What do you do when your MAN REFUSES TO CHANGE?
This is perhaps one of the most common complaints in the history of relationships… The feminine is about change and growth, and like water or air, is fluid in her constant evolution of emotions and ideas. The masculine however is about stability and consistency, and like the ground, finds security in things being the same.
And so this pattern arises. The woman is frustrated by his lack of motivation, unwillingness to change, and inability to really support her growth. So she does everything she can to “change him.” When he resists, she feels unimportant and her frustration grows to the point where she imagines how much easier life would be without him. “ahh, to be free!”
I was thinking about this, and I think it has been this way since the Garden of Eden. This isn’t completely documented in the bible, but I’m pretty sure it went down like this.
First God created Adam and placed him in this garden where he had everything he needed. He was happy, content, and extremely lazy. Seeing his total lack of motivation to grow, God knew something was wrong… and so he had this great idea. He would create Eve.
At first Adam was ecstatic, or at least he was after his side healed from God ripping a rib out to make her, (I know, that’s really weird, but hey, it’s God so He can do whatever He wants).
Adam loved having Eve around because she brought so much life, and variety and excitement. Immediately she set about to improve the garden, including her husband.
At this point Adam was confused, “what’s wrong with the way things were?” he wondered.
The rules of the garden were pretty simple… eat anything you want, and you live forever… anything except for fruit from that one tree, the tree of knowledge.
Adam liked the rules. He liked knowing that nothing would ever change.
But it drove Eve crazy. And she kept longingly looking at that tree, wondering what she was missing.
And finally she could take it no longer, and took a bite, and it was AMAZING.
Adam was like, “What the ___!? There was one rule, just one, why’d you have to do that?!”
See, Adam didn’t realize that anything was wrong. He couldn’t understand why his woman was so unhappy. He didn’t realize the pain he was causing her.
And somehow Eve knew, that the only way for Gods plan for his children to grow to work, was to leave the comfort of the garden and to really experience life.
Adam still refused to grow… until he realized he was about to lose Eve, and finally he woke up and said, “Ok. I see that you’re right. I see this this is how it must be.”
And so reluctantly he ate the fruit… and the rest is history… or her-story.
So, what do you do when your man, seems to comfortable to change and doesn’t seem to see there’s a problem?
In the end you only have a few options..
1) Nag him.
2) Leave him.
3) Love him.
If you nag him, and become his mother trying to force him to change, you’ll get frustrated, and he will begin to resent you. He didn’t marry you to have you as a mom, and no-one, wants to be “fixed”. As much as you want to, it’s not your job to “change him” – that’s his job.
If you get frustrated to the point you can’t take it anymore because he just doesn’t seem like he’s growing with you, and decide to leave him, hoping that the grass is greener on the other side, you might end up on the other side of the fence and realize it’s the same grass in a different field. There’s some remote possibility that leaving him might scare him enough to wake him up, but most likely you’ll find yourself walking alone into the wilderness without him.
Or you could just choose to just love him, as he is right now, without any requirement of him changing. You could really look for things you DO appreciate about him, and focus on respecting him for those, and ignore as much as possible his weaknesses. You could continue to focus on your own growth and nurturing your own needs, the one ones he doesn’t know how to meet. And you could learn to be happy, truly happy, regardless of wherever he is at, and regardless of whether or not he ever is ready to change.
In this love, you can encourage him to continue to grow and learn and become a better man. Compliment him when he does something right, remind him kindly when he forgets, communicate clearly what you want, and express how much you respect him when he shows up for you. As men we need this. But that’s a totally different energy than nagging, or forcing him to change.
He might surprise you, and he might change when he is ready. Or he might not. The question are you willing to stick by him, either way?
– Gerald Rogers
“You have one life to live, Live BIG.”