How To Train Your Man: Part 4
When he just won't change
Dr. Greg Cason

I don’t want to over-sell this, but I am about to give you and your partner the real answers to life, the universe and everything else. Maybe The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Google will tell you it’s the number 42 (go ahead, Google it), but what I’m about to tell you will solve the unsolvable when your man just won’t seem to do what he’s told.

In my previous three articles, I’ve shown you the principles of training your man. In short, if you want him to do something, you reward him with appreciation. If you want him to stop doing something, you ignore him (or give him a dose of disapproval). But, let’s face it, you can’t always get him to do what you want. Like your dog, he may learn a few new tricks, but when your back is turned he still wants to sniff butts and chase tail.

A good clue that he doesn’t want to change is when he tells you that he “can’t change.” You and I both know he’s wrong—nearly anyone can change his behavior—but it’s not easy, and it may be more difficult than what your man is willing to take on. So what’s a boy to do?

The basic principle: ACCEPTANCE

This means seeing the reality of a (very often negative) situation without attempting to change it, protest it or exit.

Acceptance will lead you to a happier relationship and a happier you. It really is the true miracle solution. Unfortunately, acceptance is also one of the most misunderstood concepts in psychology, and chances are you misunderstand it, too.

Most people think they accept a situation when they finally realize they can’t change it, but that’s only half the story. If you’re also feeling defeated, dismayed and disregarded by your man’s lack of improvement, chances are you’re not feeling acceptance—you’re feeling resignation.


Resignation is judging a situation negatively while believing you can’t change it, protest it or exit—basically, feeling powerless and giving up rather than fighting anymore. You’ll know you’re caught in the trap of resignation when you hit the three R’s of resignation:

(1) Recognize: Judging your man’s action as a horrible thing that is also a repetition of something that has happened many times in the past.

(2) Resist: Trying without success to stop your man from repeating that past deed or just protesting him doing it.

(3) Resent: After your many futile attempts to change his behavior, you finally give up the fight but grow angrier as he continues to do it. This continues, and a wedge is driven between you and your partner that can persist as long as the relationship.

But how many wedges can you have driven between you and your partner before you are both finally driven apart?

The Solution is Acceptance.

The solution—of course—is acceptance. But how do you get there? I recommend these three A’s of acceptance.

(1) Acknowledge: The key here is to see the situation without judgment. See it as new and singular, even if it seems familiar. See it as something that just is.

(2) Allow: Rather than trying to hold it off or defend against it, allow it to be. Allow your man to do what he does without trying to stop it or defend against it in your mind. Let it go by like a leaf on a river—even if that river can roll like rapids at times.

(3) Appreciate: Look at your partner as a whole person versus focusing on his incredibly annoying parts. Appreciate him for who he is. And even look to appreciate the parts of him that annoy you too. His annoying parts are just part of his total repertoire.


Nobody is perfect. Obviously not him, certainly not me, especially not you. The more you appreciate others for exactly who they are, the more they will appreciate you back. And in doing so, your relationship and your life will improve dramatically! Really.

So how can I sum up the lessons in the “How to Train Your Man” series? Give him appreciation for the things you’d like him to keep doing. Take away that appreciation if you want him to stop. If he just won’t budge, practice acceptance.

Voilà! By mastering these three simple concepts—especially that last one—you will begin to have the partner and relationship that up until now you’ve only dreamed about.

The real lesson here? If you want to see a change in your man (or anyone else), the change has to begin not with him but with the man in the mirror. Relationships are about both people, but the only real power you have to change things is within yourself.

And if that doesn’t work? Well, 42.

Dr. Greg Cason is a licensed psychologist based in West Hollywood, specializing in cognitive therapy with individuals and couples. He can be contacted at

 «  Return to previous page
 »  Send to a friend
Subscribe to channel

Leave a comment:

· Subscribe to comments
Be the first to comment here.