Reddit user Dapper_Algae6280 Asked: 'People who entered a relationship thinking "I can fix them"; how did that go?'
Content Warning: Mental Health, Suicide, Domestic Violence
We all know that we technically can't make anyone else do anything, and we certainly can't "fix" other people. Other people will only change or do something if they choose to; the only person we can really control is ourselves.
But some people really love to try, often to hilarious and terrible results.
Already cringing, Redditor Dapper_Algae6280 asked:
"People who entered a relationship thinking 'I can fix them,' how did that go?"
Time for an Upgrade
"There is a weird thing that happens when you 'fix' someone. They tend to think if you liked them broken, then they deserve better than you now that they are better than they were."
"As horrible as it sounds, to have a happy, emotionally healthy relationship you need two happy, emotionally healthy people. If you want to be in that sort of relationship, you need to fix yourself first."
"This right here. After three sh*tty relationships in a row, I realized this is a me problem. I took a few years off from dating to reflect and really learn to see red flags and understand myself so I wouldn't make that mistake again."
No More Spark
"My now ex had PTSD, depression, and a variety of other issues she claimed. After two and a half years of dating (being my first and only relationship), she became more social, less suicidal, and overall happier as a person."
"She decided to cheat on me with someone else due to 'lack of communication' and us 'no longer having a spark". The irony."
"For context, we were 17 at the time, in high school, and I worked full-time hours with initiatives to hang out, which were refused. Red flags everywhere."
"Your situation is eerily similar to mine, what the f**k?"
"I met a girl with mental and emotional issues and decided to fix them through a healthy relationship. She recovered and found someone else because 'the spark was gone.'"
Misery Loves Company
"Now we are both broken."
"The same thing happened to my sister-in-law. She married a very negative and miserable guy while saying 'he will get better' or 'we’re working on it,' and now she’s a very negative and miserable person."
Getting to Watch a Partner Grow
"At first we were only f**king. I don't know if I ever thought I could fix her, but I did fall in love with this beautiful lady with severe anxiety, depression, and trust issues after being in a domestically violent relationship."
"We were f**k buddies for about six months and I got a glimpse of her issues but I still went ahead and asked her to be my girlfriend The heart wants what it wants."
"We dated for a year and a half (two years since meeting), and I actually got to see her at her worst a few times, but I was finally able to get her therapy with a great psychiatrist and treatment, this is when I asked her to move in with me. We've been living together for six years."
"Four years ago, she had the worst breakdown I've seen. She went full-on paranoid, wall-scratching nervous, she was even doubting me and my motives to be there. It was a very difficult week, and she left the house and went to her mom's house in the middle of the night."
"Eventually, her therapist was able to get a hold of her and get her back to her senses. Her doctor then suggested that I also should go to a counselor or at the very least we should do couples therapy so we had strong bases for our relationship and we did."
"I now look back and won't change her for anything in the world, she has grown so much, and she glows right now. I now see her smile and it's glorious. She's achieved a great position too and it's amazing just to see how much happier she looks."
Not a Match
"I fixed what I wanted to fix, but that still didn't make us right for each other. In the end, I think she's in a much happier place than she could have been, so I think it was worth the time invested."
"We were wrong for each other, but at least we both came out better positioned to receive the happiness that would come to us later."
In Their Nature
"A couple of months into the relationship, I fixed him."
"After some irritation, he stopped peeing on the carpet. Now, my cat still brings mice, but I guess, that's just his nature."
The Importance of Boundaries
"I don't know if I would say that I 'fixed' her (and I wasn’t trying to), but I definitely taught my last ex the importance of being able to set boundaries and to stop going out of her way to please people who consistently hurt her."
"Eventually this would lead to us breaking up, but I have no regrets. I have issues of my own that were wearing her down and she did what she had to. Same rules apply. We’re both better off because of it."
Happily Ever After
"She fixed herself and I fixed myself with each other's support, and we are living happily ever after, it seems, with ongoing work on ourselves and our relationship."
An Uncommon Ending
"I didn’t fix them. But I tried my hardest to be patient and supportive while they fixed themself. Sometimes I was better at support than other times. Sometimes they were better at fixing than other times."
"It ended up being worth the patience. Things have been great with us for years now. I know this isn’t the normal outcome though, and I feel incredibly lucky."
A Little Help from Our Friends
"Usually I'm the one people try to fix.. I think the repeated attempts definitely helped me. Now my current partner gets to enjoy the previous hard work."
"...I think I just got tired of hurting the people who love me and fixed myself, though."
All Their Idea
"You can't fix anyone. You can only fix yourself, but if you really want to try and fix someone, you have to make it seem like it's their idea."
A Helping Hand
"I don't think you can fix anyone. You can only help them fix themselves, which is very different."
"If someone is actively trying to fix themselves, and you can actually be the person to support them through it, then it can work, but it could also not work."
"I do think there should be a distinction between the two. I mean, trying to fix someone is a bad idea, but if you like someone and are willing to support them in their journey to fix themselves, it's probably not the worst idea in the world."
"It went so well that they managed to cure me of the desire to 'fix' anybody."
"I’ll toss you a life preserver if you’re trying to save yourself. But I’m not jumping in the water with anyone so they can drown me on their way out."
"People who need to hit rock bottom in order to better themselves will use you to soften their landing if you let them."
Best Friends Forever
"It went well but it didn’t work out."
"So we kind of fixed each other we were both at very weird points in our lives and we only dated for about one and a half years. We didn’t need a romantic partner but we did need a friend in each other."
"We’re both in better places now and the best of friends. We both want each other to be part of our lives just not as lovers."
"All and all, I say we got the best outcomes in our lives."
So Worth the Investment
"He was an Uber driver with only a high school diploma."
"I married him anyways and bankrolled his education because he was fun as f**k to be around, was the smartest person I’ve ever met, and loves me like I’m the only woman on Earth."
"Now, he’s a computer engineer and we are landlords together and have bought investment properties. We are very happy together."
"Partners work together to create success. I think selfish people ask, 'what’s in it for me?' Marriage is about selflessness."
"I’m glad I sacrificed for his education. His mind would be wasted otherwise and he’s a genius."
In most of these cases, the situation went poorly after a Redditor tried to change someone, and for good reason. If that person isn't ready or doesn't want to be fixed, it's only going to damage the relationship.
There's also something to be said about unconditional love. If you don't want to date the person exactly as who they are right now, why are you even trying to date them?
If you or someone you know is struggling, you can contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988.To find help outside the United States, the International Association for Suicide Prevention has resources available at https://www.iasp.info/resources/Crisis_Centres/