Lately, I have been a bit nostalgic, thinking of my husband and how our relationship has evolved over the years.
We were high school sweethearts, and married at an age society deems young, just twenty-two years old. Yet, I wouldn’t trade our marriage for anything, because we literally grew up together.
I’m not going to sugar coat it, the early days of marriage were tough. I had to intimately learn the habits and mannerisms of another human being, and then live with them! Well, that wasn’t exactly easy. I tried everything in my power to change the things I felt were wrong with him.
Eventually, I came to the realization that I needed to stop trying to change him, and instead focus on becoming his perfect partner.
SHOW YOUR EXPECTATIONS
Early on, I was constantly telling my husband how I thought things should be, pointing out all of his shortcomings. I figured that if I kept nagging him, surely he would change, right? Wrong!
This just pushed him further away and created distance between us, so I decided to change my tact. Instead, I decided to show my husband through my actions what my expectations were.
For example, my husband and I were raised in Christian homes. The difference being that I was a pastor’s daughter, who was usually one of the first through the door on a Sunday, and his family had a bit of a more lax approach to church attendance. This was super frustrating for me when we first got married.
My expectation was that my husband would immediately be this strong spiritual leader for our family, because isn’t that what the Bible says he should be?
After some reflection and prayer, I realized that I needed to stop telling him all these things, and rather show him with my actions. Basically, I decided to treat my husband with grace and mercy.
I changed my own personal habits and attitudes towards my husband, while showing him with my actions how important a strong relationship with God was to me. I was kinder with my words, more loving in my behaviors and made it a point to have my husband see me daily in prayer.
Amazingly, his attitude slowly began to change. He began taking a greater interest in Church and found his place in the ministry. His attitude also changed at home. He slowly began to become the man I hoped he would be, all because I changed my perspective.
FOCUS ON MAKING CHANGES IN YOURSELF
Oftentimes, we become so focused on changing others, that we forget to look within ourselves. What changes do we need to focus on personally? How can we become the perfect partner for our husband? What are his needs and how can we fulfill them?
We were made to be a compliment to our husband – the perfect partner.
When we focus on changes we need to make, our husbands will notice the difference. When they see our effort to please them, they are more likely to do the same. Treat your husband in the same manner that you want him to treat you. Focus on you and trust God to make the necessary changes in him.
MAINTAIN A POSITIVE OUTLOOK
If somebody is constantly negative and berating, aren’t you more likely to return the favor? But, if somebody is positive, kind and loving, won’t you reciprocate those behaviors? Believe it or not, it is true when they say, “monkey see, monkey do”. Always strive to be positive and loving towards your husband.
Whatever struggles you are facing in your marriage, the best thing you can do is stop trying to change him and instead make changes in you. I promise the rest will come. We are imperfect human beings, struggling to live “perfect” lives. Instead, be gracious and humble, never forgetting to count your blessings and the promise of tomorrow.