So many of the women who come to me know exactly what needs to change in their love situation…
They want him to do something or feel something.
He doesn’t want to.
What can they do?
Making anyone change is an exercise in frustration.
Especially if you feel that the only way you’ll be happy is if he changes.
It can feel like your whole future depends on getting him to think the same way you do.
You can get so caught up in the urgency of making him change that you forget where your biggest source of power lies…
You have the ability to create change for yourself.
You have the ability to do things differently.
You have the ability to make new choices.
You have the ability to see what’s happening in a different light.
Placing your hopes on changing him takes your power away.
But changing your own actions is entirely within your reach.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting a loving relationship with a man who shows up for you and is emotionally available for you.
That’s a beautiful goal. It’s empowering.
It help you feel worthy of good, healthy love.
But wanting a man to change so that he isn’t so emotionally unavailable or isn’t so unreliable?
You can tell whether a goal is empowering or disempowering simply by how it makes you feel.
How does it make you feel when you decide that your goal is to make this man crazy about you?
How does it make you feel when you decide that your goal is to be with a man who’s crazy about you?
In the first case, your ability to achieve your goal depends entirely on someone else’s behavior.
In the second case, your ability to achieve your goal depends on your own choices.
Ask This, Not That
When you hit an impasse in love, ask yourself how you can frame the issue in a way that empowers you.
For example, instead of asking, “How can I get him to fulfill my needs?” you might ask:
“What can I do to get my needs met?”
Getting a man to fulfill your needs, when he hasn’t shown an inclination to do so thus far, can be difficult and frustrating.
But there’s any number of things you can do to get your own needs met.
You can get clearer about what you need. You can find multiple ways to address your various needs. You can ask him to help you out.
Notice the difference in language. Instead of making him do something, you’re inviting him to partner with you.
Asking him for help is just one of many options you have. Your needs aren’t going to go unmet if he doesn’t say yes.
Here’s another example.
Instead of asking, “How can I make him love me?” you might ask:
“How can I show love to myself in this situation?”
Your goal is to feel loved. In the first case, the only person you want to feel loved by is him. In the second case, you recognize that you have a role in giving and receiving love.
You may not be seeing the ways in which he’s showing love to you. Or you may be staying in a situation where there’s no love on offer, and staying there is in fact denying yourself love.
Finally, instead of asking, “How can I make him stay with me?” you might ask:
“How can I stay with myself and not abandon myself?”
Sometimes we give ourselves up in order to keep a relationship. We change ourselves into what the other person wants. We sacrifice too much so that we can keep this one person who matters so much to us.
In the process of trying to keep that person, we lose ourselves.
We do things that don’t feel good. We compromise our values. We act in ways that don’t feel authentic to who we are.
It doesn’t matter if you manage to make him stay with you, if you lose yourself in the process.
Remember this whenever you find yourself giving your power away.
You cannot “make” a man do anything.
But you can always choose to love, honor, and cherish yourself in every action you take.