We owe a lot to the people in our lives that spend good old quality time with us. Our family helped shape the way we are, our friends keep us afloat when the hard times enter our front doors, and our partners are the usually the ones that help us become the best version of ourselves. Whether it’s because their good qualities rub off on us or because we strive to be a great partner back to them, usually the one we love is the one who has us transforming in ways we rebelled against years before we ever met them.
So we asked eight real mean to share how their partners made them better people, even when they resisted in the past.
I Was the Biggest Flake
“Marriage has been good for me because it’s made me less flakey. My wife is very honest...I no longer make plans and cancel. I no longer don't call people back. I’ve just become the kind of person that people want to be around and I owe that to my lady.” —Wes Y., 29
I Used to Be Mr. Negative
“My glass was always half empty. I viewed every situation as a negative one. My wife is the most positive person you could ever meet. Every challenge that falls into her lap she just punches away. She’s made me no longer such a Mr. Negative Nancy and instead into a person who wakes up in the morning and finds the courage to say, 'This is going to be a good day.'” —Xavier F., 34
I’m Cool With Showing Off My Emotions
“My partner has made me a more well-rounded person. I’m no longer a straight-shooter or the kind of person who has a straight face all of the time. I don’t have a problem crying in front of her or expressing my emotions, even if that seems like a taboo thing for a guy to do. She’s opened up the floodgates for me to just be myself and not worry about getting judged. I’m completely more vulnerable. I like it.” —Ben W., 27
I'm No Longer Afraid of PDA
“I was so anti-PDA (public displays of affection) before I met Chris. But he was all about hugging and kissing out in public. At first, I was like please stop. Now, I’m all about it. He got me to press the pause button on caring what other people thought of me and now just lets me live in the moment. If I want to kiss him while shopping for groceries, I just do.” —Peter M., 30
I Enjoy Getting to Know a Different Opinion
“I’ll put it this way—my wife voted for Clinton and I voted for Trump. I’m not saying that her political view has made me a better person, but listening to her reasoning, her opinions, and what matters to her has allowed me to open my mind up to different viewpoints. It’s made me less selfish and made me start to understand the other side a lot better. I’m now patient when I engage in conversations with people who have different political beliefs than I do, which makes it easier to connect with people who are different than I am.” —Rick W., 28
I Spend My Sundays Volunteering
“One of the main reasons I fell for my wife was because she made it a big point of her life to give back to others. She’s an executive at a Fortune 500 company and I’m a lawyer so we make a lot of money. Instead of just writing checks to organizations or charities, she’s always made it a part of her monthly routine to be hands-on and volunteer. That’s something I never did, or wanted to do, before meeting her. We’ve been married for five years (and we dated for three before we got married). I’ve volunteered at over 50 nonprofits in that time frame all because of her.” —Greg E., 36
I Skip the Fast Food
“My husband is my all-star personal trainer, unofficially. He cares about health and fitness. I care about Netflix and McDonalds. Under his influence, I’ve lost ten pounds in half a year. He actually got me to enjoy going to the gym and eating kale. I’d never thought I’d say such a thing!” —Troy S., 29
I’ve Learned to Say 'I Love You'
“I grew up with parents who avoided saying 'I love you' like the plague. It just wasn’t what we did. We showed love in odd ways (like yelling at each other and throwing insults at each other across a dinner table). When I started dating my wife, she had to be the first person to say 'I love you.' When she said it, I sort of hugged her and said 'thanks.' She took it entirely the wrong way but from that moment on, I’ve gotten better at saying 'I love you' and letting her know I mean it, even though it just wasn’t part of my childhood at all.” —Jordan F., 32