When your spouse needs to change…

10408597_1440432702888487_4443177088136274807_nOver the course of our marriage my husband has changed a lot and all for the better! It’s to the point that other people have noticed and commented on it. I have have had several Individuals ask me how I was able to accomplish this and say that I need to keep up the good work. With these comments I wanted to reveal my secret of success to you!

The most important thing to know is I did not change my husband. All of the progress is my husbands doing! My husband wants to be a better person and is improving himself. It is really hard to change one’s habits and mindset and so credit needs to be due where credit is due. Please don’t tell me that I am doing a good job at changing him because it is not my doing. It saddens me greatly to hear that because instead my husband needs hear for himself that you have noticed his progression and that you are proud of him for all his hard work.

Now I understand why people congratulate me. Was I a lot of the motivation behind him wanting to be better? Yes. Am I his support system? Yes. I did have a lot to do with it but it’s like saying a paintbrush should get the credit for the beautiful painting. That’s completely forgetting the painter who did all of the hard work. Yes, I was an instrument in my husband becoming a more crafted masterpiece but that is all I was.

If you want to be and instrument in your spouses changing then that mindset is so vitally important. If a person thinks that they are going to change someone then they have already failed. I am writing this post because I want you to learn from my mistakes. I have tried improve him and it got me no where! I think that is one of the biggest misconceptions of being a wife, that we can change our spouse. I learned very quickly that when I tried to change my husband I only pushed him farther away and caused that behavior to be more sunken in.

What made a difference for me was reading this article on KSL “The real secret to a happy marriage” because being a Behavioral Science major with an emphasis in  Marriage and Family Studies I weirdly enjoy reading Coach Kim’s articles. This article has a lot of great advice but three things really stood out to me and have helped me be a tool in my husbands progression.

The first is that behavior is motivated by emotions, especially fear and pain. I may not have liked the way my husband got angry and handled a certain situation but instead of getting annoyed by it like I use to I try to understand the emotion behind it. Anger and sadness in lots of cases are a way to escape fear and pain.

When I see that what I said or did caused him pain my heart aches and I want to fix it. When I see that what I said or did cause him to get angry I get defensive which only causes a situation to spiral out of control. So, I now let his anger cool off and discover what emotion was the root of the anger which allows the situation to get truly fixed instead of becoming an argument. Over time this it has allowed him to feel more comfortable not hiding his fear and pain with anger because he can trust me with it.

Next, was that I can not change my husband but I can change myself. I can not hold my husband to such a high expectation when I don’t even hold myself to that! If I want a exceptional husband then I need to be an exceptional wife. By working to better myself I stop focusing on my husbands faults and am able to change myself. My husband has to put up with such an imperfect wife so it’s okay that he is imperfect too. I also have a greater understanding of how hard it is to change behavior and habits so I’m much more sympathetic of his slip ups and so much prouder of his accomplishments.

The third and most important thing is to love your spouse today. I can’t wait for him to change to love him. That is ridiculous because no one is perfect in this life! I have to focus on why I love him today with his imperfections. Though that’s not all, I need him to feel and understand everyday that I love him, support him, and will always be there for him no matter what. Couch Kim explained it best when she wrote, “Remember, love is always the answer. No amount of nagging, talking, pointing things out, begging for changes, or threatening will ever change a situation the way love can.” Love must come first. I know it can be hard especially when frustration and exhaustion are so prevalent but it’s the only way you can be a tool in your spouses progression.

I just want to say how much I love my husband! I am so proud of all the improvements he has made in his life and all the challenges he has overcome. I am truly honored that he allowed me to be his help through it all and only hope that I can keep up with him. Change is a very difficult thing but very possible with hard work, time, and love. I just hope I can continue to be as patient with husband as he is with me because he is my reason to be a better better person and wife.

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