"The longer my marriage went on the more I felt like Eliza Doolittle," I told her. "You know... Audrey Hepburn in My Fair Lady... the girl who Henry Higgins tries to mold into what he wants. He tries to change everything about her."
She yanked open the door to the refrigerator and took out a package of hamburger beef setting it down on the counter with a loud thud!... it was still partially frozen and had to finish defrosting before she could form it into patties. Her tone was angry as she spoke:
"I could see that! I kept thinking just who does he think he is? Expecting my daughter to change when my daughter is a catch. If you needed to change something, as your mother I'll tell you you need to!" she exclaimed with a grin.
I laughed at that, amused and she shook her head as she continued...
"It takes a lot of nerve! It made me so mad."
"It was like I was a pet project. But at the same time it's so insidious how it happens... this way of wrapping it up pretty to make it out like he's genuinely trying to help or something. If I didn't like something he didn't see it as part of who I am... instead it was a deep flaw that needed to be overcome. I mean, it wasn't like I needed dire help with an addiction or required intervention of some kind. It wasn't a character issue he was trying to encourage change for the better but it was superficial stuff, more personality related than anything."
She nodded as she grabbed a knife from the cutlery drawer and began slicing an onion into tiny cubes. "If he couldn't accept you as you were then he shouldn't have married you."
"I think he wanted someone who dressed like a Stepford wife and that's fine for a party or wedding I suppose but I'm more practical, just jeans and a shirt for everyday. I feel like Marion the Librarian in a dress, heels and button down sweater. It's cute on some women but it's just not me. And yet he changed so much over the years. Who I married was not who I divorced." I told her as I continued assembling the homemade chicken enchiladas I was making. "I really think once we found out I had ADHD that was the final clencher... he acted like I was inferior because of it instead of being supportive. He couldn't relate to it and ultimately we were speaking two different languages."
She rinsed off her hands at the white porcelain sink and dried them on the striped kitchen towel hanging nearby. "Well, at least there is medication to help with ADHD. But there's no magic pill to fix jerky behavior." She told me then added, "People shouldn't try to change others or be somebody else... just be yourself."
Just be yourself.
Three words that are so important.
Especially today in a world that tries to get you to be anybody but yourself. Today young women and men both need to know more than ever that "to be yourself" is one of the most important messages you will ever hear.
If you feel like you have to change
If he begins trying to change you
that's when you know he's
not good nor healthy for you.
Just move on because somewhere down the line will be a guy… maybe not the next guy or the one after that… but there will surely be a guy who likes who you are; flaws, baggage, likes, dislikes and all.
He will be fine with the fact you'd rather wear jeans than a skirt to dinner and would rather scarf tacos than a steak.
He will be fine with the fact you blast the stereo in the kitchen and dance to Push It by Salt N Pepa because life doesn't have to be serious all the time.
He will be fine with the fact you wear leggings, a Pink sweatshirt and your hair in a bun at home because when you are at your most comfortable you are your most beautiful.
He will be fine with the fact you hate brussels sprouts and mango's and yet he won't stop eating them just because you don't care for them and you wouldn't want him to.
He will be fine with the fact you wear heels even if you tower over him, appreciating your beauty.
He will be fine with the fact that roller coasters aren't your forte because there is surely something he himself doesn't care for that you like.
He will be fine with the fact that maybe sometimes you kinda hog the queso at restaurants like a kid and sits back to let you indulge because it's your favorite thing ever and he thinks it's cute.
He will be fine with all the ugliness of your past, will appreciate you for who you are and loves you… he wants to kiss your scars and hurts with care instead of inflicting more hurt in those wounds just as you'd do for him.
He will be fine with the fact you love God more than anyone… yes, even him… because he knows that is what's best for you and as married to God's daughter he himself wants to care for and love you till the day he dies.
Love looks you in the eye,
in the darkness of your room
and meeting your gaze
says with steady assurance:
"I love you. Even when you're late, stubborn and mad. I love you for you. I love you in your struggle, your doubts and worries. I love you in your regrets and hopes. I want to kiss the spots that hurt from your past and heal them with warm kisses. I am here everyday and love you now and in the future."
He will love you as you are.
You don't have to change
for a man to love you.
A boy will look at you always searching
for what you could improve upon, change or do differently.
But A Man Won't.
Love doesn't say:
"You're less than because you have ADHD, etc."
because that's hurtful.
Love doesn't say:
"You need to change this for me to like you or love you"
because otherwise I'm just tolerating you.
Love doesn't say:
"If you loved me you would do this or that…"
because that's manipulation.
When we are progressing towards the best version of ourselves each day, when we aren't comparing ourselves to any other women but instead who we were last month, last week or yesterday, we are living a life of happiness and satisfaction.
When we realize acceptance doesn't come from a man but from God we have stopped subscribing to the world. We already have God's acceptance. A real man will delight in who you are and who you are becoming and love every inch of you in between. He will value you, keeping you near and dear to his heart even when you're not by his side… because when he sees bits of you sprinkled here and there in his life… when he sees your hot pink bra hanging on the doorknob… when he finds your peppermint Chapstick buried in the bed… when he catches a whiff of your brown sugar body wash in the shower… when he already knows you're going to be five minutes late before you even utter those predictable words to him…
He smiles to himself and thinks…
"That's my girl… just being herself and I love her."
© gps-gracepowerstrength.blogspot.com ~ 2014
5 Tips For Wives Trying To Change Their Husbands:
Here are some tips to keep in mind if/when you attempt to change him. Keeping these reminders handy in a spot like your vanity or desk will go a long way in staying cognizant of not trying to change your husband.
1. Use words of life, not death. The second a criticism begins to form at your lips take pause and decide if this is really going to help. Will it build him up or tear him down? Will it encourage him or make him feel inadequate?
2. Learn his language. Both of you can take a love language test by Gary Chapman online to discover what your love languages are. Make a concerted effort to speak his language more. He will notice.
3. Make him look good. One of the worst things a wife can do is cut her husband off in conversation in public, interrupt him, correct him on facts and events, names, etc. Every time a wife does this it chips away at him, making him feel stupid. He may not say anything but his feelings will be hurt. With that, let your spouse know when you talk about him it's in a positive light. If you say anything behind his back make sure it's a compliment.
4. Let grace abound. This is not about letting someone walk all over you or tolerating abusive behavior, enabling them, etc. It's about being married to someone healthy who just had a bad day… he came home grumpy about an incident at work and you don't try to tell him what to do… you're just there for him, happy to listen and let him vent if needed. He knows even if he goes about venting and griping you are there for him and a safe place to do it with. He knows you love him and he would be the same safe spot for you if the tables were turned. And he will have humility to say: "Sorry I was such a grouch tonight babe… just a bad day. Didn't mean to harp on. But thanks for listening. I love you." Just like you would do for him.
5. Tell him how much you love him. Speak up. You have this one life, one chance to tell him exactly how you feel about him. He wants to know he's a good guy, a great husband and dad. He wants to know you would still choose him all over again and has your unconditional love.