How many times have you read or heard someone say, “If you do/are (insert random action/trait here), then your lover will stay/be faithful.” or “A man/woman will change for the right person.”?
I get annoyed when I see/hear comments like these for a few reasons:
- They’re flat-out lies.
- They imply that the impetus to control or manage one person’s behavior lies with the other person.
- They’re manipulative, emotionally damaging statements.
The fact of the matter is that you could be the absolute perfect partner: have all the traits your partner wants in a mate, do all the things that they like, have a character that is above reproach, please them in every possible way, and your partner may still choose to be unfaithful to you or leave. That is simply a fact! This is because another person’s choices have very little to do with you!!! Of course, there are things that you can do to try to help influence the other person to make decisions that you’d like them to make, but at the end of the day, it’s their choice and you have no control over or responsibility for that!
People will do whatever they want to do when they want to do it and for their own reasons, some of which you may not know about at all. The person you’re dealing with may have mental/emotional/physical issues that influence their behaviors and choices. Their childhood may have been one way or another. They may have been dropped on their head as a baby. Who knows! The point is there’s nothing that you or I or anyone else can do, save tieing them to a post in the basement, that will force another human being to do the right thing. We can love by example and hope that inspires loyalty and causes the other person to think twice when making choices, but again, at the end of the day, there simply is no guarantee.
The ONLY thing that keeps a person faithful or changes their behavior is an internal choice that that person makes. They have to decide to be loyal. They have to decide that the temptations that lie outside the relationship are not worth losing what awaits them inside of it. They have to decide for themselves what they stand to lose if they make the wrong choice, is of greater value to them than what lies in front of them at easy reach right now. When he or she decides to take the steps necessary to change, that is where change comes from. It’s not because they met the right one, although the right one will often inspire positive changes in us, it’s ultimately our intentional decision to be better so that we can live up to the love that’s being given to us that makes change happen.
Don’t allow yourself to be manipulated by the idea that there’s something that you did or didn’t do, some flaw of yours that causes your partner not to be the person they should be to and for you. Likewise, you shouldn’t allow yourself to think that your partner will do right by you simply because you do right by them. Do what you know is right. Be the person and partner that you know you should be. If your partner chooses to behave in a manner that is not befitting the love that you give, then it’s time for you to make a few decisions of your own, not in an attempt to change their behavior, but instead, to adjust your exposure to it. You can’t change them, you can only change yourself and the things that you allow in your life.
Feel free to share your thoughts, stories, and opinions below! I’d love to hear from you!