~ By an Anonymous Contributor
When I was twenty-seven I married a thirty-four-year-old bachelor, a rough, tough naval officer and for the next twenty-seven years he remained rough and tough. I bent over backwards trying to change him into a tender, loving husband. Nothing worked!
All through his navel career he was spit and polish…and he looked like a million dollars. A few years ago, he retired from the navy, and he was also retired from the spit and polish. He would go for days without shaving. When we were invited to a dinner party he could care less what he put on—slightly soiled trousers, a wrinkled shirt—and I would be embarrassed to death. If I said, “Honey, why don’t you put on those dark blue slacks? They are clean”. The fight would be on. He would bristle, threaten not to go, and I would back down. We’d both go and be miserable. After a few years I changed tactics. I learned to give him that look with a significant sigh, but it didn’t change a thing.
Then a miracle happened. I took a course called Fascinating Womanhood. I was in traumatic shock over how wrong I had been in many of my attitudes and responses. During the second lecture the teacher spent two hours talking about the futility of trying to change a man, the wisdom of accepting him just as he is. And suddenly it hit me: My husband is an adult, a highly intelligent man, capable of making his own decisions…a naval officer for years! When I changed my attitude, the miracle happened! I finally realized I had been more concerned about what others would think than my husband’s happiness.
On my way home, I determined to never again offer suggestions about what he would wear…unless he asked, and not to let it bother me. You can’t imagine what a load has fallen off my shoulders since I stepped out of my role as my husband’s chief advisor. Now my man’s happiness and comfort are ten million more times more important than what the Jones’s say or think. It has changed our going out together from a time of tension and unhappiness to a time of real enjoyment.
Today he is a tender, loving husband. But he never changed when I tried to change him. When I stopped trying to change him and started working on me, he changed in response to the change in me.
Never in twenty-eight years had my husband given me an anniversary present, but on our twenty-ninth, we were in Mexico City. He woke me up at dawn and said, “You know, luv, we’ve gotten a brand-new marriage on our hands”, and he gave me a diamond wedding band. Don’t tell me Fascinating Womanhood doesn’t work!
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