If you want to be different in your relationships, you must change from "I want to be different" to "I will learn to be different."
Here's a basic guide for what to do:
Begin by deciding that you want to change.
Find out the skills that you will need to master. Consider the skills you need to develop. Also, you must focus on what you can change, rather than just thinking about how you'd like others to be different.
Commit yourself to practicing your new skill. Remember that new skills take practice, which means that you can expect to make mistakes. If you can accept that achieving your goal is the result of continued effort, you will hopefully be able to respond to such missteps along the way by being compassionate to your struggles.
Can you relate to what it's like to take on this "can do" attitude? What have your experiences been in trying to change yourself in your relationships?
If you would like to read more in detail about this topic in my The Art of Relationships blog, click here.
Dr. Becker-Phelps's discussions and her responses in those discussions are for general educational purposes only. If you need help for an emotional or behavioral problem, please seek the assistance of a psychologist or other qualified mental health professional.
What a useful topic and coming at the right time. It feels like there are so many things I need to change about myself, and I think my social anxiety needs to be corrected first. It leads to timidity, hesitancy, passive aggressiveness, more social mistakes, and a whole host of other problems. Lately I've tried to take the attitude that sometimes life will hurt, I can't avoid it, it's best to get used to it, and be cheerful anyway. I'm hoping that doing this instead of trying to avoid pain will help.
Roh and Dennis, I'm glad to see that this topic is useful to both of you. You might find it helpful to keep the following in mind: It often helps to focus on just one thing at a time, since change is often hard and takes practice. Remember to give yourself kudos for being committed and for any situations in which you can see progress. Let us know how it goes!
Hello I have a question about my marriage. I have been married for two years but knew my husband for almost 11 years now we have two kids and still are very young I am 24 and he is 26, but for the last year in a half he has been cheating on me I have forgave him every time, I really want my marriage to work. Do you think it is a saveable marriage or I am wasting my time?
You have forgiven him every time, but has he said he would stop? Do you know why he is cheating? Is it because he wants more experience, or feels that he is bored? If you can openly talk about the reasons behind the cheating, you might be able to save things, but it will depend a lot on how both of you react and also how much effort you both put in. It depends a lot on his intent, your needs, his needs, and his desire to treat you well. If you decide to have an open marriage, for example, be safe, and also have him tested to make sure he isn't passing any STDs on to you.
This is a very difficult situation that many people find difficult - if not impossible- to work through themselves. Emotions run high and people's defenses often get in the way of finding a way through this kind of problem. Many marriage end because of infidelity, but other marriages do recover- and many even become stronger. So, if you are committed to trying to make your marriage work, I suggest that you consider couple therapy to either work through the issue or decide that it won't work.
He has cheated on you in only a half year, WHY??? That would be my first question, and second, what is wrong with your marriage for him, that he felt he needed to cheat?
You both need therapy, outside help from a neutral source.
Only you can answer your question; stay, or go? Is it worth saving? Do you really want it to work, or are you clinging to a fantasy?
It takes two people to have a marriage, and its usually something perceived in that marriage, by one party, or the other, that is wrong, or not to their liking, that gives them a reason to cheat. YOU must find what that is, and a councellor would be the most help to you, in this matter.
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