Sometimes, you just can’t but learn from your own experience. No matter, how many times you see the same action and consequence played out in other people’s life around you, there are just times, a personal experience is the best teacher.
Daisy’s friends hinted out rightly, telling her that Jude was a toy-boy, who went with the highest bidder, and was never going to change. They mentioned the long list of women who had dated him and failed to get him to marry them, because of his numerous extra activities. Daisy’s mom had called a family meeting for her sake. They had talked about how she could do better for herself than Jude, in the privacy of her bedroom, and even in front of Jude, who was publicly asked to her alone and go try his luck elsewhere.
Daisy’s mom went as far as going to see a prophet for special prayers, to put enmity and separation between the love birds. Nothing! If anything, it made them fall more “in love” with each other. They were in their cocoon, where nothing could touch them.
For all Daisy cared, Jude could be servicing all the ladies in the city, as long as he came back to her, but then she believed he was faithful to her. The first time her mom had heard her make such a statement, the woman nearly had a heart attack and true to type, she stamped her feet, retied her wrapper and put a finger in her mouth, her mind plotting away how to ensure her daughter didn’t end up with a proven toy-boy-fine-boy-no-sense, like Jude.
Everyone who warned Daisy about Jude automatically became her enemy. She avoided them like the plague but she also knew that what they said had some truth to it. She had seen proof of these extra ‘activities’ of Jude before, in person and on his phone, but she was also in love with him and that made all the difference to her.
Besides, he had promised to change and she could see the changes. There were no more strange calls, or even some women stopping them, while out, and smiling at him suggestively. They weren’t even any more offensive text messages, but then he had just changed his number. And that was how they went ahead and got married, despite all the uproar over their incompatibility. They sneaked off to get married in a registry.
Knowing that the deed was done, every one took the siddon look approach. Less than three months, everywhere was buzzing with news of how Jude was being seen in the company of one society lady, with a reputation of catching them young.
Jude’s story was that they were business partners. The woman was giving him business, but it soon came out,the true nature of the business they were transacting. Daisy cried and wailed that Jude had promised to change. Hmmm, story for the gods!
Everyone loved her too much to tell her that they had warned her, so instead, they provided as much support as they could for her. They urged her to pray, to fast for her marriage, all those things they had done on her behalf, before she got married secretly. The most frequent statement she started hearing was that, “Married women learn how to pray, pray for your man, pray and it will all be fine.” She prayed oh, she sweated oh, and he would come home at times, lounge around a bit, and soon return to where he came from.
At times, when he was in between madams, he would spend more time at home, until another madam needed his services. Not even when she got pregnant did he stay back home. Not when the baby came, not even when she got pregnant again. So, she was like a married woman living as a single mom.
So, she stopped taking him back, or allowing him to have sex with her, and filed for divorce, which he did not even contest, nor did he want custody of their kids. It was like Daisy never really meant much to him and his life. It was a painful wake-up call for her. A man she had given her whole life for, did not even recognize her sacrifice. It was painful.
The truth is people change all the time, but is this change positive or negative? Do people even want to change? Most of the time, we don’t even realize that we have changed because it’s difficult to see the change, when we can’t look at ourselves objectively.
Often times, people change when they have no choice but to change. It is for this reason that it isn’t possible for you to change your partner. In fact, it is almost impossible for people to change other people. The only thing we can do is guide that change. Like I once heard an old married woman say, you cannot change your spouse, you can only influence them.
So the real question is, can you help guide the man/woman you love to a better version of him/herself? Can your love change him/her? Maybe. Maybe not. It is all dependent on the person. It depends on their mind-sets and version of reality.
It isn’t easy to change. You may think you’re just the right influence to change your partner, and it may be possible, but it is rare. Good habits like eating well, exercising, cleaning, visiting Grandma, and volunteering may rub off on your partner and become activities you enjoy together, but progressing in a relationship with the expectation that your partner will change can be dangerous.
People can promise to change, and some are even able to change for a short time, but real change takes effort. You have to be committed to changing for yourself because it’s difficult to do it for someone else.
In the end, it’s left to your partner to transform themselves into the best version of themselves, they can possibly be. Each partner would have to change, because they crave it and want to do it. You can’t convince someone that he/she needs to change; everyone needs to arrive at that conclusion by themselves.
So, save yourself some headache, accept your partner the way they are or leave them, forget about changing them.
It’s not going to happen.
Kristine is a member of The Lovelint team. She is a down to earth person, who says it as it is. Having given relationship advice for years in a national daily, she has found out that fear is one of the main reasons holding people back from enjoying a healthy, happy relationship. She is married with kids and is willing to listen to you and help as much as you let her to.