It’s OK for Him to be Different

A couple of years ago my lovely Lori wrote a post entitled It’s OK to Be Different. Living with me, Lori has seen more than her share of different. Either she has seen the value in different or has lost her mind. Perhaps both!

From where I stand, it seems women are more concerned than men are about being outside of the norm. I certainly know plenty of exceptions on both sides, but it seems men are more comfortable being further from normal than woman are. No doubt, some of this is because women take more grief than men do for being different. Men seem to get wider margins for both acceptable difference and admirable difference. 

I love him, but I'm not responsible for him. © Picture People

One of the ways I see this play out is wives trying to limit their husband’s level of different. Lori did this early in our marriage, mostly out of fear of what others would think. Fairly quickly she decided “I was an adult” and could take care of myself. She also declared she was not responsible for me, or my actions. In short, she chose to not act like a mother to me. For my part, I tried not to go so far I embarrassed her.

Trying to limit or control your husband being difference is a no win trap. He will resent you for it, and you will resent him for not listening to you. He may also start treating you as his conscience or voice of reason, and this could free him from listening to his own reason. No one wins, and your marriage loses in multiple ways. Alternatively, you may keep him somewhat under control, which means he never sees how others would feel about his actions. 

He is a grown man, even if you do not think he acts like one. I am all for telling him what you need, and what offends or embarrasses you, but let him do what he wants and let him suffer any consequences. You are not responsible for him, so let him be himself. You will both be happier in the long run.

~ Paul – I’m XY, and I gotta be me!

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