i didn't marry him to change him

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When my husband proposed, I said "Yes." There was no hesitation, and I never doubted my decision. I knew we would make each other happy. I knew we would be best friends, lovers, and each others support system. And later when chatting with a friend, she said, "Do you think he'll change after marriage? Do you hope he'll get better?"

After much thought about the subject I realized something. I didn't marry him to change HIM, I married him to change ME.

I married him because often times he challenged every view I'd ever had, and changed my perspective. I married him because he encourages me to be more than I used to be, yet loves me just as I am right now. I married him because he helps me be my best self, and I want to be better when I'm with him. I didn't marry him because I thought I could change him. I married him because I wanted my marriage to strengthen me as an individual. I wanted it to make me more compassionate, more understanding, and more caring.

Growing up, I loved to date what you could call, "charity cases." I found boys who were a little rough around the edges, and used my feminine ways to encourage them to change for the better. I dated these boys because I considered myself better than them. And it was damaging. For their lives and my own.

I was disappointed that when I left them alone they would fall back into old habits of pornography. I'd see them posting curse words on Facebook and Instagram. I'd find out they were in juvy for drug use. I'd find out they were running away from a foster home that loved and protected them. I dated them all. I assumed that I could change them, I could be the difference. And that background, and many failed attempts of changing them made me realize that I couldn't change them. They would have to do that themselves.

We weren't designed to change others, inspire others? Sure. Encourage one another? You bet. But if you get married expecting to change your husband, you might be disappointed to find that the person who changes the most in your eyes is YOU.

And that's why I married my husband. Because his life, his personality, his characteristics and his love changed ME. And if you ask him, he'll tell you he married me for the same reason.

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Lauren Skousen said...

Oh, this is such a hard lesson to learn! I, too, dated charity cases and it NEVER worked out. In the end, they'd feel insecure and beat up on and I'd feel frustrated and discouraged. And you're right, when you find your perfect match, it's like you feel like you're being changed for the better and they feel that way too. I daily know that Chris makes me better and he tells me the same thing. It makes us work.

Casey Hammer said...

I love reading your blog. I wouldn't consider myself as a person who dated charity cases, but I feel like I was always trying to mold them into the people I wanted them to be. The best part about finding someone you love, is loving them no matter what. When you find someone who makes you think a different way you are bettering yourself. You are working on yourself. What better gift can we receive from the men in our life, than the gift of becoming a better person just because we are around them?

The Rachael Way said...

Brooklyn, this pierces my soul. I have always dated the "charity cases" because I feel like I need to fix those. I feel like some that are broken need me to step in and fix them. BUT I CAN'T. ONLY CHRIST CAN FIX THE BROKEN. It's time for me to date a man who doesn't NEED to be changed.
You are wise beyond your years, and I love you!

Charlene Maugeri said...

I love this and it is so true. I didn't marry my husband to change him. I fell in love with him after all, not who I thought he could be after i changed him. Yet sometimes I catch myself wishing he would be more like me or someone else. Or wishing he would do something differently. No! I should love and appreciate him for who he is!

Rebecca Pace said...

I love this post. Seriously what a healthy relationship! It makes me happy that you both feel like you married someone who helps you to be you best self. I want to be just like this!!!