No-one likes to feel like they are being forced to be someone they are not. Most guys prize the illusion of independence that they live with and will buck any overt attempts to shape them into something else, however healthy that change might be. It is important in a relationship to remember that opposites attract, and those irritations were probably part of the charm that drew you together at first. What’s more, if there isn’t at least a little contrast between you there is a chance you won’t grow in the ways you both need to.
Some friends of mine showed me this in their relationship. He is a very relaxed guy; nothing bothers him and he never makes waves. I don’t think he has ever complained or returned something to a store in his life. His partner on the other hand is very strong willed and isn’t shy about making her opinion known. If some service or product is below-par then she will say so, without mincing words. As their relationship developed what was at first endearing became a source of friction. Eventually she became frustrated that he wouldn’t stand up for himself (or her) when she thought it was necessary, and he was embarrassed that she would make a scene every time her expectations weren’t met. It could easily have spelled the end of them.
What happened instead was encouraging. Over time, they both grew a little in the direction of the other. If something needed dealing with, she began raising it with him first. He would help her put it into perspective and together they would decide if it really needed acting on. Then he would make the call or address the issue as required. His gentle, relaxed manner meant less feathers got ruffled, but her keen sense of justice made sure they weren’t doormats for anyone. What began as a potential breaking point has become a strength in their relationship, and both of them are grateful for the development of their personalities.
If one of them had tried to stamp their own personality over the other person’s it would have been all out war. As it is they remain distinct individuals with their own way of doing things, but there is a harmony borne of the contrast. He has become more assertive and she is less critical but they are still unique, and neither resents the change.
If there is something about your man that irritates you, stop and consider why. Then think about what that might actually bring to the relationship that you would be poorer for if it was absent. A ‘messy’ can remind a ‘tidy’ that the home is for living in, not looking at, and a ‘saver’ can temper a ‘spender’s impulsive credit card habit. I don’t suggest that every bad habit can be redeemed, but trying to force your man to imitate you is a recipe for disaster. Cut him some slack, and consider how you can both grow a little closer to the middle ground. Chances are that when you take a couple of steps, he will be willing to do the same.