Sunday, July 22, 2012

15 Things {Day Four}

Trying to change my spouse (even in very small, inconsequential areas)
will only result in frustration and bitterness.

We've all heard two things about marriage:
1. Don't expect to change your spouse.
2. The things that you like most about each other when dating may be the things that ultimately annoy you the most once you are married.

If you're married, you will likely agree with at least one of these.

When I met Greg, he had to be the pickiest eater I knew.  This post isn't intended to reflect negatively upon him, so just take it for what it's worth.  If you know him, you already knew this.  :-)

The only veggies he would eat cooked: corn (if that counts), potatoes, and more corn.  The only fruit he would eat: grapes, oranges, maybe watermelon, and maybe an apple - if it was the right kind.  He wouldn't touch anything made with mayo, onions, tomatoes.  No salads.  No casseroles.  No pies.  Of course, broccoli, cauliflower, cooked carrots, green beans, peas, etc. were all out.  He would eat most meat if it didn't contain a bunch of "foreign" items, such as seasonings.  No lasagna, spaghetti, get the picture.  It was bad.  Without a doubt, this was the most annoying thing to me.  Even before we were married.  It was awkward to go places (especially to family gatherings on my side-where onions are the key ingredient of any entree', and after we were married it was magnified. 

At times, this subject became a major source of contention.  I would get angry if he would look at a bite of food more than two seconds...I was just sure he was inspecting everything for hidden substances.  He couldn't understand why it was such a big deal.  He argued that I should be happy that he was easy to please.  After all, when you only have like ten ingredients to choose from, how complicated can dinner be?

After realizing that my getting annoyed wasn't going to suddenly turn my husband into a vegan, I backed off.  And our kids became old enough to sit at the table and know what they were eating.  "Why do I have to eat it?  Dad's not."  All of the sudden, Greg would reach for what Ryan was whining about and pop it into his own mouth, grimacing all the way.  "See, dad's eating it, " he would say.  And so the transformation began.  But it wasn't my whining that made the difference, it was his own realization of his example.

Fast forward 15 years, and I might be able to name 10 things that Greg won't eat.  In fact, just the other day he came home from work with a big bag of tomatoes.  "I stopped at Suter's and got these.  I've already eaten two of them."  Whaaaaat?  I'm not so sure about I have to share my tomatoes!

That night at dinner, Greg cut up another large tomato and put it in an extra bowl beside his plate.  Evan said, "Dad, you don't like those things, you're just eating them because they're good for you."
Greg replied, "Believe me Evan, if I didn't like 'em, I wouldn't eat 'em!"  And that's the truth.  :-)

Trying to change our spouse is not a good plan.  Loving them as they are and allowing them room to grow and develop (with prayer and hopefulness) yields far better results. 

I'm off to water my tomato plants...

A wedding anniversary is the celebration of love,
trust, partnership,tolerance and tenacity. 
The order varies for any given year. 
~Paul Sweeney


  1. I love this! Adam was just saying the same about me eating cucumbers now..."what? Those are for me!"

  2. Loved this post! I have learned in 11 years, the more I push the more he will resist. If I let him realize things on his own (and not act out "I told you so") the change is so sweet and sincere on his part!


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