Being in a relationship is not easy. It requires a lot of commitment, time, and effort at the foundation to make it work.
Yes, love can make your world go round but should you let love change you as a person?
Isn’t the expectation to accept your partner as they are, flaws and all?
Yes and no. According to co-dependency and relationship expert, Ross Rosenberg, changing personality traits, lifestyle, or habits to suit your partner isn’t healthy.
‘This pattern is common and couples often stay in highly dysfunctional relationships to their own detriment,” Ross explains.
The empath and the narcissist
The inherently dysfunctional ‘co-dependency dance’ requires two opposite but distinctly balanced partners:
- the pleaser/fixer (empath) and,
- the taker/controller (narcissist).
The empath and narcissist are forever drawn to each other, this is because empaths have a lot of compassion and are in tune with the emotions of others. While a narcissist thrives on having people worship them.
Think of it this way, the empath is the one who would change everything about themselves in order to please their partner. Whatever it takes to make them happy.
At the same time, the narcissist is insatiable, so where the empath in the relationship relinquishes parts of themselves, it’s just never enough and they want more.
More control, more of you to themselves, more of your personality to bend to suit them.
Kaya Drive with Sizwe
Sizwe Dhlomo asked if there was something you did in a relationship that was out of character and shared a story of a girlfriend who hadn’t cooked in any of her relationships except for him.
Anyone who knows Sizwe, knows that he is a huge foodie and the way to his heart is through his tummy so he found the gesture sweet.
While it is not something he forced onto his partner at the time, he accepted the gesture as her ‘love language,’ although it was something completely off character for her.
Kaya 959 listeners also shared the things they did that were out of character in relationships and it’s shocking how many people have done things just to save or keep a relationship alive.
Many people stay in relationships because they have an unconscious desire to change their partner.
Without realising that focusing on changing your partner prevents you from addressing the real issues at hand.
Sizwe definitely threw a spanner in the works by forcing us to rethink the way we approach relationships going forward. Unless it’s a change of detrimental habits, for something positive expecting your partner to change to accommodate your qualms is unfair.
Also read: Cheating men: Forgive or forget