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Wednesday, June 6, 2012


She had been married for more than fifteen years. The couple had two precious children. On the surface of their marriage, they appeared to be happy, but she was frustrated in the relationship.

She had been trying for years to change her husband. Her attempts to change him went through a repeated cycle. She would read a book or magazine article about another marriage, then she tried to pattern her marriage after what she had read. 

She approached him with her new found ideas. He thought that she was rejecting him and emotionally withdrew. She became frustrated and angry with him, and she complained until he became angry. They lived with silence for a few days, as they pouted with each other. Finally, he apologized and they talked again. It was a continuous cycle.

Trying to change your mate is destined to fail. People change only when they really want to change. Such change must come from within the person, not from outside pressure.

Successful marriages are based upon love and respect. Men need the respect of their wives. Respect is a major masculine gender need. Wives need the unconditional love of their husbands. This is a major feminine gender need (Ephesians 5:33).

Using pressure to change your mate can easily be interpreted as personal rejection. It becomes a parent-child transaction. Most men don't want a wife who acts like a mother rather than a wife. This transaction in the relationship can ruin the romance.

Unconditional acceptance is an important need in a strong bond of marriage. Constant criticism sends the message of rejection and never brings change for good.

Wives may express their needs to their husbands. This avoids criticism and attacks which causes him to become defensive or withdraw. He can only respond to her needs as he understands them.

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