|Have you ever noticed that most often when you argue with your partner you both try to convince yourselves that the other person should behave the way you want? Someone tells you: “You need to spend less money.”, “You have to quit smoking.”, “ You cannot meet this friend anymore!” and that’s how these conflicts arise.|
Oftentimes you’re the one with the requirements towards the other person and when they don’t meet them, you get mad. This is the mistake that most people make – we act like dictators. We try to control each other and tell the other person what to do.
A strategy that can instantly fix all your relationship problems and can help you get rid of expectations involves stopping forcing anyone to do anything. It involves giving people full freedom - provided that they do not interfere with your freedom.
Let's see how it usually works. The husband says to his wife: “You need to quit smoking. You stinks of cigarettes. You’re wasting a lot of money and putting your health at risk. You have to quit immediately.”. Is this man right? Yes. Everything he said is true. The problem is that the approach he represents in no way motivates his wife to change. On the contrary, it discourages her. Every time you force someone to do something, you make them resist you.
If someone said to you: “You have to spend an hour each day to exercise, because you'll be healthier, you will look better and feel better” then that person would be right. The problem is that everyone must make such decisions by themselves. When you are imposed from above, your internal motivation is being killed.
Thus, when a husband forces his wife to quit smoking a woman must not only deal with the addiction, but also with the lack of support. If she couldn’t stop and after a week of not smoking, she smoked a cigarette again, she wouldn’t be able to admit it, because she would know that her husband would be furious. This generates additional stress and provokes quarrels between partners.
Now imagine a different attitude: Husband says: “I’d really like you to quit smoking. You know well that it is harmful to your health. If you did, you would save a lot of money. But remember, I’m not forcing you to do anything. If you want to quit, it must be entirely your decision. Remember, you can always count on my support.” When you approach the problem in such a way, you're always on that person’s side. This approach motivates. The other one discourages and spoils relationships.
What if a partner after all does not listen and wants to continue to do their thing? If you cannot accept it, break up with them. If you can live with it, accept it and do not ask them to change any more. Claims never work. There are relationships in which the woman has been holding a grudge against her husband for drinking too much beer for 10 years. For 10 years claims has been only destroying the relationship. Nothing has changed, but the woman still does this, because according to her is the best strategy. To a large extent, her partner is resistant to attempts to change, because of her wanting to change him. By continual grievances his feelings might not be what they were and therefore he is not susceptible to her influence. Therefore, first you should try to fix the balance of feelings between you and repair your relationship. Only when it is fine between you, gently suggest the need to change and always be on the side of your partner.
In the end I wanna add that it is very likely that it is you who needs to change and not your partner. Unfortunately, our minds are designed so, that we are blind to our own faults and extremely sensitive and conscious of the faults of others. We do not recognize that we are blind. Noticing your mistakes requires a lot of maturity and an open mind, but it carries a huge reward.
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