When most people set out to change their relationship, they make one major mistake. They focus on the things they want their partner to change. But the truth is you’ll find more success in focusing on changing yourself first.
If your partner is working on changing his or her behaviors, communication style, and habits, great! You should absolutely support their endeavors. But that’s all you can really do.
You can’t make your partner change. You can’t “speed up” this process for them – regardless of how impatient you are or how willing you are to offer support. In fact, pushing them to change faster is likely to have the opposite result.
The only real thing driving them to change is their own will. They have to be the ones to make an active effort. They have to want to do it. They have to put in the hard work.
And this is something that goes both ways. When you are trying to change yourself, it has to come from within. Partners and loved ones can support you in your change, but the hardest work must be done by you.
So what can you do?
First, focus on yourself. Work hard to be the best you that you can be. Make a conscious effort to be a better partner, a better listener. Seeing you putting in such an effort will motivate your partner to work even harder, and the relationship will improve for both of you.
And if you find yourself getting frustrated at your spouse’s progress, know that the best thing you can do to change the situation is to look within. Change your perspective on their behavior, habits, or process. Train yourself to notice the progress they are making every day. To see their strengths and abilities rather than the habits or behaviors causing conflict.
In fact, a big part of the change that you may need to make is to accept your partner’s journey. For example, ask yourself why you have been upset at certain behaviors and what you have done to communicate those feelings to your partner.
This may mean reevaluating how you have dealt with past conflicts and how you would like to change your responses in the future. When your partner is surrounded by positivity and growth, they will be encouraged to grow and work towards a positive relationship.