First, I know I'm tardy in releasing this info - Karen C is my winner for the Amazon.com gift card. I know you have been enjoying it for like 2 weeks now, lol, but now everyone knows you have it. :)
So, just something quick today, and this is probably going to make a few of you sad. I'd been discussing this with a few people this week (in those off moments that I have spare time,) and I figured it might benefit the herd. ;)
When working on a person, you must always keep in mind their nature, by which I mean the parts of their personality and emotional make up which are not apt to change. For example, if you want someone to be faithful to you there are all sorts and types of spells for that, but if it is that person's nature to be polyamorous (that is to do the nasty whenever with whoever,) then you are more likely to harm the target using this type of work because you are going against this person's nature. I might "tie a man's nature" so he can only get hard for me, but then if he's really man-whoring all over (because that's how he's wired,) the only solution the spell could find is to break his dick...permanently, so it won't even work for me. Or if I have a man who is to stoic for me, and doesn't like to talk about his feelings, I might try to use spells to make him more open and communicative which, if he was always the type to hold back and keep it in, then forcing him against his nature could mean the spell manifests by giving him a full nervous breakdown from which he never ever recovers.
In either of the above examples, I'd likely be working someone INCREDIBLY HARD to get those outcome, but in the above examples I am still forcing a change which is opposite to the nature of the target, and therefore I am risking harm or disaster by knowingly doing so.
Now, I've said before that any spell might have a "Monkey's Paw," manifestation (that is, you get what you want but in the worst way imaginable,) but if you merely keep in mind a target's nature, you will get a better idea of how to work a problem and if that problem is fixable (or can be changed to a more beneficial situation.) It's an ugly truth, but one I deal with frequently at my job. No one wants to learn that the guy who cheats on his wife to be with you has a wife and a girlfriend all of the time and even if you displace the wife, you would only get that role (and he'd get another girlfriend.) And why? It's his nature. No one wants to know that the liar, or the bigot, or the thief, the non-communicator, etc. is not likely to be getting better...this is a part of who they are.
While I do feel many problems can be HELPED with magic, you will not change someone's nature. Think of it like this....if a river flows north to south but we insist that in flow south to north because we'd like that better, no matter how many machines we put in this river (and it will push the water in the desired direction for a time,) eventually everything will break and that river will go north to south again. The river is someone's nature, the machines are our magic, - and see, eventually it breaks down, and things return to their natural state.
Why is this? Because magic exists to INFLUENCE things how we want them to be. While the influence can create permanent change, it is there to give an opportunity for you to nurture this into a desired change. If I do a spell to get a job, I have to go to that job and do my best work. If I don't, I will lose the job. That would not be the spell's fault, but my own, if I lose that job. This doesn't seem to puzzle people. If I reconcile two people, once they forgive each other, that is permanent. The crime is forgiven. But maybe I'm kind of a jerk and I antagonize my newly-returned ex, and he goes and he bolts. That's not the spell's fault - it's mine. So if I am working on a person, for example, who is a cheater, they constantly want to cheat. No matter how many times I tie and bind that person, inside of them, they want to cheat and as much as you or I want to keep breathing - that's how deep the urge goes. So, as my influence fades (and all spells fade,) that urge to cheat can overpower my influence, and the person goes out and cheats. Or maybe because I keep working against their nature, the influence will come out so the person CANNOT CHEAT (physically) by causing actual harm to their body. The more I demand to go against a person's nature, the more likely the influence will manifest itself in a not so nice way. Think of the river I spoke of above - if you insist something go entirely opposite to how it is supposed to go, your influence will often be limited or disastrous. If you only need an influence to last a short time to create a permanent change, go out and do what you want to make things "the opposite of how they should be," - but if you're thinking you will change a person who has always been how they are with one spell, you risk limited success and disastrous manifestations. Simple as that.
Hope that was helpful and not just me rambling. :)