• By Hannah

The Only Way You Can Change Your Partner

Updated: Dec 29, 2019


You've heard the unwelcome news about romantic relationships before: you can’t (necessarily) change your partner.

But here’s the profoundly good news: you CAN change how you feel about your partner for the better.

And isn’t that the most important thing —to feel great about the person you’ve chosen to spend your life with?

So our real work in love is to get ourselves to a place where we genuinely:

  • no longer get irritated by our partner's chronic tardiness (or other little quirks that we used to hate)

  • enjoy him: his dorky humor, his super composure, or boy-like passion.

  • look at him and think, “this guy's a gem.”

  • can’t wait to get home to see him after a long day.

THEN we can rest assured that this most foundational aspect of our life—our marriage—is solid, lasting, and rooted in love.

THEN it doesn’t really matter if he’s changing into more of who we want him to be or not, because we simply love him as he is.

But notice that I said we can’t NECESSARILY change our partner!? There's some wiggle room here. Let me explain:

I don’t think it should ever be our goal to change our partner.

It’s manipulative. It’s trying to take someone else’s life and make it serve ours. None of us were born for that. You don’t want you partner to try to change you, do you? Me, neither.

That’s not what love is about.That’s not what marriage is about.

BUT. My experience has been that it’s entirely LIKELY, as we start to appreciate, respect, and accept our partner much more fully, that HE DOES START TO CHANGE!

Because FOR ONCE he feels seen for who he really is. He feels affirmed and appreciated for exactly the person he is— without feeling the need to be different than he is. Maybe for the first time in his life!

If you can enjoy him for who he is, it will be the biggest gift you can give your relationship, yourself, and him.

Because when men feel like that, they get to truly relax into themselves.

And when they relax that way, when they feel safe in that way, the loving person they are at their core finally gets to come out to play!

In my life, this looks like a man who shares his most intimate thoughts with me, from his most interesting insight of the day, to his worries about his client’s perceptions of him, to plans for our future together.

Who makes the cutest jokes and says the most affectionate sweet things to me, with a twinkle in his eye.

A man who has started to try new things that expand his sense of himself. Who even gets up early in the morning to do yoga with me!

Who purposefully carves time to experience more connection with me in ways that sounded ridiculously silly to him before (like putting our hands on each other’s hearts, closing our eyes, and just breathing together.)

This looks like a man who genuinely stretches himself to show up more fully, who’s willing to be uncomfortable so that he can grow into better version of himself. A better father. A man who learns the best ways to please his wife.

And he tells me that he’s never had a relationship where he feels so genuinely appreciated and safe.

He tells me it’s made at all the difference for him and he’s never been happier, never felt more excited about his life, his future. He says he’s never felt real love before this— before being able to be fully himself.

I never forced any of this on my man. I worked really hard to let him be him, despite my desire to try to manipulate him into being who I wanted him to be (and boy, was I tempted a gazillion times).

I’ve worked so hard to stop demanding he be different than he is. And the response has been incredible beyond words.

I’m so proud of my husband.

I’m so proud of myself.

This is how it’s done, my friends.

If you want to do the same— if you're ready for 2020 to be the year you finally see everything shift for the better in your relationship, the year you finally fully love your man for who he is, the year you sit back and watch as the very best parts of him emerge, come coach with me. I will walk you every step of the way there.

Email and say “I’m in”, and we’ll set up a time to talk to get started. You’ll reap the rewards for the rest of your life.


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Hannah Brooks

Montpelier, VT

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