He Challenges Me Because He Loves Me

He Challenges Me Because He Loves Me

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. 

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  1. Tiffany
    February 11, 2014 / 6:02 pm

    30 some years ago we met with our pastor for some pre-marriage counseling. We discussed many things but the thing that has stuck with me all these years “He might squeeze the toothpaste tube in the middle and you may like to roll it up from the bottom and at some point it may really bother either of you, but realize, you will not change each other but learn to accept each other” At the time I thought it was the strangest thing to say. He was right tho!! I rolled from the bottom, he sqeezed in the middle and it bothered me. I challenged him about it, and he still squeezed in the middle. As the years past, I realized that I was not really going to change him but I needed to accept him for who he was and he needed to do the same for me. “Don’t sweat the little things, there are so many more things that are way more important in our relationships. I also realized that the things he challenged me on and I challenged him on, were less important than all the reasons I loved him. hard worker, great father, wonderful sense of humor (he always can make me laugh), loves what he does and most importantly – a loving and supportive husband.

  2. February 11, 2014 / 8:27 pm

    What a great article, Jenny! I so agree…I also like your wording of using “challenging” vs. “nagging”. I’ve been told at times (some more than others!) that I nag a lot. I like the dishes IN the dishwasher, not left out on the stove or table…yet almost 7 years into marriage, and only minor improvements to these ‘challenges’ that I set forth to Jay. Marriage isn’t easy! It’s always a work in progress.
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    • February 13, 2014 / 5:48 pm

      Amen! It IS a work in progress! I know some people say “people never change” and that may be true. People don’t change. It takes a WANT to change and it comes from within, not from the nagging or challenging of the other person. 😉

  3. February 14, 2014 / 4:01 pm

    I totally needed to read this today. My husband has been driving me a little nuts lately and this morning he was on point with his sassy comebacks. I’m not going to lie, I was ready to give him a swift kick to the knee cap. After I read this, I was reminded that he enjoys “getting my goat” because he loves me and that he would not act that way if he didn’t love me. 🙂
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    • February 14, 2014 / 6:17 pm

      LOL! I TOTALLY know the feeling! My hubby LOVES to give me hell about things and sometimes I take the bait and get fired up! But seriously, something would be wrong if he didn’t give me hell every now and then 😉