Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Thoughts on Change

I have a friend who has experienced a lot of upheaval in the last couple years, resulting in some necessary intensive therapy last fall. One of the things in my discussion with my friend that the therapist kept repeating during the discussion with my friend and her spouse was that they needed to understand the problems facing my friend and that they should recognize that for their marriage, we shouldn't get married when we expect the other person to change.

I understand the concept of what the therapist is trying to communicate here, we should never expect someone to change or overtly try to influence it, but the concept that people don't change is absurd. Anyone in a relationship can identify areas they've changed in their tendencies sometimes because of and other times for the sake of said relationship. Not only does change happen but it's entirely necessary to our development through the cycles of life.

However, the therapist in this case continued to harp on the fact that people don't change and we have to accept it as is. Really?? So if I don't change any since high school, I continue to be a severely over weight, depressed, anti-social person?

I say this having insight into my friend's issues, and there a number of things, I know she needs to work through or in essence 'change'. At the same time it would fall on her spouse to enact change too for the sake of the relationship. There are times when the argument that if you got married, you should accept the person for who they are, but this isn't leaving the seat up, or slightly different perception issues. The issues they are facing are far more foundation based. And when you are talking about issues that affect the foundation, it changes the whole course of the situation, because to not enact change grows dysfunction on both ends and ultimately would end in misery for both and probably provide significant collateral damage to others as well.

I found a lot of comedy in the focus of the therapist as described to me, I know the goal was to diffuse some of the tension that existed at the time, but in truth it does little more then enable the status quo. After all, wouldn't it be a reasonable assumption to assume there had to be something that built up to the point of the therapist's intervention?

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