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Can you teach someone to treat you the way you want to be treated?

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Question - (3 July 2009) 6 Answers - (Newest, 3 July 2009)
A female Australia, anonymous writes:

Can you teach someone to treat you the way you want to be treated?....Or is that the typical trap we women fall into, thinking a man is going to change for us?....My boyfriend has many great qualities, but doesn't really respect women in general. We've been together 3 years and in that time, I've seen him to some pretty stupid things; like tell my best friend's co-worker she was "f*ckable" one night when we were all drinking together. Twice he's called another woman "Baby", a name I thought was only reserved for me. He's made fun of something I am self conscious about in front of a group of our friends one night and I was so embarrassed. In his defense I suppose, he's never done the same stupid thing twice, but when will he ever treat me with more respect? When I get mad about stuff like this, he says I'm being a bitch, or that I'm nagging him. Any advise????

View related questions: best friend, co-worker

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A female reader, noonespecial2 Australia +, writes (3 July 2009):


I believe you can teach someone how to respect you and you are doing just that.

Setting boundaries and doing it everytime he disrespects you including calling you a bitch is how it is done. Calling you a bitch is disrespectful in itself.

Be careful to assert yourself calmly and not put him down otherwise he will point the finger at you and the issue will be side tracked to you and your behaviour. You have to set an example so you must be calm, respectful yet firm and clear. Speak about the behaviour and tell him you feel disrespected and you want it stopped. If he responds by minimizing it or calling you names, address that, just say calmly but firmly STOP.

You mention he's never done the same stupid thing twice, so I think he is the type to learn. He will continue to do this as long as you tolerate it.

In response to him saying that you are nagging, you could say, you can call it what you will yet I don't like ...... and I want it to stop.

In response to your thoughts about being deluded about changing a Man, I think there is a difference between trying to change someone and trying to change their behaviour toward you. This is about relationship skills and you respecting each other.

Try reading a book called the emotionally abusive relationship - this will offer suggestions on how to deal with it and will be a form of support for you.

Good luck.

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A male reader, tux United States +, writes (3 July 2009):

tux agony auntThere are always two sides to every story and what you are saying might be true or it could be a complete overexaggeration, so I'm not going to judge your current boyfriend. Keep in mind, i'm not calling you a liar, but people do have a trend to overexagerate a few bad qualities to set up answers that their minds have already believe to be true.

But I will say that it does not sound like you are getting what you expect out of this relationship and you should not expect him to change to suit you. You should be able to be in a relationship where it is easy to find a middleground where you both can be happy rather than fight for years to try to change each other to find that middleground.

In the end, people rarely ever change, and noone should expect anyone to change. People are who they are and if you don't like them the way they are, someone else may just be attracted to the way they are.

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A reader, anonymous, writes (3 July 2009):

Ditch that don't need one does. I do think some people could change there ways but that only happens if they love you enough..obviously he doesnt love you enough to respect you,no one deserves that

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A female reader, laura585 United States +, writes (3 July 2009):

3 years and no improvement? I really dont think one is coming. It's like that joke: how many psychologists does it take to change a lightbulb? Only one but the lightbulb has to WANT to change. Haha cheesy I know- but you cant change him, only he can, and only when he wants to.

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A female reader, pinktopaz United States +, writes (3 July 2009):

Eww, it sounds like he has A LOT of growing up to do. It's not only his lack of respect for women, he's also very immature. Obviously, he not just disrespectful to only you. To tell someone she's "fuckable" and to refer to another woman who he isn't in a relationship with as "baby," are all very disrespectful actions. Sure, some guys can lose respect for you if you wait on him beck and call and you never stand up for yourself. So you either need to: A) Stand up for yourself when he acts disrespectful. Or B) Give him the boot. Because it's probably not just you, he's just that way and probably won't change anytime soon.

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A female reader, lavida. South Africa +, writes (3 July 2009):

A leopard neva changes its sp0ts.

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