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Accept Your Husband As He Is….

Accept your husband as he is, because you can’t change a man, and you picked your husband for a reason. The greatest need we all have is to be loved and accepted as they are. Imagine finding out the person you are most intimate with, trust the most, love the most, finds you flawed. They know you better than anyone, and they think there are just all these things wrong with you. Worse, they think about your flaws, think about how to fix them, and maybe even complain to others about them. Rather unsettling, no? So why do it to your husband? If you found that the intimacy in your marriage is gone, this is probably the reason. Who can get close to someone and be open and vulnerable with someone that looks at them as sees all the mistakes, errors, and flaws? It’s like trying to hold a thorny rose- better to enjoy it from afar and not bother to get too close.

You Can’t Change A Man

Well, sometimes you can, with lots of fighting and manipulation, but then you won’t respect him anymore, the change usually isn’t long term anyway, and most of the time things become worse. The worst thing a woman can do is marry a man she thinks is a diamond in the rough that she can polish into the shape she wants. If you don’t like a man as he is, don’t marry him. Do you want to marry a man who tries to make you lose weight, even though you may have been chubby when you first met him? How would you feel knowing he looks at you and thinks you are overweight, or have an annoying laugh, or, well, you get the picture. Do you want a woman to marry your sweet, kind, intelligent son and try to change him into someone else, for her own sake, without care about the man he really is and wants to be? To ignore all his wonderful qualities and only care about making him into someone that serves her needs, instead of appreciating the whole package and wanting him to have a full life in his own way too? If you don’t like a man as he is, leave him alone. Someone else will want him the way he is, and acceptance and appreciate for him as he is is a basic need of men.

Trying To Change A Man Pushes Him Away

This brings me to my next point. You picked your husband for a reason (though you may not know it) so why try to change him anyway? If you were shy, you might have picked a very outgoing man to help bring you out of your shell, and now you are jealous that he has lots of friends (always did) that he spends time with (always did), and you’re still a bit of a wall-flower who sits home watching tv. You picked him because you liked his social side, and then you try to change him into a stay at home, rarely spend time with friends, kind of guy. Women tend to pick men who have what they want, and later this shining quality is what they dislike most about them.

Why You Should Accept Your Husband As He Is

There is a funny saying by Albert Einstein “Men get married hoping she’ll never change, women getting married hoping he will. Inevitably, both are disappointed”. A bit unfair. After all, doesn’t time change a woman’s appearance, and children change her priorities? Marriage doesn’t change a man into what you want. In fact, it actually makes things that annoyed you while dating more prominent, because now you see it daily, and it’s part of your life. If you are dating someone you want to change, let him go. Let a woman who likes him just as he is find him. Find a man whom you can like and respect, and can accept just as he is, with no changes whatsoever. Trying to spiffy up a diamond in the rough will just rub him the wrong way, and there will be war in your home.

Pick Someone Who Loves You As You Are Too

You don’t want to marry someone who thinks he’ll harass you after you are married to lose 20 lbs or start baking (because then you’d be *perfect* to him). You want to be married to a man who loves you exactly as you are, even loves your flaws, knows they make you uniquely you, and happily lives with your quirks. We all have flaws, we just don’t think they are that bad because they are ours. Your husband has different flaws, but that doesn’t make them worse (they might be, if he takes drugs or gambles or something else serious, but I’m obviously talking about flaws that are not a moral issue).

Vive La Difference!

I’ll share a secret with you. My husband is a caveman. He is messy, he eats like a caveman, he can be loud, and he is friends with the whole world. I love order, I’m neat, quiet, and have less than ten very close female friends. I’m a private person, a homebody, and I don’t share my private self with most people. I loved how outgoing and friendly my husband was, but later came to resent how open and social he was when I wanted a more quiet lifestyle. Was this fair? Not at all. I wanted to be less reserved (a bit) so I was drawn to his fun side when he pursued me, so it wasn’t ok to try to change him later. Instead, my goal now is to become more like him, because after all, *this* is why I was attracted to this quality of his- I wanted it for myself. If I were a more outgoing, social (yet still private) person, I would not be jealous of his social skills, so in the end, all I can do is accept my husband as he is, because that is the man I fell in love with.

  • A great post, Penelope, and so true!

  • Nichol

    So true. Id on’t understand why you would want to change what you fell in love with. Now I’m about to print this post, and give it to my SIL 🙂

  • Shana Putnam

    I love this post because it is so true. I am loving your new blog life here just so you know. This is great and can’t wait to read more.

  • Julia

    I agree. I married the man he was, is and will be.

  • carol y

    Thanks for great advice. We have been married for 35 years and it is still as true now as ever.
    I really enjoyed this. I like to read articles that make you think and want to do better. Nice to be reminded.

  • Erica

    That’s very sweet, thank you for sharing. I’m afraid I’ve already had two husbands… I’m a divorcee and a widow. You have some good advice though 🙂

  • Thank you Penelope. I think sometimes that when we are frustrated with our own lives, we try to find our problems outside of ourselves (most likely in our boyfriends or spouses) rather than looking at our own part in what is upsetting our lives. Sometimes it’s not so much that they need to change, but that we need to have a better approach to the things that our bothering us. I was getting upset about how little time my boyfriend was spending with me (his work schedule during the week is crazy), and instead of nagging him to ask me out more, I planned a nice dinner, rented a movie he’d like, and told him to come over on a day I know he could leave work early. I could make him the problem (which he really wasn’t) or I could solve my own dilemma by creating the solution. I felt more loving, I avoided a potential fight, and I had a wonderful date night, which may become a weekly thing to look forward to.

  • Penelope

    This is awesome! He is lucky to have you, and you’re showing what an understanding wife you’d be.

  • Aww, thanks. Your posts are always a good reminder of what we as women, are capable of in terms of caring, nurture and compassion.

  • I loved this post. It is so true. We are in our third year of marriage and I see us doing this to each other on occasion. I’m going to work on this.

  • wonderful post, Penelope! a lot of people , esp in todays world rush into things & then when it gets hard, want a quick fix or rush out! I picked a strong loving man, and am proud to stand by him as he still stands by me after 37 years. Not always easy , but great things take work 🙂

  • You have written this so well Penelope. Seeing it from the your spouses’s perspective makes it clear why accepting him is very important. I want him to see me as a loving, accepting, kind and soft-hearted wife, not a naggy, never-happy, sharp-faced one.

  • Shop with Me Mama

    Very true, I love this post!!

  • GREAT POST!! Thanks I needed that!!

  • Annie @ Mama Dweeb

    This is a lovely post! I want to link to it, there are so many great insights. No, you can’t change a man, only yourself. I know who I married and love him just the way he is. I do hope he improves as a person but I love him where he is NOW. There was a time earlier in my marraige when I had all these hopes for who he would be – that isn’t such a bad thing to do. BUT the hoping became unhappines with who he was at the moment. There is a fine line and i crossed it. So glad I realized it before problems arose.

  • Penelope

    It’s ok to hope, but never tell him know, and keep those hopes realistic. It would rip us to shreds to know that our husbands had “hopes” for what we would be instead of what we are. It means he doesn’t love us as we are, which would hurt.

    Hope for things like roses for Valentine’s Day, rather than that he get into better shape or earn more. The prior won’t hurt him if he learns you hope for it, but if he feels like he isn’t attractive to you or that you feel he isn’t successful enough, it will hurt him. You can hope he makes more money in your mind. Sort of like hoping to win the lottery- nothing wrong with it— just don’t ever nag your husband to work longer hours or ask for a raise 🙂 So many reasons why- I’ll get into it in the future.

  • Penelope

    A wife who is loving, accepting, kind and soft-hearted is a gift in itself…men don’t care if a wife like this doesn’t cook well, never gets him gifts, and is always ten pounds overweight. If she makes him feel accepted and loved and is sweet, she will always be the greatest gift to him.

  • Penelope

    37 years! You can teach us all quite a bit 🙂 I hope you return and share insights, and congratulations on picking such a fine man.

  • Kirsten

    Good things to remember. My husband drives me crazy sometimes. And then I think about this…he NEVER mentions the weight I have gained since I met him. He doesn’t care if the house is messy…I am the one who obsesses over my weight or who gets upset if the house is not clean. He comes in at the end of the day and the look on his face shows he is happy to see me. I’ve learned not to hit him with all the bad things of my day…at least not right away. I open the door for him, we hug and kiss and for that moment nothing else matters. My favorite part of the day. Thanks for the great article.

  • Penelope

    Thank you for sharing that, you have such a sweet marriage!

  • Chicalors

    This is all very well when talking about everyday things like criticising partner’s faults like not cleaning up after himself but what about when you find out he’s been cheating on you with someone you know, who enters your house regularly. I’ve given my husband all the independence that he has given me. I have never abused that freedom but he has several times but doesn’t see it as abusing – it’s just another “different” kind of relationship from ours. What do I do – accept him as he is?

  • Penelope

    You accept someone for everyday minor mistakes (because we all make them)…I don’t think cheating is acceptable, ever. This is totally different, and his response to you about it being a “different kind relationship” is pretty ridiculous. There is only one person he should be having that kind of relationship with (you).

  • Olga

    Penelope, I like your blog very much. You’ve put so much your soul in it, and it is pleasant to be here 🙂