"I admitted I was wrong. What more did you want?" he asked.
My eyes filled with angry tears and a list began to form in my head, filled with everything he did that drove me insane.
1. Stop talking to me about politics.
2. Stop criticizing my parenting.
3. Stop telling me everything that is wrong with "my people".
4. Stop using the race card every time things don't go your way.
5. Stop trying to make me see how superior you are.
6. Stop complaining about the time I spend with my family.
7. Don't mention one more thing about how I need to change.
By the time my mind processed number seven, I realized that I had become exactly what I despised. There was not a single thing on my list that would have been accomplished without a complete shift of who he was at his core. It would mean asking him to do exactly what I had flat out rejected from him. Changing.
Over the years my friends and family listened to me cry, complain, love, and nearly hate this very man. For every single moment of hell we'd been through there were equal moments of love, and for every trait I wished he would change there was a redeeming quality that kept me coming back. I listened to people tell me he was a jerk (or worse), but in my heart and often out loud I would defend him. "I know why you think that, but he's not a bad person. He does love me. You don't know him."
To this day I still believe those words to be true. I simply couldn't go on being someones project. I didn't want to be with someone who always wanted to tweak some fiber of my being. Did he love my heart? I have no doubt. Did he wish I could be more like him so that we would be compatible enough to make it work? Yes.
As he extended the olive branch, I gently pushed it away. Part of me screamed to throw it back in his face, tell him to change, and show him how it felt. I just couldn't do it. If you love someone, you love them for who they are, not who they could be if they just ____. Seeing him in the position he had put me in so many times in the past didn't feel as great as I'd imagined. I've said before, "Its funny because it didn't happen to me." But it wasn't. I don't want to talk about changing anymore.
Do you ever feel it's acceptable to ask someone to change for you? Have you ever made a change to who you are to satisfy someone else?