Is It Ever A Good Idea To Try To Change Your Partner In A Relationship?

The best relationships are the ones that inspire you to be a better person. They're an opportunity to grow, evolve, and gain a greater understanding of the self through love. But what if your partner shows an unwillingness to grow? Should you change them? If you're already a very perceptive person who can see others' weak spots, it may be tempting to alert them about any character oversights.


According to licensed family and marriage therapist Danielle B. Grossman at Psych Central, most hold an idyllic standard for marriage with high expectations. Many issues stem from partners failing to meet ideal visions set upon them. Many assume women are the fixer-uppers in a relationship, but regardless of gender, is it ever okay to change the person you're with? Hopefully, you hopped into your relationship fully obsessed with every aspect of your partner. If, instead, you thought to yourself, "I can fix this over time," you could be in trouble.

It's not your responsibility to change anyone

Change should happen naturally and as an intrinsic development for both parties. It's also not based on picking apart flaws or making bad habits disappear. Positive change happens as partners who value and respect the uniqueness of one another grow and learn together. They do not seek ideal versions of each other and celebrate each other's individuality. Consider the main reasons why you fell in love with your partner, and remember this is the person you chose to be with.


It's important also to address that any attempt to alter or transform someone's personality, habits, or beliefs is a form of control, not love. Control masked as love can take many forms. So it's essential to know when you are practicing care, tolerance, and understanding towards your partner and when you are trying to manipulate or minimize their behavior (via Kids In The Know).

Trying to change someone is harmful to a relationship

Trying to change your partner can be as small as asking them to stop smacking at the dinner table or as big as conforming their love language to suit yours better. It's crucial to understand the difference between reasonable and harmless requests like helping with the dishes more and other significant demands that change the core aspects of a person. However, wanting change is easy territory to end up in when you know specific changes could improve a relationship. It's easy to imagine how a better-paying job could improve a marriage or how you'd be more attracted to them if they dressed better. However, imagining the ideal is destructive because it distracts you from the present and does not let you be appreciative of where you are as a couple now.


According to Psychologists at Psychology Today, trying to change a person is incredibly harmful and can also damage a relationship. Not only does the partner doing the changing end up more frustrated and disappointed, but it's also highly disrespectful to the other partner, who can be left feeling unwanted, resentful, and insecure. Rather than forcing change upon someone, choose intimate communication, appreciation for who the person is, and why you do love them.