“One of the most important things,” she said, “is that when we got married, he was already good enough. I accepted him for who he was on that day. If he never changed a thing or got better in any sort of way, that was okay with me.”
As I listened to these words in Panera Bread that day, I can still smell the hazelnut coffee and remember fixing my mind on finding that in whoever I was going to marry. I was in my mid-twenties and was in the wrong relationship at the time, which was the very reason I sought out this advice time from an older married woman that had the kind of marriage I wanted to have.
Have you ever heard the saying, “don’t try to change him”? Well, ladies, I believe it’s really true. Now, no man is going to be perfect. I know I’m certainly not perfect, so why should I expect him to be, right? But, you do need to be able to accept the one you are with for who they are, right then and there. Not who you want them to be or who you hope they will become.
In fact, it is typically this acceptance that does inspire all of us to be able to grow and change. For those of you who are Christians, you may be familiar with the passage, “God’s kindness leads you to repentance.” God accepts us and loves us just how we are, which is often what helps us to grow and change, because we feel secure in his love for us, it inspires us to be our best.
Here’s an example of the flip side of how my husband has accepted me with something more recently and how it’s helped me. Right now I am 30-ish pounds heavier than I’ve ever been in my life because I just had our daughter 5 months ago and I gained more than the recommended amount of weight when I was pregnant. Barely any of my beloved Anthropologie and Banana Republic clothes in my closet fit right now – I miss wearing all my cute stuff! I don’t look like myself in pictures. It’s hard. I’m really struggling with it. And I’m really struggling with being able to lose the weight. The other day, out of no where, Angel just mentioned something about how beautiful I am. My heart melted. After I thanked him, I explained that I need to hear that now more than ever because it inspires me to lose the weight. If he were to have the attitude (which he doesn’t, thank God!) of not accepting me and not thinking I’m beautiful as I am right now, I really think I would just feel so defeated it would make me want to just give up. But, his love and acceptance of me just as I am inspires me to be at my best for him and it’s of course the same way with our men!
So, in summary, you will do well in your marriage, my friend, to bear with his faults, be patient with him when things come up that you wish were different and give him all the respect and love that he deserves, no matter what. You should each accept each other for you who are that day on the altar. That if not a single thing changes in who they are, that’s okay and good enough for you.
Before I met my husband, I had dated the wrong people for me and got to a place where I felt like I don’t even know what I want anymore in a man. All I knew was that when I got to the altar I wanted us to both feel like we were winning. And God gave me that, wahoo!
Side note: When I talk about acceptance, I am speaking of basic, general things that you can live with and tolerate. If there is any form of abuse (emotional and/or physical) going on, anything that puts you in danger, or, God forbid, cheating, please do not accept that. Seek help to understand where the line needs to be drawn if needed.
P.S. Did you enjoy this post? Maybe you will enjoy last week’s Monday Marriage Tip, Write Love Letters, which you can read HERE!
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