"Can you improve your relationship by trying to change your partner?"

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 05, 2011 8:51 PM GMT
    Apparently no - and trying to do so makes things worse... probably not news though there doesn't seem to be shortage of people who nevertheless seem to try.

    http://www.bakadesuyo.com/can-you-improve-your-relationship-by-trying-t

    This research examined the consequences of targeting the self versus the partner when trying to improve intimate relationships. As predicted, when participants (N = 160) focused their relationship improvement attempts on changing the partner, individuals reported more negative improvement strategies, lower improvement success, and, in turn, more negative relationship evaluations. Self-focused improvement attempts and participants’ own self-regulation efforts, however, were not associated with more positive relationship evaluations or improvement. Instead, individuals reported more improvement and greater relationship quality when partners were perceived to be engaging in successful self-regulation efforts. The results suggest that targeting the partner may do more harm than good despite that relationship evaluations pivot on whether the partner produces change.

    Source: "Improving intimate relationships: Targeting the partner versus changing the self" from Journal of Social and Personal Relationships
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2011 12:14 AM GMT
    If by saying "change your partner" you actually mean "change partners," then yes. icon_wink.gif
  • nv7_

    Posts: 1453

    Apr 06, 2011 1:35 AM GMT
    "Don't try to change people. The person they change into will probably think you suck." Me. icon_biggrin.gif
  • needleninja

    Posts: 713

    Apr 06, 2011 1:40 AM GMT
    changing people is just stupid, even i stop myself from changing becuase its painfull to keep going back to something that is unhappy.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2011 1:42 AM GMT
    no. my ex was a cheating whore bag who hooks up with guys on "fuck sites" so i dropped his ass. now hes probably still a cheating whore bag who hooks up with guys on "fuck sites" and hopefully with several STDs. moral to the story, just keep it moving.
  • MuscleComeBac...

    Posts: 2376

    Apr 06, 2011 1:43 AM GMT
    The single most futile act in all the universe is to attempt to change someone.
    People are as they are. Period.

    Changing someone else or attempting to do so is a co-dependent folly that leads to nothing but heartache.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2011 3:25 AM GMT
    Self-regulation is not only important in relationships... its important in all of society... it starts as a young child, where we have to learn to control unacceptable impulses and behaviours to please our parents... when we do, our parents give us positive feedback and this makes us happy...

    relationships work the same way, but our own negative behaviours tend to become more visible in relationships...

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2011 3:27 AM GMT
    Taken right from my profile:

    "No matter what you do, you will not be able to change others...you can advise them, but not forcefully change them. If they changed...that means they have decided to change themselves..."

    - Mohammed icon_razz.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2011 3:29 AM GMT
    They have to want the change.
    Really want it with all they have to make it.



    Otherwise I'd be in a relationship.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2011 3:35 AM GMT
    People can change. And I know if you give me a chance.......................




    I can make YOU change... icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2011 3:44 AM GMT
    It would be nice to know the time frame for the study.

    In a short period of time, it is not possible to change partner. However, you will notice that over time after several years, both partners do conform to each others' standards somewhat. As common goals develop between partners, they learn to be independent of each other. They develop persuasive negotiation skills. Displays of dominance and loss of power are replaced with self-reliance and trust along with realistic love to the point that pleasing your partner becomes your happiness.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2011 5:19 AM GMT
    It's worth considering that relationships shouldn't be static. You both change, adjusting to each others needs as you discover them and do so with a quiet and profound happiness that you can. It's true, you can't change another, but you should communicate your needs, and your lover responding to those needs is your lover changing, but voluntarily.

    -Doug

  • MuscleComeBac...

    Posts: 2376

    Apr 06, 2011 4:41 PM GMT
    Time, once again, to revisit this old saw.
    WELL worth hearing again...
  • RD11

    Posts: 448

    Apr 06, 2011 4:47 PM GMT
    I will end things if i'm in a relationship where my partner is trying to mould me. Take me as i am or get the fuck out.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2011 5:13 PM GMT
    I agree with RD11
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2011 8:01 PM GMT

    Hmmmmm, so if your partner had poor hygiene or developed an eating disorder you'd do nothing except leave or threaten to leave, which would be forcing change with an ultimatum.

    No one thinks it a good idea to try and get the lover to wash, or go to a doctor for untreated illness, or try get them to eat better etc.

    Just put up and shut up. Interesting.

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2011 8:15 PM GMT
    You can want a partner to change, but if he's unwilling then it's just not going to happen

    meninlove said
    Hmmmmm, so if your partner had poor hygiene or developed an eating disorder you'd do nothing except leave or threaten to leave, which would be forcing change with an ultimatum.


    I don't know how you'd go from meeting the guy to dating to a relationship without realizing that he has poor hygiene. You should have noticed that he smells funky or his breath is rancid long ago, and surprisingly decided to continue dating him. In that case it's your own fault for finding this acceptable until you're in a relationship.

    If a partner had an eating disorder, then of course I'd want him to get help. This has very little to do with trying to change my partner and everything to do with concern for his health.
    If he risks his health, career, or happiness then I would feel responsible to get him the help he needs to protect him from himself.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2011 8:17 PM GMT
    You know what's the worst?
    When you spend an entire relationship telling someone to quit smoking and then a month after you break up they quit cold turkey and never go back. icon_mad.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2011 8:22 PM GMT
    well, love often isn't that logical, and some problems happen after you've settled down and years go by.

    "... don't know how you'd go from meeting the guy to dating to a relationship without realizing that he has poor hygiene. You should have noticed that he smells funky or his breath is rancid long ago, and surprisingly decided to continue dating him. In that case it's your own fault for finding this acceptable until you're in a relationship."

    "If a partner had an eating disorder, then of course I'd want him to get help. This has very little to do with trying to change my partner and everything to do with concern for his health."

    Well, you're trying to get him help so he will change. I've seen a great many people go through relationship changes over the years. All kinds of things happen.

    One couple, happily married for a few years, straight. He found out she'd been impulse spending and had racked up a huge debt. Should he try to change her habits, or just walk out on her?

  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2011 8:22 PM GMT
    If you try to change me for something petty such as hair (not cutting the dreadlocks damn it) or the like then you'll get a good glare and a talking to. If it's serious like getting me to become healthy so we can continue to date and eventually rule the world* then I'm sure I'd listen to reason. In turn I'd expect the same for you..I mean him.













    * [size=14]I don't really need anyone to help with my plans of world domination just my future pet maybe a ninja cat or something
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 06, 2011 8:29 PM GMT
    MuscleComeBack saidTime, once again, to revisit this old saw.
    WELL worth hearing again...


    I love Dan Savage.icon_razz.gif
  • RD11

    Posts: 448

    Apr 07, 2011 1:35 AM GMT
    showme said
    MuscleComeBack saidTime, once again, to revisit this old saw.
    WELL worth hearing again...


    I love Dan Savage.icon_razz.gif



    He is great, I completely agree with his opinion on relationships
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 07, 2011 3:17 AM GMT
    meninlove said
    One couple, happily married for a few years, straight. He found out she'd been impulse spending and had racked up a huge debt. Should he try to change her habits, or just walk out on her?



    I'm sorry they're in this situation. They're married so her debt is their debt.
    This is not really about trying to change one's partner.
    They have to look at her reckless behavior (and possible addiction) as well as how her actions could have a negative effect on his finances and credit rating.

    My original point is that he cannot get her to change her spending behaviors if she is unwilling to do so. She won't go for financial counselling if she doesn't think there is a problem with her spending habits.
    He might not know have known that she was an impulse shopper when they first met, unless he ran a credit check or background check on her. Maybe it's a good thing to do.
    At this point he may want her to change and she'll have to want to change for them to improve the relationship. If she doesn't want to then he'll need to take steps to protect himself-- separate bank accounts, separate credit cards, and possibly separation depending on how things are.