Can love change a personality?

I wonder how many married couples have asked that question: “Can love change a personality?” – when after thirty years of marriage a couple realizes their personalities are poles apart, and to be honest it’s a problem. One of them likes people, the other doesn’t. One likes cats, the other hates them. One likes to budget, the other likes to spend, and there’s no meeting of minds on any of those points. He likes golf with the lads and watching sports for hours on TV, she likes to go places together and try new things. He has no sense of humour, she giggles at the slightest chance. It’s not that either of them are bad people, or even stubborn people; they simply have personalities that aren’t on the same wavelength.

But they’re married. So now what? Do they bite their lips, put up with each other’s foibles, and sit out the rest of their married life cringing at the other’s objectionable habits, blind spots, childhood defects, and never being able to talk things through? But what kind of marriage is that? Is it a marriage at all?

But they can’t separate over personality differences, surely. It’s not that they’re in any danger or being abused, it’s just that….well, they’re so different. They don’t click. There are other people they get on with much easier and better with.

So why did they marry in the first place? Because love did something to them. It changed them. It lifted them into a dimension they’d never been in before. It made him tidy his room, perhaps. It made her stop gossiping. It made them ignore their differences. They were in love, and love changed their personalities in ways they would never have thought of, and in ways that made it easy getting along together.

Does that stop after thirty years of marriage, though? Do personalities become stuck in a groove after a while, and that’s it for life? Or can love still change a personality?

Well, the only way to find that out is to love the person you’re married to and see what happens. What a novel idea, just love and nothing else. No more negative thoughts, no more expectations, no more hints of improvements needed, no more wishing for better, no more sighs of irritation or displeasure, no more – well, no more of anything that isn’t love. You simply don’t go there anymore. Any negative thought, chuck it out, because only love will do. Is it worth it? It was when you got married, because the power of love did amazing things back then, so why not see if it has the same power now?

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