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Time to change

A reader worries about the adjustments of living with a partner

QUESTION:

Why is it that when a woman starts living with a man she always wants the man to change?

ANSWER:

Living together requires careful consideration. We each have certain expectations, from our upbringing and past experience of what suits us best. When living with another person there will always be adjustments.

Being aware of this, willing to discuss differences and make compromises will prevent anger and resentment.

Sometimes couples move in together early in their relationship, often before they know each other well, believing any problems can be sorted out as they go along. Many will be, but a risky attitude is the belief a partner will change worrisome behaviour when he or she settles down. It is unlikely an abundance of love and caring will cure deep seated issues without other help.

The result is a feeling of having been betrayed, especially if promises were given, for one partner and angry resentment for having being urged to change from the other. Sometimes it is the very characteristic that was so attractive before marriage that is the one targeted for change. This highlights the importance of pre-commitment counselling. Each will be encouraged to listen, to understand the opinions of the other and together find compromises.

Submit Your Questions

Have you got a question you’d like us to tackle?

Fill out the form below or send questions to Family Forum, The Advertiser, 31 Waymouth St, Adelaide 5000.

We treat communications in strict confidence except when the law demands otherwise, as in child abuse.

Relationships Australia (SA) appoints panels of general practitioners, medical specialists, lawyers, therapeutic and financial counsellors to discuss each letter before the appropriate professional answers it.

  • @NTVorg Great initiative support help seeking.