My thoughts: 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.
At times, when I am frustrated, I have picked up the book Fascinating Womanhood and read the chapter on Acceptance. I feel an immediate relief because I know I do not have to control him. I just have to accept him.
Isn’t that how Jesus loves us? Do we have to hide all our faults from Him before He will love us? No, He loves us….ALL of us….kit and kaboodle!
Blessed Mother, please help us to accept our husbands just as they are. Help us to know, really know, that the only one that we can change is ourselves.
“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 Fascinating Womanhood:
- 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?
- 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.
- Lastly, live all of Fascinating Womanhood.
- When you apply the whole of the teachings miraculous things can happen.
- 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.
- There are a few times when you should try to change a man. (Please study these on your own in more detail.)
- These include when he is blind to his faults and when he is abusive to his children. (I’m not talking about masculine firmness or strictness.)
- Acceptance is not easy, but it does reap tremendous rewards.
- It’s worth every effort.
- Please take this month to work on this valuable foundation of FW – in fact, it is THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF FW AND YOU WILL NOT SUCCEED WITHOUT IT.
- 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.
TESTIMONIAL-Happy again in San Diego
- As you all know, my dh is with the army in XXXXX at the moment.
- He now has access to hotmail on the internet, so I wrote him a long message all about how I appreciate him and admire him etc. along with my own version of the icebreaker speech in the assignments at the end of Chapter 3 “Accept Him” in FW.
- He phoned me on Tuesday night for an hour, even though he is only allowed 5 minutes once a week, but he phoned really late at night when the phone wasn’t being “policed”.
- He kept saying how much he loved my email and how much he loved me, then today I got an email from him saying the same and how proud he was of me for working so hard and doing so well at looking after him.
- I was so touched. Even when I started doing FW, I never had the courage to actually apologize for how I’d treated him in the past etc, like the icebreaker says, but it was so easy to write it down and especially because he’s so far away, he really appreciated it.
- For those of you that also have trouble doing this, I’ve included a copy of part of the email I sent him for some ideas.
- Somehow the version in FW always seemed so stiff and fake to me and I wouldn’t have felt comfortable wording it like that!
- (part of email to dh overseas:) “I’m so happy that I married such a wonderful, understanding, courageous, handsome, strong, loving man. (yes, you!)
- I think I haven’t understood you in the past and I’ve made so many mistakes, but I’m so glad that you haven’t let me push you around and let me change you, but have stuck to what you believe.
- I love you, admire you and respect you just the way you are and it was wrong of me to try and change you when you’re already wonderful and more than I’ll ever deserve.
- Sorry for being so awful to you lately, I didn’t realize how much I hurt you.
- What I realize most though is how much I love you and always will, I never again want to do anything that would make you so upset with me.
- I trust you implicitly that you will make the right decisions for us and our future family.”