Walter Jacobson, M.D.

Walter Jacobson, M.D.

Posted September 29, 2010

Published in Lifestyle

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What Can President Obama's "Change You Can Believe In" Teach Us About Our Personal Relationships?

Read More: change, President Obama, promises, relationships, trust

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President Obama's approval ratings have dropped substantially. The reason is not complicated. He promised to make a lot of changes and didn't.

Trust has been broken. The relationship he had with the people who voted for him has been broken. Many have lost faith in his capacity to heal America.

All of this has resulted in a nation that is more fragmented, conflicted, angry, scared and confused.

How does this apply to our personal relationships?

It is critically important in our personal relationships that we do what we say we're going to do. It is critically important that we be consistent in our words and our deeds.

If we do this, the relationship will thrive and sustain itself over time. If we don't do this, trust will erode, resentments and hostilities will grow, and the relationship will decay to the point of destroying itself or surviving in a form that is a mockery of itself.


Relationships that are going sour leave all sorts of handwriting on the wall. If we ignore the handwriting until the relationship has hit a bottom, it is unlikely that our heroic efforts to repair the relationship will be very effective. Once the Titanic was going down, there was no stopping it.

Consequently, when we find ourselves in a relationship that has been fractured by disillusionment and distrust, it behooves us to take action sooner rather than later.

More importantly, It behooves us to not make promises we can't keep.

If we say we're going to change our ways, we need to change our ways. We need to stop the behaviors that are hurtful and unloving. We need to be more generous, compassionate and forgiving. We need to be less self-centered and less self-entitled. We need to put the needs of our partner above our own.