Improving Your Relationship Even When Your
By Susie and Otto Collins
Have you ever wanted to change or improve your
relationship in some way but your partner seems
to drag his
or her feet about making any changes or even
that there is a problem to begin with?
frustrating. After all, the proverbial "two-way
what being in a relationship is all about and
significant changes happen when the other person
seems to resist?
Is it possible to change a relationship pattern
doesn't serve either of you when you're the only
working to make a change? Perhaps you are the
only one to
see the habit or tendency as a problem. We all
can't force another to change.
It's kind of like
in the ocean, feeling the tide pulling you in
direction, and attempting to change the tide. It
can't be done-- at least not without some
yet to be invented or supernatural powers!
scale, you also cannot force your partner or
but you, yourself to change.
Kim knows that she and her husband Paul have
issues. He had an affair several years ago and,
as much as
she's tried, she just can't seem to put the past
She owns up to her suspicious mind and is
books about forgiveness and rebuilding trust,
but she also
notices Paul being just as secretive as he was
time when he was cheating on her.
dynamic up, he refuses to talk about it and
accuses Kim of
holding his past mistakes over his head. Paul
time will heal the wounds of the affair and that
either happen again or it won't.
or she can do about it, according to Paul. He's
read relationship books with her and won't
with a relationship coach. Kim wonders if the
situation is hopeless and doomed to fail.
When your partner seems as stubborn and
resistant to the
changes you want to make as the ocean tides,
what can you
You can change your own direction and focus.
Kim is beginning to change her direction and
using tools like books on how to rebuild trust
affair. There is plenty of internal work she can
does not have to directly involve Paul.
journaling about forgiveness and is beginning to
better about her sense of self-worth which has
issue in the past and was compounded upon
It would be a potentially healing
Paul to read the same books and perhaps work
with a coach
or counselor but, since he is unwilling, Kim
from these activities on her own.
Become more aware of your direction and focus.
If you are
primarily focused on how stubborn your partner
make a shift. It won't help either of you to
hone in on
how difficult and closed your mate appears to
it will probably get in the way of your making
Giving most of your attention to what
partner is not doing, also often means that you
seeing the potentially helpful things he or she
and, conversely, the potentially distancing
things you are
You can share your intentions with your
As Kim gets more and more excited by the
she's making about herself and the healing
place within for her, she might choose to share
She may start out by letting him know that
understands he doesn't want to read the
but that she'd like him to know what she's
herself and how she's processing what she's
Paul doesn't feel pressured to take part in the
building activities Kim is choosing, he may
open to listening. In fact, he may decide to--
in his own
way-- engage in more trust-building practices
With this growing sense of openness between
them, Kim and
Paul can more clearly and connectingly share
another their intentions for their relationship.
Allowing your partner to approach and make
changes in his
or her way could end up enhancing the changes
You might find that you two are
different directions, but you might also find
paths come together in surprising ways that end
up with you
two closer than before.