Marriage Improvement and Nagging for Change: Tomatoes Can’t Be Baseballs

Have you gotten a melody, jingle, or phrase stuck in your brain that twists and resists purging? My recent struggle was with a message on a church marquee. Usually the sayings are corny ‘no duh’ platitudes.  I easily dismiss them; however, here’s one I could not shake: “Tomatoes Can’t Be Baseballs”.  For miles, I failed to delete that phrase from my mental spin——

Surely a tomato can look more like a baseball— you can paint it white and add stitch-looking dotted lines. You might get by with throwing it around—-depending on its ripeness. But….. hitting it with a bat? A foam bat would….Enough! I failed to make meaning of it. Next  my mind flipped to the challenge of people and change. People are not tomatoes or baseballs.

Have you wanted (or nagged) your partner to change? Is she a tomato and you want a baseball?  Did you expect your husband to change after you married him? With the strength of habits and experience of history, many believe their partners cannot change their basic nature. I disagree.

External factors can impact the extent of personal change and physical attributes play a role. But personal change and self-improvement are primarily fueled by imagination, motivation, generation of choices, and action, of course.

A healthy person’s capacity for change is shaped by his/her own expectations. People can accept influence from others to change. Influence in the form of ‘you first’ carries the greatest weight.

You can not make your partner change—only yourself.  But if you want to increase the odds that your partner will change, set expectations of change for yourself and DO IT!  Nix the nag! Then look for the impact of your influence on your partner.

  • Push back with your opinions and experiences.

        What do you think?

 © Copyright 2012 P.H. Pickett, Ph.D. All Rights Reserved.

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