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Thread: a question about trying to change someone

  1. #31
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    Oct 2018
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    Originally Posted by bluecastle
    And also the tough endings with one of us basically going: um, wait a second here, do we actually work work? That would lead to the inevitable place where you're at now, where you look back and see the loose thread that was right there at the beginning, unraveling even when things were just coming together.

    Sometimes we have to go through a relationship or two (more more) to get all our gauges functioning. Sometimes we need a relationship to discover a gauge—and, ugh, sometimes it's that discovery that marks the end of the relationship. Sad stuff. Or beautiful stuff. Time tends to render the former into the latter.

    My freshman year girlfriend—profound then, but so long ago now that it's lost all influence on my emotional landscape—was essentially the first cool, attractive woman with whom I'd had good sex. That fueled us for a bit—with fun trips to California and Cuba mixed in there—but we really had nothing in common in terms of the values required for "long term." We didn't even have the language for that stuff. We were still searching for that language—and we helped each other, I'd like to think, in that search.

    Maybe he wins the Most Respectable Man on the Planet Award at 30, and when he walks to the podium he's thinking of you somewhere, quietly thanking you for the influence you had in his life. Or maybe not. Both of those outcomes are equally okay, and neither make your time together any more or less valuable. That's letting go, you know? Zen stuff.
    I find all of your words to be very profound, but these few bits really resonated with me tonight.

    While I know me creating threads about issues from the 'past' is largely perceived on here as me not letting go, I truly think it's quite the opposite for me. Doing so helps me to release my thoughts and, ergo, let them go. Once I talk it out, I really no longer feel the need to think about it so often or deeply.

    The empathy you have for others truly shines bright on this site, bluecastle. Thank you. :)

  2. #32
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    Jul 2019
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    22
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    Yes its wrong ,Your better is for you and you alone for him his better was being who he was ,if he never shown any sight of wanting to change or talked about how he wasnt happy with the way he was then trying to change him for your own fulfillment is kind wrong.On the other if changing was gonna make you more happy and that in turn he was gonna make him happy ,then its perfectly fine cause thats something that he wants to do on his own for you.

  3. #33
    Silver Member
    Join Date
    May 2019
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    348
    Originally Posted by rainorshine
    Hi all, it's been a little while since I've started a thread. I'm still chugging along in my healing process post-break up. Recently during moments of reflection, I have been thinking quite a lot about the dynamic my ex and I had.

    I would like to believe that I am - at least I make a conscious effort to be - a very understanding, empathetic, and considerate person. I try my best to remain open-minded, appreciative, and kind. My friends closest to me (my ex included) have described me as very genuine, authentic, and good-hearted.

    My ex, on the other hand... while I have always maintained that he has a good heart, his character could definitely be better. While he treated me very well during the majority of our time together, towards others he could be very mean and disrespectful, and he would often use offensive and degrading terminology regarding them. For other males, his level of respectfulness was usually based on how they dressed and what their interests were, while for women he based his respectfulness primarily on how attractive he found them (at least, this was my viewpoint). I found myself constantly telling him to "please be nice," and to "please don't say that" when it came to him speaking to and about other people (which I knew I shouldn't have had to do), and I would go extra out of my way to be kind and do generous things for other people hoping that he would take notice and want to do them, too.

    Throughout our entire relationship, I really tried so hard to encourage him to be a better, kinder person through my actions and words. I pushed myself to be better in the hopes that it would push him to be better. I just wanted so desperately for him to be nice to others the way he was nice to me.

    But eventually I realized that by doing this, I was trying to change him, and I hated that. It made me feel so guilty, because I didn't want to have to push him so hard to be a good person in the first place!

    Obviously the lesson learned here is to stick dating someone who has a comparable character to you, so this issue doesn't exist. But in general, is trying to change someone for the better really that wrong? Where is the line between accepting someone for who they are and trying to encourage them to be a better person?
    Yeah....just don't.

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