I hate to break this to you, but no one has the obligation to change anything about themselves just to please you.
I don’t care what it is — you do not have the right to ask anybody to change anything about themselves.
People are who they are, and if you cannot love them the way they are, then you should perhaps look for love elsewhere.
Asking anyone to change themselves in order to please you is a lost cause. No one will ever change, except if they see the need for that change.
If you ask them to change, and deep down they do not agree with it, they will just pretend that they have changed.
Let Me Tell You a Story
Let me tell you the story of Molly and Frank (not their real names).
Molly was a good looking, shy, very insecure woman. Frank was extremely handsome, outgoing, and confident. When Frank expressed interest in Molly, first she thought it must be a joke. She couldn’t believe that such a charming man, with movie star good looks, would give her the time of the day, let alone fall for her.
Frank was also smart, creative, forgiving, generous, a great friend.
Frank thought Molly was divine, God’s greatest creation. He liked everything about her, her looks, her personality, her demeanor, everything. The aspects of Molly’s personality that other people pointed out to him as flaws, he disregarded as minor traits.
Molly liked Frank plenty, but she simply could not believe that she could be attractive to him. She said she was also afraid he might be a tad immature for her.
Frank was an extrovert, and often the life of the party. When he walked down the street all women turned to look at him. Guys loved getting together with him to play sports. Artists and intellectuals, men and women alike, loved to sit with him, for hours, to discuss literature, art, and philosophy.
Molly was a very conservative woman, very smart in her own practical way, but with no liking or sensitivity for the things that Frank was passionate about. While Molly liked ballet, he liked street dancers. Molly wanted to go to opera, and Frank to drumming circles. Molly was completely content in the religion in which she had been raised. Frank wanted to explore religions from all over the world. They were, indeed, different.
Molly told Frank no many times, but he kept coming back. Finally, Molly agreed to be his girlfriend, but lay out a number of conditions on how he needed to change, in order to be a good boyfriend.
Molly regarded as flaws, all the characteristics in Frank that triggered her own insecurities:
- When she felt that she wasn’t pretty enough for him, she scolded him for flirting with other girls (he didn’t).
- At social events, when everyone sought him, while ignoring her, she complained that he didn’t devote enough attention to her.
- When Frank’s intellect shone at the dinner table, she accused him of wanting to show off, and call attention to himself.
I had met Molly and Frank separately, before they met each other and fell in love. When I learned about their relationship I thought he would be a great influence for her. I thought that she might become more secure in seeing that a man who was universally liked valued her so much. I thought his sunny personality would rub off on her and lift her tendency to melancholy.
Frank’s Identity Threatened
Frank, like many extremely smart people, was very curious, and wanted to explore the belief systems and customs of other cultures. He had been attending some meetings to explore Eastern philosophies. Molly told him he needed to stop, because she did not want him to be exposed to any strange ideas, or join a cult.
A few months later, Frank, who had been suffering from a burning stomach, started eating lunch at a health food restaurant. After a couple of weeks, his symptoms disappeared. He was very happy, but soon quit eating at that restaurant because Molly forbade him to go back. Curious, I asked Molly why. She told me, “If he gets used to eating that food, then when we get married I will be the one expected to prepare if for him, and that is not how I am used to eating.” I prodded a little more and asked whether she was not concerned about his stomach issues. Didn’t she think that maybe healthier eating was something they could explore as a couple? She replied, “He can take an antacid.”
As the years went by, I saw that instead of Frank’s sunny personality rubbing off on Molly, what had happened was the opposite. Her melancholy had started affecting him.
When I first met Frank, he was one of the people who most naturally accepted and enjoyed everything about life. After years of bending to Molly’s will, that joy had left him.
Projecting Insecurities on Another
Molly suffered from deep insecurities. Instead of addressing her own deep issues, she made Frank do the work. Whenever Frank’s good looks, or outgoing personality triggered in Molly her own insecurities, she reacted by demanding that Frank change, so that the incidents would not repeat.
- If Molly and Frank where at the mall and he met a female friend, Molly would get afraid that some other woman was going to take Frank away from her. Instead of working on her insecurity, she demanded that Frank no longer say hello to any female friends when he was with her.
- When Molly felt threatened because she couldn’t join in the deep conversation subjects that Frank enjoyed talking about with his artist and intellectual friends , she asked that he no longer talk about such subjects, because they were offensive to her religion.
Frank and Molly were married. By Molly’s own account, they were never happy.
No one who knew both Frank and Molly ever understood why he was so taken by her, or why he acquiesced to all her requests, no matter how unreasonable. Some of their friends speculated that maybe it was past life karma (although they would never have mentioned past lives in front of Molly).
Changing Another Until they Are No Longer Themselves
One day, after they had been married a few years, she called me and told me that the passion had died among them. “Don’t get me wrong,” she said, “he is very nice, he is kind, loving, spends a lot of time with me, tells me he loves me all the time… but at night, he just wants to cuddle and fall asleep.”
Molly’s insecurities had prodded her to demand that Frank change. For reasons no one else could understand, Frank was terrified of losing Molly. As Frank tried to change himself to please her, he lost, step by step, everything that made him the wonderful man with whom she had fallen in love.
The situation was unsustainable for both of them, so they separated.
Was There Hope?
I do believe that if Molly had…
- Allowed Frank to be himself, and
- Worked on her own issues
…they could have been a happy couple, even though they were so different. They genuinely loved each other, and they did agree on the most important things in life: faithfulness, loyalty, honesty. Their differences were mainly superficial.
After the separation, Frank went back to being who he had been, and explored the same things he had been interested in before marrying Molly. By then, he didn’t have the same zest for life he had had before. Perhaps because he had suppressed his own interests for years, for a while he felt drawn to some extreme religions — really out there. It was like the swinging of a pendulum, but eventually he re-balanced himself. Sadly, his friends say that they believe he never reached his full potential, professionally or in relationships.
Molly stayed single for a long time. She dated guys who were already committed, either engaged or married.
Equality of Importance
Feng Shui recognizes the many differences between men and women. To say that men and women are equal is to lie. However, for a love relationship to work, there has to be equality of importance.
You and your romantic partner need to understand 2 things:
- Your needs and the needs of your partner are equally important.
- Your desires and the desires of your partner are equally important.
The master bedroom needs to indicate this equality of importance, by providing both partners the same level of comfort. Both need to have plenty of room to get to their own side of the bed, a night stand, and a lamp.
Don’t Date a Shadow of You
If you force another person to change for you, you enter a relationship with a shadow of yourself, instead of relating to a full individual. Only by allowing your potential love partner to be himself or herself can you know if you can really love them and if they can really love you.
Feng Shui can help you create an environment where it becomes easier to find and live love. By expressing in your home your healthy desires and needs regarding love, you send a message to Universe and the human collective matrix. This makes it more likely for you to find true love.
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May You Find Great Love!