Thu | Oct 18, 2018

Changing the rules

Published:Monday | February 23, 2015 | 12:00 AMJody-Anne Lawrence

There are many reasons a relationship may not work - it can be as simple as you are just not compatible, to infidelity issues. However, changing the rules is a complaint many persons have, but should this be a deal breaker? Relationship specialist and sexologist Dr Sidney McGill tells Flair how one should handle such things in a relationship.

We grow older and we change so it is natural that after sometime in a relationship the expectations and the requirements of it might change. While this is the case, you should never assume that it's the same for your partner and blindsight them with new revelations as if they were already discussed.

McGill suggested that rule changes are OK and acceptable when it is beneficial to the relationship as a whole and not just one partner.


decisions must be mutual


"So if the rules have to be changed because of living conditions, health or financial status, or change in worldview, and things of that nature, then the decisions must be a mutual one - a team effort. You may need a trusted, mutual friend or counsellor to help you in making up your minds," he mentioned.

There are issues such as the number of children expected within the relationship that one partner would like to change. This is acceptable, but it does not mean that you should impose your new view. What you should do is discuss it.

"If one partner decides to change their view, such as having children, the other partner's view on the matter is very important in the decision-making," said McGill.




"We grow and change constantly because of our perception of the various experiences we have daily. Hopefully, our views and opinions change as we evolve. Our partner may not have similar experiences and, therefore, may not see eye to eye with us. You may have to give them time to see how the change will benefit the relationship. It is important that couples intentionally grow in awareness at the same pace, if possible, by sharing daily experiences, being responsive and fully emotionally engaged in the life of the other," he noted.

What is unacceptable is if the spouse's decision for changing a particular rule is self-gratifying or will cause a breakdown in the relationship. One party cannot take it upon themself to change the rules, because the relationship is a unit that needs both persons to function effectively.

However, when it comes to changes, not everyone accepts it readily. If you are unable to convince your partner to see things the way you do, you may have to accept it and come to a middle ground.