When we were dating, there were qualities about Carol that I loved, that attracted me to her. After marriage, we saw each other all the time and the things that I thought was cute, was beginning to annoy me. What do you do in that situation? The obvious choice…change her of course. Right?! She obviously needed to change, and if I just told her EVERYTIME she did it, she would get the point. So was I right? Did I go about that the right way?
I shared the same exact feelings about Marcus. While dating, I absolutely adored his humor and that he loved attention. I thought it was the cutest thing ever and he was always making me laugh, not just when it was just us, but out in public. Unfortunately, my feelings begin to change after the walk down the aisle. What I saw as funny and cute while dating, I began to see it as super annoying and wondered if he needed attention from everyone when we went out because of his joking around. Sadly, it got to the point where he noticed that I was trying to change him and when he questioned me on it, it definitely pierced me. I was beginning to nag and complain about the awesome parts of his personality. I was challenged one day when, I believe, in a marriage class at our church in Charleston where one of the leaders shared about how she too tried to change her husband. It convicted me to the core. The more she tried to change him, the more difficult their relationship became and I could see that shift happening in our marriage. I apologized to Marcus for trying to change him. I realized that the very same qualities I adored during dating, I actually still loved but had cared too much about what others may think.
Trying to make Carol change was not how I should have handled that. I loved those things about her when we first met…so what gives now? It was no longer cure when I saw it everyday. More importantly, I had to be the husband that she needed and supported her. If I did things that she did not like, should I tell her to just get over it and deal with it? No, not at all!!! Instead, I began to support her to the point that Carol’s family and friends begin to see a difference in her. They would say, “oh no, Carol will not do this or that” or “You better get Carol this or else.” What they did not know is that Carol was a new creation in Christ Jesus. She had matured. As we focused on Christ, our relationship grew.
How did I help her? Simple. I love her. As her husband, I cover her. I shield her when there is an issue, especially with family on either side. I handled and handle it. So she began to fully trust me; to trust that I would protect her. So instead of changing her, I embraced those qualities that attracted me to her in the first place. The not so nice qualities…we got through together. I stopped trying to change her and instead sought how I could make my flower blossom. It is a continuous process, but I would not want to do it with any other woman. I thank God for Blessing me with an amazing wife.
Have you been trying to change people to make them fit your mold?