How to Change Your Husband or Wife

"I can't live with him anymore. Even his smallest quirky habits drive me insane. He has got to change."

"She needs to stop being so emotional all the time. One minute she is happy, the next minute she's sad. I can't handle being around her."

"I really wish my husband would lose some weight. But he's too lazy to go to the gym. I wish he would change!"

Unfortunately, statements like this have become 'the norm' in modern day society. Lunch out with the girls easily turns into listing all the things they want to change about their husbands. An all-male poker night leads to the unveiling of marital dissatisfaction. Even during workplace conversations and dinner out with friends, people openly reveal what they wish their spouse would change about themselves. What is worse is that spouses even say these things to each other.

It is common for one spouse to willingly tell the other that if he/she would just stop doing this, start doing that, or do something differently, the marriage would improve. You've possibly even said this to your spouse. You probably thought, "I'm doing him a favor" or "Shouldn't she want me to find her attractive?" You assumed you were being a hero. But in reality, you were being a dictator.

You cannot change your spouse and stating how you wish your spouse would change leads to controlling him. And no one wants to be controlled.

The message of change conveys, "I want you to be different. You aren't good enough as you are." When you desire for your spouse to change before you can be satisfied with him or her, then you do not accept them. You only accept the person you wish they would be. This is not to say that you cannot wish great things for your spouse and be lovingly supportive of positive changes they wish to make. Do this abundantly. But also be sure to let your spouse know that you love and appreciate him or her for who they are right now.

In fact, the only person you can change is yourself. You are the only person that you have real control over. So instead of trying to change your mate into the perfect human specimen, look inward. What is it about yourself that you need to work on to make you a healthier, happier and kinder individual?

If you accept others for who they are, they change. If you accept yourself for who you are, you change.

If your marriage needs help, click here for information on our Marriage Helper 911 Workshop.

Joe Beam is the founder and chair of Beam Research Institute (formerly LovePath International) based in Franklin, Tennessee, just south of Nashville, and the chairman of He is an internationally known and respected authority on love, marriage and sex. If your marriage needs help, click here to request more information, call us toll free at 866-903-0990 or email us at

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