Should You Try to Change Your Partner?

When one steps into a new relationship with another person, the assumption is that ‘they love them for who they are’. This conveys that the other person is ‘perfectly imperfect’ in their eyes which is the reason why they wish to form a bond with them. However, more realistically, it is likely that there exist one or two issues which one person desires to change about the other. This provokes the question, ‘is it healthy to put those thoughts into action?’

If one types into the Internet, ‘should you change your partner’, most articles point towards one conclusion: you should not be changing your partner; you should be changing your own attitude instead. This seems to imply that if your partner has an alcoholic problem, you should not be ending the relationship but instead, you should be changing your views of alcohol. In this context, internet advice seems a little more than absurd since you shouldn’t be forced to tolerate bad habits. Other websites suggest that if your partner loves you, he will change by himself. This situation is too utopian- not all individuals will realise that they ought to change their habits or they lack the self-motivation to change. Perhaps if ‘changing your partner’ were edited to ‘motivating your partner’, more people would wholeheartedly agree that this is the correct thing to do.

Oprah Winfrey, a woman well accustomed to success, claimed, “Surround yourself with only people who are going to lift you higher. Life is already filled with those who want to bring you down”. Consequently, if one partner is already more successful than the other, it would seem unreasonable for him or her not to spread the secrets of success to the other partner. If a person knows a method which can improve their partner, why should they not attempt to put it into action?

However, these past paragraphs have been written under the assumption that the partner is accepting of the imposed change that will definitely benefit him. Of course, it is completely wrong to try to change someone against their free will, even if that change is helpful, such as giving up smoking. One mustn’t forget that there are generally two reasons why an individual would wish to change his or her partner: either to match the image of their ‘ideal’ partner or to ensure that their partner has the best life experience. The first reason only fulfils selfish desire and is essentially using another person for one’s own needs. In such a circumstance, one can validate that it is morally wrong to change your partner. On the other hand, if one believes that a certain change will cause a significant impact on their partner’s life, then there is no moral default. 

I think it is time for the modern world to destroy the link between immorality and changing certain aspects of a partner if it is done out of love and not in a forceful way. After all, a relationship consists of compromise and appreciation, so if both parties agree with the change and the goodness of its outcome, why not?



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