As a marriage counselor, I hear it all the time. People telling their spouse or significant other that they act (or react) a certain way, and that it won’t change – either because they believe that they can’t change, or because they don’t think it’s fair that they should have to. But I believe that there are two points to consider:
First, while there are some things that a person cannot change about themselves, there are many, many things that they can change – if they really want to. Personality is much more complex than the media or a Psyc 101 teacher would have you think. Behavioral change happens all the time, although many people need a lot of help to actually make those changes.
Second, not everything has to be thought of in terms of fairness. If a person wants to be happy, sometimes they have to take steps that their partner doesn’t deserve. Maybe your partner is such a jerk that they don’t deserve for you to be nice to them. But you might find that when one person is nice to another, that other person has much more motivation to be nice back. It won’t always pay off. It almost always takes a lot of patience and a lot of effort. And if you are reading this blog, you could probably use some assistance in actually pulling it off.