Accept Him As He Is
This is the first chapter that deals with relationship rules with men and along with the next 2 form the foundation for the rest of FW.
A man's most fundamental need in marriage is for his wife to accept him and not try to change him. What exactly is acceptance? Acceptance means you accept your husband as he is today with no changes. You realize that maybe he could and even should be better, but this is HIS responsibility. You realize he has weaknesses (as you do) and you allow him the right to his own ideas. Acceptance does not mean mere tolerance - just putting up with him. Nor do you deceive yourself into thinking he is perfect when he is not. You realize that he is part virtue and part fault. Some faults you may need to accept are in the areas of personal habits, how they spend their time, duties, social behavior, desires and dreams, manly qualities, financial areas, relationship with children, and their religious convictions.
How do you react to your husband's faults? Do you accept them and look to his better side or do you try to change him? If you do try to change him, why do you do it? There are really only two reasons why...for your own good, or for his! Do you reason that you would be happy and fulfilled if only your husband would change? Or do you think he would be more successful, happy and fulfilled if only he would get over his faults?
There are several reasons why trying to change him does not work.
1. It creates discord between you and he. You may have the best of intentions, but no matter how carefully you word your suggestions he does not react the way you suppose he should. He may react with enraged feelings, resentment, and resistence. He expects you to be a safe haven. If he realizes he doesn't measure up to your standards, it unhinges him.
2. It cools his feelings. Attempts to change him can dampen his feelings for you. Implications or open suggestions can cause him to reject you. In some cases love can be destroyed.
3. It can cause rebellion (digging in his heels). Pressuring him to change will likely cause him to resist even when he knows you are right and sees it himself. His esteem is more important to him than the change you are trying to make.
4. Lastly, it just flat doesn't work, so you might as well give up trying!
You can, however, help a man change. The first thing you must do is give him the freedom to be himself. He will be much more receptive to new ideas. The second thing you must do is look to his better side. (We all wish people would see the better side of us.) This will motivate him to become a better man. Lastly, live all of Fascinating Womanhood. When you apply the whole of the teachings miraculous things can happen.
At the heart of many attempts to change our husbands is the big fault of self-righteousness. When you have an attitude that you are better than he is, it makes you unhappy and dissatisfied. It causes you to be critical and judgmental. Another fault women have toward their husbands is a feeling of superiority. You need to realize that you have faults too, but that yours are different. The key to acceptance is humility.
There are a few times when you should try to change a man. (Please study these on your own in more detail.) These include when he is blind to his faults and when he is abusive to his children. (I'm not talking about masculine firmness or strictness.)
Acceptance is not easy, but it does reap tremendous rewards. It's worth every effort. Please take this week to work on this valuable foundation of FW - in fact, it is THE MOST FUNDAMENTAL PRINCIPLE OF FW AND YOU WILL NOT SUCCEED WITHOUT IT.
Rules For Acceptance
Get rid of self-righteous attitude.
Accept him as part virtue and part fault.
Give him the freedom to be himself.
Don't try to improve him.
Don't use other men (including your family) as shining examples.
Look to his better side.
Express acceptance in words.
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