Why Won’t He Change? Your Man Says He Will But He Never Does

You are out of patience. He says he will be better, but doesn’t live up to his word. Why won’t he change? Here’s a guide to understand him and help him. 

Why Won't He Change

Do you ever find yourself rolling your eyes and wondering why won’t he change?! Whether he never helps around the house, leaves you on read, or drinks too much, it can be a lot to put up with. Even when you build up the courage to ask him, nothing changes.

The worst part is that he says he will. He may even promise. And he may even give you hope for a few days or weeks by being the perfect gentleman, but it wears off and you’re back to square one. Why?

Does he not love you enough? Is he incapable of change? Does he want to change? Does he hope you’ll just deal with it?

[Read: How to stop self-destructive behavior and change your life for the better]

Why does he say he’ll change?

Change is hard for all of us. Whether it is a new job, a new house, or just a new hairstyle, adapting to something new is difficult. But when the change is internal, it is even more difficult.

Sure, you aren’t the person you were 10 years ago, but you changed for yourself. You grew, matured, and became a better version of yourself so you would be happier. ??But, when your boyfriend or husband is hurting you with their words or actions you assume he’ll change when you ask. You think if he asked you to, you would analyze your behavior and do better, understanding his pain.

But when you tell a man that you are hurting, he may not be able to sympathize with those feelings. His first reaction may be to calm you at the moment to make this conversation easier for himself. This is why he says he’ll do better. [Read: 10 self-reflective questions that can help anyone stay true to themselves]

Promising to change is a whole lot different than actually doing so. He knows that, but by soothing your pain at the moment, he is releasing himself from responsibility and a further bother.

It sounds harsh and he may not be thinking deeply enough to realize what he is doing to you, but men do have a hard time seeing themselves through the eye of others, especially their significant others. But, why?

Why won’t he change?

It is clear why he says he’ll change. Whether he means it at the moment or not, he may not be intending to lie, but also has no plans to live up to what he said.

But, if you’re wondering why won’t he change, or why he’s so stubborn when it comes to actually changing, there are quite a few reasons he won’t change when you ask. [Read: How to motivate yourself to do pretty much anything you want]

#1 Fear. Fear of change is real. I know it seems obvious to you that the relationship would be better off if he lived up to his word and your requests, but he has likely been this way for a long time.

He doesn’t know how changing will make him feel and that is his first priority.

#2 Capacity. Is he actually capable of changing? Not everyone is. Some people are set in their ways. No matter how much you love him and believe he can do better, if he doesn’t think he can, he won’t want to try and fail.

#3 Motivation. You may hope his love for you and your love for him is enough to make him change. You may expect that when you tell him that you need him to change, that’s all he needs to hear to do better. But, the sad truth is that many men are not motivated by your feelings.

No matter how much pain or annoyance you are going through due to his behavior, he will not be motivated by that unless it is causing him pain. [Read: How the power of the words you use can make or break your relationship]

#4 Comfort. If you’re wondering why won’t he change, perhaps he’s comfortable the way he is and has no desire to alter it. He has likely had the behaviors that are bothering you since before you met. If he is happy with the situation and feels confident in himself he will not want to change.

#5 Annoyance. If you hope to change your man by asking, urging, or nagging, I’m sorry, but that won’t work. All this will do is annoy him and likely push him away. No matter how much you bug him or try to explain why you need him to change, it may just irritate him more than push him. [Read: How to motivate your man and make him feel like a champion again]

#6 Toxicity. He could just be a toxic person through and through. I’m sure you love him and he has a good side, but if he is manipulative or constantly lying, there is a good chance he won’t ever change.

No matter how much you beg or plead or hope, someone who is toxic will not change. They may lead you on to believe they will and that things will get better but that is just another sign of their toxic behavior. [Read: 15 signs of a toxic relationship that’ll go from bad to worse]

#7 Pattern. You’ve been in a rut. If you ask him to change and he does but then falls back into old routines, this could be the pattern he is used to. If he apologizes for his bad behavior and you forgive him and he gets better then does it again, he knows what to expect.

If you continuously forgive him and think he’ll change, he will know that the situation is working out fine for him and will squeeze all he can out of it.

#8 Result. He doesn’t know if changing will work. Sure, you tell him that if he is more open and vulnerable, that you will be happier, but he doesn’t know that that is really the case. He is scared that changing may not make things better.

In fact, it could make things worse. He doesn’t want to make a change unless he knows the outcome. [Read: The selfish boyfriend – How to find the balance and help him change]

How to get him to change

None of these reasons why he won’t change are excuses, but they may help you to understand how you can help him see the other side.

All of these reasons signify that a man won’t change for anyone but himself. If he wants to be better, in most cases he will be. But, how do you get him to want to change?

Don’t put yourself in his shoes. You react to things differently. If he told you that your behavior was hurting him, you may feel guilty and want to be better, but that isn’t working for him.

Instead, he needs to feel the need to change. He needs to be motivated by his own discomfort or pain, not by yours. It may not be that he doesn’t care about your pain, it just isn’t enough to get him inspired. [Read: 20 really inspirational movies that could help your boyfriend find his reasons to change]

It is enough to get him to end an annoying conversation, but not quite enough to establish a change. ??I am not one for ultimatums but for him to see that your problem with him is also his problem, he needs to feel the same discomfort. Let him know that he doesn’t have to change for you, but that you won’t be happy if he doesn’t. And show him how his life would be when you’re unhappy.

Will you still be willing to go to his mother’s house for dinner on Sunday if he couldn’t call you when he was coming home late? Will you want to wash his clothes when he can’t even take the garbage out? [Read: Ultimatums in a relationship and how to use them on your boyfriend]

Will you be there for him in his time of need if he couldn’t even listen to your struggles? I don’t want to say that you should give him a taste of his own medicine, but you cannot sit back and react the same to his bad behavior as you do to the good.

It sounds terrible to say this, but train him like a dog. Ignore him to a point when his behavior is the same, but when he does go out of his way to make changes, reward him. Let him know you appreciate it and do things you know he enjoys to make it clear that his life will be better with that positive change.

[Read: 15 ways a pathological liar hurts and confuses you with their lies]

This may sound harsh, but if you’re not happy in the relationship and he’s tired of your begging and pleading that he sees as nagging, you need to realize that your relationship is heading towards it’s downfall. But if these steps can help, and the days of asking why won’t he change are over, happier days are to come!

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Samantha Ann
My name is Samantha Ann. I am 28 years old. It was always my dream to become an advice columnist, so after years of off and online dating and eventually finding...