Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Don't Fix Me, Love Me


In the past, I've spent a lot of my energy feeling frustrated when my partner was not living up to my expectations.

When we love someone, we want what we think is best for them and often we don't understand their behaviors and hang ups.

We have to let people we love grow at their own pace. People do what they do until they have grown enough to do better. When we seek to change another person we set the stage for a great deal of conflict in our relationships.  The following excerpt says it perfectly.

Very often we go into relationships with the idea that we can make somebody better. We see their flaws or shortcomings and take it upon ourselves to help them fix what is wrong.
Our task in our relationships is not to fix one another. Our job is to love what we see and support one another in doing better. Fixing is telling what is wrong, why and how to fix it. Supporting is allowing our loved ones to make their own choices, being there if things go wrong and supporting them in doing better the next time.
Fixing is forcing them to do it our way when their way doesn't work. Supporting is sharing our needs and trusting that they will take them into account. Fixing is nagging. Supporting is nurturing. Fixing is anger when things get rough. Supporting is knowing things will get better.
Supporting is seeing each other exactly as we are. Fixing is seeing in them what we refuse to see in ourselves.  ~Author Unknown
Have you tried to "fix" your partner? From my experience, it causes nothing but frustration and resentment.

But how do you let go enough to let people grow on their own when you love them so much? Further, what do you do when the person's behavior is not just hurting them, but it's also having a detrimental impact on others? When is it time to step in or perhaps even walk away?


♥ CG ♥ said...

I totally agree. As someone who used to have good intentions and thought I was helping someone in the process, I now realize I wanted to tweak them a bit. I often see the good in people and sincerely desire that they see the same, but like you said...it's not up to us and people are more receptive to love

CocoaPuff Chanel said...

This is something I have been working on. In the past when someone had an issue I wanted to make it better for them. I used to be so frustrated at people....well friends. I had to realize that people don't always treat you the way you treat them. I also had to realize it's okay to put myself first. It's not about being selfish. It's about self preservation.

Natalie B said...

I love this article. I have spent many years feeling frustrated with my partner for various reasons; the list seemed endless. Then I began to realise that the problem wasn't him, it was me.

I needed to change how I felt. After all I am far from perfect and it was me that was being irritated and stressed not him, so I am learning to embrace his little ways and focus on his many brilliant qualities instead.

I even wrote them down, and seeing them in black and white really made me understand that I have been focusing on nonsense for far too long. I have my perfect man right before me and had forgotten....lol


Kim Jackson said...

Your realizations are so beautiful ladies! It feels very empowering to recognize a behavior in yourself and be able to turn it around.

@Natalie - Congrats to you and your relationship!

Anonymous said...

After reading you post titled “Don’t Fix Me, Love Me”, I felt compelled to write. I would love to hear from other readers about my situation. I don’t really have anyone to confide in about this. Part of me knows what I need to do, but sometimes starting is the hardest part.

I’ve been seeing someone for a while, and at times, I don’t know whether to walk away or try to have a dialogue about how I am feeling. The man that I am seeing is very driven with a taste for the finer things in life. We are both hard workers. I also like the finer things, but I don’t feel the need to constantly talk about how much I like the finer things in life. When we go out to dinner, he has a habit of always making a point to tell the wait staff about how much he dines at a particular restaurant, how much he travels and things of that sort. He’s quick to call someone a “friend” after even a quick conversation about something. Those are his quirks and I accept him for that.

He’s never really acknowledged my birthday, except for taking me to dinner. I’ve never received a phone call or a text message or a card on my actual birthday. I know it may sound trivial, but it’s the little things that sometimes speak the most to me.

He tells me that he appreciates me for who I am, but then he’s also commented on how I dress – in that I don’t get really dressed up enough to warrant going out for an upscale dinner. I tend to dress on the business casual end of the spectrum, not sloppy or anything like that, just dress pants and a nice top. Part of me has no problem buying some upscale items to wear out with him. There is another part of me that wonders why I should try to accommodate him, when I can’t even get a simple acknowledgement on my birthday. Oddly enough, he remembers Valentine’s Day.

He has told me that he’d like to move forward with me, but at times, I question if that’s what I want. Perhaps if some things changed, then maybe I’d be receptive to the idea. I do enjoy his company and as I said before, I do care about him. I just don’t want to pursue something if it’s only going to lead to me being unhappy.

I’m not sure if I am overreacting, or being too sensitive. I am a bit embarrassed about this situation. I feel as if I am too old to be dealing with such trivial issues. I know that I need to make a decision (and stick with it) relatively soon.

Can anyone offer any words of wisdom? Don’t hold back, I need some unfiltered advice!

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