“How come you don’t accept me for who I am? I never complain about your flaws!” my husband asked.
Honestly, we’ve had this conversation a million times. We’ve been together for almost 4 years and I have still yet to accept every part of him.
He’s anti-social, doesn’t communicate at times, stubborn and a loner. He doesn’t try hard to make friends. His reason being the more you try, the less likely you’ll actually achieve making friends.
After our millionth fight – or rather, it seems like it— I presented him with the idea of therapy. He didn’t think it would be effective.
He says, “we’ve been married a few months and you’re already considering seeking help?” I mean, we’re not having marital issues. It’s on my end.
And, so, that’s why I turned to “Radical Acceptance: The Secret to Happy, Lasting Love”” by Andrea Miller.
Again, he’s always accepted me for who I am, but I just can’t reciprocate and that’s a huge issue.
Andrea’s book focuses on accepting and loving his flaws unconditionally.
When Andrea spoke to one of her friends, who told her to “just love him (Sanjay),” it blew my mind.
“Upon deciding to ‘just love him’ I was finally, really making a commitment to him and to our relationship. During these challenging phases, I would think about how I could extricate myself from our relationship without falling apart.” (2)
So, I figured why can’t I do the same? I’ve thought of plan B if our relationship didn’t work out. It’s horrible to say, but true. I know we’d both be devastated, but we’d have to move on.
But, I didn’t want to throw in the towel that easily because to me, divorce is not an option.
After diving further in Andrea’s book, she taught me to fall in love with my husband all over again by “loving all of him, even the most unlovable parts.” “Radical acceptance is unconditional love—even when it feels unbearably difficult, when you feel deeply hurt or disappointed.” (15)
Later on, in another one of her chapters, she said, “if you can’t accept them, the problem is with you, not with them.” (74)
If I keep trying to change my husband’s ways, rather his tendencies, our marriage could crumble. The constant nagging, questioning and forcing him to do the stuff he’s not comfortable doing will destroy us.
I’ve looked him dead in the face and told him I was having doubts because of his unwillingness to get close to my family, his anti-social personality and not displaying his emotions.
The thing about my husband is he knows who is as a person. He knows his flaws and he accepts them. When I ask him if there’s a way to change them, work on them, he’ll often retort, “that’s like me asking you if would you be willing to change who you are.” The answer is no.
No, I can’t.
Radical acceptance taught me that if I constantly try to alter my husband’s personality traits, the issue boils down to me. This is something I need to work on as his wife.
“Remember changing someone else is an act of aggression.“ (116)
If he tried to alter who I am, I’d be devastated. Honestly, if he didn’t accept me – flaws and all – I probably wouldn’t want to be with him. How could you be with someone who constantly pokes and points out your flaws?
No one is perfect and I keep reminding myself that. Andrea executed this pointed in so many flawless ways and I sincerely believe I learned a thing or two about marriage while navigating through her book.
Andrea taught me how to finally accept my husband and really connect with him instead of focusing on his negative traits. You’re in for a real treat when you get a hold of Andrea Miller’s “Radical Acceptance” book because it will be disappoint!