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Why Not Change Yourself

In cases where there is marital conflict, or a relationship conflict, people are posting what the other person is doing wrong, or not doing. The person posting cannot change their spouse, they can only change themselves. Why do people try to dictate what the other party should be doing?

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 ---Ellie on 6/29/05
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Mainly because we are trying to mold that spouse into what WE want them to be like. I learned years ago that only God can truly change someone. We should ask God to search our heart and to reveal to us what needs to change in ourself. Also realize that we are not perfect so why should we expect our spouse to be? Amen..
---Cynthia on 9/27/07


Alot of people believe that when God shows them something that is wrong, they automaticly think it is wrong for everyone else. When in fact, it isn't wrong for them until God show them. I can't change no one, I wouldn't want to. Change comes from a deep desire from the heart.
---Rebecca_D on 9/27/07


Ellie, it is probably because they are hurt and see only their side - it is very difficult in marital conflict to be objective. It isn't correct, or Biblical, but humanly it is very hard to forgive and look past the others' fault and to look at your own.
---Peggy2544 on 6/2/07


Answer: They don't know better. But, you do have to give them "A" for trying. You are right, you can't change your spouce. You can only yourself and the spouce may change in relation to your change.
---Ray on 7/25/05


"Why do people try to dictate what the other party should be doing?".Dictation on what to be done by the other party happens because we wanted the other party to behave the way "we want" them to behave! Conflict arises because our wants are not satisfied! I understand that if GOD is at the center of marriage, or in any relationship, then unresolved conflict can be avoided. Respect for the other person, or partner, will not be lost if GOD is made the foundation of marriage partnership.
---bebet3754 on 7/2/05




Darlene, I understand what you are saying and I agree to a point. But, I have seen posts here that say things like "The wife needs to submit in this marriage," when it is the husband complaining. Or "Your husband needs to be more loving." That kind of advice is not helpful. Getting the couple into marriage counseling, or pastoral counseling is the key. Let the pastor tell them what they each need to do in the marriage. Hope this makes sense.
---Ellie on 7/2/05


very good sweetheart, the answer would be they do not know that yet. ie. different levels of learning. <>< that is why we all should pray to know JESUS the CHRIST and HIS ways. love
---monique on 7/1/05


Ellie, you missed the point.Advice wasn't to the spouse causing the problem,it's to help the hurting spouse understand possible solutions.If a spouse has the information of what help the person who is the problem needs, they may be able to get them to seek out that help.Changing the person hurting won't change the relationship when they haven't caused the problems.It's useless.It's heaping insult on injury blaming the victim.If husband cuts a foot the wife getting stitches won't help him.Same concept .
---Darlene_1 on 7/1/05


Darlene, it is futile to offer advice for a spouse who didn't ask for it. If you were to ask my advice, I would be wasting my time telling you what needs fixed in your husband. He didn't ask me for advice.

The person asking for advice needs to know what they can do for themselves to fix the problem. Not a list of what needs fixing in the spouse they are complaining about.
---Ellie on 6/30/05


Dory Lory,that is a very insightful oberservation by you. Ellie,I don't see it as most telling the spouse of the writer what to do.In order to address the problem one must offer solutions for both, often those depend on the spouse who caused the problem to seek specific types of help.When someone has knowledge of that behavior,naturally they base their answers on prior information or experience.Any advice based on facts isn't bad advice.I will never grasp why some defend the guilty party so much.
---Darlene_1 on 6/30/05




Dory: I agree with you about these posts. It is the replies I am questioning.

Too many people are giving advice on what the spouse should do. I think it is bad advice.
---Ellie on 6/29/05


Very few women will complain about their marital conflicts before they have tried everything within their means to remedy the situation. I believe the posts we are seeing are a cry, from utter frustration. These women don't know what else to do ... they just want someone/anyone to help them.
---DoryLory on 6/29/05


Peggy: I understand about the original post complaining about the spouse's behavior. I am confused about the people replying. They are telling the poster what their spouse should do, instead of telling the poster what that person should be doing. If someone is looking for advice, why should we tell them what their spouse should do?
---Ellie on 6/29/05


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