It had been a long time coming, no one dates for six years just to go your own separate ways in life.
I couldn't wait to be his wife. Our relationships had its ups and downs, we'd even broken up at one point. But we were in in for the long haul and I knew whatever can our way we'd face the challenge together.
Weeks before our second wedding anniversary I began to feel desperate. The bickering had turned into major fights. Less conversations sparked over dinnertime at when we finally crawled into bed at night, our backs were against one another.
I was angry, he was apathetic. I wanted him to care so I'd pick a fight. In response he dug his feet in and became increasingly stubborn. I wanted him to change but he didn't think it would matter, my list would just keep growing he said, there was no point in his mind.
"This isn't working" I said exasperatedly one night after many tears and angry words had been exchanged.
What I really meant was he wasn't changing.
Sure, I knew I had my own stuff to deal with. But he really needed to start making an effort I reasoned. He had to change or this marriage wasn't going to work.
Marriage can be an enthralling and maddening venture. You spend your life with a person that you love everything about and yet somehow they manage to drive you to the brink of insanity some days.
Of course you recognize your own shortcomings, you have your fair share of stuff to deal with. But their shortcomings and their stuff, it's got to be dealt with you think.
Those early years of our marriage, I was always picking up the magnifying glass and held it up to him.
Constantly I assessed his flaws and scrutinizing his imperfections.
The mentality of 'if he would ____ then I would ____ ' pervaded my thoughts.
We tried and tried. We would 'work on our marriage' which meant I just continually tried to change him.
Yet nothing ever seemed to change.
And so finally, desperate and miserable in my own marriage, I did the only thing I thought could possibly work if our marriage was going to make it
I stopped holding the magnifying glass up to him and held the mirror up to myself instead.
Instead of being consumed by and involved in what he is or isn't doing that would make our marriage better, I've put my head down to do my own work.
And that act, holding up the mirror to myself instead of the magnifying glass to him, real change began to happen in our marriage.
I destroyed my negative ways of approaching him and developed kinder patterns of interaction.
I stopped nagging him to death and instead, spent those words and energy thanking him and being appreciative of all that he does for me.
The change happen when I stopped scrutinizing him and started assessing myself.
It's humbling and hard work. It's often counterintuitive and countercultural.
But the best way to change your man is to start by holding the mirror up to yourself.