Thank you for participating in our Relational Studies course. The students will post questions below, weekly. Please respond to all questions by pressing the comment link associated with each question. We will be looking at the differences and similarities between answers. Make sure you click on Older Posts at the bottom of the page as many of the questions will be on the next page.

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Wednesday, February 15, 2012

In class, we have talked about not trying to "change" your partner.  Students questioned whether anyone could love someone 100% and thereby wondered how that plays into relationships.  That being said were there things about your partner that you hoped would change?


  1. If you remember, Matt and I started dating when we were teenagers, and, thankfully, we've both changed since then. Matt no longer thinks it's "cool" to wear wool socks with Birkenstocks, and I, well, I guess I'm still cool. The changes we made both as individuals and as a couple were and are more about growing up and moving through stages of life. At the core Matt is still the same intelligent, strong willed, sweet, hard working, independent boy I fell in love with. Plus, he's pretty good lookin'! I made mention to our break ups in an earlier post, and those "off" times were about one or both of us needing to "change"(grow up). We both needed to be ready to commit and take responsibility for one another in order to have a healthy and long lasting relationship. When it was clear that we weren't on the same page, we parted ways. Fortunately, we made it back to one another, but it was because we both wanted to, not because I or Matt was willing to "put up with" or "wait around" for the other. Do I wish Matt wouldn't snore? Yes. Are there things that I do Matt wishes he could stop...maybe. :) But those are superficial traits that should not affect the way you truly feel about another person. The way Matt treats others, his work ethic, his morals, those are the important traits. Those are the ones that attracted me, and still attract me, to him. If he were not that kind of man, I would not be with him. --Ellen

  2. You can't go into a long term relationship hoping anything major will change in your partner. Minor changes to make your relationship for the better? That's different. Being able to talk openly, hear the other person's side, and compromise (therefore change a bit to meet in the middle) is huge. Brett is an incredible person who is so easy to talk with. No matter what the issue is, we talk openly and never get upset about the way someone feels or a wish for something to be a bit different. After all, we all have things we are working on. I read a quote once that was, "Forgive other people's faults as easily as you would forgive your own." It's so true and easily forgotten a lot. So yes, I love Brett 100% with his minor faults and luckily he loves me with mine. Also, I've learned (somewhere along in my schooling) as a first grade teacher to give three compliments for every criticism/correction so the child doesn't get broken down. I think this hugely applies to relationships as well and keep it in mind often. Again, if we get so focused on each other's faults and make the other person think that's all we're noticing, it will tear them down, as well. I guess bottom line is this: If any of the faults you're noticing are huge "moral" faults - a person can't be changed in a relationship nor should you waste your time trying. If you can realize that you, too, have minor faults, then you can have a successful relationship talking openly about helping each other continue to grow to be a better person, and as a result, strengthen your relationship together.

  3. oops - forgot to sign it - Jenna

  4. Ken: though I Ike to think that Louise is perfect, there are things she does that annoy me, like offering my services before asking me, being too loud, being too persistent and not taking no for am answer the first time, to name a few. But I believe that people should be accepting of peoples differences......and if you can't be any more then you should work it out.

    Louise: Ok....so I look at this in two ways, if they are doing things that annoy you.....like leaving their clothes on the floor, leaving the pans soaking everytime they do the dishes, wearing holey white socks with sandals, accept it, get over it and move on. If the decisions they are making have an impact on you or your family, like excessive drinking, cheating, or substance abuse, then you have the right to want them to change. If they don't, then you need to think seriously about your relationship. Ken and I went through a time in our marriage where he was making bad choices sometimes when he drank, like drinking and driving, coming home late and not calling. Did I want him to change.....hell yes.....did he need to change for the sake of his well being, our marriage and our children's future. It took a few years, but Ken finally did gain some perspective when the kids were I'm jr high, and I am happy to say it hasn't been an issue since. So long and the short of it is, you need to pick your battles and only look for change when the choices they are making are hurting you or your family.

  5. Wow~ this is a good question. Both Steve & I have been in relationships where we were hoping for our partners to change in some way. Clearly we are not with these people anymore. Coincidence?... I don't think so. If you are in a relationship with the expectation that your partner will change, then you will most likely end up seriously disappointed.
    I love who Steve is...100% and he feels the same about me (phew!). That doesn't mean that we don't have issues or things that frustrate us about each other on occasion. But we are able to talk about these issues and understand each other's point of view. Because we love and respect each other, both Steve and I are motivated to be better partners and try to change things within ourselves.
    Steve & Tricia
    p.s. Though I am the one typing these responses, Steve is always right next to me discussing them and reading and revising when necessary. This is why I sign both of our names. If we have a difference of opinion, or he is not around then I will sign solo. Tricia

  6. HA........

    Sheryl and I dated for almost 7 years before we got married, although we did not live together, we got to know each other's likes, dislikes, behaviors, pet-peeves, and everything else very well. OF COURSE there were things I did not like about Sheryl (things I would rather not mention for the sake of protecting the innocent...lol), and I know for a fact that there are PLENTY of things she did not like about me either. But at the end of the day, when I look at Sheryl, (my wife, best friend, the mother to our daughters, the woman who makes our house a home, all those things I dislike about her are NOTHING compared to all the reasons I love this woman. My point is, we as human beings come with "stuff", some good stuff, and some bad/annoying stuff, just make sure when you meet and ultimately choose that special someone, you don't mind the "stuff" that they come with...........(Val)