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Changing Yourself

If you were to change yourself in some way, to face life differently, to develop a new habit or build a character strength, how would you want to do it?

Would you prefer your mate tell you what he or she dislikes about you and the things you do so you can fix them?

Or would you prefer to hear about you at your best and work to live up to your reputation?

There is a good chance your husband, wife, or life partner feels the same.


So I'm 16. I really need help. My bf has "anger"problems and I'm the only one who knows how tRigger it and I want to change it so we can be together. I don't know if anyone understands but I need help. Please.

Jessica, the only person can change your boyfriend's anger problems is your boyfriend. He can find help from almost any school counselor, psychologist, or even a physician or member of the clergy to locate an anger management class. He can also check out, which offers a differ and very successful way of handling anger and resentment.

What you can do to help is to set firm boundaries. Don't go anywhere with him that you cannot safely leave on your own when his anger erupts. Do not even think of living with him until he has got his anger under control.

Do not ever make any excuses at all for his cruel words or his physical violence. He may be more prone to anger because of something in his childhood or his current life, but others manage to deal with the same circumstances without lashing out at those they care about. The sooner he learns how they do it, the better his life will be.

And please, please, please, take zero risk of getting pregnant by him until he has learned to control his anger. Your children deserve better.

I had only one boyfriend. The only one I had ever held hands with. The only one I had ever kissed and the one I married. For twenty six years I have loved this man unconditionally. Through thick and thin I have been there for him because I love him. I stayed with him after he cheated because I love him. I took care of his parents because I love him. I didn't want to lose my marriage because I love him. But, what if love isn't enough?
When love isn't enough to get him to stop chatting with "Friends" from years ago. Women he had a relationship in one form or another. When he completely disregards my feelings when he knows it bothers me to see him messaging those "friends". When my love for him just isn't enough to change his behavior?

Nene, love is never enough to change someone else to the sort of person you would prefer, because love is not manipulative.

And any thought that begins, "If he loved me he would ______," leads right to marriage-corroding resentment.

You cannot love him into not sending texts that upset you. You must ask for it, and you must love yourself enough to be clear what you're saying. For example:

"I would like you to stop texting or chatting with women you have had relationships with in the past. Perhaps I am more sensitive to this than other women would be, but it upsets me a lot. Would you be willing to stop doing this for me?"

"When you text or chat with women you have had relationships with in the past, even if everyone else thinks it's just fine, I feel abandoned. When this happens, I am going to invite friends over and feed them dinner instead of you."

"When you text or chat with women you have had relationships with in the past, even if everyone else thinks it's just fine, my self-esteem plummets. When this happens, I am going to schedule a spa weekend with my [single] girlfriend."

"When you text or chat with women you have had relationships with in the past, it doesn't fit with my picture of the sort of man you are or with the words you said after your affair, and it kills my libido. I want you to know this, because it will take some sign of trustworthiness, not foreplay or flowers, to bring it back."

"When you text or chat with women you have had relationships with in the past, I am furious. I've heard a lot of men are surprised to learn how close they got to killing their marriage, and I want you to know you are very close right now."

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Patty Newbold is a widow who got it right the second time...

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