The Sneaky Problem with Trying to “Help” or “Change” Your Man

November 30, 2012 8 Comments Marriage, Relationships

By Guest Blogger TW Jackson

Ok, he never puts the cap on the toothpaste (even though they’re attached these days!), he plays in a band even though he can’t sing or play a note, and he routinely handles personal hygiene in public.

Yes, he’s got the sweetest blue eyes, and he always treats you like a princess… But.

Every woman has done it at one point or another. You get together with some good girlfriends over wings and margaritas, and as the conversation turns to the current state of everyone’s dating relationships, someone says those three dreaded words…

“He has potential…”

Nobody’s perfect, we all agree. So what’s the problem with thinking you can “help” (read, “change”) a man into a better match for you?

The first sneaky problem…

First of all, consider these two potential issues:

1. Are you dating him because you want to “fix” him? If you’re going out because it’s his “issues” that drew you to him, you may need to consider your current level of self-esteem. Sure, everyone has issues, but sometimes we are attracted to someone who seems worse off than we are, so that we can feel less poorly about ourselves.

2. Are you dating him because you think (or he thinks!) he needs a mommy? Danger zone! Women are definitely raised to encourage this kind of lopsided arrangement, and it can be a real problem in a relationship where you WANT a real man and equal partner, but are STUCK with an adult kid who needs parenting. While it certainly feels good to know you’re needed, a solid relationship is made up of two healthy, independent adults.

Give yourself a quick check to see if either of these things are driving you, then take a look below to find out more helpful things to consider when you think about helping or changing the man you love.

Three more things to watch out for

Okay, you’ve done a solid self-evaluation, and determined that there really are some issues he has that you think should or could be improved upon. Perhaps he needs to lose weight, or ask his boss for a raise, or stop staying up every night playing online games or watching porn.

Whatever your issues are, it’s important to remember the following warnings before you take ANY action at all…

  1. People don’t like it when you try to change them.
  2. You might come across as not liking your man.
  3. You could be wasting your time.

If you’ve carefully considered the risks, here are a couple of tips that may help you make it through the process a bit more smoothly.

Think he’s worth your effort? Then optimize your chances!

Everybody should be able to adapt and compromise on some issues within a relationship. So if you’re ready to move forward, the following tips are for you!

1. Don’t bring up change early in the relationship. Instead of keeping your focus on what annoys you, try enjoying the awesome things that attracted you to him in the first place. A new relationship needs time and trust before change messages can be successfully heard.

2. Make a list and prioritize it. Let’s say you are in a relationship with a man who really could improve on a few things in order to make your connection a much better one. Before you dive in and start hinting, mentioning, or outright asking him to change, make yourself a list of all those “needs changing” items.

Determine what the really important ones are, and put them in priority order at the top of your list. Are they make-or-break issues for your relationship? If so, you may want to either sit down in a calm, neutral space to let him know about those items, or seriously consider whether you have a good match.

And remember, differences can be complimentary

The old saying, “opposites attract” points to a deep truth. Perhaps he’s not so great at accounting and his finances are a mess, but you happen to be a whiz at that sort of thing. If don’t mind carrying the ball for that, perhaps he can take over something else that he’s great at but you don’t like at all.

Remember, trying to “fix” or “help” your man may or may not be worth the effort. No one is perfect, and yes, that includes you, but only you know in your heart, if this relationship is worth persuing, or throwing in the towel. I wish you bliss with (or without) your current partner.

~TW

About TW “T DUB” Jackson

TW Jackson, author of Girl Gets Ring, has directly and indirectly helped over 100,000 couples in over 77 countries fix badly broken relationships. In most cases, T Dub helps salvage relationships AFTER one party has already declared “it’s over” and when there’s only one person left trying desperately to save their marriage or relationship.

He is a pioneer in relationship bonding and re-bonding. T Dub discovered early on in his life that NOBODY is immune to the powerful principles of human bonding. He is most happy when he is teaching men and women to form (or reform) strong bonds in their relationships, whether it’s starting a new relationship on the right foot, a mature relationship in need of new life, or a broken relationship requiring a drastic overhaul.

Have you ever been, or are currently in a relationship or marriage where you were/are trying to “fix” your man? How did that work for you? Can people change, I think, is the big question? I’d love your thoughts.

xoxEDxox

 

    8 Comments

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    2. Andre Ewert says:

      some people dont change because they have a center, an identity, un noyau dur.
      some people type with one hand.
      some people know everything.
      some people dont know who they really are but love wearing brands like gucci, nike, apple, because it reassures them because there s nothing else, no values, no house, no relatoionship, no love to give

      some people just take and dont know that in life you essentially get back what you give
      some people cheat , lie and have affairs and in the end they lose it all

      i have learned over the last 50 years on this planet, that you can make a mistake once but not twice
      some people love security so much that they ll peal potatoes all their life (check my movie review of ”le grand soir’)
      some people seek freedom and truth rather than mind games and frivolous talk

      Some people have the courage to NOT CHANGE despite everybody wanting them to change
      I think I’ll put a tattoe on my head that spells ”NOT” to protect me from all those Golddiggers out there

      Yours is a fantastic website with interesting content..but it needs more diversity..thinking of different kinds.

    3. We only embrace change when it’s our idea. It’s human nature. Men don’t change. Ever. I’ve done years of research on this subject and have finally learned my lesson. Men are wonderous creatures. Embrace their gifts, accept them as they are and enjoy them. It’s far more rewarding to change your underwear than to waste energy trying to get them to shave their beard, put the cap on the toothpaste or put the seat down. If you are inclined to do social work, the Humane Society needs you. Your man will only resent your efforts…no matter how right you are.

    4. Sandy says:

      I don’t see anything wrong with encouraging your man or guiding him on certain issues. I have found that opposites don’t attract.

    5. Change him? No. Offer ideas on how to put you both in sync, sure. Compromising isn’t changing. It’s ‘relationshiping’

    6. Michelle says:

      I think we’ve all been guilty of this at one time or another. Guilty as charged!

    7. This is not a mistake I have ever made, but I did spend my drive to work this morning giving dating advice to my ex-husband.

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