I have said repeatedly you can’t make her change – and you can’t. However, you can do things that require her to react, and that usually means some sort of change. You can do things that encourage good change, do things that encourage bad change, or do things that discourage any change. Don’t just say things, think about what you are saying, how it is likely to be heard, and how she is likely to react. Be wise, so that your words can urge her in the right direction.
Go back and look at the list of tips on change I gave yesterday – your bride should make changes the same way I suggested you should. Don’t ask or expect her to change a number of things at once, and don’t expect her to make huge changes overnight.
Gauge her changes over time; has she done better this month than she did last month? Even a small improvement is good and needs to be recognised and praised. Change can be like starting a fully loaded truck from a dead stop – it takes all available power to start crawling along; speed increases with time. Don’t think “at this rate she will never get where I want her to be” – instead praise her for what she has done and expect that she will do more and eventually do it faster.
Also, be careful about thinking she has stopped improving, or is slipping. Temporary slips might be because she has been busy, stressed, tried, or PMSing. If she is using a lot of willpower on something else, she has less available for change. Don’t ask or accuse, just try to think about reasons she might find it suddenly difficult to maintain her changes. If you see possible causes, wait for those to pass and see what happen. Alternately, if you can, find ways to help remove the things that are limiting her.
Also in this series: