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Are You Trying to Change Your Spouse?
Change is possible, but the person you married is always going to be that person. The following is an excerpt from "Kickstart Your Relationship Now! Move On or Move Out!"


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Your spouse is who they are. Change is possible, but it's difficult to force change upon someone else.


Does it mean we canít change? If that were true I would not have become a therapist. I totally believe in change!”
The following is an excerpt from "Kickstart Your Relationship Now! Move On or Move Out!"

Big Mistake! Thatís when, after years of being married, the wife tells her girlfriend that, when she married her husband, she thought he would change (to her liking). Why would anyone think that? My motto has always been: What you see is what you get! That sums it up from both my personal and professional experience.

Letís look at the metaphor: The river can rise and its banks can swell. The silt can build on the bottom of the river. The Adler trees can grow and create shade where there was once sun. The surrounding hills can erode and cause rocks to fall into the river bottoms creating large shadowy pools for the fish to spawn and congregate. The shady areas with boulders can cause algae and moss to build. Yet, the river remains the river regardless of those internal changes (some visible and some invisible).

At the end of the day, you are still you. Have you changed over time? Maybe, more on the outside than on the insideóor just the oppositeómore on the inside than the outside. Perhaps your values have shifted, you are more educated, you make more money (or less), and you look older. However, some basic premises remain the same. At the core, we are who we are.

Does it mean we canít change? If that were true I would not have become a therapist. I totally believe in change! If you want to change, then you will change! If you want to shift your value system, then you will. You want itóyou got it! Iím talking about you honestly identifying what is your true heartís desire. This is not about what you profess out loud to others. This is about your core desires. No matter what you really want (deep down insider)ópositive or negativeóthen it will happen!

We can only change from within ourselves. We cannot demand change in others. If you are still thinking that, then I encourage you to re-read the should section in the cognitive chapter of this book. You only have control over yourself, not others! You will be disappointed if you pursue that belief. You deserve to be happy, to have riches, to be healthy, and to be loved. However, you have to believe in yourself and love yourself and do it for yourself, first. The rest will figure itself out.

“The more you keep looking to others to make it right, or to make you happy, or to give you what you want, or to do it differently, then the more you will be disappointed in life and in love.”

What is a major theme of this book? Look within and when you discover how beautiful you really are, then embrace yourself and acknowledge you. It means you simply give yourself a mental hug and believe in taking positive steps. Start by saying kind things to yourself. As soon as you start mentally supporting yourself and being kind to yourself mentally, you will receive miracles on your doorstep. As soon as you are good to yourself and you start doing for yourself because you believe that you can do it, then everything changes! You will attract the healthy partner you have been wanting for years. You will manifest a healthier and more loving relationship than you ever thought would happen in your current marriage. You will be happier and the people around you will be happy for you (and they themselves will be happier around)! How cool is that?

The more you keep looking to others to make it right, or to make you happy, or to give you what you want, or to do it differently, then the more you will be disappointed in life and in love. It might work for a while or it might seem like it is working even for a lifetime. However, I am not referring to external looks (house, car, money, etc.). I am talking about a deeper understanding of self and of your partner. I am talking about a deep connection (intimacy, love, friendship, and respect), that is reciprocated. It just flows. The good news is that it gets better because you both give and you both take (receive), in the marriage. That is the best part! You can make it happen. It all begins with you.

Dr. Margot E. Brown, a Licensed Marriage Family Therapist, has counseled and helped thousands of people improve their relationships and save their marriages over the past two decades. She is the author of "Kickstart Your Relationship Now! Move On or Move Out!"†She has written for The Family Psychologist and The American Journal of Family Therapy.† For the past year and a half she has worked as the director of psychological health for Magellan Health Inc. as a civilian contractor for the United States Army Reserve (63rd RSC).† She is responsible for the mental well-being of 43,000 soldiers in nine states, Guam, Siapan, and American Samoa.† She is a member of American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists and Employee Assistance Professional Association.† She resides with her husband and family in the San Francisco Bay area.†For more information, www.72hrrule.com.


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Over 1 million couples turn to Hitched for expert marital advice every year. Sign up now for our newsletter & get exclusive weekly content that will entertain, educate and inspire your marriage.



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