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Question
Posted by: Lilli | 2004/09/20

Spitting, swearing and smoking..

Hi CS

I always read the posting and the various replies. CS - you always sya how interesting it is for you that people only want to be loved in the way they think they should be loved. So, it is within this context that I will tell you my issue.

I have been seeing a guy seriously for 5 months now. He is unlike any other man I have met and makes me laugh. There are some things he does that grate me NO end: he smokes in my car even after I specifically asked him not to, he is very untidy and swears a lot. I know I am making myself out to be a nun, but I really am not. I know you can't change someone, but do you think I have a right to ask him to not do these things? I don't want to ever be a nag and turn in to a fishwife/girlfriend.

Other than that I jsut adore him... Must I just accept that that is who he is, or should I try and change him? I am sure there are lots of things he would want to change about me.
I get so upset when he does this because I feel like he is completely disrespecting my needs. Do you think that is an overreaction?

Thx

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

Actually, Lilli, it really depends on him. The most skilled psychiatrist in the world can't "change" anybody who doesn't really want to be changed, so maybe it's more a question of CAN you, rather than SHOULD you want to. On the other hand, if he actually loves you, he should wnt to change those of his habits which would be annoying to most people, and which one can maintain as an untidy, swearing bachelor, but which one might want to change, to please the woman one loves. And Maybe you can discuss this with him, and find out if there are aspects of your behaviour he'd like you to change. You could decide to make this a joint venture ! He can change when he swears, and what he swears about, and avoid it in front of you ; he can refrain from smoking in your car or indeed in front of you ( hasn't he heard of the lethal dangers of second-hand smoke ? ) ; and he can get tidier.
What bothers me, rather, is those people who start a relationship wanting such a radical makeover of the bf/gf that it would practically need major plastic surgery and years of therapy. There's a diference between wanting to change the basic nature of who the person is, and hoping to mutually smooth off a few rough edges here and there.
Otherwise it reminds me at times of the classic comedy sketch of Peter Cook / Dudley Moore, of the one-legged man applying to audition for the role of Tarzan in a movie, who can't understand why the Direcor considers him just slightly underqualified for the role.

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2
Our users say:
Posted by: Nat | 2004/09/20

I don't think you are over-reacting. This guy should respect your needs and listen to what you have yo say. You need to tell him to please refrain from doing these horrible things as it really upsets you. If he wants to please you surely he will do this?

Reply to Nat
Posted by: Tori | 2004/09/20

I don't think that you are over reacting. And i don't see this as nagging.
Nagging would be something like this:
Please don't do this
Please don't do that
I hate it when you do this and this and this all the time.

Those are only a few things you want. You have certain needs in life which he should respect and i don't see a problem in that. Oh and i don't see that as changing another person.
Go talk to him and tell him that is how you feel.
The swearing part - I don't think you can change that but he should respect his lady.

Good luck to you girlie.
Let us know what happened.

Reply to Tori

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