Should you try to change somebody who is flawed but has a lot of potential as a romantic partner?
In this video coaching newsletter, I discuss an email from a viewer who recently broke up with his girlfriend. He said they had a very good connection at first, got along very well and were in love, but several things bothered him about her and were eventual deal breakers. She did drugs and simply did not treat him the way he wanted to be treated.
He tried addressing the issues on numerous occasions, but the end result was always the same. She didn’t change to become what he wanted. He asks my opinion. My comments are in bold italics like this below in the body of his email.
He says even though they were supposedly in love, he’s thinking, “Well, she was in love with me. Why didn’t she give up drugs and all these other things?” Because he says, “At one time I heard you mention, if somebody’s in love with you, they’ll do anything for you.” But the thing that is important to understand about that is, we’re talking about a normal, healthy, stable woman.
It’s true that women will change their religion, they’ll leave their families, even leave their kids in some cases and to chase after or to be with a guy that they want to be with. But if somebody’s got a drug problem and they’re just a foul, nasty person and they don’t treat you the way you want to be treated, you can set and try to enforce healthy boundaries, but if they continually violate them, you either put up with it or you have to leave. Because the strongest negotiating position is being able to walk away and mean it.
So, it’s obvious this guy cares about her, but he gave her a lot of leeway and he tried to help her turn things around, but she was unwilling to do it. And this is really important, because I see a lot of people do this, whether it’s friendships, or family members or their intimate partners. It doesn’t mean you should give up on that person and stop loving them, but at the end of the day, especially when it comes to drug or alcohol problems, if somebody doesn’t recognize that they have a problem and they don’t want to do anything about it, there’s not a lot you can do. There really isn’t.
It’s not your job to fix, to change or to save somebody. Everybody has to participate in their own rescue. It’s a team sport, especially when it comes to relationships. And if the other person is not willing to play ball, it’s like trying to push a wet noodle. It’s just not going to work.
I have been following your work for years and have read your book six times.
Well, if you’ve been following me for years and you’ve only read “How To Be A 3% Man” six times, you’re still not following instructions, dude — 10 to 15 times. I had a phone call with a guy yesterday who’s been following me for a lot of years, and all he’s doing is kind of skimming through the book here and there, and he wonders why he’s struggling so much. You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink. I say it all the time in my videos, and you guys see it.
The best success stories are always from guys that read “How To Be A 3% Man” 10 to 15 times. And it’s free to read at UnderstandingRelationships.com. All you’ve got to do is subscribe to the email newsletter. But yet, I know there’s people watching this that still won’t listen. And then I’ll be doing a phone session six months, a year or two from now, and they’ll be perplexed at why things aren’t working. It is what is. Thanks for the business.
I mean, I don’t mind the business but I’d much rather, as a coach, see somebody progress than tie their own shoelaces together and try to run a marathon, which is what a lot of people do. Because our society is addicted to quick fixes, instant solutions, the magic pickup line, the magic set of words combined together that just solves all the problems, and it just simply doesn’t exist. It might exist in a Hollywood movie or TV show, but it’s not how the real world works.
Thank you so much for the help you provide me and numerous other men and women.
Well, at the end of the day, if you read the book and you do the opposite or you simply don’t apply what’s in the book, it really doesn’t matter.
Just about a week ago, my now ex-girlfriend and I broke up. We had a very good connection at first, got along very well and were head over heels in love. During the relationship, however, things kept bothering me. For example, before the relationship she took drugs while partying, was just not a caring person and rather negative.
So, addiction always comes from a failure to feel. In other words they’re using drugs or alcohol to numb the pain and escape and run from what feels icky and unpleasant. You’ve got to participate in your own rescue. Nobody’s coming to save you. Nobody’s going to fix you. You have to do that yourself. And nobody cares about your problems or my problems, and they’re glad we have them.
The best way to handle it is to keep grinding because success is the best revenge. It’s always nice when you finally succeed and all the haters still are complaining and still hating, because you are a living example of what they could be, but they’re just bitching out in life.
These things I have also often addressed. For example, I told her that I cannot be with someone who takes drugs.
So, you’re setting your boundary. I had a girlfriend once years ago that liked cocaine, and I’m not a fan of cocaine. I might dance with Mary Jane every now and then, I might have a little alcohol, but I’ve never touched the stuff. I don’t pop pills, never did any of that crap. I loved this girl, and I was like, “I’m not into that. And if you’re going to do that, hey, that’s great. Good on you. Go have fun, but I’m not going to be involved with you, because I don’t want that shit in my life.” And she stopped. She was in love with me, but she had her shit together. She liked to do it recreationally, but I wasn’t a fan of that.
Long story short, we finally ended it because she did not improve in any aspect.
So, you were in love with her potential, which is nice. And just like the quote says, you can gently lead and suggest, but if she’s unwilling to do it, the strongest negotiating position is being able to walk away and mean it. And if you’ve ever studied people that had drug or addiction problems, especially a lot of the homeless people, when you look into that, a lot of them are on the streets just because they were drug addicts.
And eventually the family just gave up on them because they had tried, and they’d been lied to so many times, and they were creating so much chaos in the family, that finally they had to cut them off. And despite that, they still prefer to live on the streets and do drugs and just totally neglect themselves and their lives. And it’s a tragedy, it’s a horrible thing.
And you look at certain cities in the country where that shit is rampant, and especially, I’m starting to see it in downtown Miami. Downtown Miami is starting to look like San Francisco. And Mayor Suarez, who supposedly is a Republican, despite the fact that he voted for Biden, is not doing anything about it. And it’s like, every time I drive down there it’s like, “Wow, there’s more tents down here. There’s more homeless people down here.” I certainly don’t feel safe when I go down there.
One of the shoot-houses where I train, is down there in downtown Miami. I’m always armed down there, but I’m always on the lookout. I never have a good vibe when I’m walking around in that area. People don’t do anything about it. In Minnesota I think it was, there is a place where they actually don’t allow people to be camping out in the street, and doing drugs, and having sex in the street and all that kind of crazy stuff that goes on down there.
It’s like, you’ve got to have some kind of safety net. Society should have that, in my humble opinion. Otherwise, whatever you tolerate, you invite more of. And so the good news is downtown Miami is going to continue to have more drug addicts and homeless people living on the street. And Mayor Suarez is going to keep doing nothing about it because he’s incompetent. But I digress.
She even wants to go out again and use drugs.
You can’t do anything about that. It’s not your job to save her, to fix her, or fall in love with her potential. If she’s unwilling to participate in her own rescue, it’s sad, but it is what it is.
My question now is, is it because of me that I did not manage to make her fall for me so much that she would have changed the world for me? The reason I am asking you this is because you once said that a woman who loves you would give up everything for you.
Thank you very much!
Again, we’re talking about a happy, healthy, normal woman, a good woman. And women change their religion all the time for guys that they love. They submit to a guy. But just because a drug addict is in love with you, obviously she’s in love with doing the drugs, and the partying and everything else. It’s not your job to fix or save her.
Quite frankly, you should have never gotten into a relationship with her. You’ve got to make a good choice. And these are things that you saw when you were dating her, but you made excuses and you thought, I’m going to change her, I’m going to fix her, I’m going to save her. And at the end of the day, did it work out? No, it ended predictably in failure.
Who knows, maybe you’ll be the guy that finally leaves and she realizes, “You know, I lost a great guy and I don’t want to do these drugs anymore. I don’t want to hang out with these shady people,” or “I want to treat him better.” Because not only was she doing drugs, but she wasn’t treating him very good. You can’t have a healthy relationship and a happy household when the person that’s supposed to be your teammate is always trying to sandbag your success and make you doubt and question yourself.
You can go read all about narcissistic people and how they really screw up people’s lives that they’re involved with, because they project their own issues onto the other person and cause the other person to question and doubt themselves. So the whole idea with what I teach in “How To Be A 3% Man” is to give you the tools you need to properly pre-qualify women like this and not get serious with them. But this guy thought, “Hey, we’ve got all these great things in common, but she’s got a drug problem. But I think I can work with that. I think I can fix it.”
And he found out, like millions of other families and people that are related drug addicts, you can’t help somebody unless they’re willing to help themselves. You’ve got to participate in your own rescue, and unfortunately, she’s just simply not willing to do that.
So, if you’ve got a question or a challenge in your personal or professional life and you’d like to get my help, go to UnderstandingRelationships.com, click the Products tab, at the top of your screen and book a coaching session with yours truly.
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Author, Speaker, Peak Performance Coach, Entrepreneur
“You should never try to change somebody into what you want them to be. You can gently lead, suggest, encourage and support them if they are willing to participate in their own rescue, but you can’t and shouldn’t try to do it for them. Relationships are a team effort. They do not work if both people are not making a mutual effort. You can love someone for their potential, but if they are not living up to their potential, it’s not your job to save or fix them. They must do that themselves. If they are unwilling, you can either accept and love them as they are or leave and find someone who is what you want. Trying to change someone who doesn’t want to change and doesn’t place any value on what they could be is futile. Trying to change someone is not accepting reality as it is. When we want reality to be other than it is, we suffer.” ~ Coach Corey Wayne
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