|(Kibera, in Nairobi, Kenya)|
This principle applies to all relationships:
You need to change if things are going to get better.
Repeat after me.
need to change....
are going to get better.
J. Doe (not their real name) contacted me. J said they wanted help. Their marriage was failing.
But J did not really want help. To be helped, J would have to change. In J's eyes, their spouse, K. Doe, was the problem. K needed to change, not J. J wanted me to affirm their ways of doing marriage, and join them in blame-heaping their significant other.
I told J, "If you want your marriage to be rescued and upgraded, you will need to change some things. You will need to do things differently."
I gave J this assignment: Make a list of things you have done wrong in your marriage. A list of things you have done to hurt K. Then, confess them one by one, asking for forgiveness for each one.
I told K to do the same thing.
The underlying idea here is: If J and K keep doing marriage the way they have been, the results will be the same. J and K both need to learn new skills if their marriage is to come together. Nothing gets better without change.
J refused to follow my counsel.
J contacted me and asked to meet again. I explained that J had not followed through on our first session. I am not J's counselor if J refuses to follow my counsel. We would not meet again.
J was a hammer, K was a nail. This was their marriage.
Both needed to change.
Change is hard.
Life without ongoing change in the right direction is harder.
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