Today I want to share a first-person piece on RedTri.com by Kate Chapman. After a long marriage where Chapman repeatedly tried to change her husband, he put his foot down.
“I’m tired of changing to try to please you. I am tired of not being enough. You knew who I was when you married me. It was good enough then, it should be good enough now. I’m not changing.”
I blinked and swallowed, trying to buy myself a minute before responding.
We’d all be better off asking ourselves whether we can 100% accept our partners before we tie the knot, instead of thinking that he’s your work in progress and that he will change to your liking over time.
We’d had this argument a thousand times, me shouting for something new, chasing change and him quietly saying no. It was the central source of tension in our relationship. Usually, I overruled him, talked him into submission. This was a bit of a stunner — to say no to working on us was a powerful statement.”
It was then she realized, for the first time, they were not meant to be married. To her credit, through therapy, she learned their deteriorating relationship wasn’t all his fault. It was that they wanted different things out of life.
In her words, “The partnership I envisioned was not the one he wanted. I didn’t have to explain myself differently — he understood me. He simply disagreed.”
In a perfect world, these are the kind of discussions that take place before marriage and before children. It is not a perfect world. I think we’d all be better off asking ourselves whether we can 100% accept our partners before we tie the knot, instead of thinking that he’s your work in progress and that he will change to your liking over time.
The last thing you want to do is become his consultant instead of his wife.
Concludes a humble and self-aware Chapman, “The idea that I alone knew what was best for us, never incorporating his viewpoint or acknowledging his dissent was commonplace rather than noteworthy. I’d become Billy’s manager rather than his partner. His steadfast refusal to change or visit a counselor belied the years of built up anger. My controlling behaviors and his resulting resentment were threads woven as consistently through our story together as our memories of travel and our little ones, love and laughter.”
It’s a foundational principle in Love U. You can’t have a relationship with a man dependent upon him changing on your behalf. If you can’t accept and appreciate him as he is right now, let him go and find a man you can accept and appreciate. The last thing you want to do is become his consultant instead of his wife.
Have you ever had a relationship with a man that was dependent on him changing for you? How did he feel about that? How did that work out in the end? Your thoughts below, are greatly appreciated.