The beginning of a relationship is pure bliss. Everything is adorable. Our pet peeves and dislikes seem to fade away in the cloud of passion and excitement that fills our world. She smokes? That’s ok, she has so many other great qualities. He is a workaholic? Not a big deal, he is powerful and successful. She has 4 kids? They are so cute and so much fun. Then six months down the road reality strikes. You really hate smoking but never said anything. You are lonely and are in desperate need of attention. Deep down inside, you are not ready to take on additional children and it has become overwhelming. What happened to the excitement, unconditional love and acceptance?
We enter into a relationship excited about the future. Knowing full well the things that bother us but we don’t listen and secretly hope the other person will change. We choose to deal with it later, ignoring the fact that it will eventually explode.
When we hope another person will change, we are not truly happy with them the way they are. We are settling in the present and waiting for something to happen in the future that will make us happy. The problem is that the person just may be happy just the way they are and may never change. So what do you do?
It’s simple. Accept the person for who they are AND who they aren’t or leave the relationship. When you want your partner to be different, it destroys their self-esteem and leaves them feeling as if they are not enough. It is true that you can support your partner to be the best they can be and reach personal goals but those must be their goals and their desires, not yours. A person can change only when they truly want to change. If they change only for you, their true nature will reveal itself at some point in the future and take you back to square one.
How do you accept someone? You do not need to condone their behavior or agree with it, however, you must stop nagging, complaining and fighting about it. If you choose to be with them, you choose them exactly the way they are with all their faults and habits. They are aware of your dislikes, however, you give them the space to make their own choices. You may be surprised; they could decide to change after all! Sometimes, another person’s acceptance and unconditional love can serve as a mirror for the things we don’t like about ourselves. If you don’t like it, there is a chance that they don’t like it either.
The other option is to leave the relationship. This also has consequences. But you may be happier out of the situation or with another person who is more aligned with your values and beliefs.
Shakespeare said it best, “The course of true love never did run smooth”. All relationships take work. It takes compromise and give and take. If both people are committed to the same goal the sky is the limit. Transformation is possible!