How changing yourself affects your relationship

stop fighting, begin changing

You have to begin changing yourself first!

So many times people ask how they can change their passive aggressive partner….and my only response is: You can’t!

I know, it is discouraging….I would love to have another answer, but my only one (you can only change yourself) is still the right one. Begin changing yourself first!

Do you want to know more? In the words of Chris Cade,  from his own blog, to here:

“Now one reason why we’re unconsciously afraid to transform our lives is because…

Any changes we make within ourselves affects all of our closest personal relationships, and especially intimate relationships. For example, a few years ago the path of personal transformation empowered me to make the incredibly difficult decision to file for divorce.

The reason it affects our personal relationships is this…

Every relationship has a balance point. It’s the state of relationship in which both people subconsciously agree “this is how things should be and are going to be.”

When one person makes permanent and lasting changes, it disrupts the balance point because there’s only three possible outcomes:

(1) The other person accepts the changes as they are.

This can be either an actual acceptance, or just a desire to not rock the boat. If it’s an actual acceptance, the relationship can reach the balance point again rather quickly. If it’s a desire to not rock the boat, then it will most likely eventually lead to possibility number two:

(2) The relationship ends.

This happens because the changes are so significant that both people can no longer agree on the balance point. Sometimes it’s a literal end, while other times it just means a change of relationship (such as partners becoming friends). It happens because one person made notable changes while the other person was unable or unwilling to.

(3) The other person changes as well.

In an empowered relationship, this means that both people elevate their consciousness, change for the better, and ultimately find a new, more fulfilling balance point.

Circling back, remember this…

No matter which of those outcomes happens, when we change our lives we are putting ourselves AND others at risk.

At the most basic level, we risk our emotions and rejection. At a more serious level, we risk our health, home and livelihood – particularly if the changes in relationship involve the workplace (such as an employee taking more accountability, responsibility, or pushing for serious organizational changes).

In 2009 I risked it all. I filed for divorce, asked my employer to lay me off (which they did), and foreclosed on my home. In short, I faced both the emotional and practical consequences of risking everything I had and knew myself to be.

I pray that kind of severe upheaval doesn’t happen to others when they make big, important, and empowering changes in their lives. Yet it seems to be par for the course with many people.

With that in mind, when we’re reluctant to make changes in our lives we have to ask ourselves a very important yet rarely asked question:

How much are you willing to risk to transform your life?

Or phrased differently…

How much will you risk to have all the joy you’ve ever wanted?”   (Here the quote from Chris Cade ends…)

OK, now that you know, if you want to change your relationship, the basic steps are:

a) identify your deep, real needs for love and connection

b) decide what is the minimum you need to receive to keep alive and grow

c) make a plan to get more of what you need.

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