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You're looking for the signs he will change -- but thinking you can change your partner is a classic pitfall in many marriages. Though you can sometimes learn to deal with the foibles and flaws of your partner, some disagreeable habits and personality traits of your spouse can become too much to take, and you wind up in the divorce mediator or lawyer’s office. If only your spouse could just change a little...
Don’t bet on it! Most psychologists will tell you that it is only in the rarest of circumstances that a person will change because of something you say. Chances are they've already been told by others what their flaws are, and your gentle nagging is unlikely to sound any different. No matter how hard you look for the signs he will change, it is usually only you who is changing to accommodate the problem. If your spouse doesn't want to change for you. all your efforts will leave them feeling unworthy and you emotionally exhausted. Here are a few reasons why you should not try to change your spouse.
You can only control your own actions
As individuals, it’s important to remember that we can only control our own actions. Although we can hope to effect change in others, it’s usually no more than a wish or a prayer. This is particularly important to remember when negotiating a divorce settlement. For ultimate success in your divorce settlement, it pays to be goal-oriented and to divest yourself of any notions of that you can change your partner’s thinking or behavior. It's too late for that.
Accepting that the only person you can change is yourself will help you move through the divorce mediation and settlement process more efficiently. You can take the time and energy you would have spent looking for signs he will change, or obsessing over how he really needs to change, to think about how you might implement some changes of your own to become a happier, healthier individual in your new single life.
Written with assistance from: Jane Baber, Mediation Assistant