We all have expectations on what we want from our significant other in a marriage or relationship. We tell them what we want, how we want things to be, and what we expect them to do. And even though we know exactly who they are, we still want to them to make “small” changes to meet our expectations. Is it fair? Not necessarily, but some change is good. However, just maybe we need to take a step back and allow the person we chose to love to be who they are because they are loving us just as we are.
You see, my husband and I have been together 8 years, married 5 years next month, and it wasn’t until recently that I realized how much my attempt to make “small” changes in him was not helping our marriage. I would say things like, “How come you don’t do this?” or “I need to wash dishes this way,” or “Why do you like that?” or whatever. It was always something with me. I complained about everything he did because I thought he could do it “better” or really, my way, but I didn’t notice that he never questioned or tried to change me.
Over the past couple of years, I’ve battled with depression. I mean I’ve been on a serious emotional roller coaster, and I really can’t pinpoint one specific reason because there are several. I’ve hit a brick wall with life and it’s been tough trying to stay a float, especially because I can’t swim. My job has been in the process of closing for the past year and that’s exhausting; being a mother of three children, who all want your attention is draining; trying to manage personal relationships with family and friends has been challenging; and trying to figure out me throughout all of this while being a wife to my husband has been absolutely overwhelming.
I’ve gone through so many emotions that I can’t even keep up. I can cry at the drop of the hat; I’m always irritable and frustrated about something; and most times, I don’t even know why. But thank God for my husband. He has loved me through it all, even when he doesn’t understand why. He never judges me or make me feel silly for being in my feelings. He comforts me, supports me, and pushes me to stand strong regardless of what I’m going through. I love this man so much because he has never tried to change me. As cloudy as my vision has been lately, I see this man so clearly. Without even trying, he helped me to realize my own flaws while I’ve been too busy trying to point out his.
So let’s talk. Do you also have the habit of trying to make “small” changes in your significant other? Have they tried to change you? Has those changes made the relationship better?
Listen, change is good and necessary, but who are we to make that decision on behalf of anyone else? It’s healthy and completely normal to address your opinions or concerns when changes need to be made in the relationship, but to impose yourself onto your partner so much to force them to be someone different is not fair. So remember, just like you, your partner also knew who you were when they decided to commit themselves to you and through the good and bad they love you anyway.
In a special tribute to my husband, I leave you with this poem. . .
I’m always angry & complaining, but you love me anyway
Unloading my emotional baggage right into your lap,
but as my husband, you take it and help me to unpack it.
Even when I know you’re frustrated, I continue to nag you
with the same issues over and over again, but you still love me
through it all. You never give up on me, especially when
I find it difficult to love myself. You never let me accept defeat,
and when I feel beaten down & broken, you make me whole.
You make me feel beautiful, even though I’m nowhere near perfect
Lifting me up when I’m at my lowest. There is no doubt that
this life of mine would be more difficult without you,
but God knew you were the perfect man for me.