or that we would like to educate like a big child. Robin Norwood in “those women who love too much” explains” The need to succeed in changing the other is one of the destructive elements of the relationship”. Indeed, isn’t it a derivative way of swinging at the other that we don’t like it as it is, and, therefore, that we don’t like it at all?
Let’s start by trying to change the easiest, that is, ourselves. The rest will follow, or break.