There are times in our marriages that we want our men to change. I'm not just talking about little habits or things we prefer. When it comes to most of those things I don't think we should try to change our men, but instead learn to love them with their differences. However, I do believe there are some things that our men may be doing that we can expect him to change. Things that are effecting our marriage and/or family. Things such as: the way they show us love, anger issues or if there are addictions.

It is my opinion, in some of those circumstances it is acceptable to ask your man to change and aid him to become the man that God intended him to be. I know that it can be a hard balance in loving and respecting your man unconditionally as he is struggling to make changes in his life. My husband Ryan and I are going through a period right now where he is now aware his choices effect more than just himself. However, he has been use to making these same types of choices for all of his adult life. We are talking 12+ years. I have been learning to balance understanding his situation, yet standing firm in the boundaries we've set. But what do we do as wives when our husband is saying he's changing, yet we don't see it or he is not making attempts to change?

I propose there are three very important things we must do if we can't get our men to change:

1. Have a serious conversation

I am talking about sitting down with no distractions. Having a clear idea of what you want to express, ask and intentions you plan to set. Discuss the tough topics. In most cases conversations have already been had so this is the time to make sure everything is out on the table. Things like: how you are feeling, how you think his behaviors are effecting you, the marriage and your family and actions you would like to see happen. Maybe even setting some boundaries or ultimatums.

2. Focus on the positive things

Some things we have control over and other things we don't. Ultimately we can't control our men, their desire to change or the choices they make. However, we can choose to control what we focus our attention on, where we put our energy, and the thoughts we entertain. When a negative thought comes into our head about our husband we should acknowledge it and dismiss it. Replace those thoughts with uplifting thoughts. Focusing on the negative will only make us bitter and sabotage any chance of making things better. In the beginning it may be tiny little things like he smiled at me this morning or he picked up his own clothes. Keeping our minds full of positive things will make a huge difference in the process. For your guy and for yourself!

3. Pray, Pray, Pray

Again we can't control what our husband does. And honestly we don't even know what the greater plans are for our man. We can not even fathom what God has in store for him. We are to pray that He reveals things to our men as He sees fit. We are to pray that His will be done, that He is honored through the whole process. That He aids our guy in his daily choices. We are to pray to seek wisdom in how to handle the situation ourselves. To put people in our paths that can mentor us. We are to connect with Him daily to share our thoughts, questions, frustrations and fears.

Although we can not make our men change, we can do these three things. These things ultimately do not make our men change, but instead focused on our needs. These three actions help us wives to care for ourselves in the best way possible as things are hard. They ensure we are focused on actions we can control ourselves.

Editor's note: This article was originally published on True Agape. It has been republished here with permission.

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