A few days ago, Ex-Big Brother Naija housemate Alex Asogwa took to her Instagram story to share some advice for people in a relationship and intending couples. Regarding the unrealistic expectation of changes in personality traits and habits. Here’s a screenshot of what she wrote:

Why Expect Personality Changes In a Relationship?

After seeing this, it got me thinking – Women most especially often make the mistake of going into a marriage with a man, following the notion that he will change some of the habits/traits that he possesses which bother her. This notion of “He Will Change” has long been passed down from one generation to another, causing women of different cultures and generational cohorts to make the same mistake.

The interesting part is when women hear stories of other women, who got married thinking their husband would change certain behaviours, and at the end of the day, the men didn’t which led to their break up, they say statements like “That will never be me!”. But for some reasons which most often includes the biological clock, these same women end up compromising and dating men who have habits they wish they didn’t have and hope there would be changes in their personality once they get married.

A prime example is dating a man who always promises but seldom delivers and even lacks the courtesy to inform you that he won’t be able to make good on his promises. And no matter how much you complain, he refuses to make an effort or he claims he forgets because he’s busy. Other examples of the kind of men women date and hope will change after marriage are:

  • Men who beat their women and apologize after but do not change
  • Men who smoke, drink and do drugs
  • Men who can’t clean up after themselves and expect their women to do it all
  • Men who lack empathy
  • Lazy men who want to do nothing but take and take from their woman
  • Men who have a wandering eye
  • Men who see women as lesser human beings and treat them as such

The men with these traits/habits probably have other good qualities, which make for the perfect argument that they could change because marriage is seen as a place where bad habits come to die or where people mellow. However, there’s a famous quote about marriage by Albert Einstein that says “Women marry men hoping they will change, men marry women hoping they will not. So each is inevitably disappointed.”

The reality is that a person who is willing to change will work at doing so regardless of if they are single, in a relationship or married. Sometimes you meet people who have realized they have habits/traits that need to change or are already in the change process. How do you differentiate them from those who just talk about changing and have zero intention to make changes in their personality?

A person who is willing to change has to believe change can occur. The person has to own up to the habit/trait they want to change. They have to be willing to work over an extended period and continue to try despite failures and setbacks. So ladies listen up, a man who is ready and willing to change whatever bad habits or personality traits he has, must take certain steps such as:

  • He has to Identify and accept that he has such trait or habit and admits to wanting change.
  • He has to be aware of any reserve or scepticism he has about changing and develop a plan to manage it.
  • He has to be willing to ask for help; seek counselling.
  • He looks for every opportunity to be different and uses each one to practice.
  • He must have an accountability partner; someone he respects that checks on his progress and can correct him. (These steps don’t only apply to guys, anyone seeking change can apply these steps. )

If you’re with a man who has taken a number of these steps and is putting in visible effort to change his bad or uncomfortable personality traits and habits, then you can hold out hope that change is in effect. But if you’re with a man who doesn’t even acknowledge that he has issues that require change, doesn’t want to hear the word “Change”, or is a preacher of changing but does nothing tangible in that regard. Please remove every thought or fantasy of “He will change” from your mind because he WON’T. You’re better off leaving the relationship before it goes any further, especially if the issues he has are deal breakers for you.

We need to put an end to this unrealistic expectation of changes in people’s personality without any evidence to back it up because this notion has done too much damage to relationships and marriages. They say the only constant thing in life is change but change only happens when the individual or individuals involved want it and work hard at it. Women stop buying into the illusion of “He will change’ and wake up to the reality that it may never happen.

Be your sisters and brother’s keeper by sharing this article with your friends and family and by doing so you’ll be doing your part to prevent future heartbreaks 👍

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