A Little
Mermaid?

The Little Mermaid changed from a mermaid into a human for Prince Eric. Michelle Obama abandoned her impressive career to become First Lady for Barack. Anne Heche became a heterosexual for cameraman Coley Laffoon. These women made drastic changes for their men. Would you?



Change is scarier than Amy Winehouse's hair (bees aren't the only thing living in that beehive). We're not talking about minor changes like hair color, lipstick or breast size. It's the major changes like moving to a new city, switching jobs and changes in family status that make us inhale sharply. Changing for someone else is a bit scarier than Amy's hair, but not quite as terrifying as Brett Michaels' extensions (it's a good thing those bandanas can't talk!).

Change: Not always a choice

I became an accidental expert on change when my mostly happy, 20-year marriage hit a speed bump last year. Actually, it was more like my marriage went hang-gliding into a jagged cliff. Change was at the forefront of many discussions. After all, the jagged cliff wasn't about to move. Eventually we had to choose a different route.

Neither of us necessarily needed to change, but we did need to do some "tweaking," which is far less intimidating than changing! Slapping a prettier face on change meant I was ready for the mack-daddy of personal change: personality.

This is where we introduce the big boys: quirks, idiosyncrasies and shortcomings. These personality traits affect all of our relationships, from spouses to kids to co-workers. Assuming you're not a freak show, you probably need to tweak just a few unflattering traits. You owe it to everyone in your immediate circle to do just that (unless you like perpetrating the same mistakes, slamming into the same walls and living a life plagued by aggravation and frustration). Are we not, as Oprah will attest, here to learn?

Where to begin

The learning process starts with awareness. I began my journey with a ride on the "I Am Fundamentally Screwed Up" train. This is where I faced my husband's complaint that I'm defensive (which was answered with a knee-jerk "No I'm not!"). I was forced to re-examine my position after a disagreement with my teen son. He rolled out his side of the argument, and before I knew it an extensive list of justifications came flying out. Talk about an "uh-oh" moment.

When you change for the sake of personal growth, you are changing for you. Ultimately, you should be with someone who is willing to work on his wildly irritating habits too. If you're doing all the heavy lifting in the personal growth department, you'll eventually become one of those hateful, bitter old ladies who squabble with department store clerks over sale flyers.

When it works, and when it doesn't

Certain degrees of change are healthy -- others are not. If you need a personality transplant to be with someone, they are not right for you. You and your mate's personalities should mesh in a significant way -- either because your personalities are similar (you both like to people-watch and make disparaging comments about the crowd) or because your personalities compliment each other (you like spending money you don't have on the latest Louis Vuitton bag, and thankfully he doesn't).

So how much would you change for a guy? Would I become a human if I were a mermaid? Heck yes. Eric was a hottie, and hello, a prince! Would I abandon my career to become First Lady? Sure. Look at the designer duds Michelle gets to wear. Would I change my sexual orientation? No. A true lesbian should be with a lesbian. But then I wouldn't stumble around the desert in a bikini waiting for the mother ship to pick me up either, so who am I to say?

We want to hear from you!

Tell us below how you changed for a guy, what you would change for a guy, and what you would refuse to change for a guy.

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Comments

Comments on "How much would you change for a guy?"

Seiarra March 25, 2010 | 8:05 AM

I believe if it is a problem for me and my life I am willing to change it. I am not willing to change my hair or clothes {or anything like that} for anyone, but if it can help me be a better person I am all for it! Relationships come and go, changing for someone else is ridiculous but to each is their own

karlas Smith June 03, 2009 | 12:10 PM

How about when you change for a man, marry him move to another state to be with him quit a wonderful job leave family and all and get him and you are put second to everything, his sister is a total b----, every relationship he has had she has destroyed and he doesn't see it, it was the worst decision i could have ever made for me and my son, he has done nothing but ignore the way I feel, i have no health ins, not on his account and my husband works at a chemical plant and makes good money, I can't afford to leave him now because i was layed off and now working a temp. job. but i don't know how much more i can take, if anyone knows who i can get help from in the houston area please email me i can't take much more thanks

Mom of a Superhero May 05, 2009 | 7:18 AM

I have changed for a man both for personal health reasons and because he said he would leave me. I quit smoking and it was the best decision I could have made. Sometimes you know subconsciously that something is not healthy for you, but when the man you love threatens to leave you because of your bad habit, sometimes it makes you wake up and change.

nicole April 29, 2009 | 12:20 PM

I am at a turning point in my relationship; I will either forfeit forever the idea of having a child or the relationship will end. I am still in the thinking stages.

lil. miss cupcake April 11, 2009 | 10:32 AM

For the guy I'm with now, I quit my job and moved a little over sixty miles away from my family for him, with him. I'm happy and content where I'm at though occassionally I do miss my family here and there, put then again that's why they invented telephones. I probably wouldn't change too much of myself because I love who I am and that's why he loves me, but there is one thing I would do for him because I love him too. I would take his religion. I don't necessairly have a prefrence, but I believe souley in God and Jesus and I always will, no matter what.

Annimal March 25, 2009 | 2:43 PM

I can't think of a time I've really Changed for a man. I do listen to my husband when he has a valid behavior complaint because I don't want to be an ogre, and I try to address that behavior. (it's usually hormone related!)

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