I saw Disney’s new move, “Frozen,” with my girls over Thanksgiving weekend. Loved it. I also cried like a baby at several points because the two sisters in the movie reminded me so much of my own two daughters. My own sister was at the movie with us, so add that to the emotional heap and I was a bit of a ridiculous mess.
There was also another scene that hit home for me. One of the sisters and her love interest are meeting the boy’s family, who sing a song about both the girl and the boy being “fixer-uppers.”
At the beginning of the song, the lyrics are all about the shortcomings and problems each character has. But then this verse comes in:
“We’re not saying you can change her, ‘cuz people don’t really change
We’re only saying that love’s a force that’s powerful and strange
People make bad choices if they’re mad, or scared, or stressed
Throw a little love their way and you’ll bring out their best
True love brings out their best!”
This verse stood out to me because I have sometimes been accused of trying to change my husband. The accuser will remain unnamed except to say that he may or may not share my last name and wedding anniversary.
I think it’s pretty common for women especially to try to change the habits they don’t like in their husbands or to get their husbands to change their way of thinking or acting.
I am totally guilty of this. Even without realizing what I’m doing, I am trying to make my husband someone more agreeable to me every time I critique the way he does something or disapprove of how he handles a situation. I know that only sends the message that he needs to be changed or fixed to be acceptable. That’s a horrible message to send to my husband — the one person who I should love and accept unconditionally.
My wise mother-in-law once told me that if your spouse had a certain trait before you got married, then you can’t complain about it after you get married.
I have to admit that’s hard to remember when the habits and quirks you thought were adorable when you were dating are now irksome after a decade. It’s much easier to critique than to just fully accept someone for who they are. But I do know it’s true that you can’t change someone. You can pester them, remind them and eventually make them resent you, but you can’t change them. Either you love them for who they are or you don’t.
But I liked that this “Frozen” song hits on the idea that that the simple act of loving someone can sometimes help them become better versions of themselves. I know that’s true for me. My husband doesn’t try to change me, and I know I have a lot of flaws that he could target. Instead, he loves me and supports me—even in the things I know he thinks are nutty. Because of that, I have actually changed over the years in many ways that make me better. I never felt pushed or coerced or nagged. In fact, all I felt was love.
Do you think your spouse ever tries to change you or vice versa? Should husbands and wives try to change each other?