“I can’t change. This is who I am; take it or leave it.Someone else will accept ne for me.”
Have you or someone you know used this excuse when it comes to marital trouble? It’s a lame excuse,and I have never understood why people tell me this.
I am a relationship and marriage therapist! My goal is to help people change.If change weren’t possible,I’d be out of a job.lool
Let’s not forget that change is the hallmark of Christian conversation.When you asked Christ into your life,you were immediately transformed to a new creation.New is the operative word here.It implies a change from the old way you thought,behaved,and related to people Because you and your spouse aren’t perfect people,change is an ongoing process It has to be worked at with the help of the Holy Spirit. However,there are a number of ways you can block change.
So,let’s examine this flimsy excuse many use to leave a marriage.
If you “can’t change”, it’s because you don’t want to change. You have erected barriers to change It’s easier to be prideful,bitter,fearful,or critical; to live in denial; to blame the other person.It’s harder to work on yourself,so let’s talk.
Nothing will change if you are unwilling
An unwillingness to change is rooted in rebellion.it’s that simple. Webster defines rebellion as “Resistance or defiance to authority.” Basically,it’s doing things your way versus God’s way. Remember,the children of Israel? Rebellion was their main problem.Each time they get into trouble ( which was often),it was because they did things their own way.They went ahead of God’s plan,devised their own plan and basically thought they knew better.They complained,criticized,and worshiped idols. At the first sign of a crisis,they thought God abandoned them,and they panicked. Thousands of years later,people aren’t that different.
There’s an old saying which says, “It takes two to make a marriage and one to make a divorce.” When divorce happens,it is often because one or both persons say, “I can’t change.” This unwillingness to do what it takes to make things right is witnessed in time and in clinical practice. If I had a dollar for each time people told me that they couldn’t change, I’d be a rich woman.
A good marital therapist will eventually confront people on their refusal to change.This confrontation can evoke a nervous reaction.Hands wrong. Eye contact is lost. Heads droop.People mumble under their breath, “This is who I am.I can’t change.” The reason for their mumbling is because they know they shouldn’t be saying this.What they really mean is, “I don’t want to change.”
To say you can’t change underlies marital difficulty. A choice has been made.Change can’t happen when you won’t embrace it.
Update Your Virus Protection
When you have insecurities in your relationships,like viruses,if not checked,will begin to corrupt the relationship.
Relationship virus protection involves two things.
First,scanning the feelings and thoughts of each other. “How are we doing? Are there any problems we haven’t addressed? Do we need more time together? Are we sexually satisfied?” The second needed scan is a spiritual one. “How tuned in to God are we? Do we have time for prayers,Bible reading,and quiet moments to listen to and be with God?”
If your spiritual guards are down,insecurities will take hold.How? Insecurity stems from a failed understanding of identity in Christ. The less time spent developing the spiritual self,the easier it is to be influenced by other things and people. Unprotected,you can be open to all kinds of infections(like insecurity) that can begin to kill your relationship.
Willingness to change is often preempted by something I call change stoppers. These are attitudes and actions that block change.Review this checklist to see if any of these prevent you from making necessary changes in your relationship.
- Denial of a problem. You can’t change problems you won’t own.
- Self-centeredness. Change doesn’t fit your agenda,and it certainly doesn’t work in your favor.You do only what’s good for you,never considering the impact your choices have on others.
- Pride and Stubborness.You couldn’t possibly be at fault.You rarely give in or admit wrong. Oh,you know there’s a problem,but you refuse to deal with ut due to pride or stubborness.
- Fear of rejection.You worry that if you make changes,your spouse won’t love or accept you.
- Lack of trust. Whether it’s distrust of God or another person,it doesn’t feel safe to make changes.You fear change may disrupt your relationship in a bad way,a way you can’t handle.
- Unforgiveness.You refuse to forgive your spouse for specific hurts and behaviors.Holding on to unforgiveness eventually leads to bitterness and hinders your ability to grow.It wrecks havoc on your physical and emotional self.It’s also not spiritual.
- Emotional shutdown. This makes marital work very difficult.
- Too comfortable and satisfied. Change is harder when you are comfortable or satisfied with the status quo.Comfort zones are inviting,even when they are dysfunctional.
- Prejudice. It comes in all forms.You think you are somehow better than someone else. This sense of entitlement blocks emphathy and leads to judgement.
- Insecurity. Change equals uncertainty and raises your anxiety You aren’t sure of your decisions and actions.
- No resistance. You are easily defeated,give in,and allow negative influences in your life.You don’t recognize your authority in God.Nit only are you told to resist the devil,but you also have complete authority over him in Christ.You don’t exercise that authority.
- Lack of commitment to change. You may have good intentions,but when the going gets rough,you revert to old habits.
Now,change seems rather elusive but it shouldn’t be. It’s a choice really.
If you feel powerless to make changes,it’s time to get connected to the one interactive true God.There’s no shortage of power with Him but you must get connected.Plug in,dial up,log on.
Do what you are capable of doing and let the Holy spirit do the rest.You are responsible to work on issues and relationship problems and to make good choices. But you need the power of the Holy spirit to bring you lasting success.