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Dear husband,

I don’t know why it has taken me this long to put words to paper and compose this letter to you. Was it ignorance? Or, was it pride? You’d say the latter, but I know it was the former.

If truth be told, I can only claim partial ignorance. I knew for a long time what I was doing but I thought it was acceptable, harmless, no big deal.

It was something all wives did after marriage—I wasn’t the only one. 

I didn’t need to feel guilty about it. In fact, I felt justified in my actions.

I was tweaking you, fixing your kinks, smoothing your bumps and lumps out. Like a potter with a lump of clay on the wheel before me, I was shaping you, molding you, and improving you.

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I wanted to make you a better version of you. But what I was really doing was making you another version of me.

I convinced myself I was doing you a favor. Rather, I truly believed I was doing you a favor. After all, you were attracted to my qualities and I (wrongly) assumed you wished to embody them as well. My discipline, my focus, my drive, my persistent nature, my superb organizational skills.

Ironically, all the parts of you I was trying to wash away were the same parts that attracted me to you in the first place.

Your spontaneity to my rigidness. Your laid-back attitude to my uptightness. Your go-with-the-flow in situations to my this-is-how-things-are done. It’s both a blessing and a curse that opposites attract, isn’t it?

People were intrigued with what drew us to each other. Actually, if I recall correctly, it was your friends who were more confused by what attracted you to me. (Sometimes I am, too.) My friends knew exactly why I was drawn to you. You are the yin to my yang, and yet here I was chipping slowly away at your yin as the years went by.

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Deep down, I still don’t know why I did it. Why I felt the need to remodel you and improve you. Was I really just another one of those stereotypical wives who married their husbands with the hope they will change once they get married? Did I finally take off the rose-colored glasses I had on all those years we were dating? Or is it possible, that I found us too good to be true, too happy, that I secretly sabotaged the good thing we had going?

It didn’t matter the reason–I realized I needed to stop.

The very same day that I made this decision I happened to stumble upon an article about accepting people for who they are that really resonated with me. That forced me to come to terms with the fact I was doing the complete opposite of what is essential to a healthy and thriving marriage. That the unnecessary anguish and tension underlying our relationship would dissipate . . . if only, I just let you be . . .

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It seemed like such a simple notion. Let people be who they are and watch them blossom. I haven’t let you blossom. This I know for a fact is true.

I’m sorry I haven’t accepted you for who you are. And at the same time, I want to thank you, for wholly accepting me. Now, it’s time I take you off my potter’s wheel and finally start to do the same for you.

Wendy C

Wendy C has been married over a decade to her husband. They have three children together. She has been published on Scary MommyThe Globe & Mail,  Filter Free Parents and the Yummy Mummy Club.  In her spare time, she creates custom cakes and cupcakes at Wendy’s Cake Shoppe.

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