It would probably be a good thing to repost my disclaimer at this point. Here it is:
This post is a disclaimer.
I started this blog so that I could put out to you things that have helped me along the way. I do not necessarily agree with everything in every article that is written but if I post them I feel there are enough valuable points that bear listening to.
I think it is important to clarify that if you have a husband who has an abuse problem (alcohol, gambling, pornography, drugs or physical abuse) then these principles do not necessarily apply and may even cause some harm. So you need to decide, or get a good holy priest to help you decide, whether you need professional help.
BUT…if you are married to a regular wonderful man who is part virtue, part fault….be they annoying, in-your-face type faults, then the principles laid out in these articles can apply to you.
I also realize that it is not all the wife’s job to “fix” things. But when it comes right down to it, we can only change ourselves.
That is what this website focuses on….changing ourselves. And God will bless our efforts.
Acceptance, to me, is the key to any good relationship. And it can become very difficult. When you live so close to someone and see all their faults, when you are going through tough times yourself or just plain stressed out, it is so easy to pick on the other person’s faults.
Let us work on accepting our husband unconditionally, as we would want him to do for us.
“God grant me the grace to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Amen.
From FW Index:
A man’s most fundamental need in marriage is for his wife to accept him and not try to change him.
What exactly is acceptance?
Acceptance means you accept your husband as he is today with no changes. You realize that maybe he could and even should be better, but this is HIS responsibility.
You realize he has weaknesses (as you do) and you allow him the right to his own ideas.
Acceptance does not mean mere tolerance – just putting up with him. Nor do you deceive yourself into thinking he is perfect when he is not. You realize that he is part virtue and part fault.
Some faults you may need to accept are in the areas of personal habits, how they spend their time, duties, social behavior, desires and dreams, manly qualities, financial areas, relationship with children, and their religious convictions.
How do you react to your husband’s faults?
Do you accept them and look to his better side or do you try to change him?
If you do try to change him, why do you do it?
There are really only two reasons why…for your own good, or for his!
Do you reason that you would be happy and fulfilled if only your husband would change? Or do you think he would be more successful, happy and fulfilled if only he would get over his faults?
There are several reasons why trying to change him does not work.
1. It creates discord between you and he. You may have the best of intentions, but no matter how carefully you word your suggestions he does not react the way you suppose he should.
He may react with enraged feelings, resentment, and resistance. He expects you to be a safe haven. If he realizes he doesn’t measure up to your standards, it unhinges him.
2. It cools his feelings. Attempts to change him can dampen his feelings for you. Implications or open suggestions can cause him to reject you In some cases love can be destroyed.
3. It can cause rebellion (digging in his heels). Pressuring him to change will likely cause him to resist even when he knows you are right and sees it himself. His esteem is more important to him than the change you are trying to make.
4. Lastly, it just flat doesn’t work, so you might as well give up trying!
You can, however, help a man change.
The first thing you must do is give him the freedom to be himself. He will be much more receptive to new ideas.
The second thing you must do is look to his better side. (We all wish people would see the better side of us.) This will motivate him to become a better man.
At the heart of many attempts to change our husbands is the big fault of self-righteousness.
When you have an attitude that you are better than he is, it makes you unhappy and dissatisfied. It causes you to be critical and judgmental.
Another fault women have toward their husbands is a feeling of superiority. You need to realize that you have faults too, but that yours are different.
The key to acceptance is humility.
Acceptance is not easy, but it does reap tremendous rewards.
It’s worth every effort.
Rules For Acceptance
Get rid of self-righteous attitude.
Accept him as part virtue and part fault.
Give him the freedom to be himself.
Don’t try to improve him.
Don’t use other men (including your family) as shining examples.
Look to his better side.
Express acceptance in words.
The Catholic Mother’s Traditional Advent Journal:
K. B. said:
Wonderful reminder. Thank you!
And I would add, Do random acts of kindness for your husband; show affection with little deeds of love; rather than resenting him for the things he doesn’t do, acknowledge the wonderful things he does do: like provide for the family. Too often wives are resentful because the husbands love language is different than the wives. Put aside those resentments and those little ideas of affection you think to do, but then don’t, because you resent him for not doing them for you: do them anyway. It will mean so much to him (though he may not show it initially) and he will respond in his own way either immediately or in time.
Wonderful! Thank you!
Thank you very much for all the reminders! 🙂
If I might nitpick and intrude for a moment, I would like to correct this small part:
A man’s most fundamental need in marriage is respect. Acceptance is a major part of that, but respect comes first.
My husband and I have been married for 39 years…and love each other more today than we ever even thought possible. We are blessed with an amazing marriage relationship.
This post is spot on. I learned all of this after years of unhappiness in our marriage. The most important turning point for us, was the realization that we loved each other, but didn’t know HOW to be happy. We decided to give our marriage to God, and asked for His help. Through therapy and reading many books, through the power of the Holy Spirit, I learned exactly what you wrote about. My husband saw a change in me, and also started to see his own goodness, through seeing the love and acceptance in my eyes when I looked at him. Just as I see the goodness in myself through his eyes. Marriage is such a blessing:-)
Thank you for sharing Bernadette. 💕