I found this quote via this article by Matt Walsh on the Huffington Post the other day. I sat at my desk, partially laughing and partially in tears because this concept really spoke to my heart.
“Your worst is your worst. Fix it. Be better. Nobody should have to put up with it. Least of all the people you love.
Love is a transformative force, and if you want to experience it you better be ready to change in every way imaginable. My wife does not “accept me,” and thank God for that. She challenges me. She makes me better. In other words, she loves me.”
The days preceding me finding this article, I will admit, I hadn’t been the best wife. My husband and I had been going through what I like to call a knocking of heads. He had been challenging me and I had been challenging him on a variety of topics. It happens in relationships there are times you are bound to knock heads with your spouse.
So when this happens… how do we deal with it? Well, we can deal with it one of two ways. We can put on our boxing gloves, hold our position, fight, and end up worse than where we started… Or we can open our hearts and give our spouses criticisms some serious consideration.
There is literally NO denying the fact that Mark challenges me on a DAILY basis. He knows how to push my buttons. Some days I can take it. I take it into consideration and make mental notes to deal with said issue. However, some days, I just can’t take it. I either lash out with anger or if I am nearing that hormonal time of the month, I cry and feel bad for myself like the victim.
I guess what I am failing to recognize, when I choose to lash out, is that my husband isn’t challenging me simply to complain or to hurt my feelings or even make me angry… Okay, maybe just a little bit. He likes to get me fired up. 😉 But in reality, the fact that he challenges me is a GOOD THING. He challenges me because he loves me.
It sounds so counterintuitive but it’s really the truth. It may be challenging me on something as simple as little habits that I have like leaving clothes around or hoarding glasses on my nightstand. Or maybe it’s the fact that I like to literally throw my boots off right at the door. The list could go on of things that he challenges me on.
But the bottom line is that, it isn’t up to him to accept that in me. It’s up to me to make a conscious effort to try and change those things. By changing those little things, I become a better version of myself. I become better. I don’t take the easy way out. I don’t insist that my husband just accept that is who I am. I fix it myself. And honestly, me taking the initiative to fix or strengthen the things I struggle with is a win-win for both of us.
So, let’s say, we take one of the examples from above…. by picking up after myself a little better, it makes our house less messy and makes less work for me when I clean. And my husband no longer has to challenge me every time he finds a piece of my clothing somewhere besides the laundry basket or our bedroom.
Sure these are very small examples. There very well may be big issues in your marriage or relationship that your spouse challenges you on. Or they may be small. But even overcoming small challenges in your relationship result in big successes. Relationships are by no means static, they are ever-changing. The steps we take today to better our relationships can only lead to more fruitful and intimate relationships in the future.
I hope the next time your spouse challenges you, you take a moment, breathe, and think about this. Choose to do some self-reflection rather than forcing your spouse to “deal with it”. Because after all, he challenges me BECAUSE he loves me.