Don’t Change the Guy

Way too many women are dating guys thinking they can change or morph them into the man they want him to be. It would be far better to just find a guy that is more of what you want. If he’s a frog, you aren’t going to turn him into prince charming. You need to move on. I don’t know what it is in the female psyche that makes women think that the bum will be different when they are married.

If you don’t like the fact that he isn’t a devoted follower of Jesus, or that he smokes or is a slob, or whatever—you fill in the blank—but think by some “magical cosmic force” he’ll be different once you are married, you are fooling yourself. Women will say they want a solid Christian man, someone with a good job and a wonderful mother but date a guy who stays in bed and watches TV rather than going to church, can’t hold a steady job and whose mother is a banshee. Then they think these things will go away, won’t matter or that they can change him. These ladies are in for a ton of misery.

First, make sure your expectations are realistic. If your list includes a guy who looks like a Greek god, is a millionaire, loves cats, has June Cleaver for a mother, sings like Pavarotti and has the entire bible memorized in 3 translations, you probably won’t find him! Be realistic and then decide which ones are deal breakers. Maybe it’s the future in-laws, or health issues, or values like the depth and commitment of their faith. You have to decide what you can and can’t live with—or live without! But don’t kid yourself into thinking that those things that bug you and those things you don’t like will not matter down the matrimonial road. They will matter and you’ll end up wondering if the road took a detour through hell.

I frequently have women talk to me and tell me all the things wrong with the cretin they are married to. When I ask them if he did those things before they were married, the answer is almost always — yes! Come on, think it through! If you didn’t like these things before, then what made you think it would be different after the “I dos” were said? It’s that inexplicable (and ridiculous) notion in the brain of a woman that says, “But I can change him!” Guys don’t think that way. In fact, most men don’t want the woman they fall in love with to change one bit after marriage! They are perfectly content to have their brides stay just as they are!

You can’t make a man into the one you want him to be or the idealized version you wish he would be. You need find the one that most closely fits your mold…and he still won’t be perfect! There will always be things in marriage that make men and women crazy. Again, make sure your expectations are realistic. If the dude doesn’t make the grade, don’t assume that you can do “extreme husband makeover” on him. You’ll just bring a lot of grief to yourself and the poor fellow you are trying to remodel.

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48 Responses to “Don’t Change the Guy”

  1. Colleen Christopher says:

    I went for the partier & all I got was pain. Be careful. In Al-anon,
    the slogan is “kiss the frog, & put him back in your pocket”, stay
    detached, if you get involved, know the skills how to get out, when
    necessary. Save yourself. Yes, it sounds foolish but true. I think
    men should be just as afraid of us. We make them drink. Just kidding!
    I’m the one who knows who she is now without a man.

  2. Carrie says:

    This notion honestly came as somewhat of a relief to me shortly before getting married to my husband. I realized that it’s not my responsibility to change the things that could be better about him. I can encourage him, but I don’t have to SEE TO IT that he changes. He’s a great man, but he’s a hu-man too. So, as you said, he’s not perfect. But he sure is good. And the things that aren’t so great- He knows what they are. When I constantly remind (a.k.a nag) him, he just gets discouraged. Thanks for the insight!

  3. Sharon Magalona says:

    in fairness to the women who rant with good reason, some men do not even try to adapt to the responsibility of being a husband and father. some women are misled. it’s common knowledge that most men bring their best foot forward during the dating period but once you’re living under the same roof, married or not, mr. hyde comes out.

    i’m with a man who has a different set of friends and interests from mine. he smokes, i don’t. he thinks dust and cobwebs in the house are perfectly normal, i don’t. i usually rant about the things i don’t like about him but it doesn’t mean i’m miserable. our love doesn’t waver. it would be great if he changes, if not, let me rant so i can de-stress and be able to live through the day. :)

    • cyn-cyn says:

      I have to speak in defense of the man, though I am a woman. You said that men bring their best foot forward to the dating period…well we woman do too, don’t you think so? Don’t we try to look our best when we go out on the first date, smell beautiful,etc…,Not only do men do this-human beings do this.
      I would think from having listened to a mans point of view(quite often)I mean men teaching on Men, the ranting that he just puts up with doensn’t mean he’s okay with it, some men just dont say anything about their wife’s rantings, but it doesnt mean that he wishes that she would not stop it and it doesn’t mean that he loves her any less, perhaps he knows that to ask for the ranting to stop, would only bring about more of the same. Take care

    • Kelly Forest says:

      Hi Sharon, you ended your reply with, “it would be great if he changes, if not, let me rant so i can de-stress and be able to live through the day.” It sounds like you’re saying nothing is going to change and ranting is how you’ve learned to live with it. I felt the same way for sixteen years, until two years ago. I recently heard my husband tell a group of people how I am his perfect gift from God; he just didn’t realize it for a long time. Neither one of us is perfect, but he treats me like he believes it. My point is, don’t give up hope. It is remarkable that leaving your husband isn’t an option for you and I congratulate you for being on the right road!

      Since you’re sticking it out you may already be practicing this, but for anyone who’s thought about it be very careful NOT to entertain the idea of separation. Don’t vent to unhappily married or divorced women. We tend to be most like the people we spend our time with and take advice from. Surround yourself with women who have the kind of marriage you want and realize it might mean you need to make some changes in you. Change takes time and if you have Jesus you can trust he will resurrect, renew or restore your marriage. Just like Lazarus was dead in the tomb four days and was powerless to come to life on his own, we are powerless to resurrect our marriages without Jesus. God’s guide book/love letter for His creation works for those who put their faith in Him. God commands us to honor and respect our husband because it’s not something that comes naturally for us. Our husbands need respect like they need air, and they will die inside without it. I am not the same woman he married (THANK YOU JESUS) but my husband doesn’t hold it against me. In our humanness our greatest sin is pride and if God can be merciful to us in all our worldly view and heavenly ignorance, who are we to point a finger at our husband?

      Laugh Your Way to a Better Marriage is an awesome, non-threatening male-friendly environment for men to be validated and give them permission to be men. You can learn to appreciate that God made your husband the way he is and he is not better or worse than you, even if he doesn’t participate in the series or seminar. He will see a change in you and be encouraged to follow suit. I’ve heard we are the thermostat in our home, but that is an understatement!

      If it’s God’s will that you’re the only one to learn and grow in Christ your days will be filled with joy in spite of your husband’s behavior.

      God Bless you and protect you.

  4. Robert says:

    Rant and destress? Sounds like the “ranting and grumbling” of Israel in the wilderness, they could not enter into HIS rest. I lived in a 16 year marraige with a nagging wife (now divorced). After, she regreted it and said she would have done it differently. I find that I respond to people with in-kind acts of love, serving the other regardless of what it cost us and not expecting a reward. It seems to be the same within a marraige. We get what we will invest in it.

  5. Sarah Wasson says:

    I agree that guys don’t think that women will magically change once that they are married, or that their love will transform their lousy significant others. I have worked in the domestic abuse field and have seen the literal damage that this thinking can do to women. What I DO see from guys is a real difficulty recognizing that their wives or girlfriends are not really the fantasy person they think they are. And this is despite all evidence to the contrary. I repeatedly see women explain who they are as people and what motivates them, and their guys nod their heads and say “uh-huh!”. Then, when the woman turns out to be exactly who they say they are, they are shocked. Shocked! And they don’t know how to deal with it. Ladies, love is not magic and you can’t “make” someone be someone else. Guys, take us at our word when we tell you who we are, see us for who we are, and try to recognize that your fantasy may not reflect reality.

  6. Kathryn Troll says:

    It took me about 10 years to realize that my husband & I are so different! In the beginning, I figured if he would only fix what was wrong with him, I would be ok. NOT! (nagging, etc. did not change him) He did push my buttons (long established prior to our marriage) but God showed me that those buttons needed to be pushed for me to want to change. My expectations are so much more realistic now! (20 years married)

  7. Marilyn Lentz says:

    Debi Pearl deals with this beautifully, as well as Biblically, in her book, “Created to Be His Help Meet.” I highly recommend it to all women who are married or planning someday to be married. God has some wonderful promises to wives about how to cooperate with His work in our husbands, but nagging, criticizing or lecturing is not in our job description! I’ve read many, many books and other marriage resources over the past 35 years, but this one is unique, and has helped countless wives be the woman their husband needs.

  8. Oni says:

    Ok….so I understand what you’re saying Mr. Gungor and quite frankly agree. I do have concerns though.

    I’m dating a young man who I saw things that I did not like and refused to live with “deal breakers”…and broke up with him.

    I made a list of Things I’m Comfortable With and Things I’m Not Comfortable With. We had a few talks and I showed him these lists. That whole conversation was an eye opener for both of us as we were able to be COMPLETELY HONEST and CLEAR to each other.

    Now the thing is, he has been radical in changing the “deal breakers” because he wants to marry me.

    It’s been about 21/2 months since I’ve seen the changes and it seems real. He proposed, but I have not given an answer. Also, he has admitted that he is still not quite ready and is not interested in pushing a wedding date this year (2010)as long as we do get married in the future.

    Are these changes real, or just a temporary effort to get the girl?

    • Bill says:

      You’ll only know if these changes are permanent if you say, “No” and 1 – 10 years later he still keeps up the change. Don’t rush it – he is just wanting to “get the girl”.
      Character takes time to develop.
      Change can happen often – both ways – better and worse!
      If he hasn’t already developed consistent character how could you truly expect him to change that quickly?
      We can all change for a couple of months but habits that develop character grow over a lifetime.
      Practise produces habits – Habits produce character – Character produces destiny.
      Go with your instinct and deal breakers. The best is still yet to come into your life.

    • Veronica says:

      If your sweetheart proposed but is telling you that he is still not ready to get married and is not interested in a wedding date this year, then he should not be proposing. It seems that he wants to know that you are committed for the long haul. That’s fine, but don’t put each other in a situation with an engagement ring that only makes it more hurtful should you decide this is not the direction you should or want to move. If you love each other, give yourselves time. Just enjoy bieng with one another as a couple. If the changes you have seen in him are genuine, they will still be there a year or two from now. I know from experience that making changes for someone else’s benefit NEVER works…or sticks. I suggest that until you have a definite answer from God that you simply continue what you are doing now. My father always told me to “never make decisions just for the sake of making a decision”. It is so worth the wait. Be patient. If this man is not who you are meant to marry, God will show you who that person is when the time is right. You may want to love him and may even want to marry him, but in the long run, there is so much pain that can come from not having a definite stamp of approval from God. In the mean time, just enjoy being loved by God. Let Him fill that need in your heart to belong to someone. Ultimately, Oni, no matter how much you love someone, you will face times in a marriage when you want out of it. If you do not know that you know that you know that your marriage was ordained by God, what is going to be your drive to stick it out and weather the storms that you face in that marriage? If you know you are with the person God created you to be with, then you know it won’t get better than God’s best for you and you have a motivation to soldier through the difficulties…no matter what they are. Seriously, you can forgive anything when you know that the person to whom you are married is God’s very best for you. I know this from experience. There is no logical reason why my husband and I are still married, except that we knew God intended us to be together. We have weathered things together that people on the outside looking in thought we were crazy to forgive each other for. That’s how amazing God is. He helps you forgive the unforgivable. That is just so much easier to do when you have the assurance that you are married to the man God intends you to be married to. It is very difficult, but you can do it! Don’t sell yourself short. If you love him and still want to pursue a relationship with your boyfriend, tell him that, but also tell him you are just as fervently pursuing God’s will for both of your lives even if that means one day you are not together….and then do just that. You will be so glad you did it! Good luck and God bless you both!

    • Patty says:

      If a person changes for you, then they will revert back to their comfort zone. If they change because they want to for themselves, then they will probably stay there. I say probably because we are all creatures of habit. If we have developed a characteristic over many years, even if we want to change it, we may eventually give up and return to who we used to be. I believe the ability to change ourselves and evolve into a better human being is a hallmark of good character.

      Good luck with this. Follow your heart but be aware.

    • Juanita says:

      Give it PLENTY of time to figure it out. Don’t rush into anything. Most people who are dating keep up their best behavior for 3 to 4 months. Then they get tired of trying to be perfect, and that is just human nature. It does not mean you or the other person is bad, it’s just you have to allow that phase to pass in the relationship before you can really know the true personality and who you are really dealing with. GIVE IT TIME. Try not to let it be like the scientist looking at the specimen under the microscope, but ask lots of questions, meet his family/friends, make good observations, and genuinely get to know him. Then if this is not the person you want to spend the rest of your life with, you found out before making that commitment.

  9. Becky says:

    When I met my husband, he was a heavy smoker. He knew that I was totally against smoking and had never been around people who smoked growing up. After numerous discussions, he agreed he loved me enough to quit smoking. All went well until we were coming home from our honeymoon when I guess the tensions of being married became too much or he figured now he had me, and he went into a gas station after filling up and bought cigarettes and lit up. I cried. Of course, I forgave him but he continued to smoke up until his dieing day. Maybe I had asked too much of him, I don’t know.

  10. Erin Killebrew says:

    I am definately a woman who knows too well what you’re saying. We girls tend to put on those “rosy colored glasses” and pick out the good in a guy. Even when no one else see’s it. Those little bad things (so they seem) are us being “too nit picky” and we tell ourselves that we should stop and see the good. So we love the guy for one or two good qualities cuz geez how many good one’s do we have? Our own doubts about who we are dominate. If we didn’t look beyond the first glance we would never love a guy and reproduce so God made us this way to look for the good.
    Erin , in Upland,Ca.

  11. Brooke Simpson says:

    I married a man 5 years younger than me and a partier. When we started dating he got the realization that if he wanted to be with me he had to give that life up and had to decide if the Chritian path was right for him . I laid it out for him very clearly. I dont want a non Christian man who parties. I am a divorced woman and I knew what I didnt want. I thank the Lord because my husband is the most wonderful man and is growing all the time in his Faith. He told me recently that he had always wanted to marry a Christian woman but he knew the way he lived would not have that happen. So sometimes very rarley the man can change. However, I believe if I hadnt been ready to walk away he would have had less incentive, and if he hadnt been ready to give it up on own. He also had grown up with some knowledge of God and said he knew he wasnt living right. So i say pray pray and pray somemore to ask the Lord to make things clear for you.

  12. Rhonda says:

    I once dated a guy who smoked. I didn’t ask him to quit, but I did tell him he couldn’t do it around me, because I was allergic to it. He promised me he wouldn’t smoke around me. He said he would go outside, or if we were riding in a car, he would stop & stand outside the car & smoke-I said OK. That lasted about 2 or 3 months. I was perfectly willing to let him keep smoking & he didn’t have the decency to keep his promise. I still lived at home, so I didn’t have to worry about smoke in the house (thankfully), but he kept trying to smoke in the car even after I reminded him of my allergy to cigarette smoke. I’m not a demanding person, but I had be on this issue-it fell on deaf ears-he refused to stop smoking in MY car. We broke up soon after-although that wasn’t the main reason, that was the main bonus of breaking up w/him-no more cigarette smoke & no more disregarding of my feelings. If they say they’ll do something 4 u, DONT buy it. They’re just saying that to hook u. Move on to someone who won’t disregard your feelings or your health. I didn’t even ask or expect him to change his smoking, just asked him not to do it around me-not to brag, but I felt that I was being generous, or at least reasonable. I don’t know what his deal was, but thank the Lord he’s not my problem anymore. HE brought me someone much better.

  13. Ruth says:

    I do not think this applies just to us women. I am married to a man who married me thinking he could change me into this picture perfect person. I dont think this has anything to do with gender. There are both women and men out there who marry thinking they can change the other person.

  14. Married 24 yrs says:

    If God can change a persons habits & character then that means a person can change-male and female. I have seen many changes in my husband due to his walk with Christ, however, if “I” ask him to do anything differently (I used to be an at home mom & between the kids & me we took care of all the house cleaning)like helping with cleaning the house, I hear many excuses for why he can’t do that & that he doesn’t want things any differently. He may not like that God wants him to change but if he wants to continue his relationship with God he will change for Him. I feel it’s petty to pray that God will change my husband to do things he doesn’t want to do run a house, even though I am now working fulltime & doing all the cleaning, bills, shopping, cooking, taxes, etc., but I can pray that God will change his character as scriptures says to love & care for me as he loves his body, and to cherish and nourish me all my days. The trouble is that he says he does these things and that I don’t appreciate how he shows it. I know what love, nourish and cherish look like to me but he isn’t willing to demonstrate them in a way that feels loving to me; he wants to do it his way. For example I feel loved when he asks if there is “anything” (sacrificial) that he can help me with, but he won’t ask. What he will do is grade the road or fix a flat tire on my car & expect that I will feel loved by those actions. While I greatly appreciate those things he does, that is not the love I feel when I’m asked if there is anything he can help me with. I guess we are both really stubborn. Who would have guessed that we have been married for 24 years?

  15. Lela Metzger says:

    First off…kudos to all the crazy men and women who decide to get married! It takes a lot. From a physics point of view think of it as two masses moving in unique directions. Depending on the direction, speed, acceleration etc, these two masses either collide and keep moving in a new direction or they stop dead or one has a higher force than the other which pushes that one along until another force pulls it away.

    Ok dorkdom aside, I never thought I would meet the man of my dreams. He just didn’t exist. No man would be patient enough for me, open-minded enough for me, charming enough to keep my attention, and most importantly would trust me and simply love me for who I was. I’ve gone through many relationships where it was pretty much one-sided. I got somewhat crazy about one and that was a childish mistake. The others were simply weird and some to the point of obsessive. Then looking at other people’s relationships with all the fighting and disappointments and going “what happened to these people?”. It was pointless. Completely and utterly pointless. So why do I bother saying anything?

    God has a funny sense of humor. About a year and almost 3 months ago this dude came into my life after several really difficult relationships. I wasn’t looking for him. I knew I needed my me time for God to tell me what was wrong with my life and what I needed to do about it. It wasn’t anything crazy like the frog turning into a prince, he just took forever to say goodbye to me after bowling with his friends. Halloween came and we finally hit it off after saying for weeks I would be a girl robot if he would be a boy one. Sure enough, in the 5-hour period before his party I show up in duct tape and silver body paint and there is a giant box robot with dryer hoses for arms showing up at the door.

    Flash forward almost 15 months and we’re still together. There are many things I would love to change about him, but I also know he has to be the one to change them and he has got to want to change them. We all feel bad about doing things like smoking, drinking, staying up late, or over-eating, or simply neglecting something important. Relationships take two people, and God’s blessing. I’m a better person for being with this guy and I know he’s not perfect but I know he loves me and he loves God. And he gets the same restlessness I do when I know something is wrong. Is it going to work out? God only knows…and God I hope so. He makes me want to be a better person but still loves me just as I am. And I love him just as he is…I just worry about him sometimes and for now he heeds my worry.

    So yeah…God’s looking out for us all. =)

    Good luck you crazy kids!

  16. Deanie says:

    This is a question for Mark Gungor – I have been married for 20 years. I knew that my husband was kind of a workaholic person who expects too much from those around him. He is like this because of his parents. I am very laid back and need down time much more than he does. I work full-time, have kids, and we have a full-time farm as well. I help w/the farm occasionally, but I rarely have time to help. Our married/go-out and have fun-life is non-existent. Yep, I knew all these things beforehand. It’s taken me 20 years to learn that he won’t change, and that I won’t/can’t either (as far as trying to do more to help him do more. I am not even motivated to change little things anymore because I have become resentful and tired. I am accepting him better sometimes, lately, BUT, I am seeing that not getting enough down time with him is probably one of my ‘deal-breakers’ and I don’t know how much longer I can hold our family together by staying with him, even though I do love the man very much still. (I have explained this to him many times and many ways) Although he works to help us get ahead, it feels like his work is his mistress, and I need a boyfriend! Help!


  17. Robert A. Dittel says:

    WE ARE SUPPOSED TO BE ONE FLESH: I am a Physiological Training Specialist and teach health. My wife knew this when I met her. I have helped her get rid of her Asthma and her aches from her Palsy. She has seen me help people with Diabetes, Migraines, Gout, Depression, Fibromyalgia, Arthritis, etc. After we were married she went back to her old ways and complained about her health. When I try to remind her of what to do she complains that is all I ever talk about. I am a devoted Christian and I know my job is to take care of my wife as I would take care of my own body and love her as Christ loves the Church. I happen to care for her better than myself. I believe this form of love speaks loudly but it does not seem to speak that to her. She is admittedly very stubborn and will listen to the advice of others instead of my advice regarding Health, Finances, Business, Love, Relationships, etc. She admits she does not trust men. I feel like I am the enemy. I thought we were one flesh. I thought we are supposed to cleave to each other and others are supposed to be outside our circle.
    She, her Mom and her sister all believe it is normal to keep credit cards maxed out and her sister has an allowance of $20k – $30k per month. They suck my wife into this covetous mindset and she buys things using credit cards I paid off. She changed the billing address from our home to her Mom’s so I would not see the bills. She said a lot of women do this so their husbands will not get angry. I have given her all the love she never received from her first marriage since her ex was into porn and nylons but that does not seem to make a difference. I feel I am failing no matter what I try. I do know that my experience as a Supervisor in the Air Force and as a Postal Manager has taught me that people do not respect you if you are soft. They only seen to respect real authority as they do with the Police or an angry person as Christ displayed in the Temple because of possible ramifications or consequences. My wife claims she has no respect for men but when I threaten to end our marriage she quickly becomes the ideal wife for the time being. Any suggestions are welcome.

    • Jack Schroeder says:

      Sounds like your ” Putting your foot down ” has no real teeth or follow up.New Life Ministries has some very good programs and a great book called ” Boundries in Marriage ” I recommend it highly, I’ve been married for 31 years. You understand the oneness idea and seem to be seeking it. ( You are in love with the idea of oneness ) She sounds like she is playing you for a Fool. Honesty can take a lot of major pain to get to. She is living a double life, God will need to ” Break some dishes in your Marriage. Good Luck and God Bless. You are in for a rough ride , but God causes All things to work for your good, even very ugly sinful stuff

    • Deanie says:

      I am just playing devil’s advocate, and do not know what your wife is like or what her needs are. I know my husband’s love language is/are acts of service, and he acts very diligent and stern most of the time. My love language is words of encouragement. When I hear stern and hard (as opposed to soft and vulnerable, encouraging) – it causes me to lose respect for my husband. When he is loud, and doesn’t try to calm down and understand, and speak to me gently, it shows me that he does not respect my feelings, and I lose respect for him and also sometimes think he doesn’t love me, even though he is a great provider. You have to find out what she needs most. I’m not sure why she hides things. I know I have done it because I know my husband will not be calm, even over small things. I have in the past spent money on things because I was lacking the attention that I needed from my husband. I thought it would help, but it only made things worse. I believe you have to ‘speak the truth in love’ yes, but not just speak the truth as hard as you can. If someone is gentle, polite, and understanding w/my faults, I will usually go out of my way to please them – even if they are not threatening to leave me.


    • Tru Verdad says:

      The problem isn’t your wife. The problem seems to be you. You see yourself as this almighty being who only sees the faults in others. In doing so, you push others out of your life as they seek to escape your negativity and oppressiveness. YOU are not God, and it is NOT your place to judge others.

      I’m sure if you look to your past, you’ll notice many have already cut you out of their lives.

      Your wife is not ill, she is normal, and as such, you cannot ‘cure’ her with one of your concoctions or your beliefs. When it comes down to it, it’s not your wife that needs to change, it’s YOU, if not, you’ll end up an un-loved, lonely old man.

  18. Deanie says:

    Is there anyone who can help with my original comments/questions, or should I simply sign up for the conference, and hope for the best for right now?


  19. Holly says:

    Is it unrealistic to feel like I want my boyfriend back. It seems like I have been more unhappy with my husband since we got married. I have been sad this weekend and been thinking I’d rather be a girlfriend than a wife. I loved it when we had fun together and I felt like he adored me. I don’t get presents, get taken out to eat. He never suggests spending time together- like a hike or skiing or a movie or even a vacation. If I didn’t plan anything we would watch TV everynight and never go on any holiday. I still want to have fun with my husband. Please put these feelings into perspective for me.

  20. Trevor Williams says:

    I once heard it put this succinctly. “A woman marries a man, thinking he will change, and he doesn’t. A man marries a woman thinking she will stay the same, and she doesn’t”. Go figure.

    • Susan says:

      You know I agree. I had all kinds of red flags before I married and ignored them and I am paying for it. It is a real struggle sometimes for me to keep going in this marriage. The great thing for me is I lean on God alot more than I ever did before in my life.
      I know he is disappointed too in me because I am not as fired up as I was sexually. Since I had my hysterectomy my body hasn’t been the same and I can’t quite get it through to him what my needs are to help that fire to come back. So I force myself to initiate excitment hoping it will spark some initative in him. I’m tired of being a robot.

  21. Ashley P says:

    I made a list of 100 things I wanted in my man when I was in high school. Everyone said I was crazy, that I’d never find anyone like that. They weren’t unrealistic expectations, just practical ones (Like a good work ethic, no criminal background, knows how to handle finances). There were a few optional things in there that I could like without; call them “preferences”.

    When God sent me my husband, I’d completely forgotten about the list by that point. Not long after we married, I was going through old papers trying to clear out things so we could start our new life together. I found my list, and as a joke, read off my “perfect guy” list. By the time I was finished, my husband had met 99 of my 100 requests. The only missed mark was that he didn’t have blue eyes. (I’m a real sucker for blue eyes.)

    Keep your standards high and reasonable, ladies! He’s out there!

  22. Bimbo Salami says:

    The union between a man and a woman calls for both practical and spiritual actions which are essentially a continuous process and ultimately end up as a lifetime event.
    The background differences that exist between two people who are going to spend the rest of their lives together through thick and thick are beyond descriptive words. These huge differences and the uncertainty of the future ahead in every sphere of life constitute largely into the properbality of successful unions.
    The fundamental pre-requisite for a “hopeful marriage” starts with the ability of each individual to allow The Lord to provide and confirm a person as a chosen rib before taking it further to the signing of dotted lines.
    This initial confirmation by The Lord will pave unfailing ways in whatever wilderness the future brings. Like everything else, success comes through quality decisions and illuminated knowledge by walking with the Lord. Couples are advised to attend marriage seminars together, surround themselves with joy filled married couples and still make time for those little but great fun that tickled their fancies at the prologue of their relationships and keep the flame, the fellowship and the friendship flying and gradually, they will realise that the baits of chaos and humdrum experience like self-centeredness, pride, mistrust, hypocrisy and lust will give way to more positive and endearing values.
    Here’s wishing everyone, including myself who has convenanted with The Lord to make their unions a showpiece to His Kingdom, heavens on earth experience in their marriages in Jesus, most glorious name regardless of whatever wants to militate against this concept of The Lord.

    • S. says:

      In paragraph 3 you state, “Couples are advised to attend marriage seminars together, surround themselves with joy filled married couples and still make time for those little but great fun that tickled their fancies at the prologue of their relationships and keep the flame, the fellowship and the friendship flying and gradually, they will realise that the baits of chaos and humdrum experience like self-centeredness, pride, mistrust, hypocrisy and lust will give way to more positive and endearing values.”
      I would like to comment, my husband won’t go to anymore marriage seminars or counciling, or marriage bible study,he says they don’t work especially when he gets mad at me and I say we need to go back to counseling.I try my best to follow what I have learned in communicating to him my feelings & hurts but it always gets turned around and I am the bad guy (the problem)in his eyes. I am so frustrated and feel all alone wanting so bad our marriage to grow in a positive way but I can’t do it all on my own. Thank the Lord I have Him when I think I can’t carry on in this marriage anylonger.

  23. b says:

    I agree very much, I have been married for 20+ years to the same guy and I’m here to say that yes, I thought some things would change. They may seem like little things, but later down the matrimonial road they are / can be boulders! Be realistic in choosing but ALWAYS choose a Godly Man (I Did).

  24. debbie says:

    Wondering what to do when Prince Charming turns into a frog. A “bull”frog. He’s getting older, retired cop, and PTSD has popped up in the last couple of years. (I’m a travel nurse who works in the cardiac cath lab and is only home on some weekends,the rest of the time I’m on emergency call for patients with heart attacks). Work life is stressful, then home life is stressful. I try talking to him about home and personal problems that have been getting worse, but he either blows it all off, and insists I’m yelling, being mean, and trying to make him mad. We are both active Christians, but don’t seem to be doing well when under stress.

  25. Evie says:

    It took me a while to figure out that I fall in love with the POTENTIAL of a man. It’s a good trait to ‘see’ potential in a person, buy not to base your love life on!

  26. Kalena says:

    Dr. Dobson has some wise words for women. He states that a man can never fill all of our needs. We need to be responsible for our own lives. Once I read this I called my friend and asked her to meet me for lunch. My love-language is spending time together, so I had a nice long lunch with my friend, left feeling loved, and went home a happy person. I now take responsibility for this – I ask my husband to sit on the couch with me for a little while, meet friends, take my adult daughter out for lunch and am much happier now that I’m not waiting on my husband to fulfill this need. We’re on a budget now and I made sandwiches to take to the park. Use your imagination!
    Before this we were on the crazy cycle. His love language is physical touch and affection. I wouldn’t give him sex because I wasn’t feeling loved. and why would he spend time with me when he wasn’t feeling loved?

    For the women whose husbands aren’t helping around the house – a lot of life is about compromise – hire a cleaner, use paper plates for meals, let the house get a little dirty. Women need to take better care of themselves – no one else is going to do it. and if that means the trash doesn’t get taken out because you need to get more sleep, so be it. (sorry, that’s my soap box issue)

    • Bubbles says:

      Should you also not want to change him if he curses and throw anger tantrums, which he didn’t do before we were married? He is a Christian and has losts of good characteristics. I’m from peace country so I don’t like confrontation, so I just grin and bear it and pray that the Lord will change him. I normally just walk away, but it’s difficult when you are in a car together. I have spoken to him once or twice about it, but I don’t want to nagg. So I just keep quiet, but I’m quite fed up with this.

      • Kalena says:

        Bubbles, it sounds like some boundries are in order here. If you can, listen to the radio program “New Life Ministries” (I listen on the web). It’s the guys who wrote the “Boundries” books. After hearing a few of their programs I learned about boundries and how to apply them appropriately.
        You are in my prayers, Kalena

  27. Debbie says:

    But this still doesn’t give ideas on how to live if you are already married to him, especially if he has changed after marriage: PTSD, depression, plain hardheadedness that wasn’t apparent before marriage.

  28. Liz says:

    My husband (of now 11 years) became a Christian while we were dating but has since renounced his faith. I found your article very interesting but am battling with this issue because I feel like I’ve been duped. Not only does he criticise my faith, he is verbally abusive and seems to want to live like he’s still 18, despite the fact that we have 2 children. I’m frustrated because I thought he would change and grow up – he’s frustrated because he thinks I’m the one who’s changed.
    Where on earth do we go from here?

  29. Doreen Mapstone says:

    I have heard it said that most women think of 3 things on their wedding day: 1. The aisle 2. The alter 3. The hymm Or I’ll alter him! It does not work. If you can’t live with it before, it will drive you crazy after.

  30. Linda says:

    I both agree & disagree…hahaha…I agree that it is true whatever someone is when you get to know them then that is what they will be when you marry them….now for the disagree…it is not only or even mostly females thinking this about men…I know this from personal experience & from experiences from others (men & women)who have told me of this problem…I was married once for 10yrs & am currently single for 25+yrs; considered engagement twice & was engaged once…the one common factor from all 3 is they told me they thought I’d change and/or thought they’d change me…hahaha…I am a retired bartender(free therapist…hahaha) therefore have heard many many many stories from both men & women…my opinion is it’s a problem equally with men & women…just my experience with people and at 54 I have a lot of experience with people in a lot of venues…just my opinion :]

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