There are three answers to this question: yes, no, maybe. The yes means that when one part of a system–the relationship–changes, the whole system is affected and the changes do occur. The no means that we cannot control the changes except for ourselves. Changing ourselves will not insure changes in others; we may change the way we perceive others and we may change in that it becomes easier to accept others. The maybe means that some changes may occur but they may not be the ones we wanted and they may not be in the desired direction. The motivation for changing ourselves cannot be to change the other. If this is the case, then we are involved in manipulative and bargaining behaviors and not with true change. Changes ourselves is hard work and requires for the changes and commitment to the process of change. When we enter into this commitment with ulterior motives and we do not gain the desired results, we may find ourselves right back in the codependent cycle: we are doing all the work, taking all the responsibility, and the reasons for our efforts are not occurring. Chances are, we will feel resentful and cheated and angry at the person who is not willing to change. We may also feel angry with ourselves. All these are destructive to the development of our own Self-Esteem, and our efforts will backfire. Change for self and not for an other. Then the change is in your control. You can only control the way you feel about yourself and your behaviors based on your feelings. The way others react to your change is totally out of your control. You many believe that if you change in a positive direction, your close relationships will also improve in a positive way. The relationship begins to fall apart or the others around you become more dysfunctional. This is a common reaction. Sometimes the deterioration of the system is short-termed and sometime the family stabilizes and becomes more functional once they get used to the change. Sometimes the opposite occurs and the relationship cannot cope with the change. This is why it is important to change for yourself, change because you have to, no matter the consequences. Many changes occur which are clearly enhance the relationship. The more dysfunctional the relationship, the more likely that it will not adapt to the change. These relationships are already at risk and creating great pain for those involved in them. If you are trying to change so that someone else will change, you are absolving them their responsibility to change and you are taking the credit for the changes that do occur. When you change yourself, you will get all the credit for the change because you did it. You did the work, you felt the pain, you stuck it out, and you achieved what you wanted to. Everyone else has the same rights–they get all the credit for their changes. You did not do it for them; they did it for themselves. Do not try to choose to change for others–it never works.