The question is "What do I need to change about myself?"
When you first married your spouse, you thought they were perfect - or at least close. But it didn't take much longer than the honeymoon period to become keenly aware that they definitely aren't perfect... bummer. They have their silly quirks (and sometimes bad habits) that absolutely drive you nuts! They sometimes fail to recognize your contributions. They may not be sensitive enough, thoughtful enough, or observant enough.
All of these things may leave you screaming inside, "Why can't you change?!" "You're not the person I married!" or "Why should I have to deal with this?" Although the natural tendency to nit-pick your spouse's flaws is compelling, it will do little, if nothing to improve you marriage.
The question is not "How can I change my spouse?" but rather "How can I change myself?"
From time to time, there may be a thing or two (or three or four) that you and your spouse don't see eye-to-eye on. Perhaps it's an issue with finances, how to discipline children, or chores around the house. If you're going through a rough patch, rather than bemoan your spouse and focus on the changes they need to make (and falsely thinking that will inevitably fix everything), consider what you can do.
Decide today to look inward and determine the changes you can make to improve your marriage. Remember, you can't change your spouse, but you can change yourself. As you make a conscious effort to practice many of the changes you'd like your spouse to make, you'll be surprised to see them take notice. Before you know it, they may just begin to follow your lead!
If you're frustrated that your husband isn't romantic or thoughtful enough, then try doing a little extra something for him (also, check out this article). Don't just do it once so you can say you've tried, but do it regularly and often. Be patient, he'll catch on. Is your wife driving you bonkers with her need to have everything organized, categorized, and color-coded? If so, then do something to compliment her on her talents, or put your shirt back in the closet in the right color category. Your wife will appreciate your efforts to change, to give-in a little; and she may even ease up on her OCD tendencies.
Even if your spouse doesn't make significant changes, you can rest assured that your efforts to change and improve have nurtured your marriage. Marriage isn't easy, and it was never meant to be. It forces you to look beyond yourself, to stretch and to grow. Like any meaningful and worthwhile pursuit, it requires your very best effort and a lot of hard work - and it leads to the most rewarding, fulfilling, and meaningful successes. Ask any happily married couple of more than a few years, and they'll tell you that marriage is the hardest and most rewarding thing they've ever done.
Finally, there may be certain unfortunate situations where a spouse has done everything they possibly can to change and to improve, yet the magnitude of the problems within their marriage are just too great. Our heart aches for those who struggle in relationships where abuse in any of its forms is present. If that happens to be you, this article is not intended to suggest that you alone can fix everything - that the weight of an incredibly heavy burden is yours alone to bear. That's simply not the case. There is help available out there in the form of trusted friends and trained professionals. There may be cases where the only alternative is to end the marriage.
If this applies to you, know that you are one of those incredibly strong individuals that we all admire and respect! Your efforts are not unnoticed and the strength of your incredible character is evidence of your commitment and fortitude. We applaud you!
Your marriage is the most worthwhile endeavor you will ever pursue. While it will take your very best, it will be worth every effort! No marriage is perfect, but by keeping this one question in mind, you can transform your marriage into the marriage you always hoped for.
"You come to love not by finding the perfect person, but by seeing an imperfect person perfectly."
You Know You Want to Read
Everybody Loves These