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How to Affect Change in Your Relationship

You are in a relationship and your partner is doing something that bugs you. He or she is doing it repeatedly, and it's upsetting, perhaps making you feel unloved. You ask for change. Here is what you might expect in response:

No Change
Your partner may reject your request as invalid, either denying the behavior exists or denying that change is needed. Your partner did not hear you. If the change is important, continue the conversation with patience and energy, until your partner starts to pay attention.

The Un-Change
Your partner does a milder version of the behavior. If you complain he or she will say, "I changed! You're just never satisfied!" Your partner has not really understood the situation and how it affects you. More conversation will be needed until your partner understands how the behavior affects you.

Camouflage Change
Your partner stops doing the your presence. The behavior still affects you, but your partner does not understand this. You guessed it - more conversation is in order.

'Whatever' Change
Your partner agrees quickly to make the change, saying something like, "Sure, honey, whatever you want." He or she may intend to change behavior according to your concerns, but thinks it's a whim of yours. As a result, the change will be erratic - sometimes remembered, sometimes forgotten, often laughed off, which will make you feel bad. More conversation will be needed for your partner to understand your needs and concerns.

Ah-ha! Change - this is the one you wanted all along!
Your partner will hear your concerns, will express regret that he or she has hurt you without meaning to, and will undertake to make changes. Your partner wants to be pleasing and respectful toward you. It may take a while for the partner to move into a new pattern of behavior, but he or she will get there and you both will be happier for it.

Ah-ha! change feeds a relationship and helps it grow, while all other kinds of change, or even silence on your part, slowly erode the love in a relationship.

How do you get to the Ah-ha! change faster and better? Master the art of communication in your relationship.

A very good place to learn how to do this is the Essential Communication Course for Couples I created just for this purpose.

Love Always!
Your Love Coach,
Rinatta Paries

(c) Rinatta Paries. Do you know how to attract your ideal mate? Do you know how to build a fulfilling relationship, or how to reinvent yours to meet your needs? Relationship Coach Rinatta Paries can teach you the skills and techniques to attract and sustain long-term, healthy partnerships. Visit where you'll find quizzes, classes, advice and a free weekly ezine. Become a "true love magnet(tm)!"

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