“DON’T Marry Someone for Their Potential”


Ciris had a particularly thoughtful response to our recent Your Call, “How Can He Get His Boyfriend to Fight Fair?” which broached the topic of trying to change a partner before you get married:

A lot of the discussion seems to be “what I would do” or pseudo-psychoanalysis of the boyfriend, but that is not the answer sought. I think the heart of this issue is to answer the question: what if it never changes? Is he willing to marry someone who in their worst moments may always revert to that sort of reaction?

You alone cannot change him, all the logic/love/reasoning/therapy in the world cannot change him if he doesn’t want to; he has to see it as a problem and be willing to change and all the work that entails.

That said if the answer is ‘yes, it must change for us to marry’ I do think people can change, and I do think it will be fairly apparent if his partner recognizes it as a problem and is willing to work on it. But there has to be the acknowledgement that it may never be fully solved, marriage as a contract is seeing each other’s flaws and forgiving them and inversely working on your own flaws for the sake of your partner. Somewhere in that balance lies what you are or aren’t willing to accept and willing to change… both people have to recognize their contribution(s) to the situation.

Finally, though having never read it myself I might recommend the book Nonviolent Communication, if both are open to change and seeking a starting point. — Ciris

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